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Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them. We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them. We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O'Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse and Alice Stride on how they became feminists, Amy Annette addressing the body politic, Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don't have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis. Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists - outspoken, funny and focused - the best we've had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown? Rachel Holmes' most recent book is Eleanor Marx: A Life; Victoria Pepe is a literary scout; Amy Annette is a comedy producer currently working on festivals including Latitude; Alice Stride works for Women's Aid and Martha Mosse is a freelance producer and artist.


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Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them. We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them. We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O'Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse and Alice Stride on how they became feminists, Amy Annette addressing the body politic, Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don't have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis. Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists - outspoken, funny and focused - the best we've had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown? Rachel Holmes' most recent book is Eleanor Marx: A Life; Victoria Pepe is a literary scout; Amy Annette is a comedy producer currently working on festivals including Latitude; Alice Stride works for Women's Aid and Martha Mosse is a freelance producer and artist.

30 review for I Call Myself A Feminist: The View from Twenty-Five Women Under Thirty

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy | littledevonnook

    A very inspiring and thought-provoking novel told from 25 different women. I think this would be a great read for anyone who may want to learn about feminism and is not sure where to start! The books holds a collection of short article-style segments from 25 women under the age of 30 who identify as feminists. There are definitely some that I found a lot more interesting than others and some that I felt I learnt a bit more from. I found the segments from women from different nationalities to myse A very inspiring and thought-provoking novel told from 25 different women. I think this would be a great read for anyone who may want to learn about feminism and is not sure where to start! The books holds a collection of short article-style segments from 25 women under the age of 30 who identify as feminists. There are definitely some that I found a lot more interesting than others and some that I felt I learnt a bit more from. I found the segments from women from different nationalities to myself to be the most thought-provoking as I had little to no knowledge of the things they were speaking about. It made me want delve into each person and speak to them more fully - I feel the length of each woman's part limited what they could discuss. I wanted more! In between each woman's segment were quotes or small snippets of texts from other women/films/books/men. Whilst I found most of these added something to the overall experience I feel there were a large chunk of them that were somewhat irrelevant or didn't add a great deal to the book as a whole. Overall I would highly recommend this one to everyone! It's definitely urged me to pick up a lot more feminist texts and discover ways in which I can live a more pro-active life!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ike

    This is the book I want to shove under the nose of everyone I know under 30 who does not identify with feminism and/or the struggle for gender equality (which is the same thing, but, you know, people sometimes disagree with that. There is some things said about that in the book, actually). Did my knowledge of feminism deepen strongly through reading this book? No, but I'm doing a master's in this field, so that's not what I expected from reading this anyway. Did some things come up again and agai This is the book I want to shove under the nose of everyone I know under 30 who does not identify with feminism and/or the struggle for gender equality (which is the same thing, but, you know, people sometimes disagree with that. There is some things said about that in the book, actually). Did my knowledge of feminism deepen strongly through reading this book? No, but I'm doing a master's in this field, so that's not what I expected from reading this anyway. Did some things come up again and again? Yes, but it's hardly these women's fault that sexism is annoyingly repetitive sometimes - and everyone had their own story to tell as much as they spoke about the larger picture. Overall, this was a brilliant and varied collection of feminist voices, from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of experiences and priorities, giving an amazing introduction into what it means to be a (young) feminist today. They did so through a combination of personal experience and a deep understanding of the broader politic structures and themes, all the while having a strong regard for the multiplicity of womanhood and sexism. Brilliant, accessible and just a whole bunch of 'yes, this!' moments.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling

    Add this to your list - you will not be disappointed. My View: One of the best nonfiction reads of the year! I call myself a feminist – quietly, carefully, almost fearfully… for conflict is not my middle name…well, ok, maybe… sometimes it is. I call myself a feminist – loudly, proudly and want to change the world, for the world to be so much better for everyone! The term feminism/feminist is still so conflicting; a dirty word, conjuring a stereotype (of women emasculating men) that instils a fear t Add this to your list - you will not be disappointed. My View: One of the best nonfiction reads of the year! I call myself a feminist – quietly, carefully, almost fearfully… for conflict is not my middle name…well, ok, maybe… sometimes it is. I call myself a feminist – loudly, proudly and want to change the world, for the world to be so much better for everyone! The term feminism/feminist is still so conflicting; a dirty word, conjuring a stereotype (of women emasculating men) that instils a fear that manifests in many forms of violence, aggression and condescension against women who identify with this noun. It is only a word. Fear it not. But I digress, this review is not about me or my views about feminism this book is about women’s experiences in a global world and why we need more feminists – if you doubt that need I implore you to read this book. If you agree that the world needs more feminists – read this book – you will not believe the amount of work that still needs to be done. If you consider yourself a humanitarian – read this book – humanitarian action/theology is feminist based. If you are parents of young children, read this book. If you teach/coordinate Women’s Studies at any level – why isn’t this book on your shelves and on your students’ book lists? Why wasn’t this book and the many discussions it solicits around when I was a student? This book is stimulating and eye opening and not elitist. If you are the parents, family, friends or colleagues of the young people who have written the essays for this collection – be proud! Back to the book….I feel deeply saddened that there exists and is a real need for something called an ASF – ( The Acid Survivors Foundation,) the ASF “is the only centre in Pakistan dedicated to the treatment and rehabilitation of victims of acid violence. The centre provides accommodation for victims while they receive medical, legal and psychological support… Acid violence is exactly what the name suggests: it involves a corrosive substance, usually sulphuric acid, being thrown at a victim. It takes seconds to carry out an attack, but can cause permanent disability, as well as disfigurement and excruciating pain. Skin melts, muscles fuse together, vision is lost…It is an astonishingly brutal crime that strikes at the very identity of the victim…for the most part, it is a gender based violence. As such it is more prevalent in countries where women are disenfranchised: not just Pakistan but also India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Colombia, Vietnam and Cambodia. ”pps 104-105. “ You ask why we still need feminism. I roll my eyes. If you pick up this book (and you really should) if you read nothing else read the chapter titled “Staring at the Ceiling: It’s Not Always As Simple As Yes Or No” by Abigail Matson- Phippard. It is interesting and concerning to read that these type of experiences have not changed with the generations. Matson-Phippard articulately opens a discussion that needs to be had, makes room for voices that need to be heard, bravo! (And need I say this particularly chapter struck a chord with me, mirrored experiences and emotions I thought only related to me as a young woman growing up in the 70’s…) Abigail Matson-Phippard’s level of introspection and articulation in enviable. Read on and you will discover many other examples of why feminism needs to make itself heard (again) and the philosophy embraced (strongly) – by men and women alike. There is something here that will speak to everyone in this wonderful collection of views. One of the best nonfiction reads of the year!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    3.5 stars. I read this book as the very first monthly read for the Feminist Orchestra bookclub here on Goodeeads. If you are interested in reading and discussing some feminist literature, please do join up! I Call Myself a Feminist is not going to blow your mind if you're not new to feminism, and have read essays/books on the subject before. This is very much an introductory-level book, and something to help ease people new to feminism into reading some more non-fiction on the subject. Does that 3.5 stars. I read this book as the very first monthly read for the Feminist Orchestra bookclub here on Goodeeads. If you are interested in reading and discussing some feminist literature, please do join up! I Call Myself a Feminist is not going to blow your mind if you're not new to feminism, and have read essays/books on the subject before. This is very much an introductory-level book, and something to help ease people new to feminism into reading some more non-fiction on the subject. Does that mean it's not worth reading? No, definitely not. This collection is deemed an essay collection, but I would say it's a little too informal to be considered as such. It's more a sort of mini manifesto from each contributor, generally drawing on the writers' own personal experiences and why they think feminism is an important movement to be an advocate for. I liked the mix of subject matter in this collection - survivors, religion, the workplace, everyday sexism, and much more besides was touched on. I do say touched on because obviously, this is by no means an in-depth discussion on any of these subjects, more like tidbits from all over. I did enjoy this variety though, and I didn't expect to have vast amounts of detail so this didn't disappoint me. I liked that for the most part the book felt quite intersectional, although I will admit that the writers did all seem to come for the most part somewhat from a place of privilege. I also really enjoyed that the rights of those from the trans community were also discussed, as this topic is very often left out of the feminism discussion. And of course it must be emphasised that this book focuses on women who are all under thirty, and it was great to see the great work being done by motivated young girls still in their school years. However, there were some things that irked me. The main one was that there were quotations scattered throughout the book, and although I did like these for the most part, I don't think all of them were particularly well chosen. There were quotations throughout that felt very irrelevant to feminism, and were put in more so for their humour, which seemed a bit pointless. Also, I felt that the book could have been edited a little better - I did notice inconsistencies within some of the essays, and I didn't feel completely engaged with every single one. And of course, I can't rate this super high because like I said, it's not treading all that much new ground if you've been reading up on feminism and what it means to different people for a while now. Overall though I did really enjoy reading this collection. I did get me riled up about a lot of things, and angered me at times, while making me think about subtleties in the way we use language and talk about certain subjects that I might have passed over before. I'm looking forward to next month's read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The other day I saw a tweet from superb author Louise O’Neill that really resonated with me. To be honest, her whole Twitter feed is fabulous. But this in particular summed up how I’m feeling about my outlook on life right now: “I feel like I’ve spent the last 6 years unlearning everything I learnt in the 25 years before that.” Except my journey to unlearn the harmful stereotypes I’ve grown up with is really only just beginning. Feminism is definitely part of that for me. I really only started cal The other day I saw a tweet from superb author Louise O’Neill that really resonated with me. To be honest, her whole Twitter feed is fabulous. But this in particular summed up how I’m feeling about my outlook on life right now: “I feel like I’ve spent the last 6 years unlearning everything I learnt in the 25 years before that.” Except my journey to unlearn the harmful stereotypes I’ve grown up with is really only just beginning. Feminism is definitely part of that for me. I really only started calling myself a feminist and forming my own opinions on social issues in the past year. It wasn’t that I didn’t see the need, but it just wasn’t part of my world before I became a journalist and for that I know I’m incredibly lucky. I’ve been reading more feminist literature, following a wider range of inspiring women on Twitter and reading more articles this year. However, I Call Myself a Feminist is the first book I’ve read solely exploring feminism in a non-fiction context. For someone who is only just starting to examine feminism, it was a brilliant read. It includes quotes from dozens of women and essays exploring a wide range of issues falling under the feminist banner. I Call Myself a Feminist is a brilliant starting point for anyone wanting to understand more about feminism. I was completely engaged from the start of this book. I honestly found every essay, every quote, fascinating. These were issues I had only briefly read about online, or hadn’t considered or understood fully until now. As soon as I started reading I Call Myself a Feminist, I knew it was a book I’d be returning to. I’m also going to be seeking out more work from all the contributors. I think this book goes a long way to explaining just how complex and diverse the issues feminism covers are. It also reinforces the very personal nature of being a feminist and the way experiences shape our beliefs. In some way, almost every woman is touched by feminism and that’s a powerful thing to finally realise. I was so impressed and inspired by this book. I haven’t always called myself a feminist, but I know now I will be for the rest of my life. Lastly, I must also share one of my (many) favourite quotes from this book: “We are not born a feminist; we become one”. This review and many more can be found at The Unfinished Bookshelf.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elli (The Bibliophile)

    I'm a bit conflicted about this collection of personal essays/musings about feminism. On the one hand, this book delivers on what it promises: the views of 25 women under 30 of feminism. These articles were often quite personal, which I liked. On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of how the book was structured. I don't really think that the quotes, which are a big chunk of the book, added much to the book. Some quotes were well chosen, while others just seemed a bit out of place. It looked like I'm a bit conflicted about this collection of personal essays/musings about feminism. On the one hand, this book delivers on what it promises: the views of 25 women under 30 of feminism. These articles were often quite personal, which I liked. On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of how the book was structured. I don't really think that the quotes, which are a big chunk of the book, added much to the book. Some quotes were well chosen, while others just seemed a bit out of place. It looked like filler to me, which I don't see the point of in a collection of essays. Also, I think a biography should have been included along with each essay, instead of being grouped at the very end, as others have mentioned. Finally, while some essays were strong, others just weren't that great, or were too short to really have much impact. Some essays were personal, while others were factual and it made the book seem a bit disjointed. This os par for the course when it comes to collections, but is still dissapointing. Overall, I liked this book, but it definitely isn't my favorite book about feminism.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Even though I'm over thirty, I thought I might still enjoy reading this, the first group read of the Feminist Orchestra Book Club. It is a compilation of a bunch of short essays, more like testimonials, from women under thirty. I think a lot of young women would find themselves in these pages, and may find gentle introductions to issues such as intersectionality. Interspersed between the essays are quotes from women over thirty - writers, artists, revolutionaries - and I have to be honest, most Even though I'm over thirty, I thought I might still enjoy reading this, the first group read of the Feminist Orchestra Book Club. It is a compilation of a bunch of short essays, more like testimonials, from women under thirty. I think a lot of young women would find themselves in these pages, and may find gentle introductions to issues such as intersectionality. Interspersed between the essays are quotes from women over thirty - writers, artists, revolutionaries - and I have to be honest, most of the time I got more out of these bits than some of the essays. "I wish more girls and women could learn that the most revolutionary act they can make is to be their brilliant selves." -June Eric-Udorie, age 16 "I call myself a feminist with my elbows."-Amy Annette (do not apologize for taking up space! nobody else does....)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Really liked it! Combine interesting essays (some I loved, some I liked, some were just kind of okay) and inspirational quotes and you have a very addictive book. Maybe a longer review will come in the near future.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I think this might be one of the best books I've read as a kind of basics-primer on the concerns and current landscapes of feminism. If you've been around the block (so to speak) on issues of feminism, culture, race, and other areas of intersectionality, this book probably won't be that revelatory for you. It wasn't really, for me. But even if the information isn't new, there is a feeling of support and camaraderie within this book that I found really empowering (even if it does occasionally go I think this might be one of the best books I've read as a kind of basics-primer on the concerns and current landscapes of feminism. If you've been around the block (so to speak) on issues of feminism, culture, race, and other areas of intersectionality, this book probably won't be that revelatory for you. It wasn't really, for me. But even if the information isn't new, there is a feeling of support and camaraderie within this book that I found really empowering (even if it does occasionally go too far down the 'Ya-Ya!' road). So while it may be a bit old-hat if you've already read a fair number of feminist text - academic or otherwise - it's still a book I feel you'll enjoy. HOWEVER. If you're new to the field of what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century, this is one of the best starting places I've found. The book gets stronger in it's tone and it's message as you go through each of the vignettes (I debate whether to call them essays) and the range of topics is broad enough to touch on almost anything you hear brought up in conversation about 'feminist issues'. My favorite vignettes consisted of those that discussed feminism and the body ('manspreading' and the debate over leg shaving), feminism and religion (gender separation in Islam, and the wearing of the hijab) and combating that fear of the word 'feminism' because it's been equated with people and things that it's not. The book may be a bit all over the place, but if what you're looking for is an overall and varied picture of the varied world that is modern feminism, this is a great place to start!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Sadai

    This is an insightful and empowering book for women. I think it would have had a life-changing impact if I hadn't recently discovered many of these lessons on my own. I would definitely recommend it to anyone under the age of 30 or any woman who questions why we need feminism. This is an insightful and empowering book for women. I think it would have had a life-changing impact if I hadn't recently discovered many of these lessons on my own. I would definitely recommend it to anyone under the age of 30 or any woman who questions why we need feminism.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ylenia

    PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge: a book recommended by someone you just met. *3.5 stars* I was really excited for this book! Having finally read it I can say: it wasn't really that new content for me. It contains 25 short essays in which women under thirty explain why they call themselves feminist. It also had a lot of quotes and extracts from other books, which helped to extend my already pretty long TBR. It was really diverse and varied in terms of content - an example: intersectionality is discus PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge: a book recommended by someone you just met. *3.5 stars* I was really excited for this book! Having finally read it I can say: it wasn't really that new content for me. It contains 25 short essays in which women under thirty explain why they call themselves feminist. It also had a lot of quotes and extracts from other books, which helped to extend my already pretty long TBR. It was really diverse and varied in terms of content - an example: intersectionality is discussed in some essays. Transexuality is discussed as well. BUT having read many other books about feminism it felt a little bit dull. And I know - 100% sure about this - that if I were new to the topic I would have given this 4 or 5 stars. For this reason, I think this could be a great read if you want to start reading about the topic, knowing pretty much nothing about it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    This was definitely super interesting - many interesting opinions. I did really appreciate the intersectionality of the entire thing and highly appreciated many of the quotes that were put between the different short essays. Especially if you're sort of new to feminism, I'd definitely recommend this book, but I also think that as an "experienced" feminist, you can still take away something from this book. This was definitely super interesting - many interesting opinions. I did really appreciate the intersectionality of the entire thing and highly appreciated many of the quotes that were put between the different short essays. Especially if you're sort of new to feminism, I'd definitely recommend this book, but I also think that as an "experienced" feminist, you can still take away something from this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Amazing stuff. I really enjoyed reading about feminists from all different countries and cultures and what feminism means to them. Even picking up this book from the library someone commented that I'm trying to be a "stronger" woman. Very relatable stories of things that women experience on a daily basis. This book should make people stop and challenge the way they think. Amazing stuff. I really enjoyed reading about feminists from all different countries and cultures and what feminism means to them. Even picking up this book from the library someone commented that I'm trying to be a "stronger" woman. Very relatable stories of things that women experience on a daily basis. This book should make people stop and challenge the way they think.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Somerhalder

    Although there was nothing really new to the debate here, I don't think that that was ever the point. This collection of short essays and poignant quotes is a great little top up/reminder that we're not alone, and it's especially reassuring to hear such energy and focus coming from the youngsters. Thanks, sisters! Although there was nothing really new to the debate here, I don't think that that was ever the point. This collection of short essays and poignant quotes is a great little top up/reminder that we're not alone, and it's especially reassuring to hear such energy and focus coming from the youngsters. Thanks, sisters!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Very humorous and yet thought-provoking and interesting. Lighter than I expected, not heavy going but each part is a few pages long, each an essay from a different perspective. Worth the read for any young woman

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jakob Tanner

    Great book. Most of my thoughts can be found in this video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCbga... Great book. Most of my thoughts can be found in this video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCbga...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Basma

    If I were to have read this book when I first started to learn about feminism I would have devoured this and rated it much higher. There’s so much a young person or a new-to-feminism person can learn from this. There’s a lot of diverse voices and issues discussed in relation to feminism but not a lot of depth. It’s all put in a simple and straightforward way, and for someone who is new to this that would be awesome, to someone who is past the introduction phase this seems a bit too easy. Neverth If I were to have read this book when I first started to learn about feminism I would have devoured this and rated it much higher. There’s so much a young person or a new-to-feminism person can learn from this. There’s a lot of diverse voices and issues discussed in relation to feminism but not a lot of depth. It’s all put in a simple and straightforward way, and for someone who is new to this that would be awesome, to someone who is past the introduction phase this seems a bit too easy. Nevertheless, I picked it up knowing all of this and I still wanted to read it and give it a chance because I want to read all the voices and stories that I can and learn from their different experiences.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Girl with her Head in a Book

    Two years ago, I read Fifty Shades of Feminism – a true battle cry for modern women. I Call Myself A Feminist is in many ways a younger sibling to the other book, with the editors of the first having suggested the project and convened the editors. Its selling point is that all of the contributors are under thirty, meaning that I veering to being out of the demographic (not yet, but nearly) and that what is being presented is very much Feminist Future. I loved Fifty Shades of Feminism but I Call Two years ago, I read Fifty Shades of Feminism – a true battle cry for modern women. I Call Myself A Feminist is in many ways a younger sibling to the other book, with the editors of the first having suggested the project and convened the editors. Its selling point is that all of the contributors are under thirty, meaning that I veering to being out of the demographic (not yet, but nearly) and that what is being presented is very much Feminist Future. I loved Fifty Shades of Feminism but I Call Myself A Feminist had an energy and positivity all of its own – this feels like a book that all women should read, be they below thirty or not. The Internet has given oxygen to the trolls but it has also united women as never before. Projects such as Everyday Sexism help us to see that no, it isn’t just us, this kind of thing is happening everywhere and it isn’t just you that thinks it’s a bit off. This has meant that there have been more than a few book deals have sprung up for various lovely ladies of internet fame who wish to advise us on the complexities of modern life as a woman. I have read and reviewed more than a few of them. I recommend that you do too. However, while it might seem that books of essays on feminism is becoming well-trodden territory, this book very much proves that there is fresh ground to cover, with an impressively diverse range of correspondents, all of whom spoke with passion, determination and a commitment to making the world a better place for womankind. The speakers were varied, with contributions from Laura Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline herself, Emily Benn, granddaughter to Tony Benn, but it is not simply the new generation of old political dynasties who feature here. There is the striking story of June Eric-Udorie, who was brought up in Nigeria to believe that ‘good girls who were brought up properly by a Christian mother’ did not question the patriarchy. Reaching eleven and angry that boys were the ones supposed to be good at maths, allowed to shout, allowed to whistle, June decided ‘**** it, I’m going to call myself a feminist.’ Nothing had changed in herself, she did not suddenly become a feminist, her beliefs remained as they had always been but in taking on the label, she rebelled. June was told that feminism was wrong, against her culture, against her religion and un-African. For many women, calling themselves a feminist is still a dangerous act. One of the chapters that I found most affecting was the one entitled ‘Roti Kamana’, detailing the work of the Acid Survivors’ Foundation in Pakistan. Around ten percent of all acid attacks take place in Pakistan, and despite certain exceptions, it tends to be a form of gender-based violence. The stories collected of the survivors are each harrowing in their way, but the writer, Samira Shackle, describes how the women fight to keep their sense of self intact – an act of the purest defiance. I Call Myself A Feminist considers modern feminism from each conceivable angle; there is Alice Stride discussing ‘The Language of Silencing Women’, Rosie Brighouse writing in defence of the Human Rights Act, Caroline Kent explaining her own experience of being a woman and a rape victim, and Maysa Hague portraying her experience of being an Islamic feminist. I don’t like to read people dismissing the ‘Patricia Arquette school of feminism’ – the problems of white women – as in my own feminism, I prefer to think of all concerns being heard, but this chorus of sisterhood made for an inspiring read. Interspersed between each chapter are quotes from the great and the good – including many of those over thirty – on their reasons for espousing feminism. Many of them I recognised – one of my personal favourites comes from Maya Angelou – see above. Coupled with each of the essays, there is something so refreshingly hopeful about this collection, the words of women full of plans and ideas and optimism for what they can do to change the world. I am amazed to read such articulate words from the teenagers – one of them even started a Feminist Society at sixth form college – they make me feel old but also full of happiness. I really don’t think that the gender-relations debate was as mainstream when I was in my teens, I feel that books like these – movements in fact – can only come from a world that is coming together, growing smaller, allowing women to reach out and touch each other by the hand, reassuring all of us that not so much separates us, that it is safe to speak out and call ourselves feminists and that the time is ripe to do so. I call myself a feminist because that is what I am and this book reminded me to be proud of that fact. For my full review: http://girlwithherheadinabook.co.uk/2...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura Lacey

    This is a really great collection of essays written by young women, explaining the aspects of feminism that mean the most and have impacted on them in some way. I liked the range of stories - some that related to my everyday life and other more extreme stories from all over the globe. The plight of the young woman injured in an acid attack in Pakistan was particularly upsetting. The idea that a woman could be attacked for trying to have a say in who their husband is the reason we need feminism t This is a really great collection of essays written by young women, explaining the aspects of feminism that mean the most and have impacted on them in some way. I liked the range of stories - some that related to my everyday life and other more extreme stories from all over the globe. The plight of the young woman injured in an acid attack in Pakistan was particularly upsetting. The idea that a woman could be attacked for trying to have a say in who their husband is the reason we need feminism today as much as we ever did. This book explores the term feminism in an effort to claim it back - a feminist is not a man-hating, overly-sensitive woman - it is anyone, of any gender, who believes women are entitled to the same rights, opportunities and privileges. This message cannot be stated often enough. This book should be required reading for anyone who knows a woman...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    ‘I Call Myself a Feminist’ is a great collection of essays written by woman. And I would recommend it to everybody. Not only does it make you think about what the real meaning of the word feminism is, but also that this is something that should be important to many more people. The essays are all written differently and all have another subjects. And what I loved most was the way these essays were all written by people from different backgrounds. It really was fun to read. This was such a touchin ‘I Call Myself a Feminist’ is a great collection of essays written by woman. And I would recommend it to everybody. Not only does it make you think about what the real meaning of the word feminism is, but also that this is something that should be important to many more people. The essays are all written differently and all have another subjects. And what I loved most was the way these essays were all written by people from different backgrounds. It really was fun to read. This was such a touching read that really makes you think about life. I loved reading the essays combined with many quotes from celebrities and authors. It definitely was a very inspiring read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samie Sands

    #ICallMyselfAFeminist Wow, what a powerful set of essays written by some extremely smart women. It's great in a day and age where feminism seems to be viewed in a negative way, to have it written down just how important it is, and how much it affects our everyday lives. Things are still not equal - and that needs to be addressed. Women and men should read this book - it'll change your perspective on so many things! #ICallMyselfAFeminist Wow, what a powerful set of essays written by some extremely smart women. It's great in a day and age where feminism seems to be viewed in a negative way, to have it written down just how important it is, and how much it affects our everyday lives. Things are still not equal - and that needs to be addressed. Women and men should read this book - it'll change your perspective on so many things!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Helen Driver

    It gets better as you go through, the first couple of essays are kind of pointless, they don't really cover any new ground or provoke any kind of interesting thoughts, but after the fourth or fifth one it picks up and there are some really interesting entries in this book. It gets better as you go through, the first couple of essays are kind of pointless, they don't really cover any new ground or provoke any kind of interesting thoughts, but after the fourth or fifth one it picks up and there are some really interesting entries in this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book felt more like a set of blog posts than a properly edited book. While the quotes were fitting and many of the essays interesting, I found the themes repetitive and that they often skimmed the surface of very important feminist issues.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alekz

    I think this is a great intriduction to feminism.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anneleen

    SO EMPOWERING. MUST READ.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Miss.lilly

    Quite interesting and a nice collection of different options about feminism. I recommend it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    As many other people have noted, this is really an introduction to feminism book so it didn't have much new to bring to the table. Additionally, I would not have ended the book on the note they did. The "wrap up" so to say was all about what male feminists can/should do. While I find this to be a good topic and can totally be mentioned in the book, it did not feel like the essay and quotes to finish it off with. Now, I know the point of these reviews is not to just quote from the text, but I figu As many other people have noted, this is really an introduction to feminism book so it didn't have much new to bring to the table. Additionally, I would not have ended the book on the note they did. The "wrap up" so to say was all about what male feminists can/should do. While I find this to be a good topic and can totally be mentioned in the book, it did not feel like the essay and quotes to finish it off with. Now, I know the point of these reviews is not to just quote from the text, but I figured there probably are some people who will read my review but not the book, so here's a quote everyone could stand to read from my favorite essay included in the book, "Staring at the Ceiling: It's Not Always as Simple as Yes or No" by Abigail Matson Phippard: I don't feel I was taught how to make empowered choices about sex; I knew what went where, how to avoid getting an STI or getting myself pregnant, but I had no idea about how to explore my own sexuality, how to speak about sex or how to ask for what I did or didn't want. I wasn't told what an abusive relationship looked like, or a healthy one; I didn't know what constituted sexual violence -- and often I don't think my sexual partners did either. From speaking to other women and reflecting on my own past experiences I have come to realise that there are a huge number of women and girls who think that sexual violence is normal; we come to both accept it and expect it, often without acknowledging it for what it is. Somewhere in the grey area between saying yes or no is that murky water filled with hurt and uncertainties that we need to illuminate with honest conversations about sex, power and sexual violence, and a willingness to look at our own actions and how they affect other people...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fatema

    This book has got 25 strong voices. It is on the days when you are feeling low about your circumstances of being a woman, or in general feeling down about something, that this book will come to your rescue and lift you up with a soft touch of strength and opinion. This book has offered different perspectives on feminism as a word and also as activism. Every one might be able to find at least one essay that relates to them in a way that they can identify themselves as feminists. It's rare to come This book has got 25 strong voices. It is on the days when you are feeling low about your circumstances of being a woman, or in general feeling down about something, that this book will come to your rescue and lift you up with a soft touch of strength and opinion. This book has offered different perspectives on feminism as a word and also as activism. Every one might be able to find at least one essay that relates to them in a way that they can identify themselves as feminists. It's rare to come across accounts of such heroic people, who have bought so much change and have so much to say, but their voices have been tried to suppress by this patriarchal structure. I loved reading this book and forming my own take on feminism. I would suggest this book to anyone who wants to explore on different shades of feminism.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)

    This was a great read and very inspirational. I love that there were essays from so many different women and I enjoyed reading about their unique perspectives. The quotes in between all the essays were great too. If I could offer one criticism, it would be that not all the essays were very interesting and some of the quotes didn't really offer anything new. This was a great read and very inspirational. I love that there were essays from so many different women and I enjoyed reading about their unique perspectives. The quotes in between all the essays were great too. If I could offer one criticism, it would be that not all the essays were very interesting and some of the quotes didn't really offer anything new.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Emilia Hopkins

    This book was very informative and emotionally impacting. I like how some of the chapters were more personal and some more about general statistics, it was a nice balance. The quotes inbetween the chapters were nice sometimes but sometimes they were a little vague and felt like fillers. But overall worth the buy and the read!

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