Published by Virago on November 15 2015
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Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them.
We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O'Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse and Alice Stride on how they became feminists, Amy Annette addressing the body politic, Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don't have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis.
Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists - outspoken, funny and focused - the best we've had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown?
Rachel Holmes' most recent book is Eleanor Marx: A Life; Victoria Pepe is a literary scout; Amy Annette is a comedy producer currently working on festivals including Latitude; Alice Stride works for Women's Aid and Martha Mosse is a freelance producer and artist.
I Call Myself A Feminist: The View from Twenty-Five Women Under Thirty is for the would be feminist, the could be feminist, for the hidden feminist and the out, proud and loud feminist. This proves that everyone can be and is a feminist, despite not labelling themselves as such.
I have to admit I’ve never used the term feminist to describe myself. Almost as if I don’t want to identify myself and be labelled in a way that can be prescribed negatively. While, perhaps I may never be as vocal as others it is reading this book that has made me realise that I am a feminist, that I agree with the statements and that actually being feminist isn’t a label it is just being. In fact it is very hard not to be a feminist.
All the women in this book portrayed different opinions, and different views on what it means to be a feminist, and while before I had thought to myself that there would be an opinion I disagree with, I was wrong. I agreed with everything. It was inspiring.
What I loved about this book was not only did we have all the wonderful articles but also the pages in-between were filled with inspiring quotes. In fact, while I was reading this book, I found some of the quotes and statements so brilliant and witty that I couldn’t help but share them with others, reading my book out loud. Something that I never ever do!
Filled with essays from people of differing backgrounds all who have one goal here – to show that feminism comes in all shapes and sizes. Their passion shines through the pages and this makes it a difficult book to put down.
This is a book that is a must read, a classic, an inspiration. It is a book to read and cherish and it is one that has made it very easy to say I call myself a feminist.