Dear Enola Holmes,
I was 3 when I was gifted my first story book. It was the book “The Sleeping Beauty” where a princess beautiful and virtuous is cursed for a hundred years of sleep only to be awakened by the kiss of a Prince. I loved those stories as a child but as I grew up, something never seemed to add up. I always had questions as to why did such meritorious women have to rely on men who were in no way better than them for their rescue. This always bothered me and that is when a few days ago my paths crossed with you- a woman who -in times when women weren’t even allowed to have an opinion of their own-fearlessly not just put forth her opinions but paved her own path and was determined to follow it. As you mother had said, there were two paths you could have taken-yours or the ones others chose for you and predictably, you chose the former. In times of suffocating patriarchy, you were a fresh breeze of feminism. While, there were people like Mycroft who were an embodiment of the modern-day patriarch, you signified all the feminists who have struggled and still are for equality. You defied the barriers differentiating men and women on the basis of roles. You rebelled against patriarchy in times when women with loud voices were considered unacceptable, when women who dared to speak up were branded witches and burned in full public sight. You listened to the demands of your body and chose to liberate it and not encage it in whalebone corsets, bust enhancers and hip regulators. You did not wear a hat because it made your head itch. You chose not to get overshadowed by your brothers and their achievements. Not to forget, you were also an amazing learner with sleuthing skills comparable to Sherlock Holmes himself. Despite not being given a peek or the real world, you survived in it and did not just survive, you carved a niche for yourself in the world dominated by men. You were brave, observant, intelligent and quick-witted but most importantly, you were a kind hearted soul. Be it the baby lamb or Count Tewksbury, you chose what’s right and you decided to help an innocent soul-the one who needed helping! Yes, you were taught to watch and listen, you were taught to fight but you yourself learned to protect the innocent, you yourself learned to distinguish between the right and the wrong.
Eudoria wasn’t wrong in taking the most pride in you. You rightly told Sherlock that this was a world which needed changing and you were a part of that change. Enola Holmes, daughter of Eudoria Holmes- and not sister Sherlock Holmes- thank you for inspiring me and re-instilling in me the confidence to fight for my rights in this patriarchal society. I know I am being emotional, it’s unnecessary but understandable right?
A girl searching for inspiration