I recently received my first requested book from Paperback Swap. It is Women Out of Bounds, a book about historical women who broke out of the bonds that held most women of their age. It includes women such as my favorite pirates, Anne Bonney and Mary Reed, as well as a female human cannonball, a woman who sold winds to sailors, and a woman who ran for president of the United States. And no, I'm not talking about Hilary Clinton.
This book, although I've only leafed through it so far, has introduced me to some amazing women. These women didn't just stand up because they wanted to flout the authority of men. No, they did it because they wanted to be themselves. I'm amazed that these women haven't been given more notice. In fact, a good majority of the American women in this book I've never even heard of.
As a feminist, of course, I enjoy this book. I think that any woman should enjoy this book. Of course, I think that any man who believes that women are his equals should enjoy this book.
But this book also resonates with me on a different level. Not just 'we are women, here us roar!' and 'Equality!' but as a person starting to really understand what it means to be herself. As I have mentioned previously, I have spent the majority of my life hiding from notice beneath a thick shell. I have been frightened of doing what I wanted because I felt someone would laugh at me, someone would say that I wasn't good enough, I wasn't bright enough, I wasn't enough.
But I've been changing. I've realized that I am myself, and no one can put me down unless I let them. I am talented, and bright, and creative, and joyful. This book has not told me 'how' to find myself or how women should stand up for themselves. It just relates the women in the past who were in such difference places than I am, and they did things their own way. They didn't care what others thought. They didn't care what was normal or proper. They just went out and did it.
This attitude, this feeling of knowing oneself, is something that everyone should have. Female, male, orangutan. Know yourself and do what you feel is correct.
Who are you?