As an avid reader, I have read my fair share of feminist literature. Let me share with you that the editors of I Call Myself A Feminist have hit the nail on the head. While evidently catering to a younger audience, I maintain that this collection of essays have something for everyone.
Utilising a range of sources, not simply a collection of white, middle income women, the book truly articulates that feminism is for everyone, and that each and every woman has something to learn from each other. Hearing from young women as young as young as seventeen, discussing attempts to counter both racial and gendered discrimination. Or the great-great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurt’s stories of her family continuing to fight for equal rights. This call to action cries out to women everywhere, of all ages and demographics, challenging the under-representation in all walks of life outside motherhood.
As a driven, work-orientated women who was fortunate enough to be born into a society and upbringing that makes meeting these career goals somewhat less taboo, makes living a comfortable, somewhat privileged life a possibility, I am acutely aware of a number of things:
First, my privilege and what that means. It means that I am in a position where people will listen to me. It means I am in a space where I am able to call out inconsistencies and prejudice without fear (or at least less fear). Second, being a woman and what that means. It means that I have to work twice as hard to get to where I want than that of my male counterpart. Even getting there, may be viewed differently in general.
Which leads me to imagine what it must be like coming from a different upbringing. I Call Myself A Feminist draws upon what it is like to live in this world today as a Muslim, woman of colour, queer woman and many, many more. It raises questions and brings to light the responsibility we all have as women to challenge the norms and traditional expectations held within much of society.
In it’s early stages, the collection notes that “We need feminism because women’s bodies remain politicised, scrutinised, fetishized.” If there is only one thing that connects every woman in this world, it is that simple fact. If there is anything that calls you to at least contemplate your contribution to the cause, I hope it is that.
Thought-provoking, simply said, and inspiring, this is a book you can read in a weekend. I your search to open your mind and your heart I highly recommend you take out of your busy life to read this page-turner.
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