The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

“There is no feminism without noise.”

I don’t read many biographies or memoirs which I plan to because I love listening to people’s stories and with this pandemic I don’t get to hang out with people as much. For my job I usually visit clients’ worksites and chat with people and people don’t want to chat on Zoom as much.

This book was more a witness of stories of women throughout the world as seen through Isabel’s experiences and the work that needs to be done. The work that we need to do for the equity of women. Some of these stories I have heard in the news or in books but am still horrified but the fact that they are justified or commonplace in some areas. The positive impact that her foundations are doing to help women and young girls is amazing and the foundation that she started in the name of her daughter from the profits of the book she wrote about Paula. I have to admit this is my first book that I have read but I definitely will be reading more. I love her voice and this isn’t fiction but I see her books all over and need to add them to my list. There is a massive patriarchal machine that is in motion and women have always been under the wheels beginning dragged behind it, being forced into submission. 

This book is a rally cry in my eyes to help those that are unseen that are alone and unprotected. Especially now during a pandemic when family members, and “trusted” guardians have carte blanche and people aren’t able to check in as easily.

“First of all, we need to end the patriarchy, an ancient institution that exalts masculine values (and flaws) and represses the female half of humanity. We have to question everything, from religion and laws to science and cultural mores. We are going to get really angry, so angry that our fury will smash the foundations that support this civilization. Docility, praised as a feminine virtue, is our worst enemy; it has never served us well, it is only convenient for men. Respect, compliance, and fear , which are instilled in women from infancy, are so detrimental to us that we don’t even know our own power. So great is that power, the patriarchy’s goal is to crush it by any means, including the worst forms of violence. These methods are so successful that frequently the most rabid defendants of the patriarchy are women.”

The cover is so pretty and I had a dress to match but I have my tigress Rothys and the cage we will break free from!

I was raised by a good man that after he died a friend from high school sent me a copy of a letter he had sent her in high school when she was pregnant with $200 to help buy her a strolller, he had never told me. She sent it back but she never forgot his kindness. I am lucky to have been surrounded by positive, supportive men. Let’s help those that do not have that luxury.

Thank you @netgalley and @randomhouse for the eARC for my honest and voluntary review.

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea comes a passionate and inspiring meditation on what it means to be a woman.

“When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating,” begins Isabel Allende. As a child, she watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children without “resources or voice.” Isabel became a fierce and defiant little girl, determined to fight for the life her mother couldn’t have.

As a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, she rode the first wave of feminism. Among a tribe of like-minded female journalists, she for the first time felt comfortable in her own skin, as they wrote “with a knife between their teeth” about women’s issues. She has seen what has been accomplished by the movement in the course of her lifetime. And over the course of three passionate marriages, she has learned how to grow as a woman while having a partner, when to step away, and the rewards of embracing one’s sexuality.

So what do women want? To be safe, to be valued, to live in peace, to have their own resources, to be connected, to have control over their bodies and lives, and above all, to be loved. On all these fronts, there is much work to be done, and this book, Allende hopes, will “light the torch of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.”

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