4 takeaways from reading female POV books

Apoorva Addepalli
4 min readFeb 3, 2024
Mom and I living our best life

In my recent literary journey through female-authored books like “Lies Our Mothers Told Us” by Nilanjana Bhowmick and “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, I found myself profoundly impacted by the hard-hitting perspectives that resonated with my own experiences.

These books served as mirrors reflecting the conditioning and struggles embedded in society and I needed to write down 4 of these explosive takeaways in this blog post. The hope is to enlighten, and maybe hit a nerve where you may relate to a few.

Your home is where it starts

Conditioning begins at home, silently shaping our perceptions of gender roles. Despite growing up in what seemed like an equal household, subtle moments tell more revealing facts the more I reflect on them. Tasks assigned without thought, like serving guests or clearing dishes of the table, or unknowingly contribute to this conditioning by taking my mother and her responsibilities for granted while put my dad up a pedestal for winning bread for the family.

Homes serve as the crux for societal behaviors and set a tone to future conditioning of gender roles within a household. This is how women get more accommodative and men become more relaxed about distribution of work. Almost every female POV book has screamed this takeaway loud and clear: Breaking this cycle of unconscious gender bias is pivotal for fostering equality and generating upward momentum.

Feminism goes beyond “fighting for a change”

Contrary to popular belief, feminism alone doesn’t guarantee a way forward.

For instance, A home-making woman puts up with her abusive husband because she is economically dependent on him. Her world makes her believe she has no-where to go and her only choice is to sustain this hell hole. The reality is that women endure dead-end like situations due to their limited awareness of policies or protective measures.

What feminism misses here is what happens post preaching and fighting for equality? Where do these women who want to action on certain issues go? We need tangible solutions that empower women to escape such situations and they must be accessible. It means building a society that allows a woman to find help when she needs it. This is key to moving the needle toward prosperity. This is what feminism and society as a whole is currently missing.

Respect for women comes with clauses

Through books like “Forest of Enchantment,” we witness the struggle of women like Goddess Sita, challenging the societal expectations that confine them. A woman, as devoted a wife as Goddess Sita was misjudged by society for a situation that was not in her control. It prompts reflection on when a woman can assert her rights and say “Enough.”

Ironically, this is very representative of the society we live in. As long as a woman abides within the lines asserted by a man, she receives her acknowledgement. “Adhere to traditions”. “Come back home on time to feed your kids”. “Dress modestly, otherwise you will attract unnecessary attention. And that’s your fault!”. “Marry a person chosen by your parents”. All of which are society’s unscrupulous clauses set to define a woman’s character and the respect she receives.

Superwoman Myth: A Disguised Burden:

The celebration of women as ‘superwomen’ is a misleading label because it implies an unrealistic balance of responsibilities. The perks of being a great employee or a multitasking mother or a dotting daughter or an empathetic partner is the truck loads of emotional labor that the woman harbors and that is often never brought to surface. Rejecting this standard is crucial, as it promotes unrealistic ideals rather than accepting the woman as she is.


Through these female perspectives, I’ve embarked on a journey to uncondition myself. I’ve had a lot of unlearning to do. And it’s been an interesting journey. I’ve learned that as a woman myself, I need to actively be more conscious on the stance I take, instances I support and examples I set.

I know change takes time. My biggest takeaway is that the world has been designed to challenge a woman’s life. By way of unconsciously propagating centuries old “norms”, we are destroying another generation of women’s road to freedom and self-worth. Recognizing and addressing these hard-hitting perspectives is our shared responsibility on the path to a more equitable future.

Some more Female POV books I’d recommend:

  1. Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh — Shrayana Bhattacharya
  2. Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows — Balli Kaur Jaswal
  3. Why Women Have better sex — Kristen Ghodsee

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