Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Non-Fiction Review: Gloria Steinem: The Kindle Singles Interview

A few weeks ago, second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem made the news for a interview in which she spoke about the importance of early black feminists, saying: 
I thought they invented the feminist movement. I’ve learned feminism disproportionately from black women. I realize that things being what they are, the white middle-class part of the movement got reported more, but if you look at the numbers and the very first poll of women responding to feminist issues, African American women were twice as likely to support feminism and feminist issues than white women.
I've had Gloria Steinem: The Kindle Singles Interview sitting on my Kindle for several months now, but this statement pushed it back up to the top of my TBR pile.  It's a transcription of an interview with Steinem, in which she recounts her experiences growing up and her increasing consciousness of gender inequality, as well as touching on a range of modern-day social, cultural and political issues.  It's a quick and easy read, but none the less thought-provoking for it.

For me, a real lightbulb moment was her assertion that the fights for racial and gender equality are inherently linked, and treating them as entirely separate discourses is a conscious move of those with power to maintain the status quo.  It's something that I've never considered before, but now notice a lot.  If you are interested in feminist thought, or identify as a feminist, or even if you are on the fence, it's definitely worth the hour or so it takes to read it.  

And for anyone who hasn't come across Kindle Singles, they are short pieces of writing (both fiction and non-fiction) that you can buy pretty cheap on Amazon.  I find them really useful when I don't have the will, brain power or time to invest in something book-length but still want to read something meaty.  It's much easier than trying to learn about a particular topic by reading an in-depth, full-length non-fiction book cover to cover, and there is something there for everyone.    

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