Friday, November 11, 2011

important things

I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of books, and the stories we find in them. Stories tell us that we're not alone. They help us to be better, braver versions of ourselves. But first we have to be able to find ourselves in the stories we read (or watch, or hear).

For me, as a young girl, I read to find myself reflected back to me. I read seeking answers to the questions that dwelled in the nether regions of my heart: Could a girl have her own adventures? Could she go up against the monster, and vanquish it?

Because of these questions, I desperately needed to find myself in the stories I was reading - and I did. I found girls who travelled through worlds, befriended armoured bears, sent the undead back where they belonged, and bound magical creatures to them with just a name. These girls told me so much about myself, and what I was capable of.

But as I’ve grown, I’ve begun to notice that while I find myself – a white, heterosexual girl - in these stories, I rarely find other girls in them. And that frightens me. Because I know what it means to find yourself reflected back to you in the stories you read, and I know what it means when you can’t find yourself there.

I think change is coming, but it is oh so slow. And not nearly enough.

So. In light of this, the next book I'm starting on is this one.

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