If you have never read Virginia Woolf I highly recommend her writings. I am currently reading this one. “Liberty” is a literal transformative journey through the liberating powers of the mind. From an exploration of why women were barred from writing and under what conditions they might break free.
In this book she explores literature, dramatic writing and poetry produced by women and she mentions Austen, Bronte, Becky Sharp and Emma Bovary to name a few. One she conveys is the very bold poetry writer from the 1600 s; Lady Winchilsea, who writes about the resistance against women at the time and she rebelled against the existing norms:
“ Alas! A woman that attempts the pen,
Such a presumptuous creature is esteemed,
The fault can by no virtue be redeemed.
They tell us we mistake our sex and way;
Good breeding, fashion, dancing, dressing, play,
Are the accomplishments we should desire;
To write, or read, or think, or to enquire,
Would cloud our beauty, and exhaust out time,
And interrupt the conquests or our prime,
Whilst the dull manage of a servile house,
Is held by some if our utmost art and use”.
That one would find any woman who dared to write and in that state of mind in the sixteenth century was impossible. Yet there she was. .
Cultivating ones own voice isn’t easy. And I would argue it is still hard being a woman in many cultures and societies. Despite it is 2019.
It takes guts, time, reflection, trial, error and practice. And great mentors and role models.
Virginia Woolf et al are some of mine great inspirations and today I wish to honor them a little extra for all their fantastic efforts for equal rights.