“I think the most obvious real fear I had was of public speaking. That really paralyzed me. I’d have to cancel appearances at the last minute because if I tried to do them, I’d lose all my saliva and each tooth would acquire a little sweater.
“I didn’t begin to speak in public until I was at least in my mid-thirties or maybe even my late thirties. I suppose I’d chosen to write as a way of expressing myself partly so I didn’t have to speak. It was only the beginning of the Women’s Movement and the impossibility of getting articles about it published that caused me to go out and speak publicly. Even then I couldn’t do it by myself, which is why I asked my friend Dorothy [Pitman Hughes, child expert and activist] to speak with me. For that first decade, I almost always spoke with her and one of two or three other partners.
“[Eventually] I discovered that you didn’t die, and that something happened when you were speaking in a room that could not happen on the printed page.”
— Gloria Steinem (from an interview with Maria Shriver)
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore / Flickr