After a devastating fire blazed through the Shephard County Library last week, area woman Lena Smith proved herself to be the ultimate feminist hero by rushing back into the flames to save one copy of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble.
The electrical fire began to blaze around 1pm on Tuesday – just as the librarians were about to head out to lunch. When the alarm sounded, everyone quickly evacuated the building to a nearby area of refuge.
“The second we all made it out, I had this sinking feeling in my stomach. Like there was still something in there that we absolutely could not leave behind,” says Smith. “At first I thought maybe there was still a child inside but then I realized oh my god, no. It’s Judith Butler’s groundbreaking exploration of feminism and identity.”
She knew she had to go back in.
Smith says she immediately took matters into her own hands. Against the admonishments of her coworkers, she covered her face in her cardigan and charged back into the building intent on fiercely protecting the explanation of gender as a social construct.
She galloped over mountains of debris until she stopped, dropped and rolled right into the belly of the Feminist Theory corner.
“I really had to think on my feet,” she says. “I knew I didn’t have time to grab everthing, so I ran right past Bodies That Matter and Excitable Speech until I found Butler’s magnum opus, Gender Trouble. I grabbed it and ran.”
Wow. Now that’s feminism!
“I just care so much about women’s issues,” she says. “It wasn’t like a first edition or anything. And there’s still a bunch in print, but I couldn’t just leave it there, you know? Ugh apparently there were also children still in the building. But they’re ok!”
Incredible Kudos, Lena – You are the hero none of us deserve.