You Ask, Fit Feminists Answer: What books would you recommend about getting older and standing up for oneself?

We have a thing here that we do from time to time, and that’s “you ask, fit feminists answer.” It goes like this — you ask, we answer (as best we can). In this case I’m turning to you, our wonderful community, to help answer. Please chime in!

Dear readers,

Please help a fellow reader out. She writes, “I’m having a really deep issue when it comes to strength (in all forms) and my relationships.

So firstly, short version, I’d like to request from any of you if there are books I should be reading about getting older, standing up for myself, and not hurting men’s egos? I have absolutely no skill in making these two things mutually agreeable. When I do stand up for myself, I give no flying rats about how it sounds or whom I hurt, because my strength has to be on my terms. Has anyone had this issue?

Long version, I am fairly recently divorced, having left an extremely controlling marriage where I was unable to make the most basic decisions for myself without it needing to be a “group” decision. Much of my identity formation as a woman of this generation (43), and as a mother trying to raise a strong girl who takes no b.s., is to be able to call b.s. when I see it. I am also extremely reactive to my boyfriend trying to 1. Make decisions for us, and 2. Not letting me finish my thoughts when we argue.

My fitness journey all fits into this because when I am running, stepping, or lifting, I am in the most pure take-no-b.s.-even-from-myself mode, but I can’t seem to translate this into my roles as mother/girlfriend without hurting people’s feelings.

Is there a book out there (or podcast, or guru) that deals with trying to soothe the savage bitch? I thought the way forward was to embrace her, but no one else around me wants to :(”

Looking forward to your responses.

Image description: Graffiti cat on garage door. Photo from Unsplash
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