I count too heavily on birthdays, though I know I shouldn't. Inevitably I begin to assess my life by them, figure out how I'm doing by how many people remember; it's like the old fantasy of attending your own funeral: You get to see who your friends are, get to see who shows up.I'll admit it, I've become obsessed with Lorrie Moore recently. Her writing is so eloquent and raw (very possible). So real, yet so completely far fetched. She writes vivid descriptions with such a sneer. Her female characters deal with contemporary social constructions; yet, the context offers such ridiculous circumstances that readers are forced to examine the hidden meanings. I think she encourages women to embrace the pain and heartache that accompany life, to embrace the beauty of their unique self, to recognize the intelligence that is so deeply embedded and so hard to extricate. Simply put- her work is captivating and genuine.
If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.I was introduced to Audre Lorde's work in a highly influential class in my undergraduate career. As soon as I read the first few essays in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches I knew I had never viewed work that moved me so. Her language worked through a spectrum of my emotions. Without ever hearing her speak, I was in complete awe of a woman so completely sure of herself, so ready to share with others. Individuals cite feelings of shame, ignorance and empowerment upon viewing her words. I recognized the very center of myself, an attitude wanting to encompass my whole being. This work, consequently, encouraged me to focus on feminist anthropology following the completion of the class. The coursework that followed has made me much of who I am today. I have vowed to read some of Lorde's essays this evening and fully appreciate what her work has done for the world, and for me.
The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.Her observations of nature alone make her a favorite in my book. Scenery of the Midwestern skies have drawn me into tales that seem highly romantic. However, amidst the striking scenery, Cather deals with tough aspects of the human condition. I find that her novels, packed with hardworking, intelligent females, despite the time period, stick out in my mind. If you haven't read Cather's work yet, what are you waiting for?!?
Of course, I could go on for days (and days) about the women who inspire me, but this is a short list of women that immediately came to mind. How about you? Who's inspired you? What works have changed your perspective in some way?
Happy International Women's Day!
Want to get involved? Here's a Google list of events celebrating IWD .