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What she did: Tales from Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Thought I’d use a disclaimer to start the post, just to say any grammatical or spelling errors are down to me writing this on my phone whilst on a train. I didn’t fancy lugging my laptop down to London for a flat viewing so the notes app on my phone will do for now. Disclaimer aside, let’s get down to business and continue on with the post. Anyone else get Li Shang from Mulan in their head singing that phrase or is it just me?

Anyway, back to the post, two months ago for my birthday I received a copy of Good Night Stories For Rebel girls since I’d been going on about it for ages. Although it’s a book marketed for children, as an adult I adore it. The stunning illustrations and stories of heroic women are just amazing, which is why I want to share some of those stories with you today. I just think these women deserve more recognition since I didn’t know about them until reading this book and you might not have too. Good Night Stories for rebel girls though isn't just special for the stories it told but the story of how it was made since it's the most funded original book in the history of crowdfund! I thought I'd share just a few stories of some women that I hadn't heard of before picking up this book. 

Irena Sendlerowa

Irena was born in Warsaw in 1910 to a doctor who once told her ‘if you see someone drowning, you must jump in and try and save them.’ Cherishing those words in World War 2 Irina helped Jewish families save their children by giving them Christian names and finding Christian families who would keep them safe. She wrote both their old and new names on slips to be buried inside marmalade jars. In 1943, she was arrested by the gestapo but did not reveal anything of the children’s locations or her role in the Polish Underground network. In 3 months she saved 2,500 children, many of whom she reunited with their families after the war.

 Jacquotte Delhaye

There was once a young girl in Haiti in the mid 1600s, after her parents died she turned to piracy to provide for her younger brother. She led a gang of hundreds of pirates, creating many governmental enemies leading her to fake her own death. Trying to evade them she dressed as a man but was quickly recognised by her flaming red hair which got her the nickname ‘Back from the dead red.’ Truly taking on the kick ass female pirate role, she even had a girlfriend in the piracy business, showing girls not only run the world but the sea too! The exact date of her death is unknown, but I like to think her and Dieu-le-Vieut had a good few years of showing the pirate world what couple goals could be on a ship.

Manal Al-Sharif

Born in 1979, Saudi Arabia, Manal grew up wanting to drive despite religious ruling banning women from doing so. Despite these rules, she took her brother’s car and drove around the city in it. To let other women know what she was doing she posted a video of herself driving to YouTube, hoping to encourage others to get behind the wheel. She was thrown in jail and had to promise never to drive again but the damage was done, weeks later hundreds of brave women took to the street in protest. It’s actions like this and Manal’s continuous protesting that actually got the ban lifted earlier this year, as well as other reforms led by the crown prince. Her bravery to fight for what was right gave thousands of women the chance to drive; her imprisonment for her activism too actually spurred her to fight for other campaigns too such as the unfair imprisonment of females for debts owed to the state. Such reactions showed she would continue to fight until changes for the better were made to the state rulings.

These are only 3 stories from the book of 3 women with completely different stories, there were so many more I wanted to write about but I knew it was better to limit the number than to write a 3000 word post. I’d love to know if you want to hear more of these stories or if you’ve read the book, who some of the women were that inspired you!

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