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Publisher's Summary

Do you ever get the feeling that girls have it less easy than boys? Have you been told to behave 'like a girl’? That you should learn to cook and be nice and keep your legs crossed?  

Well, here are the stories of 56 women who broke the rules to forge new paths for themselves and others.  

Adventurous and ambitious, they fought battles and legal cases. They won elections and matches. They climbed mountains and mastered science. Best of all, they never stopped chasing their dreams.  

Hear about them. Talk about them. Get inspired.  

And go change the world!

©2018 Aparna Jain (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Like a Girl

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Building narratives and questionable role models

The book is broken up into fifty-one short chapters and read (I listened to the audio book, via Audble) by several persons. This goes nicely with the different chapters that cover different characters, and therefore there is no perceived discontinuity. Each narrator brings her own personality to the rendition. Less can be said about the content, however, which is fairly anodyne and rarely rises above the literary level of a hastily-written Wikipedia article.

I doubt if anyone would question the inclusion of such super-achievers like Homai Vyaravala, Lakshmi Sahgal, Kishori Amonkar, or M.S. Subbulakshmi. But surely Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle deserved separate chapters, so towering are their achievements in the Indian movie industry.

More curious, however, are some of the other inclusions. Take Gauri Lankesh, for instance. A journalist who was shot dead by unknown assailants in Bangalore in 2017, she was a self-professed Urban Naxal. Gauri Lankesh was convicted of defamation and sentenced to six months in prison in 2016. Should such a person be a role model for youngsters, or for anyone, anywhere for that matter? Should a chapter devoted to Gauri Lankesh not inform budding women about this aspect of her life?

Or take the case of activist Teesta Setalvad. This is what the book tells us about the communal riots of 2002 - "In 2002 there was a wave of communal violence in the form of anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat." Now let's look at what happened - on the morning of Feb 27th, 2002, a train with mostly Hindu pilgrims was stopped outside the station of Godhra (a suburb of Ahmedabad) where a mob of upto two-thousand Muslims had collected, its compartments locked, flammable liquids were poured inside by the mob, and set alight. 59 Hindus, including men, women, and children, were burnt alive in that fire. This was the trigger for communal violence that rocked the state, and in which 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed.

An investigation revealed that Teesta had taken money meant for the victims of this communal violence in Gujarat and spent it on such things as "hair styling expenses ... during her trips to Rome and Pakistan" as well as on "purely personal items such as ear buds, wet wipes, nail clippers, ladies personal items, several books including romantic novels like Mills and Boon and thrillers like Total Control, Blackberry phone...".

In 2014, Teesta Setalvad tweeted an image where a portrait of Hindu Goddess Kali had been In the picture, Kali's face had been morphed into a terrorist's and labeled "another ISIS terrorist is depicted with the sudarshan chakra(the weapon used by the Hindu god Vishnu)."

That such a person is seen as a role model by the author raises disturbing questions. That the book does not include any of these details about Teesta also says something.

All these omissions and commissions raise questions.
Questions about the author's ideology and agenda.
Questions about the author's grasp of facts.
Questions about the narrative that is sought to be built.
Questions about the rigor of the editorial process that neither asked questions nor insisted on answers.
Questions that perhaps answer themselves. Or not.

Perhaps there exists a parallel universe in which facts don't matter, where questionable people with questionable ethics are deemed role models, and where toxic agendas are the only noble pursuit. Perhaps this book was written in such a parallel universe.

4 people found this helpful

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A nice story collection

The stories are really nice and inspiring. However, one presenter who narrated the story of Lakshmi Sehgal and Dayamani Barla seems to narrate with few accented words, lisps and with wrong colloquial pronunciation .It was a let down with only those stories she narrated. Please be careful while choosing the narrators.

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Light read for almost everyone

I really liked the concept of showcasing the stories of so many Indian women who have suffered, struggled and achieved so much in their lives and some of them are continuously working to improve the quality of human lives in our country. This book is a really light read good for night time or travel time. It has motivational stories which will be engaging for almost every age group.

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Very Inspiring

My daughter enjoyed listening to every story. Its a great listen as a bed time story or a morning dose of inspiration for kids. We actually need to know our girls better. This book is a great work at this insight. Recommended for children

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Kids should read such books

All the kids, no matter which gender, should definitely read such books. This will tell them that hardships and challenges are part of life and successful people are successful because they overcome those challenges. They would also understand from the beginning to respect gender choice, to not make fun of any disease and will know when someone says 'NO' than it's no, and forcing yourself on anyone is harassment or rape ...