Quote Of The Day: On The Road

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Quote Of The Day #52

About 10 years ago, I read Gloria Steinem’s “Moving Beyond Words” and it was a very good read. I can’t remember the particulars, but I remember it talks about the train wreck kind of life many women have experienced. It inspired me to reflect on all the women I knew and to evaluate their life from a new angle.

And a while ago, her book “On The Road” is on sale in audible and you know me–I couldn’t resist a sale. I usually don’t read the kind of book Gloria Steinem writes because I feel that it is too eager and too purposeful. I prefer literary fictions for entertainment purposes. However, once in a while, I really need her eagerness and purposefulness to enlighten me, to pull me out of my habitual way of thinking that can depress me. Since I grew up in a very conservative family and now I reside in a very conservative immigrant community, the habitual thoughts are usually reserved and nostalgia. Whenever I need somebody to drag me out of this stupor, I have to read something soothing and uplifting like “On The Road”.

And there are so many good quotes from this book, but today I only have time to compile a few. And I have to listen and pause, listen and pause to compile this. It’s not as easy as copying and pasting from a kindle book.

What we are told about this country is way too limited by generalities, sound bites, and even the supposedly enlightened idea that there are two sides to every question. In fact many questions have three or seven or a dozen sides. Sometimes I think the only real division into two is between people who divide everything into two and those who don’t.

Even the dictionary define an adventurer as a person who enjoys and seeks adventures, but an adventuress is a woman using unscrupulous means in order to gain wealth or social position. When women do travel, they seem to come to a bad end, from Amelia Earhart to the fictional Thelma and Louis.

Thanks to the study of ancient DNA to trace human movement over time, we now know that men have been the stay-at-home, and women have been the travelers. The rate of intercontinental migration of women is eight times that for men.

You should write about take no-shit women like me. Girls need to know they can break the rules.

I began to see that for some, religion was just a form of politics you couldn’t criticize.

He (my father) listened to all my complaints of not going to school like other kids (because the family traveled so much). Yet years after his death, I realized that I was also been spared of the limitations the schools then put on girls. Nor was he around when I finally understood that having a loving and nurturing father made a life long difference. Only when I saw women who were attracted to distant, condescending, even violent men did I begin to understand that having a distant, condescending, even violent father could make those qualities seem inevitable.

No wonder studies show that women’s intellectual self-esteem tends to go down as years of education go up. We have been studying our own absence.

Anybody who is experiencing something is more expert in it than the experts.

37 thoughts on “Quote Of The Day: On The Road

  1. “You should write about take no-shit women like me. Girls need to know they can break the rules.”- yes to this a million times. This book sounds fantastic, I’ll definitely check it out. I love “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac and for a minute I thought this post was going to be about it and got overly excited lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is not written as interestingly as Kerouac’s “On The Road”, which are so popular for so many people. I mean this is why often I don’t like book with a certain purpose–feminism included. A book for a purpose is usually very boring to read. However with this book, it does say something that is entirely different from other books I read. Also I know I tend to become dispirited after reading too many books written by men. This is why I need to read some books that can push back and can enlighten.

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      1. Yes, I agree. Books with a clear purpose can become a bit boring sometimes. Glad this was not like that and I get that way too when I read too many books by men. It’s nice to have a change.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I mean in the world of fiction, this is particularly true. Just reading what Philip Roth wrote can depress many women for a long time. And yet his books were considered best sellers. Almost every woman is crazy in his books.

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        2. So true. He can always find a million excuses for men. Whenever women are concerned, he considered himself a victim. I mean not only a little victim, but a weak neurotic victim who was deceived and vilified and pummeled by women. And I have to say “Potnoy’s Complaints” is a proof that he is a master complainer and it is his complaint that people love to read. Even if he is so misogynistic, most of his admirers are women (although of course people who hate him most are women too). And isn’t it ironical that he was so well educated, and so well positioned, so well admired… He was almost at the top of the “food chain” of the society. And the fortunate is always the victim the unfortunate in his opinion. Or something like that.

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        3. I don’t think he sees it clearly and believes that women aren’t less educated/positioned in society. To him, women will always be the ones causing men pain. He doesn’t realise that even though men suffer it’s nothing compared to what women go through in their life.

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        4. You are so right. He doesn’t really see the education or position or food chain as much as he see women as a threat, which is forever going out to get him one way or another.

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        5. It’s actually quite funny. He absolutely does seem to think women target rich and successful men but refuse to believe that women are also often targeted by men even when they are not rich and successful.

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        6. Yes, so true. I actually don’t think he is deliberately trying to do harm to women. He’s not that kind of person. His misogyny is more like selfishness and trying to gain affection by being a Santa Claus–I mean trying to bring expensive gifts rather than really sharing his life.

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        7. I agree, it’s not on purpose but I think he’s so self-involved or narcissistic that he only focuses on his sorrow or the sorrow of men while dismissing what women go through.

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        8. It is also a little strange to me that he wants to more freedom and more exploration for himself, but when it comes to women, he wants women to be as traditional as possible so that they can take care of him. I guess we all have our weaknesses.

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        9. Yeah, I think he’s one of those people that believe in traditional roles for women and thinks that things were great “back in the day” when women “stayed in their place.” Except that is far from true.

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        10. He is. He is quite a complicated person in wanting woman to be educated as well as to enjoy cooking for him. I think it is a normal human psychology to possess both sentiments at the same time. However his lack of sympathy for women is infuriating. Woman are all out to get him. LOL.

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        11. Honestly, after reading some of his work I wouldn’t be surprised if women really are out to get him now lol.
          He seems to want a perfect woman and yet he wants her to overlook all his flaws. He truly is hypocrisy at its best sometimes.

          Liked by 1 person

        12. I guess his first wife made an unforgettable impression on his mind, which has caused him to form this idea of perfect men being “damaged” by women in their lives. In his perfect world of men, women don’t fit in–he understands that I guess.

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