It’s time to read a truly important book.
Some time ago, Laura Bates’ novel started appearing everywhere on my social media. I loved the overall concept of it, so it went straight to my TBR. I completely forgot about it, until I saw it recently and decided to pick it up. Needless to say, I loved it like everyone else.
I am a person who really struggles with non fiction. A book needs to satisfy multiple points in order for me to like it:
1. It has to be on a specific topic. This might sound stupid, because obviously you have to be interested in a topic. But if you know me, you know that I am interested in everything. I still haven’t come across a non fiction and thought “oh, that’s stupid”. I like knowing things. But unfortunately, not everything can hold my attention. Luckily, feminism can. I love reading about stuff that can inform me and educate me and in the end, make me a better person. After I read this, I felt so well informed. The book covers every possible area, from politics to motherhood, and you read about real women’s experiences, so you find out so much about what women have to go through on a daily basis. Obviously, since I am a woman, I experienced some of this stuff, but because I fit only in certain categories, I don’t experience the full extent of this. And that’s where this book really helps. It educates and it isn’t preachy.
2. It has to be packed with statistics. By statistics, I mean hard facts. I have real trouble maintaining interest without facts. If an author is really eloquent and can theorize for pages and pages about a topic, that’s great, but I won’t finish that. I need evidence based content and this book delivers it. You get statistics and you’re reading actual people’s tweets as in most of this stuff actually happened to a person who exists. And that keeps your attention and again, you learn stuff. Yay for learning.
3. I have to feel the author’s investment. Sure, you can write a good book. But are you excited and dedicated to the thing you’ve written. Most author’s probably are, but I have to feel it. And it really comes across that Laura Bates really and deeply cares about the stuff she writes about. And I loved it. She shares some of the stuff she experienced since she started the project, which was atrocious, but she kept at it, and it’s a testament that it’s not an issue that’s important just for her, but for all of us.
More stuff I liked: there was a chapter dedicated to men. It is often ignored how gender roles are detrimental to men as well as women, and Bates acknowledges that, while maintaining that the severity of sexism against women is not the same as that against men. And it’s done really respectably. Kudos on that.
Stuff I am ambivalent about and my only issue with the book: This book is quite culture specific. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a topic that is so global, it can never be too culture specific. However, most of the statistics she shares are UK and London statistics, and I feel like a majority of tweets are from the UK. On one hand, this was great because as I read the experiences of women from the UK, or London mostly, I realized these things never happened to me. Not to this extent. And I felt so lucky. On the other, there was mention of recent events, some political stuff I had no knowledge about, etc. so some of it went over my head. But that’s a minor thing.
Overall, I loved this and I recommend it to absolutely everyone and anyone. Go read it, learn some stuff and just better yourself as a person.
Final verdict: 4 stars
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