Saturday, May 24, 2008

Women in Lit

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and other women have fortunately been "allowed" to be writers (and therefore a part of history as well as recorders of it), although so many women didn't have the opportunity to learn to read and write, something we take for granted today in the U.S.A.. I won't even get into the scarcity of education for women in other countries, but just say that it's atrocious.

When I was in high school, I took a class called Women in Literature, and I probably should dedicate this post to my teacher, Ms. S.. She gave me a lot of encouragement regarding my ideas and writing. I was as quiet as a mouse in the class, feeling far too shy to participate. I never raised my hand. I couldn't. I was painfully shy, and must have turned crimson when called on. Once, I had to give an oral presentation, and stood in front of the class, panic stricken, sick to my stomach, knees shaking, completely enervated. It was awful! I was awful! Ms. S. told me I had "low energy" during the presentation. However, I always did well on my essays about literature by Virginia Woolf and other famous women authors. My classmates were surprised that I actually had a voice, not spoken but written, because I was so quiet. These days, I find that I can (usually) talk up a storm with just about anyone, but I still remember my shy days, and think of Ms. S., who believed in me.


Photo of Laura Ingalls Wilder from Wikipedia

3 comments:

  1. Your post reminds me how fortunate we are to live in the U.S. Of all the peoples in world history, the U.S. has the one of the most progressive records for women's rights and opportunities. In many societies, due largely to poverty and in some cases religious beliefs, women's prospects for education are slim or none. It is fitting that Laura Ingalls Wilder, your teacher Mrs. S. and you are all American women!

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  2. Indeed we are fortunate. In this country, we can even sign our names to written or creative expression without fear of reprisal. Historically, women have cleverly disguised their talent behind pen names and/or a husband's public recognition. I wonder if in some cultures it is more acceptable for married women to express themselves, as they are more accepted by society at large than single women.

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