Talking circles

Gloria Steinem’s memoir entreats feminists to go offline

(Hilary Swift/The New York Times)

In a thoughtful piece for Quartz, writer and professor Marcie Bianco argues that Gloria Steinem’s recent career memoir My Life on the Road makes the case for taking feminist politics offline as often as possible — to deepen empathy, forge community through shared experiences and foster intersectionality. “What [Steinem] learned from the Gandhians in India, Native Americans, and the African-American feminists with whom she worked and traveled alongside with beginning the 1960s, is that physical interaction is imperative to sustained civic-mindedness,” writes Bianco.

While the author acknowledges the ways in which the internet has given reach and visibility to many activists, and in some ways democratized (and, in others, diminished) debate, it can never be a substitute for meeting face-to-face, nor considering information free of feeling overwhelmed.

“If I had to name the most important discovery of my life,” Steinem reflects in the memoir, “it would be the portable community of talking circles; groups that gather with all five senses, and allow consciousness to change.”

Read the full story at Quartz.

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