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If you only read one thing this year... make it Misogynation by Laura Bates

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After International Women’s Day on 8 March, there are certain issues still at the forefront of many of our minds this week – and there is one book that will help you keep them there until this time next year.

Laura Bates's Misogynation is a collection of essays on feminism originally published in the Guardian looking at ‘the true scale of sexism’, with a myriad of contemporary references from #MeToo and Weinstein, Trump, and that headline which said ‘Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!’

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This pioneering feminist has been published by the Guardian, the New York Times, and TIME magazine, as well as having been the recipient of several awards for her work such as a British Empire medal and a British Press Award, and named a Woman of the Year by the Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and RED.           

Bates set up the International Everyday Sexism Project and has given a voice to hundreds of thousands of women through her work, and continues to do so by raising awareness of the issues that so many women face every single day, sometimes without even realising it.

These are just some of the reasons why, if you only read one book on feminism this year, you should be making it Misogynation.

Misogynation discusses what it is like being a women today, touching on everything from street harassment and the workplace, to the media and solo travelling through short, punchy essays with headlines such as “Ten Frequent Comments on Feminist Blogposts – and My Responses”, “Everyday Sexism: Five Reasons Why Men Shouldn’t Shout at Women in the Street”, and “Where Are All the Women, Wikipedia?”

It shows that these are not just issues facing straight white women in the Western world either, and discusses how feminism applies to people of different races and sexualities. It doesn’t use fear-mongering “feminism” to try and make its point, and instead sets out its arguments in a very clear and accessible manner.

Misogynation seems incredibly well-researched, and backed up by cold, hard facts - many of which are pretty terrifying.

The discussion of contemporary issues does become slightly repetitive throughout because of the nature of the book and how it compiles so many articles together, but this only helps to drive home the point that it sets out to make. It is one of those books that you can dip in and out of, reading only a couple of pages at a time or flying through it one go.

I don’t need to read a book like this to be convinced to be a feminist, but it is such an important read regardless. It is exactly the type of feminism that I believe in – the type that isn’t trying to say that women are better, but merely that we are all equal.

The book would also make an enlightening read for men who potentially don’t realise the things they may be doing are sexist or degrading. It is all about educating ourselves and the people around us if any real change is to be made in society going forward.

The issue now is this: how do we get this book into the hands of people who do need their eyes opened?

 

“It’s impossible to begin to tackle something without first raising awareness that the problem exists.”

- Laura Bates, Misogynation

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