How Reading Made Me a Feminist

Susan B  AnthonyToday is Women’s Equality Day, a commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote and a day to acknowledge the courageous women who fought (and who are still fighting) to secure the rights and protections that we enjoy today.

Like many parts of my personality, my feminism was strongly influenced by the books I read growing up. Louisa May Alcott had a huge impact on me. Not only did she create Jo March (one of the earliest literary feminist role models), but she was the gateway that launched me into an obsession with reading biographies of great women in history. I started with Invincible Louisa and was fascinated by Alcott’s life working as an abolitionist, suffragette, and social reformer.  After that, I spent two years obsessively devouring every book in my school library about women like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, and Madame Curie and it left me with a deep and abiding respect for the women who paved the way for girls like me.

I spend so much time talking about my favorite fictional characters but on this very important anniversary, I wanted to take a moment to thank the real life heroines whose dedication and bravery made the world a better place for women like me.


About Ciarrai

Hi. My name is Kerry but here online I tend to go by the Gaelic version of my name, Ciarrai. I am a woman in my mid-30's who lives on Long Island, NY, with my husband, Rob, several guitars, a Nikon D40, more yarn, beads and books than I care to admit to and a cat who has a million nicknames and quite a few theme songs. I have a B.A. in Psychology and have recently returned to college to pursue a teaching degree so that I can eventually get a job as a High School English teacher. In addition to my major obsessions (Reading, Beading, Knitting, Music and Photography), I also enjoy playing Board Games, going to Renaissance Faires, Museums and Broadway Musicals.
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4 Responses to How Reading Made Me a Feminist

  1. Lorna says:

    Before my high school English teacher, I thought that feminism was just a bunch of angry, ugly girls who thought that women were not equal to men, but better. I too learned from literature that feminism isn’t about being better than men, but equal, something that is lost in many of the most vocal internet feminists. I love how good literature can have such a positive influence on young minds, encouraging individuals to create their own opinions and delve deeper into issues. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ciarrai says:

      And thank you for sharing too! I think one of the great things about reading that puts it above almost any other hobby is its ability to open our eyes to other people’s feelings and experiences and your story is a great example of that.

  2. Christy says:

    Amen! Women should have been in charge in the first place! 😀

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