I grew up with a lot of choices. I was able to decide what to do with my life, who to love, and how to act day-to-day. It wasn’t all that long ago, however, when I would not have had those rights as a woman in America.
Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions is a great reflection on the struggles many before me have had to bear in order to make my liberties a reality. As interesting for me as the historical context of this book is the realization that many women, even in today’s society, still do not enjoy equality.
Feminism is often treated as a bad word and used to evoke images of bra-burning radical women who shout loudly about reproductive rights and sexual freedom. Steinem eloquently points out with her essays that feminism is about much more. A feminist cares and will speak up about a wide range of issues dealing with equality. How does humankind treat each other? Is work valued equally (including work done inside the home) regardless of gender? Are those without means being treated fairly or being taken advantage of by those who are wealthy or powerful? These are just a few of the questions explored in Steinem’s collection of essays.
This can be an emotional read. While I don’t agree with everything Steinem had to say or all the methods she used in getting her points across, I’m glad I read this book. One point I agree with Steinem completely about is that the history of feminism needs to be taught widely. Women and men alike need to know the past and how we tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over again–especially in regards to how we as humans treat each other. Equality will never happen if there aren’t people like Steinem to champion those who don’t have a voice.