I”m working on a speech to nurses about why we should write our nursing stories. I came up with a host of reasons, twenty-three to be exact, but the one that grounds all the other reasons I read in Carolyn Heilbrun’s Writing a Woman’s Life, published in 1988.
This book is a classic because in it Heilbrun describes the history of how women have been portrayed in a traditionally male-dominated world. How the first female writers had to write under assumed names to have their writing recognized. How writing by women has evolved. And how women finally found the courage to express their own independence from a male-dominated culture.
Every time I reread this book, I feel a rant coming on. A healthy rant, because it motivates me to keep writing.
It motivates me because I am a woman, of course, but especially because my profession has always been female dominated and because we still live in a male-dominated world. And I want to follow those women who mustered up the courage to not let society dictate who gets read and who doesn’t. And I want to portray who I am myself and not leave that up to others.
What about you? Who will write about your life?
Marianna Crane said:
We both come from an era of rebellion. The late ’50s nursing education tried to teach us subordination to physicians and sixties raised our consciousness. We have come a long way but now know we should be beholden to no one but ourselves. We will write our own stories. Thanks for the reminder.
Lois Roelofs said:
Amen! Amen! Amen!