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Our Shared Shelf

Emma Watson, in conjunction with her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador and the HeforShe campaign, has got us reading with a new reading group called Our Shared Shelf

The initiative was launched via Watson’s Twitter account and helps to celebrate female authors while opening up the feminist movement to a wider populace. Watson, most famous for her beautiful portrayal of the bookish Hermione Granger, completely proves that reading is cool.

She says, “As part of my work with UN Women, I have started reading as many books and essays about equality as I can get my hands on. There is so much amazing stuff out there! Funny, inspiring, sad, thought-provoking, empowering! I’ve been discovering so much that, at times, I’ve felt like my head was about to explode… I decided to start a Feminist book club, as I want to share what I’m learning and hear your thoughts too.”

My Life On the Road by Gloria Steinem is January’s book. Steinem is an American feminist icon famous for the founding of Ms. Magazine. Yet she can be distinguished from this wider movement by her passion for the underdog as minority issues are her main focus. Her book is a fascinating memoir that narrates her extraordinary adventures, insights, struggles, and life insprirations as a campaigner and organiser. The extraordinary stories of the disparate people and places she encounters on her travels is remarkable.

Steinem writes of a ‘double racism’ against people of colour, lesbians, and immigrants. In her book she focuses particularly on Native American issues as they seem to have resonated with and changed her world view; the Native American system of democracy, their matriarchal society, the importance of nature to them, and, most importantly, their belief in a balance within the world all stroke a chord with her.

My Life on the Road emphasises the importance of forum for sharing ideas – that talking and listening is the way to bring about meaningful and lasting change. What spoke to me was the continua,l institutional bias against women in today’s society especially within the media. If anything, the book provides an insight into the massive social changes that have occurred in America since the 1960s and how those changes were established both in and out of the political system.

To find out more and to read some fascinating and inspiring books by and about awesome women join in the discussion

3rd Year History student at St Andrews
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