2018 Reading Challenge, Book 14 – Girl Up

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I mentioned in my last review that I read that book in between my Laura Bates ones so obviously this book was going to follow in the ones that I reviewed.

 

This one is going to be slightly tamer than the other one, in that I feel I got a lot off my chest in the last not really a review but a response to what it was that I had just read. And well I had read this book by the time I was writing the other review and so there is definitely not much left to say (which is actual bullshit, there is always something to say about it, but I have nothing new to say).

This book is much more widespread than Everyday Sexism. It covers more topics and basically calls out all the double standards that continue to exist in a modern day society. Here’s something that I really appreciate about Bates, she is very aware of the need for intersectionality when it comes to feminism. She talks about how the experience is obviously very different if you a POC, a member of the LGBT* community or disabled. She talks about how then you’re subject to more layers of discrimination. I find the thing that frustrates me the most about the talk about equality is that it ignores so many other aspects of discrimination and how that puts them even further back and so it was so refreshing to have it acknowledged (across both of her books) because it feels alienating on some levels otherwise.

This book is to the point. It calls out the universe on it’s random bullshit and double standards. It talks about sex and the work place and school and just living your life on a day to day basis and how just because you are equipped with a vagina (or not in some cases, which leads to a whole different issue) you are already on the back foot. You’re too emotional to be rational, your legs are too distracting, or your shoulders are, you’re for some inexplicable reason not allowed to enjoy masturbation or to take complete ownership of your sexuality. You’re weirdly pressured to look like they do on billboards and if you don’t then you’re ‘revolutionary’. You’re constantly told that you can be a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man whilst also being told all the ways that you can ‘snag and keep’ a man. It’s all in there.

Again, this book didn’t really enlighten me to anything super new, but it did make me feel like I was part of some weird sisterhood. And what it did was go through various aspects of society that remains a little bit fucked up and did it all with a lot of humour. I laughed a lot when I was reading this book. It treats the topics seriously, but it does it with humour. Which is important to be honest. Sometimes books that cover topics like this can be a bit dry and therefore boring, but this one doesn’t do that. It keeps you engaged as a result.

Another aspect of this book is that it’s visual. Which is fine. The images are mostly informative, or they further illustrate the point. They’re great. However sometimes you just aren’t quite prepared to turn the page and see a full diagram of the vagina on a crowded train at 8:30 in the morning. So, you know be prepared for that.

Ultimately this was a good book. It was an informative book. It was an inclusive one for the most part. It was a funny one. It illustrated so many aspects of society and where they fall down. It had some cross over with Everyday Sexism because the two intertwine with each other for the most part, but it had a different feel from that book. I thoroughly enjoy the way that Bates writes. Her writing style is so engaging and informative. It’s witty and takes no shit. It makes reading about what is kind of an infuriating topic not quite as soul destroying. It makes you feel like you are part of some slightly twisted sisterhood where everyone sort of feels like they’re in this together even if they don’t really want to be, they just want to be able to walk past a building site without feeling fear pump through their veins.

I would for sure recommend this book. I think it’s an important one. It addresses some of the struggles and double standards of being a female and on some level it plants the seed to inspire you to try and fight it all. Or at least it did me. I read of a sequence of books that basically meant that once I had finished them I had just reached a point where I was basically done taking shit about things from other people and this just sort of lit a fire underneath me.

So yeah, would recommend. And I would recommend Everyday Sexism, it gave me the drive to write the rant and it made me feel less alone in that. I’m excited to read her third book, which I won’t be reading for a while (what with the many other books I have to read) but in the wake of the #MeToo movement, it feels like it might be needed on some level.

4/5 stars

Parentheses count: 4. See you tomorrow!

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Sophie

Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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