Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford

9781760292362

Working at an Australian bookstore has definitely had an impact on my reading choices lately as I’ve consciously worked towards reading more Australian literature and non-fiction. Fight Like a Girl is my latest foray into Australian non-fiction and one I’ve been pretty pumped about reading as its been selling like hotcakes (brief deviation: does anyone know the origin of this idiom? Or can any multi-lingual readers out let me know if other languages have a similar idiom? I actually googled hotcakes – they’re just pancakes btw) at our store.

FLAG is Ford’s manifesto, offering autobiographical details and dissecting social theory in a series of essays that she describes as a feminist call to arms. My first impressions followed quite closely to a friend’s criticism who, after reading the first chapter promptly gave up, proclaimed this was like reading “feminism 101” and I couldn’t help but agree. I don’t disagree with any of Ford’s points (in fact, I could relate more often then not) but it did seem pretty basic and obvious to someone who has been ferociously following feminist theory and politics both on an academic and a popular level for the last 6+ years.

But the more I read of FLAG the more privileged I realised my position is. As a white, liberal, university educated, young, western female today’s particular brand of feminism was created by and for people like me. Ford’s book is a timely reminder that not all women identify with feminism and a lot of the ideas that I take for granted are actually quite contentious. I was reminded of my own sister decrying feminism as unnecessary and misandrist.

All this points to how important it is that this book is selling and I can’t recommend it enough. At the risk of falling into cliche: EVERYONE SHOULD READ AND DISCUSS THIS BOOK. 

I was even hesitant to have this as the first review on my book blog as I was afraid of politicising the blog too early…  I needed Ford’s words to remind me that I would be doing a disservice to apologise for or avoid discussions of feminism: I am a feminist and I am angry. 

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