Margot Mifflin
May 27, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Moving Beyond Words

Current Status
In Season
Gloria Steinem
Women's Studies, Essays

We gave it a B+

Having survived the self-help detour she took with her last book, Revolution From Within, Gloria Steinem is back to exploring what she calls ”outer space.” In the mostly meaty collection of essays, Moving Beyond Words, she addresses the innate biases of census questionnaires, exposes the aesthetic double standard of women’s bodybuilding, and updates her famous expose (”Sex, Lies, and Advertising”) of companies that buy editorial power along with ad space in magazines.

There are some clinkers here: In ”What if Freud Were Phyllis?” Steinem parodies Freud’s sexism, but the joke is labored. And she includes her own doggerel in ”Doing Sixty,” first dissing, in a sweeping hot flash of intolerance, women who are married, corporate, academic, or religious, then praying ”for the courage/To walk naked/At any age.” Fortunately, the rest of the book offers less dopey strategies for ”growing more radical with age.” B+

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