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Know Your Herstory

Post by Krista Biggs
Posted February 28, 2014 in Readers' Advisory News

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Small in the world -- that's how many women have felt compelled to be. Many stories, both in books and in real life, reflect the messages that women have heard: Don’t take up too much space. Don't step outside your place.  You're only worth as much as the man connected to you. While it's still a struggle for many women, it is thankfully no longer the norm.

The March 2014 issue of RA News celebrates women's lives and history. As Jessica Zellers points out in this month's Around the Web column, women's history could be talked about all year long but it just isn't happening (yet). Bethany Latham highlights women's peripheral roles -- too often the only ones permitted to them -- in a great selection of historical fiction. Molly Wetta presents women's biographies and memoirs, featuring edgy humor as well as pathos. And finally, NoveList offers a new book discussion guide for the novel The Woman Upstairs, in which a female artist receives an opportunity to surpass the the limitations that she has set on her own life, but her self-discovery may come at a cost.

Once women know their history -- the many struggles to be seen as valuable individuals in their own right -- they can move into the future with greater confidence. Here's a quote which, for me, affirms the potential I hope women will see in themselves today and in the future.

I want to do it because I want to do it.
Women must try to do things as men have tried. 
When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.

-- Amelia Earhart, American aviator