Author, journalist, and icon of the women’s movement Gloria Steinem visited Meredith College on September 24 as part of her tour in support of her latest book, My Life on the Road. She spoke to a full house in Jones Auditorium.
At the event, Steinem was in conversation with Erin Dale Byrd, executive director of Blueprint, NC. In keeping with the book’s theme, Byrd asked Steinem what she had learned from her life of travel.
“Traveling the United States shows you the immense diversity of the nation,” Steinem said. “I wish that everyone in elected office had as preparation a couple of years of traveling in the place they will represent.
Steinem said her travels give her the opportunity to listen to those she meets.
“Traveling forces you to live in the present. If you travel in an open way, it means you are listening and not just talking … Those with power need to listen as much as they talk so that those with less power are able to talk as much as they listen. Just to balance talking and listening goes a long way.”
After the interview, Steinem took questions from the audience for more than an hour. Among those who posed questions were Meredith College students, some of whom met with Steinem prior to the public event.
When asked for advice on how to approach an issue, Steinem said, “Don’t listen to me – listen to yourselves, trust yourselves. I’m not here to tell you what to do, I’m here to support you.”
This event was co-sponsored by Quail Ridge Books and Meredith’s Friends of the Library.