|Women’s Ways of Knowing
by Mary Field Belenky at al
In grad school, I had to read a book called Women’s Ways of Knowing. Crazy and too feminist, I thought before I picked it up. Once I began reading, I fell in love with it. The authors explored various ways in which, due to cultural and social expectations, women gain their knowledge and understanding of the world. The book turned out to be very empowering, since the authors showed how over time, women consciously chose the way they perceived and responded to the world. For instance, they could have began their journey with so-called received knowledge (they learned the information they were given without questioning it), but then could, because of a transformative experience, question authority and assert more of their own knowledge. They would become more self-reliant and independent.
As my views of the world and its feminine population have changed over the years, I’ve been noticing that women’s pursuit of dreams is riddled with complexities. Just as is the case with types of knowledge, the pursuit of dreams is often marred by society’s expectations and cultural norms. They settle for an education they’re not interested in in order to be a “good daughter,” they fret over their families so they can be “good wives” and “good mothers.” And in the process of fulfilling these roles, their dreams are often ignored, for years, for years, for years.
Until one day, something cracks: an accident, a love affair, children leaving home, husbands no longer caring for perfect meals or a slightly more wrinkled version of their “better halves.” The crack is the time that may foreshadow a long process of reshaping her life, the time when the forgotten dreams resurge from the dusty corners of her mind. A taught but worthy process of reclaiming her life back. And for all the brave dreamerines, I dedicate the bright red flower of joy to cheer up your day and give you the courage to recreate your world!
|A bright red flower|
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