Gloria Steinem talks "My Life on the Road" and feminism

Journalist and activist Gloria Steinem has written her first book in more than 20 years. "My Life on the Road," details her conversations with people - from civil rights leaders to students - she met as she crisscrossed the country, living and traveling the country with her "gypsy father" growing up.

She credits these experiences for shaping her into the person she is today.


"It was only after I started a book about being on the road that I realized, 'Wait a minute, maybe this had something to do with my childhood,'" Steinem told "CBS This Morning" Friday. "Home and on the road are equally important and maybe that's the way we evolved as human beings. ... There's something in ourselves that makes us want to travel."

Steinem also described her father's positive influence on her future relationships with men.

"If your father is the person closest to you, is kind of funny and cares about you as a unique individual and cares about your talents and so on, you know that those men exist," she said.

Steinem became the face of the women's rights revolution in the 1960s, examining taboo subjects like domestic violence, pay disparity, reproductive rights and equal opportunities in the workplace.

A feminist herself, she responded to actress Meryl Streep's recent statement that she was a not a feminist.

"I think she says she's a feminist and a humanist," said Steinem. "The tradition of humanism is that you believe in people rather than God, so she may just have been saying both things."

But specifically addressing the common negative connotations attached to the term, Steinem said, "If people just go to the dictionary and discover that it means a person -- male or female -- who believes in the full equality of women and men, then they do subscribe to it. And it is a majority now, which it didn't use to be."