“I am a woman above everything else.”
– Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Long before books, it was the stories women shared that built community and offered support. They helped us realize that we are more alike than we might guess and that we are not as alone as we think we are. These stories gave us strength and support to be confident and powerful. They were true stories and fiction. They were about women who were already strong and confident. Or they were stories about women who become that way while facing other challenges. Stories can still help us today.
I like to read. In fact, I’m a voracious reader. I read just about every story genre out there. However, you don’t have to read to benefit from other women’s stories. There are audio books. There are movies made from books. There are storytellers who present their stories to us in a live forum. There are women on radio. And there are the stories our friends tell us when we’re together. The important thing is that the story touches the core of who you are and that you walk away from the experience feeling stronger and more positive about being a woman than you did before.
There are all types of stories available. In the area of non-fiction, there are memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies. Many women found the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis inspirational during her lifetime. There is probably someone whose life you admire, and there’s likely a book about her. Reading or hearing her life story might help you deal with struggles similar to hers
In addition, there’s every type of fiction story available. For example, some stories of strong women include The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (series), Clan of the Cave Bear (series), Fried Green Tomatoes, and Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons. There are equally excellent stories published for young women, including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Little Women, and The Secret Life of Bees.
So if you’re feeling alone, or you don’t have much time to spend in community with other women, consider spending time with a story. It may turn out to be just what you need to get through a difficult time. And the next time a friend of yours needs some additional support, pass the story along to her and keep the storytelling tradition alive.
(Note: If you’re interested in an online book club that supports women, check out Goodreads.com and search for the book club “The Women That Strength Built.” For additional information on this, see the “About” page. If you would like to support the written community, then consider donating your time or money to your local library or to this month’s charities. Links to these charities can be found on the blog roll at right.)