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What if there was never a narrative that left you with doubts and insecurities? What if equality was not aspirational but just was? What if as a woman/girl there were no boundaries to what you want or wanted to be? What if I didn’t have to wait for experiences and my own assertive will to understand that it was perfectly fine just to be me?‘ These were the questions that I grappled with when I finished reading the book, Words Matter: The “Language” That Girls Need To Speak written by Jacinta Jayachandran and Shreya Krishnan.

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Book: Words Matter: The “Language” That Girls Need To Speak

Authors: Jacinta Jayachandran and Shreya Krishnan

Publisher: Notionpress

Genre: Non-fiction

Debutante authors Jacintha and Shreya understand the importance of words since both hail from the worlds of entrepreneurship and communications respectively. The authors therefore have woven a beautiful book, a book that I wondered could truly be something you could look at any point of time when you are left with self doubt or when you are second guessing your actions.

Authors of Words Matter
Authors Shreya and Jacinta

I reckon I wouldn’t call Words Matter: The Language That Girls Need To Speak a self help book. Rather a book that hits hard on those very ideals that each one of us (women) have believed in at some point of time, but have over time either forgotten or that remain latent in our subconscious.

I reckon I wouldn’t call Words Matter: The “Language” That Girls Need To Speak a ‘self help’ book. Rather a book that hits hard on those very ideals that each one of us (women) have believed in at some point of time, but have over time either have been forgotten or they remain latent in our sub-consciences. This book will make you want to stick and stand by with those very ideals with a firm resolve, not giving into stereotypical notions and knowing that going against the norm was perfectly OK!

Words Matter and How

So where do we always begin with? Words of course. That’s where all the censoring begins. Urging women around the world to circumvent this very thought of self censor at work is this book. Using 40 words at the start of every chapter, the authors attempt to re-examine the narrative that tends to surround all women. Written from a first person perspective to provoke a reaction from the reader, the style really works, especially when accompanied by interesting illustrations.

For instance, when Anger speaks it says, “Don’t repress or suppress me or underplay me but use me to make the world better for you and your kind” or when Ambition speaks, it states, “All I ask of you is to not fear me and to embrace me un-apologetically.” When Passion says that it is, “the genie inside you” or when Strength says, “I am like the muscle the more you exercise me, the more I develop within you.” The words in this book, matter and how! Certain words need reinforcement, especially those words that have overtime acquired stereotypical notions.

The connection between words that we use and the words that we leave behind knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously invariably impacts our collective lived experiences and that is what the book aims to change.

Persian poet Rumi once said, “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder“; pretty much in a similar vein, Words Matter: The “Language” That Girls Need To Speak, is a book that focuses on words that need to form an integral aspect of a woman’s existence. The connection between words that we use and the words that we leave behind knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously invariably impacts our collective lived experiences and that is what the book aims to change.

This book all of 171 pages with its 40 focused chapter-words, urges the reader to think before they abandon words from their lived narratives. Words that include “ambition, anger, ask, aspiration, change to dream, to guilt, to rights to strength”, among others. While the book itself may seem to be one pitched for women, the writers assert that it is a book that is an “essential reading for boys, girls and every human being who believes in human dignity“. Dignity with the way we articulate our needs, wants and indeed ourselves and who we are using the words we want to, is at the crux of Words Matter: The “Language” That Girls Need To Speak.

Written in a simplistic style, in many ways Words Matter: “The Language” That Girls Need To Speak urges the reader to look within and question why certain words are seemingly meant for a certain gender and why such deeply ingrained bias needs to be called out. In a country that defines contradictions at every corner, or where the female goddesses are prayed but at the same time women are preyed upon in equal measures, where she is seen as being pure on some days and yet dirty during her menstruation cycles, this could be that handbook that women of all ages in this country were waiting for; the book that reaffirms that it is absolutely alright to be yourself. Words, warts and all.

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