Snapshot reviews are short book reviews of around 200-250 words.
✨ Spoiler Free ✨
Author: Laura Bates
Publication year: 2014
Content warnings: Sexism, misogyny, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, abortion and mental health.
Everyday Sexism is a feminist book divided into 12 chapters, each focused on a specific topic from motherhood to women in politics, education, the media and the experiences of girls. Laura Bates draws on research from her project Everyday Sexism – a website where girls and women can anonymously submit their experiences of sexism – and combines the voices of these girls and women with statistics and personal commentary.
In some ways I consider this is a must read because it’s informative on topics around systemic sexism, sexual assault and consent. On the other hand, this book could be potentially harmful and misleading, particularly for young people that read it. Therefore, I’d be reluctant to recommend it to anybody under the age of 18 or those unfamiliar with feminist texts.
My main gripe with this book is that it makes sweeping generalisations, exaggerates and fear mongers by promoting the message that females cannot step outside their door without experiencing sexual harassment or assault. It bombards the reader with horrifying stories of women’s trauma from the harassment and abuse they’ve faced to make a point. This was not only unnecessary, but repetitive and exploitative.
Nonetheless, it is an eye-opening read which touches upon some key aspects of feminism. Bates’ feminism doesn’t match mine but I appreciated the argument that we need to tackle minor incidents of sexism if we ever expect to reduce more extreme cases of sexism which cause real harm to girls and women.
I’d recommend Everyday Sexism if:
You are interested in learning more about the inequalities and discrimination women face, specifically sexual harassment and abuse.
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and Other Lies)
✨ Spoiler Free ✨
Author: Scarlett Curtis (curator)
Publication year: 2018
Content warnings: Sexism, misogyny, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, mental health, strong language, graphic sexual imagery.
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink is a curated selection of essays from a variety of public figures about their experiences, thoughts and feelings about being a woman and a feminist. It’s divided into three main categories (with a poetry section in the middle) – epiphany, anger and joy – which is supposed to represent the three parts of the journey to becoming a feminist. It’s a relatable and accessible read, which makes it ideal for younger readers or those that are just discovering feminism.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the collection of essays it was marketed as and more a collection of diary entries. The entries were informal and the contributors had too much creative freedom. This resulted in a lot of repetition and entries that varied hugely in quality. Each entry was short but many of them were also fairly pointless such as timelines or random lists. The curator, Scarlett Curtis, needed to take more creative control to resolve these issues and provide more of a template and structure for the book.
These minor issues aside, I found the book to be motivational and I appreciated the diversity of the contributors. There were women of colour, trans women, mothers, business owners, activists and LGBTQ+ women all telling their own stories in their own voices. In terms of accessibility, it’s ideal and is a good starting point for people looking to familiarise themselves with feminist history and issues.
I’d recommend Feminists Don’t Wear Pink if:
You’re interested in breaking into feminism with an accessible book with a diverse collection of voices on what being a woman/being a feminist means to them.
Have you read Everyday Sexism or Feminists Don’t Wear Pink or do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!
Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.