Often when we settle down to read for pleasure, we instinctively reach for an easy read, a book we can flip through and digest in a single sitting without coming up for air. These are books to be briefly enjoyed, then dismissed from our minds. We should keep reading them. Our days should be filled with simple pleasures.
But we also need to grapple with ourselves and reach for a book that has meat to it, a book that is thought provoking, radical and, in parts, unsettling. We need read a book that is complicated and brings out our introspective sides, so that we can unpack the layers of our lives evaluate each and every one. As luck would have it, I know of such a book!
In 1983, Gloria Steinem published a collection of essays, called Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, to inspect our political and socioeconomic surroundings through a feminist lens. The topics she discusses as engaging and just as relevant today as any other. She begins by breaking down the content into four sections: Learning From Experience, Other Basic Discoveries, Five Women, and Transforming Politics. Some of these sections are tied back to her own personal experiences, or the experiences of other specific individuals (Marilyn Monroe, for starters). Others explore women’s issues at a macro level, like essays “The International Crime of Genital Mutilation”, or “If Hitler Were Alive, Whose Side Would He Be On?”, dealing with the issue of abortion.
As a journalist, Steinem tends to inject parts of herself into her writing, at one point going undercover as a Playboy bunny in New York City, to get the inside scoop. Her writing is humorous, snarky and, above all else, motivational.
Go on, be motivated. Read Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem.