I was very excited to know about the release of this book when I think I first saw Hillary and Chelsea on Stephen Colbert’s show and have been waiting to read it since then. Obviously it had a bit of a waitlist at my library (why am I surprised), so it took me this long to get to it.
As someone who doesn’t know much about American history (because I never studied it), the only knowledge I have gained is through TV shows, documentaries, articles and maybe a few books, in the past 5-6 years. And it’s not a surprise that when I am exposed to history through pop culture, I tend to learn more about men than the women. So this book is very helpful to someone like me who wants to know more about women who have made remarkable impact on the country or the world.
I don’t want to take any specific names because this book talks about 105 brilliant and gutsy women, but I appreciated getting to know their stories. These are women who refused to go along with the status quo, challenged the established norms, fought battles every step of the way to make sure their voices are heard (either with or without the support of their families) and never stopped fighting till they could. These are trailblazers who never cared about whether they got recognition for the work they were doing, they just wanted the work to be done and leave the world a better and more equitable place for the future generations of women. Some of them are still fighting and and I hope they inspire more women leaders to fight for their causes.
While most of the stories are historical accounts and some from just a couple of decades ago, the ones that resonated with me and affected me the most were the stories of the mothers and young women fighting for gun control currently. As someone who comes from a country where getting a gun license as a private citizen is literally impossible, I never understood the reasoning behind having guns in homes but just dismissed it as a quirk of America. But as I have watched school shootings, and other gun related violent incidents increase in the past 8 years while I’ve lived here, it has only made me more scared for my future hypothetical kid. So I will always be grateful to the activists who are fighting everyday against a behemoth that is the NRA and the politicians in its pocket who deploy the second amendment as a weapon against those who are fighting just to ensure that our children get to live long lives.
To conclude, I just want to say that this is an important book to read, especially to realize that despite having so many fearless women fight for our rights for decades, the fight is not yet over and there is a lot to be done. You will get to know little glimpses of women from all walks of life spanning centuries and across the globe who stood up for their convictions and brought us a bit closer to the goal of equality which still eludes us. I think every reader will find something in this book that speaks to them. You can read it all at once or just in small doses, whenever you need a bit of courage – but I promise it will make you feel empowered to know these great and gutsy women.