About Books #124: The Guilty Feminist
Hi, my name is Saar and I’m a feminist. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way – let’s see why exactly I loved The Guilty Feminist so much that I flew through it in about 3 hours, shall we?
In 2015 I described myself as ‘guilty feminist’ for the first time. My goals were noble but my concerns were trivial. I desperately wanted to close the pay gap, but I also wanted to look good sitting down naked.
From inclusion to the secret autonomy in rom-coms, from effective activism to what poker can tell us about power structures, Deborah explores what it means to be a twenty-first-century feminist, and encourages us to make the world better for everyone.
The book also includes exclusive interviews with performers, activists and thinkers – Jessamyn Stanley, Zoe Coombs Marr, Susan Wokoma, Bisha K. Ali, Reubs Walsh, Becca Bunce, Amika George, Mo Mansfied and Leyla Hussein – plus a piece from Hannah Gadsby.
Let’s be real – I’ve considered myself a feminist for a long while. Am I aware of the fact that the term leaves a dirty taste for many people? Yes. However, that doesn’t stop me from realising that women and non-binary people around the world tend to have it just that bit harder than their male-identifying counterparts. Now, I’m white as f***, so within the grand scheme of things? That still leaves me privileged – a lot.
If anything, though, that just means it’s probably more important for me to take a stand, to amplify, where I can. And The Guilty Feminist definitely helped me in phrasing that frame of mind. Deborah Frances-White manages to perfectly strike the balance between comical and serious, between her own input and letting other people speak.
Did I necessarily agree with everything in her book? Absolutely not. But as the author states so clearly: it’s okay not to agree about many things – as long as we don’t forget that we’re connected by the bigger thing. Leading by example, then, is certainly Frances-White takes into account, from the many quotes to examples and interviews – and if anything, from what I’ve seen: live as you speak does seem to apply here.
The rating: 4/5
Honestly? I don’t usually rate non-fiction works. After all – the information any such book carries is much more important than what I have to say about it, right? Well, kind of. Because in this case? The Guilty Feminist made me think, laugh, look at things differently – and maybe most importantly… It had me go straight into “everyone I know must read this”-mode. That includes you, apparently. (Goodreads, TheStoryGraph)