‘They say: Are you a termite? Cos you’re about to get a mouthful of wood.
You say: Are you a wild pig? Cos you boar me to tears.’
TITLE: Girl up
AUTHOR: Laura Bates
GENRE: Feminist manifesto meets self-help
PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster
WARNING: FEMINISM. LOTS OF IT.
As Emma Watson accurately describes, this is not a book for the faint-hearted. With an excessive amount of ‘patriarchy busting’ this is a book dedicated to helping young women overcome the everyday struggles of modern day society.
Laura Bates is an author who approaches sexism with a contemporary perspective. With chapters varying from coping with receiving those dreaded cheeky dick pics to acknowledging issues with teenage mental health, Bates manages to alternate the tone of the book between light-hearted humour and serious reflection. This makes the book so much more interesting to read, as it explains the importance of feminism without the topic turning into a huge “all men are evil” feminist rant.
“Although it has sparked much controversy, the book has still taken the world by storm”
Laura Bates has already had success from her first book Everyday Sexism in 2014, following her original activist project in 2012, so for many women, especially teenage girls, Girl Up is a much respected sequel. Although it has sparked much controversy, the book has still taken the world by storm; it’s even The Sunday Times bestseller.
Being a teenage girl who has been affected by many of the serious topics in the book, it has helped change my mindset about a lot of topics whilst making me laugh at the same time. The book itself is very thought-provoking and was an enjoyable escape from the literature on my course. I’m sure Laura Bates would have something to say about Milton’s attitude towards Eve in Paradise Lost!
“Although there is a primary focus on female empowerment, there are many sections of the book that tackle general issues which are applicable to everyone”
However, it is important to state that this is also a book that may appeal to some men. Although there is a primary focus on female empowerment, there are many sections of the book that tackle general issues which are applicable to everyone. These include staying safe on social media and body shaming, problems which are often only associated with women but in fact affect just as many men in today’s society. (There is a double page spread dedicated to things that taste better than how being skinny feels!)
Overall, no matter how much you consider yourself a feminist or how much you enjoy the controversial content, the book is very funny and does hone in on some important topics which are educational for all genders and all ages.
Image Courtesy of Emma Heasman