Feminism is a process, as this book refreshingly assures readers, and we’re all in it together. Aimed at 14 to 15 year olds, this self-styed introductory work includes many well-known names (like Jameela Jamil and Keira Knightley) alongside activists and theorists addressing the multi-faceted issues of equality. It also acknowledges the daunting prospect of learning about feminism, especially in the internet-saturated age of 140-character arguments. If at times I felt this book was talking to the converted, I wish I had this book when I was younger.
The ‘F’ word is still steeped in controversy, the book’s release tainted by Topshop’s dismantling of a contracted pop-up shop. My main issue with the book is its potential ‘coffee-table’ appeal and therefore trivialisation of feminism. The multiple short pieces by various writers often feels restrictive, with many settling for punchy slogans rather than nuanced discussion of wider societal discussion (particularly intersectionality and identity politics). There is some acknowledgement of the drawbacks of such a collection by Curtis, justified through its introductory nature and encouragement of further reading. The book is visually very appealing (‘Baker-Miller Pink’ on page 310 of psychological research interest) in line with ‘coffee-table’ displays. Ironically, on closer reflection, my judgement of the book’s appearance to be negatively representing feminism is very un-feminist of me. Feminism is a process.
I’d recommend reading one of the final chapters first, ‘A Short History of Feminist Theory’ by Claire Horn, which gives an amazingly succinct overview of feminism and intersectionality without coming across as preachy or overwhelming. Besides that, the book allows you to dip in and out of chapters, so gravitate to names you know and titles that appeal. Overall, there’s no pressure – read, digest and enjoy!
p.s. a lil playlist I made, girl power and that 🙂