‘Some time ago we got into a famous talk about what women should be, and Becky said she ‘d show us her idea of the coming woman. […] We couldn’t decide what to put in the hands as the most appropriate symbol. What do you say?’
‘Give her a sceptre: she would make a fine queen,’ answered Fanny.
‘No, we have had enough of that; women have been called queens a long time, but the kingdom given them isn’t worth ruling,’ answered Rebecca. […]
‘Put a man’s hand in hers to help her along, then,’ said Polly, whose happy fortune it had been to find friends and helpers in father and brothers.
‘No; my woman is to stand alone, and help herself,’ said Rebecca, decidedly.
‘She’s to be strong-minded, is she?’ and Fanny’s lip curled a little as she uttered the misused words.
‘Yes, strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied; that is why I made her larger than the miserable, pinched-up woman of our day. Strength and beauty must go together. Don’t you think these broad shoulders can bear burdens without breaking down, these hands work well, these eyes see clearly, and these lips do something besides simper and gossip?’
Fanny was silent; but a voice from Bess’s corner said, ‘Put a child in her arms, Becky.’
‘Not that even, for she is to be something more than a nurse.’
‘Give her a ballot-box,’ cried a new voice, and turning round, they saw an odd-looking woman perched on a sofa behind them.” —from An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott (via turangaliiila)
And I STILL cry when Beth Dies.
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (via pentase)