I meant to have this posted on International Women’s Day, but editing and work prolonged it. Why can’t this holiday be recognized and celebrated every day?
The first hero would be my mother. She helped raise me, despite challenges, and she loved me unconditionally. I have learned to appreciate all she did for me even after she was gone.
There were various ways to contribute to International Women’s Day. It should go without saying, women have had many obstacles to overcome to be where they are today and are still fighting through obstacles to be treated as equals in the workplace, in office, as leaders, in sports, in the military, etc.
During my study of literature, I was introduced to many female authors who inspired a generation of more female, but also male writers. Some include Sylvia Plath, J.K Rowling, Toni Morrison, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickenson, Harper Lee, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jean Rhys, Zadie Smith, Lee Smith, and Flannery O’Connor. Literature holds a library of the events women have endured through time, fighting for equality in society, from the Equal Pay Act and Civil Rights Act in the 1960s to the record-breaking national women’s march in Washington. However, they have been fighting long before these acts and demonstrations. What is being more individual than writing about what she wants, her experience, about society and how women have paved their way through laws and prejudice to be individuals in society.
I wanted to provide quotes from some of my most influential and favorite female authors.
One of the first female authors and feminist writers I knew about was Virginia Woolf. In her novel-length essay, A Room with a View, she focuses on females disempowerment in society.
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” ~ Virginia Woolf.
She blames women’s lack of published writing on poverty. Some perceive Woolf as saying women need money in order to have the freedom to write as males do. She stresses how women need their independence, to live as individuals. She also stressed women’s right to education, as this was one way they would be free.
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind” ~ Virginia Woolf
Society holds her as a female from some of the same rights males have, but they could not lock up the freedom in her mind.
Moving onto another inspirational author, Sylvia Plath. Writing requires some fortitude and bravery, and Plath demonstrates this with her work.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt ” ~ Sylvia Plath.
Sometimes inspiration for writing comes from what one wants to see yet has not seen or read. Toni Morrison makes an interesting point below.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it” ~ Toni Morrison
I can add to this idea. If there is a film I have not watched and want to watch, I can write it. Much of my inspiration and ideas come from what I have not read or watched but want to. This is motivation for me to write stories.
“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive” ~ J.K Rowling.
People are tested from work, school, social lives, health, etc. Everyone is challenged and has their downs, but not defeated. Instead, people grow as stronger individuals and learn how to endure setbacks, Rowling refers to.
I read Zadie Smith’s book, White Teeth during graduate school and found a new author to follow. She recently released a series of essays I anticipate reading, too.
“She hopes for nothing except fine weather and a resolution. She wants to end properly, like a good sentence”~ Zadie Smith.
I read Lee Smith’s memoir during graduate school also and found her writing style and tone fun to follow.
“If you cannot have an easy journey, have an interesting story” ~ Lee Smith
Not everyone has an easy journey, but this can make for an interesting story.
One thing that draws me to literature is the various perception it allows each reader. As a result, each reader learns from other readers’ theories, and arguments (the healthy, good arguments) are made and meaningful debates begin.
I wanted to write about much more but will need a separate post, then another one… I could write a whole blog or more about one of the writer’s above. There have been so many female writers who have influenced readers and who have paved the way for more inspiring writers.