“The person who hurt you–who raped you or killed your family–is also here. If you are still angry at that person, if you haven’t been able to forgive, you are chained to him. Everyone could feel the emotional truth of that: When someone offends you and you haven’t let go, every time you see him, you grow breathless or your heart skips a beat. If the trauma was really severe, you dream of revenge. Above you, is the Mountain of Peace and Prosperity where we all want to go. But when you try to climb that hill, the person you haven’t forgiven weighs you down. It’s a personal choice whether or not to let go. No one can tell you how long to mourn a death or rage over a rape. But you can’t move forward until you break that chain.” ― Leymah Gbowee, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War
I learned so much from Leymah Gbowee. THis book is inspiring. But reading the review made me sad because the world today still trying to put certain box for women to fit in specific direction. It’s even bitter to know that women ourselves are the one of give such judgment. It is so true that we don’t see things as it is but as who we are. So it’s easy to say, ‘she should write this’ or ‘she should have written that’ etc. We can’t even respect the fundamental freedom of each individual. How else we are to fight for feminist?
To me, this book is real great example of powerful feminist. I have a lot of admiration and respect for Gbowee. The Women Pioneers who fought for herself, her sisters, and fellow Liberian and African sisters. Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel Peace Prize, 1984.
Leymah Gbowee was born and raised in Liberia, in the well-to-do-family, with her three other sisters. She’s very bright, beautiful young woman. She loved studying. She dreamt of going to a great school. Then the civil war came the year Gbowee supposed to go to the college of her dreams. She had to fled the country. She, her mother and sisters jumped in boat to Ghana with other refugees. Gbowee didn’t go to school but fried doughnut in Refugee Camp. Life had flipped. Later on she met a guy and ended up marrying him. She was pregnant at a young age. Her parents did not accept her. She had five kids, lived in a small house and they all slept in the same room. It seemed to Gbowee that life has been going in to hell. She lived in an abusive relationship. He hit her and called her a whore, and then had sex with her. She surrendered to his seduction. There’s no way to end this shitty circle. She doesn’t have a job. She had no degree. She can’t escape. She abused herself. Everyday living in despair, sadness, depression. ’I am stupid’, ‘I am whorthless’, ‘I am a failure’. Self-hated. She pondered,“Depression is a strange thing. You feel so helpless, so drained, that no matter how bad the place you find yourself, you sink into it, thinking, ‘It’s too hard to move. I’ll just stay here.’” I’m fond of reading the chapter of her young life and thinking, this is the kind of feminist story I would like to hear. So honest, vulnerable and imperfect. We get used to hearing stories of perfect heroine and then lost count of reality. This is the reality that Gbowee sincerely tells us about her personal stories. And aren’t we all like her? Suffer from life. Except that if you are so perfect then good for you. There are stories about how she worked as a volunteer, went to school, led protest, fought and ended the war, found Peace organizations, and is running for president. But her young-self story