My childhood heroes were all women – just not the ones I knew in “real life.”
My mom definitely didn’t make the cut, may she rest, finally, in peace. And sadly, everywhere I looked, most other women in my life were subject to addiction, abuse, or both.
Thank goddess for books! They saved me, and daily. I found sanctuary in their pages and inspiration in their women.
Patricia Wrede, thanks for writing books about the nonconforming Princess Cimorene and her dragon King (a title, not a gender, held by a female) mentor, and the witch Morwen who were clever, inventive, and blessedly independent.
Thanks to Lyra Belacqua, or Silvertongue, the star of “The Golden Compass,” for being the kind of little girl whose gumption and intuition not only travel through the worlds but save them as well.
Alanna, The Lioness, who disguised herself as a boy in order to become a knight of the realm … your power, spirit, and strength taught me to honor the feminine within. You paved the way for Keladry, a young woman whose perseverance, self-control, and magical gifts would again win wars and change the universal tide.
Later, I read about Phedrè, a “whore’s ill-begotten git” who was marked by the gods … a woman who flourished in unimaginable suffering. A woman who defines the stuff of legends. Mastering languages, kingdoms, and even the will of the gods – what a heroine.
JK Rowling, from rags to riches through sheer force of imaginative prowess – you’ve given me a mark.
On this International Day of Women, I celebrate those who gave me – early on – sanctuary and inspiration. Those who showed me that we ARE strong, powerful, and magical – and who taught me to keep looking for my womanfolk tribe despite it all.
Because of you, I have found “real life” women who inspire, and are too many to name here. Maybe in another story, on another day… because I have a story to tell, too. And it’s a goddessdamn good one.