AS IF WOMEN MATTER: The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader

by Ruchira Gupta

  1. ISBN: 978-81-291-3103-4
  2. Pages: 296 pages
  3. Date: February 2014


Gloria Steinem, one of the most iconic feminist thinkers of the world, spent her early years in India. Her time in the country revealed to Gloria the Gandhian insight that change, like a tree, must grow from the bottom up. Subsequently, her decades of work with the feminist movement in the US and across the world taught her that violence and domination are normalized by the false division of human beings into subject and object, the dominator and the dominated, ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’.
In As if Women Matter, Gloria Steinem and activist Ruchira Gupta bring together a selection of ground-breaking essays by Gloria which, since the time that they were first written, have transcended borders and have laid the groundwork for much of modern feminist thought. In these pages, Gloria demonstrates how racism and discrimination based on caste and class differences cannot survive without controlling women’s bodies—she also describes the many ways in which women and men are fighting that control. She brilliantly analyzes Adolf Hitler’s obsession with masculinity, and finds a gendered understanding of violence in the making. She distinguishes between erotica and pornography, locating the difference between the two in the inequality that governs relations between the sexes. And, in addition to a trenchant account of a few days she spent as a Playboy Bunny, this volume also carries a never-before-published essay on sex trafficking by Gloria, ‘The Third Way’.
As if Women Matter is scholarly, profound, and leavened by a lightness of touch which makes the most complex arguments accessible to all readers. In this compilation, you will find ideas, outrage, seriousness and laughter—and a friend.


Ruchira Gupta, Founder-President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, is an Emmy-winning journalist, feminist-activist and policymaker who has worked for thirty years to end human trafficking and empower marginalized women.

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