The Corner of the Court Project is going global!
I am excited to share with you a partnership with Wonder Girls, a new collection of stories from India about trailblazing career women and their inspiring journeys.
Publisher Juggernaut and the book’s author, Varsha Adusumilli, are sharing excerpts from this groundbreaking book – specifically those excerpts highlighting the role of male allies – to all of our readers at The Corner of the Court.
WHY this book is important
Indian women, including those with access to education and those who are societally privileged, are often subscribed to cultural and societal norms that can dissuade, discourage or outright prevent them from achieving their career goals. Varsha wants to change that.
“My goal with Wonder Girls is to showcase relatable role models for young women in India,” says Varsha.
“If I can see women who could be my next-door neighbors as engineers, doctors, scientists, classical dancers, sports players, etc., then it is normalized for me to aspire to my own unique dreams. The chapters in Wonder Girls trace the life journeys of 15 millenial women and their successful career trajectories alongside their life choices.
“The idea of Wonder Girls is simple,” she continues. “It says, ‘if she can do it, I can do it too.’”
HOW culture influences women and male allies
The Corner of the Court Project provides a visible platform to share stories of male allies; the title and concept inspired by my own story as a young female tennis player. My older brother was my coach and (even though he never thought himself an “ally”), he taught me how to compete, often against boys who were larger and physically more strong than I was. Our parents came to the U.S. from India in the 1970s; and, as many first- and second-generation women, I frequently had to reconcile Indian traditions with the lifestyle and cultural norms of western society.
As a result, I’ve critically looked at the topic of “Male Allies” through different lenses that I have worn in my life – spending summers as a kid and teenager in India had afforded me this insight – and came to deeply understand allyship is a complex phenomenon with many layers.
I had observed that, in a culture of arranged marriages, it wasn’t a “given” that your husband would be your biggest ally, or that your father – even if he wanted to – would encourage you to chase after your career, for he felt, in his heart of hearts the right thing to do for his daughter was to marry her into a secure adult life. These are real pressures faced by young Indian women, and it’s a real gift to be able to share the positive stories of male allies that helped some of these women achieve their potential.
The men in these stories – like our other stories – have roles such as grandfather, friend, father, boss, mentor. Yet somewhat unlike our other stories, these men were allies even when society had markedly different expectations on the Indian women whom they supported. That these men were able to play a hand in the success stories of these women, shows that allyship 1) is truly possible and 2) leads to real, measurable outcomes.
WHAT to expect…
Four story excerpts from the book – specifically about male allies – will be shared on The Corner of the Court website. These are a small sample of what you’ll find in the full book, which contains 15 stories not limited to allyship, but rather each woman’s full career journey, with many examples on achieving financial independence, career success and personal fulfillment.
I ask that you take time to reflect on each story, while considering how the concept of male allyship relates to (many of us in) our western narrative. And as always, please share your own stories no matter where in the world you are! We are always looking to showcase amazing women and reinforce how male allies can make an impact.
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