BOOK REVIEW: EVERYDAY SEXISM BY LAURA BATES

THIS BOOK. SO POWERFUL.
Everyday Sexism has been on my mind ever since I finished it. It’s been a little over a week since I read it and it has somehow managed to colour my everyday experiences in a way no other book this year has. I want everyone to read this book, regardless of gender. I want people to realize the lived realities of women. I want people to realize that feminism is not just important, but also really freaking necessary. When half the world is crying out and having their experiences not only ignored, but also negated, then we have a huge problem.

As a woman myself, some parts of this book left me going YES, EXACTLY!!!! That’s what I’ve been trying to say all along!!!!, and some parts left me shocked with the appalling shit that so many women have to go through. You’d think that as a woman I’d be fully aware of all this, but I wasn’t, not really. I think in the back of my mind somewhere I knew the extent to which sexism, sexual assault, and harassment were rampant, but hearing first-hand accounts of them was incredibly sobering, to say the least. And that’s another thing that this book does extremely well. It’s one thing to read about statistics and news articles—which this book, of course, includes—but it’s an entirely different thing to get direct entries from women who’ve been at the receiving end of sexist microaggressions, harassment, rape, etc. Also, I don’t want to take it for granted that Bates’s approach throughout this book is definitively intersectional. She has a separate section on double discrimination (i.e. about women of colour, queer women, women will mental illnesses, etc.), but also stresses that her intersectionality is not and should not be limited to that one section. In addition to that, Bates’s approach is markedly diverse. She explores sexism in various spheres, such as in the workplace, the media, politics, and the family. Though this book is by no means comprehensive (I don’t think any book can capture the sheer scope of sexism present today), I wouldn’t hesitate to call it expansive: it discusses the little and the large of sexism, and everything in-between.

Speaking of sobering, this book is a tough read. Parts of it almost left me in tears, and at one point I had to physically smooth out my frown line because I’d been unconsciously frowning for so long. I was angry, I was horrified, and more than anything, I wanted to do something to help. That being said, don’t let the fact that this book deals with heavy subject matter deter you from reading it. I know of people who say they don’t read “sad/heavy books” because they’re “depressing,” which is RIDICULOUS. If anything, books with heavy subject matter like this are the ones we should pay attention to, despite the fact that they’re not “feel-good-books.” Did this book infuriate me? Yes. Did this book sadden me? Yes. Did I regret reading it because of that? HELL NO. I want to shove this book at anyone and everyone who is willing to listen.

I’m going to end this review with a simple request: read Everyday Sexism. Recommend it to people. It makes a (huge) difference. It certainly did with me.

four


Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

ccb20f5d6af9fe15e88f0f80a34e6502

BOOK REVIEW: BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME BY TA-NEHISI COATES

“The point of this language of ‘intention’ and ‘personal responsibility’ is broad exoneration. Mistakes were made. Bodies were broken. People were enslaved. We meant well. We tried our best. ‘Good intention’ is a hall pass through history, a sleeping pill that ensures the Dream.”

This book just floored me. I cannot convey to you how exquisite Coates’ writing is; it’s beautiful, that’s almost indubitable, but it’s also unflinching and raw in a way that I’ve never read before. Honestly, I just want to quote this book in its entirety because every single one of its lines was brimming with pathos and absolute verbal precision. It’s a short book, but it is nothing if not a force of its own. I listened to it on audiobook while walking to class, and there were some passages that just left me thinking a single, emphatic SHIT. Lines that cut me to my very core, left me ruminating in sheer awe of what I’d just read. Needless to say, Between the World and Me was an experience. Eye-opening, yes, but also humbling, intimate, unabashed.

five


Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

ccb20f5d6af9fe15e88f0f80a34e6502