Shreyas Garg

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Book cover for The Last Queen
The British are used to wresting away everything and, afterwards, returning a small portion to the dispossessed as though they are performing a great act of charity.
Brandon Sanderson
What is a woman's place in this modern world? Jasnah Kholin's words read. I rebel against this question, though so many of my peers ask it. The inherent bias in the inquiry seems invisible to so many of them. They consider themselves progressive because they are willing to challenge many of the assumptions of the past.

They ignore the greater assumption--that a 'place' for women must be defined and set forth to begin with. Half of the population must somehow be reduced to the role arrived at by a single conversation. No matter how broad that role is, it will be--by-nature--a reduction from the infinite variety that is womanhood.

I say that there is no role for women--there is, instead, a role for each woman, and she must make it for herself. For some, it will be the role of scholar; for others, it will be the role of wife. For others, it will be both. For yet others, it will be neither.

Do not mistake me in assuming I value one woman's role above another. My point is not to stratify our society--we have done that far to well already--my point is to diversify our discourse.

A woman's strength should not be in her role, whatever she chooses it to be, but in the power to choose that role. It is amazing to me that I even have to make this point, as I see it as the very foundation of our conversation.

Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

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