As you probably have guessed this blog is going to be about feminist literature. And as the word implies, literature pertains to all forms of written work that hold artistic merit and provide long lasting value, therefore I won’t just be focusing on books on this blog but also mythology and poetry.
By now you must know that I love to read, and of course writing about what I read would be the natural offshoot of such a hobby. However, why would I focus just on feminist literature?
When I was a little girl I hated to sit still. I was a tomboy. I had short hair and wore baggy clothes and was only distinguishable from the boys through ear piercings my mother insisted I get. I chose to play street hockey over Barbie and painting my nails was a bore because it required me to wait until they dried before I could play basketball. Of course, because I was so active I was also prone to injury. And injured I got.
When I was ten years old I broke my leg (for the first time, I broke it again 5 times afterwards) playing soccer. For a hyper active child like me this was the worst thing that could happen. I wasn’t allowed to run around freely all day. So, like any other ten- year old I plunked myself down in front of the living room TV with a bowl of snacks and lazed the hours away. This didn’t last long. Not soon after my injury my dad decided he wanted to move. All our things were packed and given to the movers, my siblings and I bundled into the car for a long drive to our new home. It was a 16-hour drive and my younger siblings were two and six years of age at the time. If you have ever traveled with little kids you know how much more annoying they get on road trips.
I had nothing to do and was crammed next to noisy babies. I whined and complained to my mother how I couldn’t stand listening to them. In response, my mother handed me a book and told not to speak until I finished it. After all I was the oldest and therefore expected to behave. The book: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. Unlike so many people I had not jumped into the Harry Potter bandwagon. I didn’t really care about the boy with the scar. And the cover of the book was so dull and very red. For some reason the level of red on the cover annoyed me. And who put a train on the cover of a book? Trains were boring. Either way I was ordered into silence and had nothing to do. I opened the book expecting to hate it and explain why the whole Harry Potter fad was a waste of time.
Six hours later I asked my dad if we could stop at the nearest book store and get the next one in the series. I was refused and for the remaining ten hours I waited impatiently to arrive at our destination so I could find out what happened next. After all a broken leg meant I wouldn’t be running around outside. To date I’ve probably read the Harry Potter series at least 20 times. However, I do credit my love for reading to the long, boring car ride on a crisp autumn day leading to a winter that snuggled over like a heavy blanket.
I also started reading other books beyond Harry Potter. And I noticed a trend. Most of the books I read portrayed strong male lead characters. Females usually played supporting roles. Looking around more I noticed books that featured females as the lead character were typically love stories. The main character desperately needed to be saved by a man or was actively looking for love. Even if the female lead was supposed to take on any sort of challenge it was to become the object of desire of someone or to save her love life.
“Why?” I wondered “Can’t these women do anything for themselves? How come they are so reliant on men?”
Getting older and rereading some of the stories I had brushed away as a child I realized many of these women were strong. Most of them didn’t in fact need a man, but rather the man was more dependent on these female characters to support their own roles.
I decided it was time to give these silent, overlooked women of literature a second glance and a louder voice. It’s time the world know that these women didn’t need to be saved. They could have saved themselves.
I hope you enjoy the blog. Please keep in mind, everything posted is my personal opinion and is not meant to offend anyone.