Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Formal review will be in SLJ, but I had to write my own personal review here.
This book fired me up. I'm so sick of all the examples of everyday sexism mentioned in this book and so thankful for the men I know who don't do these things. But I'm embarrassed by the women I know locally who are raising their sons to act like the idiots in this book. I'm embarrassed by the women and men I know who don't stand up for people when they see harassment.
Example: Two years ago I went to Munich by myself. In a crowded pub, I found myself being "handled" a bit more than I'm used to in Midwest American bars. Finally, when one hand gave a firm grasp to my butt cheek, I swirled around and confronted the little bastard by grabbing his wrist. I yelled in my teacher voice (the band was loud) that he didn't have permission to touch me. And I asked him if I needed to get the bouncer at the door to throw him out of the bar. Most of the people in the bar spoke English, including him, and there were laughs and heads nodding all around me. He got pissed and turned away, while two other men asked me if I needed help. One of them said that not many women stand up to "guys like that"--he claimed that it must be "an American thing." I guess so. Or maybe it's a divorced American librarian thing.
This book is about the situation above. Why didn't his friends call him out on being an asshole? Why didn't his parents raise him to not act like an asshole? Where did his objectification of women come from? Why did he think he had the right to grab a stranger's ass in a bar? Why did he runaway scared when confronted? Why did the people around me only step in to help after I confronted him?
And don't even say that I deserved it because I was wearing tight jeans in a bar by myself. If that's what you're thinking, then you are part of the problem. Read this book and learn something.
I loved this book. It made me realize that I need to join the movement. And watch how I discuss weight/men/women who don't dress like me in front of my daughter. Just the chapter about how women of politics are discussed in the media (who made your dress?) irritated me. And how schools teach kids not to have sex, but they don't teach about consent.
Read this. Please. It's a quick read, but full of discussion points.
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