Thursday, September 15, 2016
Book Review: Feminist Fight Club
Way back in the mists of February (Aside: do you remember cold weather? Man, I love cold weather. This endless sunny hotness suuuuuuuuuuucks), when I was interning at Penguin, one of my favourite things to do was look forward to the books coming later in the year - many of which I'm lucky enough to be reviewing here as their release dates arrive.
One I was truly intrigued by in the autumn calendar was Jessica Bennett's Feminist Fight Club, which publishes today in the UK on the Portfolio imprint. I love a bit of non-fiction, find the journey of twenty-first century feminism fascinating (to quote a song from the film Hairspray, it truly feels like "We've come so far, but we've got so far to go"), and have always enjoyed Jessica Bennett's writing when I've encountered her pieces in on Time.com and in the New York Times, so my interest was well and truly piqued. So naturally I emailed the team and asked for a copy (thanks, Joel & Lydia).
Feminist Fight Club is a clever, funny, interesting read. Bennett makes her points well, incisively cutting through some of the rhetoric that surrounds the subject and providing plenty of thoughts to ponder and calls to action. The research involved in putting this book together is amazing - there are plenty of titles in the bibliography that I know I'm going to be seeking out and reading myself, and the prose is never dry or stuffy - the book is engaging and written with a deft hand. Bennett communicates her points with verve, clarity and humour, making this a great read. I also adored the illustrations, by Saskia Wariner with Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, which are brilliantly drawn, witty and a great accompaniment and complement to the written sections.
Each chapter has an amusing title, making it easy to go back and refer to parts of the book you may wish to consult or reread. I especially enjoyed the 'Get Your Speak On' chapter and will definitely be taking on board some of the lessons within it! Great for a boost of confidence and clarity.
I really enjoyed this book, and was so impressed with how Bennett managed to deal with some pretty heavy, important issues without diluting her message or straying from the overall hilarious and practical tenor of the book. She's such a great voice to have discussing feminism, and I really enjoyed this book. And by writing about it, I've even managed to keep the first rule of Feminist Fight Club: YOU MUST TALK ABOUT THE FEMINIST FIGHT CLUB. From witty illustrations to tasks to work on, potted histories to practical advice, this is a cracking little read.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.