Essay by Virginia Woolf, published in 1929. The work was based on two lectures given by the author in 1928 at Newnham College and Girton College, Cambridge. Woolf addressed the status of women, and women artists in particular, in this famous essay which asserts that a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write. Woolf celebrates the work of women writers, including Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontes. In the final section Woolf suggests that great minds are androgynous. She argues that intellectual freedom requires financial freedom, and she entreats her audience to write not only fiction but poetry, criticism, and scholarly works as well. The essay, written in lively, graceful prose, displays the same impressive descriptive powers evident in Woolf's novels and reflects her compelling conversational style. (The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature )
Let's set the scene...
(Cut to a busy street. People are walking by on the sidewalk. Rory is sitting on a bench. A bus pulls around the corner and stops in front of her. Dean is walking down the street and sees Rory get on the bus. He gets on and sits behind her. Rory opens her book and beings to read. She doesn't notice him.)
Rory: Aah! Morning.
Dean: Good book?
Rory: I don't know yet.
Well, thanks to The Black, White & Read Book Challenge... I KNOW!
When you say the word "feminism", hoards of angry and bitter women burning their bras in protest instantly comes to mind. And this is something that makes me sad. Feminism is simply the demand that women receive the same treatment that men enjoy... crazy concept, huh?! There is nothing inherently bitter or violent about it. Although some people may take it to that place, feminists are people who insist that they are the equal to their male counterparts... that is all. I believe that in A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf expresses her concern with the place women hold in history. But she does so in a positive, inspiring way. Instead of lamenting the fact that the possession of a uterus keeps us from holding certain roles in this world, she is determined to blaze a new trail for women. She acknowledges the things that limit us and how to overcome those obstacles. And in the end, it really does come down to a need for money and space of our own. Once the obligation to someone else to keep us in food, water and Sephora is lifted, women are set free to write their own story.
This particular essay has been noted as one of Woolf's most "approachable" works. And I can see why. InA Room of One's Own, instead of approaching the topic with hostility, she sees it as an opportunity to put aside our past anger at being ignored in history and secure our place in the future.
Who do I see reading this in the Stars Hollow gazebo?
I believe the character Lorelai Gilmore is a perfect example of the strength and intelligence women possess, that tends to be overlooked due to the fact that they have an "innie" rather than an "outtie". Lorelai has the courage to leave everything she knows and to build an entire life for herself. She refuses help from others (to a fault, actually) and is insistent on creating her own path in this world. Lorelai Gilmore may be a fictional character, but she is one of my role models.