Feminism is having a resurgence and, as someone who has self-identified as a feminist for a good few years now, I’m glad. I’m pleased that there are so many books out there that are debating, musing and explaining what it’s like to be a woman (although I have personal feelings about whether some are just cashing in- I have at least one of those on a reservation list at the library to see if my skepticism is founded…)
Anyway. Laurie Penny is a writer who, over the years, I’ve come to respect enormously and I ordered this from the library the day after the general election. I felt angry, defeated and generally depressed and I wanted a book that reflected my frustration- and Unspeakable Things didn’t disappoint. Penny is angry and she’ll explain to you exactly why.
The book is part memoir (there are scenes from Penny’s life, including time spent in a clinic for patients with eating disorders where, to show one was well, you had to aspire to dresses and makeup) and part manifesto. Everything is taken to task: politics, gender, austerity, our online lives and sexuality and is done so with a ferocity and common sense that I appreciated and understood. And everyone is included in the book- we really should be all in it together when it comes to societal change.
This is not feminism that’s cuddly or jokey; it’s angry and in your face. It’s not feminism for the faint-hearted. But if you’re willing to read it, it contains some thought provoking ideas. Definitely one for the ‘required reading’ list for new feminists.
Buy it here with free p+p (affiliate link)