Women- in Literature and Lore

Our new Study Group had begun! And it’s a topic close to my heart.

Here is our write up. We have 12 lovely ladies who’ve signed up and have chosen strong and inspiring women to present on!


20140211-001733.jpg Esther

Woman has inspired mankind from time immemorial.

As Gaia the Mother of Humanity, as Penelope the ever loyal wife, as Saviti, daughter par excellence!

“Woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved,” wrote Matthew Henry, in 1708.

Beautiful words. But far from reality!

For centuries, women were relegated to the position of the weak that needed protection. The fragile that needed sheltering. Puny, powerless. Denied the respect and equality that they deserved.

For millennia women have dwelt in the shadows of their male counterparts. Seen, but not heard. Needed, but peripheral. Subjugated, sidelined and suppressed.

But despite being ignored or overlooked, women have always inspired mankind. This SG focuses on strong women of mythology and fiction who have empowered countless others ; who have ignited the imagination of a million more.

Be it a Draupadi, determined to avenge her humiliation, or a Sayuri held back by strict social constraints. A Kunti, raising five children in a hostile court, bereft of relatives and allies or a Mulan battling prejudice while warring with the enemy.

Choose your hero from either the classics or from contemporary literary works. From mythology or from modern lore. Choose a woman or women whose ideology resonates with you.


Some strong women from literature:

Mingmei Yip: Peach blossom pavilion, Skeleton Women, Nine fold heaven

Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha

Lisa See: Snow Flower and the secret fan

Khaled Hosseini: Mariam and Laila of a Thousand Splendid Suns

And some from ancient mythology:

Hangaku Gozen












6 Comments Add yours

  1. What an interesting post!

    1. radhika25 says:

      Thanks sweetie. Who is your role model?

  2. I could add more to the list.
    Lately I came upon this quote by Madeleine Albright, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” I never quite expressed it that way, but I am a believer.

    1. radhika25 says:

      Thank you Fae. Yes, I agree too 😉

      And sadly, for every impressive and inspirational woman there is a regressive Paris Hilton or Britney Spears.


  3. coconutcraze says:

    I truly believe that women were suppressed because their immense powers frightened men! I draw my inspiration from the American writer, Maya Angelou.

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