Sexism: Two Book Reviews

*originally 05/18/2016

Men Explain updated paperback Cover.9MEN EXPLAIN THINGS TO ME Written by Rebecca Solnit

2014; 130 Pages  (Haymarket Books)
Genre: nonfiction, social issues, gender

Rating: ★★1/2

Writer Rebecca Solnit uses humour in her scathing essay about how men converse with women.  Solnit demonstrates in her essay how men silence women and talk to them as if they know best.  As I read this essay I found many of Solnit’s examples were on point.  I have always hated the way men patronize women and “there there” them to lull them into silence.  And out of politeness we sometimes let them.  If we want change we have to stop letting it become normal and speak up…speak louder, clearer and with confidence.  Let’s see how I do. I would recommend this book to men and women – it is definitely eyeopening.

 

71Fd7n2M3NLEVERYDAY SEXISM Written by Laura Bates

2014; 384 Pages (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: nonfiction, social issues, gender

 Rating: ★

After being sexually harassed on a public transport Laura Bates takes to Twitter with a new project called, Everyday Sexism Project.  As a journalist she starts to collect stories from other woman and realizes how big and problematic this issue is.  Bates had women in every country, class, culture etc telling their story of sexism.  The one underling issue behind this was that because women were sexually harassed every day it becomes normalized. Things like being leered at, whistled or called out, groping in public in the day time, etc. Women don’t think others will care or see it as an assault.  Basically, being a woman and being in public is enough to get harassed.  Bates has said enough is enough.  We need to tell our stories so we don’t feel so alone and that it is not okay.  We will not accept this behaviour. In between Bates own writing we get many comments on Twitter as real life examples of what Bates argues in Everyday Sexism.

I took this book out hoping to read it over the next few weeks but found myself devouring it in one night. What makes this book so powerful and engaging is that these are real life women sharing things to let other women know they are not alone. It is a hard book to rate as it’s more of an informative guide that really makes you think. I will have more to say on the topic another time but as for this book, I recommend it to everyone.

 

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