Friday, June 5, 2015

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates 384 pages

This book took me a very long time to read.  It was one I had to step away from and read another title before coming back to read more.  On the one hand, I recognized my own stories in some of the stories written in this book.  On the other, more thankful hand, I did not see myself in the more terrifying stories.  There were some really horrific accounts of things people (mostly girls and women) have suffered at the hands of others.  It made me think about how I do view my place in this world.  Even as a strong, self-confident woman, I make choices that will ensure my safety.  One of the most powerful arguments is the fact that young women are taught how to avoid dangers, to try to prevent assault and rape, but young men are not being taught in the same forums that assault and rape are never okay.  It is a topic that rarely comes up.  Laura Bates started a movement to bring feminism to the forefront, to try to stop sexism as a norm in all societies, and was targeted loudly and aggressively.  She was threatened with rape, maiming, any number of things.  Why?  None of the men in my life would ever treat any woman in this fashion, thankfully, but once your eyes are open, you can't help but see how women are treated very differently in our world.  I would recommend this book to everyone.  Men who have been open to the everyday sexism blog and project comment about how they had no idea the impact of their "harmless" wolf whistling, etc.  Women, in fact people of all genders, need to know they have a voice. We should never have to feel like we can't walk down the street, go to work, see a movie alone, whatever we want to do without feeling at risk.  We can only bring about change by shouting back.  I can't say that I liked this book, because it was so heartbreaking, but I certainly feel more empowered on this side of its pages.

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