3 Empowering Page Turners To Dive Into This Summer
by Haley Guerin
Quarantine has created extra down time for many of us. Whether that is for better or for worse, we will leave that up to you to decide. Nevertheless, with all this extra time on your hands, you’ve probably picked up a few hobbies, like baking an excessive amount of banana bread, tie-dying all your white tees, or crushing it in your home workouts. If you find your schedule in need of a bit of spicing up, you should totally check out these revolutionizing books that bring out the Girlboss in all of us.
First up on our list is one of my personal favorite books of all time, Lucky Boy, by Shanthi Sekaran. This novel is written from the perspective of two women who lead very different lives, yet are bound by the trying journey of motherhood. One woman, named Soli, is an immigrant who fled to the United States from Mexico in search of a better life. However, she encounters a great deal of trauma that highlights the trials and tribulations embedded in the experiences of many immigrant women around the world. On the other hand, the novel also focuses on the life of an Indian-American woman named Kavya. As a chef who lives in the fantastical world of Silicon Valley, her life seems perfect. However, on the inside, she faces heartbreak, infertility, and grief. This is a beautiful novel because of the realistic perspective it adopts and how it highlights the complexities of a woman’s experience on two very different, yet very valid accounts.
Next up on the list is The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. In this novel, Naomi seeks to explore the social oppression of women in modern society that is rooted in the ideal of the “perfect woman”. In other words, this novel takes a look at the unrealistic beauty standard that is formed from the unachievable idea of perfection and how this is imposed on women as an attempt to lessen their power in contemporary society. The imposition of such toxic beauty standards on the modern woman is an attempt to cause her to question herself, to make her feel inadequate, and even to silence her. Naomi not only talks about this difficult reality of the modern woman, but she also points to ways in which we can resist this modern oppression in order to unveil our innate sense of self worth and power as individuals.
Last, but certainly not least, is the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. She faced extreme violence from the Taliban, yet courageously saw it as an opportunity to speak out for women’s education. In her autobiography, I Am Malala, Malala and Christina Lamb tell Malala’s story from its beginning in the beautiful Swat Valley of Pakistan, to how Malala is currently fighting for women’s education and rights from her new residency in Birmingham, UK. This novel is definitely worth checking out because Malala turns violence into dialogue centered around prioritizing the protection of women’s rights––such as their basic right to an education––and learning to understand people’s differences. She also covers the complexities of the idea of “home” as an immigrant who faced violence in her home, yet still finds it the most beautiful place on Earth.
As with any issue the world encounters, reading and education are always great places to start in tackling the root of the problem. As men and women who live in a patriarchal society, it is important for us to read about the experiences of diverse women around the world and how we can learn to appreciate and celebrate women on a global scale. The time for female empowerment is now!
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