By Sonia Rao
Trying to be a multi-tasking superwoman is passé. The divine feminine has risen and it’s time to let true femininity have its say. #Metoo has shown the path but the goal is still far away. Solidarity and not solitary, is the new anthem.
These, then, are 10 stories of struggles and empowerment; of tears flowing, even through hoots of laughter; narratives that proclaim to every woman: Remember, you are AMAZING!
1) Bossypants by Tina Fey
American comedian Tina Fey had two dreams and both came true. With a laugh on every page, Tina Fey shares her journey and proves she’s BOSS.
2) One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth by Iyanla Vanzant
Every day is a new day and a new principle to follow for forty days. Get set for a life of fulfilled potentials and positive transformations. What’s not to like?
3) Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf
Media plays a huge role in forcing unrealistic standards of beauty on women. Read how this insidiously keeps women insecure and inhibited thus compromising their ability to live a fulfilling life.
4) When I Hit You or a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy
The documented struggles of a newly-wed woman against the intense violence and social isolation perpetrated on her by her husband.
5) I feel bad about my neck: And other thoughts about being a woman by Nora Ephron.
Ageing, menopause, empty nests, in fact life itself, is looked at through the mirror of hilarity.
6) Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
If you’ve ever felt stifled and soul-dead then it’s time to awaken your inner Wild Woman. Connect with your fierce, visionary and instinctive nature through the fairy tales, folk tales and rich intercultural myths in this book. The profound insights and ancient wisdoms are sure to weave empowering magic into your life.
7) Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg
When life throws devastating situations at us, we can either crumble or then fall, weep, and then rise, ready for the next onslaught. Resilience is what we need, with large doses of empathy, on every day of our lives. This book tells us how.
8) I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
In a society where women were expected (and often coerced) to remain silent, this young girl’s voice caused the Taliban to tremble with anger. They used bullets which tore her body but not her spirit. Get inspired by this story of courage in the face of fear.
9) The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
Speaking up and asking for what one wants doesn’t come so easy to many women. They fear strained relationships and paralysed lives. This book inspires everyone to re-think what they know and do about asking, giving, art, and love.
10) The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
“Probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade,” according to Charles Isherwood of the New York Times. A play that celebrated vaginas and femininity has now become a movement to stop violence against women. We recommend you read the book and then watch the play.
(Sonia Rao is the Editor in Chief at Thriive Art & Soul)