When power corrupts…tear it down…The Boy I Am is the powerful debut novel from K.L. Kettle out now
I’m so excited for you to hold The Boy I Am in your hands.
I came to this story wondering what kind of feminist I wanted to be. Writing this book helped me process my own experiences from years working in a male dominated industry. There have been so many great times, but they’re pierced by moments when some men I worked for reduced me to something to flirt with, dismiss, or sideline when unwanted advances were met with polite declines.
Each moment sticks with me. I over analyze whether I dealt with them the right way, then wonder if there is a right way, then doubt my memory, then beat myself up for taking the burden of anxiety on myself, and so on… Sound familiar? You don’t need to be a woman to know these feelings, far from it, they come wherever there is disparity in power. And there’s a lot of that today.
The proverb ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ kept circling my mind as I found Jude’s story. If we are all equal, are we all equally capable of abusing the power we have? If so, how do we choose to be better?
See, I told you I over analyze.
From where it began, soon my research took me to some places full of sadness:
To forums teaching men how to manipulate women, where young men believe their worth is only in relation to their ability to be with a woman, or where they are radicalized and pressed into dark causes to compensate.
To charities raising awareness of the hidden problem of child marriage for both girls and boys in a world where thirty seven countries have no real minimum age of marriage, including the USA, and where the rules can be exploited, not only for straight and cis people, but often to force young LGBTQI people into marriage.
I saw the worst extremes of both gender rights movements and questioned my own identity and beliefs.
And it’s a really important but…
I came out the other side with hope because of people I met along the way, working together despite their differences: activists for gender diversity and equality, for disability and anti- racism. I also came out with the comfort that things are, slowly, getting better. But it will take all of us working together to stop them from getting worse.
The realization I came to is that I am an unfinished feminist. And that’s how I want to be, always learning about the power I have, the systems I am a part of, and how I can work with those around me to strive for a better, more compassionate world.
I hope your journey of discovery is as powerful as mine.