Today I will be talking about feminism: the outrageous and liberal idea that men and women should be treated as equals. I recently finished the best feminist book I have read yet, and so, naturally, I will share it.
Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism is everything I have ever felt on the topic thoroughly articulated in a book. When someone asks me why I’m a feminist, I try to remember all the statistics and the multitude of issues stemming from sexism, but I often have trouble putting it into words. Bates’ book does this for me. She leaves no gaping holes in her argument that I can recall. As I read, I would think, “Oh, but she forgot to include how this issue can affect men as well,” or “She needs to bring up some intersectional feminism,” then, of course, she would cover it in the very next chapter.
I felt like this is a Feminism 101 guide. It covers all the basics, using a magnitude of evidence to support the cause. The idea for this book came from a website Bates had created, called Everyday Sexism. Bates had realized that the little incidences that happened to her everyday were not trivial or to be ignored; after a while all the instances add up, ultimately affecting one in some way whether that be mental or physical. Curious how often others face such instances, she created the website. People would post short snippets about the everyday discrimination they had to face because of their gender. Going to the website is overwhelmingly depressing and proof in itself that sexism is still alive today, but Bates writes her book to make sure there can be no doubt about it.
In Everyday Sexism, Bates bombarded me with all types of evidence and facts. She uses statistics drawn from renowned universities’ studies, stories from the Everyday Sexism website, actual articles from prominent newspapers, quotes by famous politicians and celebrities, and interviews with schoolchildren to prove that sexism is a major issue. In most feminist books I’ve read, I have felt like I could easily find a flaw in their argument. This was not the case for Bates. Also, a lot of feminist books are so deep in the issues that a beginner would shy away from them. Everyday Sexism starts at the very basics and then goes into further detail.
So often throughout this, I thought of how much I would love to force my boyfriend’s brother into reading this. I’d like to see him fight me on the wage gap after that! Actually, one of the reviews on the back cover says something about how this book should be required for school. I never really thought of teaching a book on equality, but it makes sense. This would be much more helpful than the crappy self-help book my class was forced to read freshman year. I feel like being exposed to different viewpoints would tap into cognitive thinking skills and encourage creativity. Instead, most of our reading is fiction (nothing against fiction; I just think reading argumentative books would be useful in education as well).
If anyone is at all interested or wondering what the modern-day feminism movement is about, or why it is needed, I would highly recommend Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism. I cannot think of a better book to recommend for this purpose. If you can’t find time, at least read the few parts printed in blue/green ink; these are the first hand accounts. The accounts themselves are incredibly eye-opening and take very little time to read. Enjoy!