My First Feminist Role Model

Discuss a book that has particular significance for you. What makes this book great in your view? What effect does it have on what you think or how you think?

All that Lillian Linton, also known as Mr. Victor Linton to her chauvinist employer, craved for was to be was an independent English lady. She wanted to earn her wages and vote for the next government officials because she couldn’t afford to ever be at the mercy of her uncle, aunt or any suitors. And so, she fought with the societal beliefs of the Victorian era- that women should only be wives, mothers and homemakers- until she got what she wanted.

To many people, this book is about the heroine fighting for the rights of women but it has a significantly different meaning to my person. With its inspiring plot, Storm and Silence by Rob Thier make me think of what I truly want in my life and how much I’m willing to sacrifice in the midst of obstacles to achieve my goals.

Just recently, all I wanted to do, other than make plans to further my education, was be a poultry farmer. But when I was about to embark on my “poultry project,” I received a lot of discouraging comments from people who thought I was too young and inexperienced to manage chickens. They reminded me that girls my age were looking for possible suitors and trying to build their homes. Some even went as far as telling me outrightly that I would lose all my chicks within the first two weeks because I wouldn’t be able to meet their needs especially warmth since we were in the rainy season and the weather was going to be cold for the chicks. But I had learned well from the fictional character, Lillian Linton, so I wasn’t shaken.

Despite the glares she got from her Aunt Brank for not acting “lady-like” or the chauvinist comments about her not being able to do a “man’s job” because she was a girl, Lillian wasn’t shaken. She disguised herself as a man, wearing her Uncle Brudford’s Sunday suit and top hat so that she could work for Mr. Ambrose and earn her wages. In her spare time, she hid in her garden and read books that were regarded as “masculine” because she wanted to be educated.

Lillian gave me reasons to think differently from the way I used to think. Naturally, I would have considered the fact that the weather was going to be too cold to raise chicks and that I may have been inexperienced. But rethinking the issue, I realized the importance of the poultry. I was raising chickens so that the money my father spent on food would considerably reduce especially since meat and eggs were getting expensive. What I was doing was important and I wasn’t going to let some blunt remarks sway me. I knew that it was time for me to sacrifice some pleasures. I was going to spend more time at home monitoring the welfare of my chicks instead of going out to party; I was also going to have to wake up at midnight to set the charcoal pot for the chick’s warmth. I would use my pocket money also to buy their feed.

Storm and Silence didn’t just affect the way I thought about my chicks. It changed the way I looked at my life. I wasn’t going to be dormant anymore and watch other people dictate what happened in my life. I knew now that I was able to achieve anything I set my mind to do even though I would encounter setbacks. I was ready to overcome them and I also was ready to sacrifice my time and resources to make my dreams come true.

Needless to say, because of determination, I started preparing a lot of chicken dishes because my chickens grew big and healthy despite the cold weather, and Lillian remained in Mr. Ambrose’s employ for many years.

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