Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I am Empowered


I have been avoiding this retelling, because it means that a journey has ended and my time with Alice and Elsha must at least come to a pause. 

Like a few of y'all have commented, when we first were told that we could choose the book for the next round of writing I simply chose a book that seemed like it would be not only intriguing to write about, but also one that would provided enough content that it COULD write about it. 

Things got a little more complicated when I realized that I would have to find common ground with “Winter of Fire” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. 
My first thought “Oh man!  How can I BS my way through this one??”  
The first couple posts online were done more for the assignment, and less for the growth and development of my ideas.  But then social media got involved.

After my first post to my peers via Facebook I actually became excited and invested into this project.  It was so neat to get input and ideas that sparked more and more thoughts.  That week after that first round of posts, my thoughts felt like dominoes — one thought or idea would set off another, which would lead to ten others etc.  Although I didn’t go the direct that those Facebook posts could have led me, I was now fully committed to the project at hand.

After re-reading through parts of both novels, I returned to my original musing of possibly doing a paper about feminism.  Honestly, the topic was daunting.  I knew how deep, and sometimes heated the topic could go and I was constantly afraid that I wouldn’t do it justice (which is true!).  But a paper JUST on feminism didn’t seem enough.  Somewhere, there was more to be found; a new idea to explore.  Cue the paper-changing moment!  The moment when I received a reply back from an enthusiast.

After deciding on feminism I formulated a question = was becoming a feminist, or an empowered woman, a gradual process, or was there one defining moment? 
I posed this question to an Alice Enthusiast and her reply sparked my thesis.

She said, is short (or at least as I interpreted it) that Alice had feminist qualities, but defining her as an empowered woman  wouldn’t fit because here was never a moment when she stood up against a man.  

A man?! Why could a woman only gain empowerment if she was up against a man?  Alice faced the Queen, the footman, the caterpillar, Wonderland itself as she proved her strength over oppressive influences.  So why couldn’t and shouldn’t she be defined as empowered?

I was extremely grateful for her reply, but I wasted to prove her wrong.  I took the idea and applied it to Elsha in “Winter of Fire”.  There too, I found that Elsha fought against social structure, traditions, men and woman in her pursuit to fulfilling her potential and becoming an empowered woman.  

In the end, my paper seemed to evolve itself.  The more I looked at these female characters as empowered woman, the more examples I saw them standing up against any and all oppressive influences.  

Because of this paper, this process and most importantly Alice and Elsha, I too feel like I have become empowered as far as my writing goes.  I can get my voice out there!  I can form new thoughts and ideas.  I can write for the love of writing AND love writing for the sake of academia.   I don’t think my relationship with Alice and Elsha is over yet.  One day, I’ll return to their stories, and possibly other stories, to show the world that feminism is more that just overcoming the oppressive male.  

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