There came a tap-tap-tapping and a screeching of wooden fingers along the roof during a windy night. It was disconcerting when strange noises echoed from outside in the darkness, and while I didn’t strap on my black leather and wave a trusty crossbow – no sensible girl would venture into the pitch black bushland alone – I was resolved to rectify those ominous sounds come daylight. Some tree was going to get a severe haircut!
I love reading novels with strong female leads. I also lose myself in writing, about independent self-minded young women as protagonists. But does that translate into real life? Do readers feel empowered, or is it all simply living out a fantasy, stepping into someone else’s shoes for a fleeting moment?
I’d like to think it’s that and more!
I’m not taking down demons or an egalitarian government, but lopping off a few limbs of a tree. Courage and determination came from within. Constructed from images of my mother, my girlfriends, movies and, yes, my reading. It’s not about obnoxious ultra-feminist girl power, but the strength to look after and be proud of myself.
And that translates to looking for a partner, or friends (both male and female, or in-between) that embrace this power also. I don’t want to be treated like a princess, I don’t want someone making decisions for me. I want to carve my own path and share that experience with others who are doing the same.
My man friend/slave loathes it when I do things traditionally reserved for the masculine – you know, like heavy lifting, gardening, lawn moving, fixing a leak, moving furniture… you get the picture. Needless to say, that is what most of our disagreements are over – me emasculating him. It doesn’t help that he is old school and he feels it’s disrespectful to let a lady do manual labour.
But today, with no man friend to help out, I had to complete tasks on my own (as I did before he started to help out; and every other time he goes home or to work). Pulling out a chainsaw and pruning the suspect tree which had become annoying – I thought – heck, I’m as bad-ass as Buffy or Katniss.
Yes this train of thought is all a little too altruistic; but don’t you think it’s worth it. All of us being equal. Blind to gender, sexual orientation, race, social status…
And all of that from a plethora of wonderful women in my life and in my literature.
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