Gloria Steinem, who recently appeared at the Sydney Writers' Festival, is a noble person. Particularly if considered in relation to say, I don’t know, me. She has endured 35 more years and one more marriage than I have, but she gives her days to battle with legislators, despots, television hosts and assorted other monsters, all for the common good.

I give my days to battle with internet comments and Words With Friends. There can be no crumb of doubt that this "hopeless hopeaholic, always on the move" is morally better than most -- and me, in particular. There’s a little doubt, though, that she has much that is surprising to say.