For the past few weeks, I have been up to my ears in women’s voices. It all started when I was asked to review Nothing but the Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection, a yellow and black-covered book filled with essays, poems, and artwork tackling a wide range women’s experiences: from self-love to friendship; modern motherhood to Mother Earth; from “finding yourself” to challenges of race and culture; and from overcoming obstacles to making mischief. The book provided this reader with several moments of recognition, a few Aha’s, and some eye-opening stories.
In my review, published by Women’s Voices for Change, I compare Nothing but the Truth to that mother of all books by and for women, Our Bodies Ourselves.
It’s true, no one “gets” us the way other women do. I learned this lesson while in college, when I first opened Our Bodies Ourselves, turned to the section on birth control, and suddenly—when it came to concerns about my body—I was no longer alone.
Then, I was invited to participate with 16 other women in Women Entrepreneurs, Service, Connection, Community, an ebook in which we share our stories, wisdom, and perspective on the themes of service, connection and community.
While I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur, at least not yet, I am incredibly honored to be traveling with this pack of smart, savvy women.
You can download your own copy right here.
As my friend and colleague, Erica Holthausen, says in her introduction,
… something powerful happens when independent people come together to support and encourage one another, especially if those people are all women. Suddenly that fierce independence is broken wide open to reveal something softer, more vulnerable and very real. Fierce independence is replaced by service, connection and community.
Her introduction echoes the one by A Band of Wives founder, Christine Bronstein in Nothing but the Truth,
We know that women change each other’s lives just by being there for one another, and sharing these stories allows us to be more courageous, more authentic, and more loving to ourselves and others.
Both statements are true, yet there is something in each of these books for men, too. In fact, if I could go back in time to when my sons were still boys, I’d leave my battered copy of Our Bodies Ourselves out on the coffee table for their perusal. Why shouldn’t men get the inside scoop on sex, female orgasm, birth control, and pregnancy from a group of women?
And why not share our interior lives and connection to each other by having them read books like Nothing but the Truth? Or show them how women approach work and building a business? All three of these books contain lessons for everyone.
Women may hold up half the sky, but we rarely get even half a voice — no wonder books by and for women resonate so strongly with us. But if we share books like these with the men in our lives, perhaps their ears will become more attuned to what we have to say. Maybe then, even when powerful leaders don’t look like us, they’ll be more likely to at least sound like us.