Hello there, Savvy Readers!
If you haven’t been keeping up with your book news, HarperCollins Canada recently hosted a campaign called Women’s Voices, meant to share and bring new attention to many important works by many badass women speaking on many issues that women face. It had opened my eyes to many new authors and issues that I hadn’t even considered before, and it has inspired me to try new and exciting feminist books.
When Feminist Fight Club landed in my hands, I was immediately interested. Right off the bat, it was clear that this was going to be a totally bold and unapologetic read, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. It largely deals with the way that women face sexism in the workplace. It’s described as “part manual, part manifesto.” And I can honestly say that I took SO MUCH away from reading this book.
So, of course, I had to make a post about it. Here you go, Savvy Readers, top 10 reasons why Jessica Bennett’s Feminist Fight Club should be your next read.
1. It’s not just for women.
Bennett makes it quite clear, men are welcome to join the FFC. In fact, they are encouraged to join. According to Bennett, “winning this battle doesn’t mean you [men] lose. This isn’t a zero sum game. Or a battle to the death. Until the robots take over, you need us, and we need you to keep this whole life thing going.”
Literally, it’s for everyone. You get to join the Feminist Fight Club! You get to join the Feminist Fight Club! You get to join the Feminist Fight Club!
2. Even as a female reader, it makes you aware of issues that other women may face.
Suffice to say, at this point in my life, I haven’t taken the time to consider how motherhood would affect my career. Or, really, the unexpected ways that motherhood could affect my career. Did you know that most women who need to pump at work are often relegated to supply closets? What. The. Heck.
Thanks, but no thanks. Let’s fix that.
3. And it acknowledges how race & sexual orientation can also impede women and men alike.
Bennett is very clear that the sexism she experienced in the workplace was only a fraction of what she could have experienced if she had come in as a woman of colour or a gay woman. And she backs up her assertions with shocking facts about how these women (and men) are statistically less likely to receive job offers, promotions, etc.
Yeah, that’s not okay.
4. It gives hilarious (and accurate) terms for common behaviours that women face in the workplace.
Personal faves: Mansplainer, Manterrupter, Bropropriator, Menstruahater, etc.
5. And it gives solid advice to help combat these behaviours.
Literally each issue that women face is presented and then followed immediately by concrete steps that women can take to stop these from occurring (or to confront them when they do). It even has a step by step how-to guide to asking for a raise.
6. It acknowledges the way that women have hindered each other from reaching success in the workplace.
Let’s face it, women are totally guilty of playing into the same traps that we often accuse men of. This book often calls women out on behaviours that (whether intentional or not) stop women from succeeding as workers and, especially, as leaders within a workplace. It was an eye-opening experience, and one that has made me very aware of my own contribution to the problem.
Seriously, why can’t we all be like Tina and Amy?
7. It includes helpful charts and pictorials.
Just in case things weren’t clear enough, Bennett cleverly includes illustrations like these to help get the point across:
Also check out this awesome list of Famous Bropropriations.
8. It will make you angry. In a good way.
The book tackles what it refers to as “subtle sexism.” The small ways in which women are spoken to or treated that aren’t overtly sexist, but leave the women with a feeling of dismissal or demotion. Small ways in which women are put down or made to feel inferior in the workplace. Except it’s not just applicable in the workplace. Any women ever will be able to relate to the ways they are spoken to publicly: being told to smile, having justified anger be blamed on hormones, being called “kiddo” or “sweetie.”
9. It’s relatable af.
So many times throughout her manifesto, Bennett recalls many situations that so many women will find relatable. From feelings of inferiority when applying for jobs, to the struggle of finding a private place to cry in a workplace. Bennett often talks about women in leadership positions, managers and executives trying to be at the top of the office food chain. But any woman will be able to relate to each and every one of the circumstances she discusses. Suddenly my deepest fears and insecurities were laid out on the page, by a woman wiser and wildly more successful than I am, and I realized that it wasn’t just me.
10. It’s not just a manual for the individual, it’s a call to action for the collective.
One of my favourite quotes from the book (and there are so, so many) is this: “The only thing better than a self-confident woman is an army of them.” And at it’s core, this is what the Feminist Fight Club is about. It’s about women (and men) making the decision to end workplace sexism together.
Consider me a card-carrying member of the Feminist Fight Club. I’m ready.
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