It’s not an unknown fact that women do not have it easy. A lot of women are more petite than muscular, a lot of women have lighter bones, and some women simply do not have the strength nor the will to fight or be violent. This is an unfortunate case because there have been many women who were ill-equipped to fight back when they needed to. A lot of women freeze up as well when they are assaulted.
The main story
This is the story of one such woman, born in Lincoln, Nebraska, who was young and petite. Her book, My Shovel, recounts her life story from when she was very little, and how her mother had taught her the importance of fighting back. Right from the prologue we get a gist of the message Karen Sue is trying to get across. She says she had forgotten the importance of needing to fight back as she grew older, which is a sentiment a lot of women can resonate with.
Recollecting the past
Karen Sue recounts her life story and through the narrative talks about the subtle ways she had been conditioned into thinking ‘like a woman,’ where society renders a woman helpless with their claims that women should be prim and proper and not be violent, or that women have little physical strength. She never explicitly points these out, rather, she lets the reader understand the implications on their own through these incidents, which is true to reality where undermining a woman’s strength has become so natural that people don’t even realise they’re doing it.
This is why Karen Sue’s My Shovel is such an important book. It shows the impact one incident can have on an innocent life and how dire the consequences become. Karen Sue even had to serve jail time which she talks about halfway into the book. The most astounding part about the novel is how she picked herself back up and went on to help others with a situation that was so close to her.
This book is for anyone who feels as though they have been undermined their whole life solely on the basis of gender. You should definitely pick up My Shovel by Karen Sue that is available on Amazon in kindle edition as well!