Book Review: Nasty Women

Has the political climate in the United States got you down? Wondering what you can do to help? Want to hear from diverse voices who are knowledgeable about the issues at hand and who are living alongside the rest of us, trying to make it one day at a time?

Read this book.

Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America,edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, is a phenomenal read. I actually stumbled upon this book online a while back, and was excited for the chance to read it. My library didn’t have a copy on order yet, so I did what all good readers who don’t want to spend money at the bookstore do: I suggested it be added to the library’s collection!

Sure enough, it was. After ordering it back in October, I was able to pick it up about a month later and be the first to read this library copy. I am so glad I read this book. It made me feel, well… better. Less hopeless. Stronger. More fierce. More ready than ever to not give up and not back down.

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Book Review: The Beauty Myth

“We do not need to change our bodies, we need to change the rules. Beyond the myth, women will still be blamed for our appearances by whomever needs to blame us. So let’s stop blaming ourselves and stop running and stop apologizing, and let’s start to please ourselves once and for all. The ‘beautiful’ woman does not win under the myth, neither does anyone else. The woman who is subjected to the continual adulation of strangers does not win, nor does the woman who denies herself attention. The woman who wears a uniform does not win, nor does the woman with a designer outfit for every day of the year. You do not win by struggling to the top of a caste system, you win by refusing to be trapped within one at all. The woman wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.

A woman wins by giving herself and other women permission — to eat; to be sexual; to age; to wear overalls, a paste tiara, a Balenciaga gown, a second-hand opera cloak, or combat boots; to cover up or to go practically naked; to do whatever we choose in following — or ignoring — our own aesthetic. A woman wins when she feels that what each woman does with her own body — unforced, uncoerced — is her own business.

When many individual women exempt themselves from the economy, it will begin to dissolve. Institutions, some men, and some women, will continue to try to use women’s appearance against us. But we won’t bite.” – The Beauty Myth

Though there are undoubtedly many key statistics and facts and statements, I felt the above quote nicely summarized my most recent reading, Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth. What an integral piece of reading for women everywhere – and men, too, for that matter; an imperative look into our society and the world around us and how the beauty myth shapes pretty much every aspect of that, and what we must do to fight back against it.

Wolf examines several key pieces of life: work, culture, religion, sex, hunger and violence, and picks apart each one to discuss how the beauty myth is present in that specific topic.

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Book Recommendations – Feminism & More

I thought an appropriate segue into revisiting this blog would be to discuss some of the books I’ve read recently, how I came to pick them up , and my overall reflections once I’ve finished them.

Many of these books discuss feminism, with a few of them coming onto my reading list as part of Emma Watson’s feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. The others I mostly picked up on my own, just out of pure searching, or recommendations from others on Goodreads.

Oh, and the best part? I picked up all of these at my local library! FOR FREE! I can’t overstate the importance of libraries and how incredible they are. If you’re interested in a book and perhaps can’t afford to purchase the books, or don’t want to, your local library system is a wonderful resource! (Can you tell I work at a library?)

Without further ado – here are the books.

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