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'Joyfully candid and very funny.' Guardian 'Jess Phillips knows the truth . . . and here she shows how scary and sad as well as joyful and liberating the answers can be.' Damian Barr 'Everywoman has all the laughs [of Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran] with a backbone of real glinting anger . . .there were so many funny and wise things on each page that whittling them down into 'Joyfully candid and very funny.' Guardian 'Jess Phillips knows the truth . . . and here she shows how scary and sad as well as joyful and liberating the answers can be.' Damian Barr 'Everywoman has all the laughs [of Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran] with a backbone of real glinting anger . . .there were so many funny and wise things on each page that whittling them down into a review seemed impossible.' Julie Birchill, Spectator 'As fresh as mountain air amid the Westminster tumbleweed.' Metro 'Arresting.' Observer If you’re thinking, ‘Jess, who?’ then I’m glad that there was something about ‘Everywoman’ and ‘truth’ that caught your eye. Or you might already know me as that gobby MP who has a tendency to shout about the stuff I care about. Because I’m a woman with a cause, I have been called a feminazi witch, a murderer and threatened with rape. The internet attracts a classy crowd. So, speaking the truth isn’t always easy but I believe it’s worth it. And I want you to believe it too. The truth can be empowering, the truth can lead to greater equality, and the world would be incredibly boring if we let all of those people who allegedly know everything, say everything. By demanding to be heard, by dealing with our imposter syndrome, by being cheerleaders, doers not sayers, creating our own networks and by daring to believe that we can make a difference, we can. We’re women and we’re kick-ass. And that’s the truth.


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'Joyfully candid and very funny.' Guardian 'Jess Phillips knows the truth . . . and here she shows how scary and sad as well as joyful and liberating the answers can be.' Damian Barr 'Everywoman has all the laughs [of Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran] with a backbone of real glinting anger . . .there were so many funny and wise things on each page that whittling them down into 'Joyfully candid and very funny.' Guardian 'Jess Phillips knows the truth . . . and here she shows how scary and sad as well as joyful and liberating the answers can be.' Damian Barr 'Everywoman has all the laughs [of Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran] with a backbone of real glinting anger . . .there were so many funny and wise things on each page that whittling them down into a review seemed impossible.' Julie Birchill, Spectator 'As fresh as mountain air amid the Westminster tumbleweed.' Metro 'Arresting.' Observer If you’re thinking, ‘Jess, who?’ then I’m glad that there was something about ‘Everywoman’ and ‘truth’ that caught your eye. Or you might already know me as that gobby MP who has a tendency to shout about the stuff I care about. Because I’m a woman with a cause, I have been called a feminazi witch, a murderer and threatened with rape. The internet attracts a classy crowd. So, speaking the truth isn’t always easy but I believe it’s worth it. And I want you to believe it too. The truth can be empowering, the truth can lead to greater equality, and the world would be incredibly boring if we let all of those people who allegedly know everything, say everything. By demanding to be heard, by dealing with our imposter syndrome, by being cheerleaders, doers not sayers, creating our own networks and by daring to believe that we can make a difference, we can. We’re women and we’re kick-ass. And that’s the truth.

30 review for Everywoman: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Banks

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Frank, open account about how women are treated in society - and what to do about it! I've always been quite fond of Jess Phillips. She speaks her mind (sometimes a little too much), but at heart, she seems to care about what she does, and genuinely wants to make a difference. Yes, she wears her heart on her sleeve, in a working environment which doesn't really accept that sort of thing, and I respect her for it. Poli I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Frank, open account about how women are treated in society - and what to do about it! I've always been quite fond of Jess Phillips. She speaks her mind (sometimes a little too much), but at heart, she seems to care about what she does, and genuinely wants to make a difference. Yes, she wears her heart on her sleeve, in a working environment which doesn't really accept that sort of thing, and I respect her for it. Politics really should be done differently, and generally speaking, I like those who challenge the status quo. Sorry, I went off at a tangent there. Back to the book! This is a plain-talking, no-nonsense account of Jess Phillips' life, how she got into politics, and her opinions on certain key issues, such as abuse against women. I LOVE the strength of her voice throughout - it really does make you think no, we shouldn't put up with this nonsense, and that's great. At times, it is something of a depressing read, not least because you feel she's beating her head against a brick wall. The section on trolling was particularly upsetting - nobody should have to endure that level of abuse online. I felt so unbelievably sorry for her, and well done to her for keeping going, even when people in their thousands are acting with such cruelty. She's probably not everyone's cup of tea. However, regardless of your political leaning, I think you might get something out of this; particularly if you're a keen believer in equality. She certainly doesn't just slam the Tories, I didn't read this as a Tory-hating book at all, more a book about inspiring change and making a difference in the world.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emmy Gregory

    Jess Phillips and I probably agree on about 95% of the issues. It certainly raises my estimation of her when the worst people on the internet despise her as much as they do. The book is interesting, readable, sometimes funny, and usually pretty well informed. So why only three stars? Well... I have a deeper unease about this book which I can't put out of my mind. If I start with the Caitlin Moran quote that's prominently displayed, it may become clearer. Caitlin Moran wrote a book entitled "How T Jess Phillips and I probably agree on about 95% of the issues. It certainly raises my estimation of her when the worst people on the internet despise her as much as they do. The book is interesting, readable, sometimes funny, and usually pretty well informed. So why only three stars? Well... I have a deeper unease about this book which I can't put out of my mind. If I start with the Caitlin Moran quote that's prominently displayed, it may become clearer. Caitlin Moran wrote a book entitled "How To Be A Woman" which was also interesting, readable, funny, etc. But it wasn't a book about how to be a woman; it was a book about how to be Caitlin Moran. Huge swathes of women's experiences were not considered in Moran's book, because they weren't important to Moran personally. The problems with this book, again, start with the title: "Everywoman". I assume that instead of suggesting this is about "every woman" she means "Everywoman" in the sense of being just like you and me, salt of the earth, representative of this here gender that we have. Like Moran's book, Phillips has written a book that is really mostly about herself. It's fine to write a memoir or autobiography. It's more of a problem when you don't seem to know if you're writing a book about yourself or about all women. I do not want any particular woman to set herself up as Everywoman, because firstly it's impossible for one individual to represent the huge diversity that exists within this gender, and secondly every time someone tries it is without fail a white, middle class (which she is, whatever people may say about her accent) professional, able-bodied, cisgender, heterosexual woman. There's nothing wrong with being all of those things of course. But women who fall outside of that group, even by one category, know that we do not and never will be allowed to represent all women. Perhaps this is particularly frustrating because I'm sure she considers herself an intersectional feminist, and this is the kind of thing one would hope an intersectional feminist would have thought about. In fact, the further someone is from this set of traits, the less interested JP seems in them. She does pay lip service to PoC sometimes, and she seems to remember that disabled people exist every now and then. LGBTQ people don't get even a token mention until near the end, and let's be honest if she cared that much about us she might have thought twice about all of her cosying up to Julie Burchill, who is an utterly vicious and outspoken transphobe. Even these inclusions feel like maybe they're last minute efforts, chucked in at the suggestion of an editor. She doesn't consider how the combination of more than one kind of marginalisation at once can play into a person's life. This is not me just being picky for pickiness' sake. Phillips cares a great deal about physical and sexual abuse, about the wage gap and career development, about online bullying and so on - but she just doesn't seem to have noticed that all of these issues disproportionately affect women who also belong to other marginalised groups. She writes on and on as though every reader is a cis woman who is frustrated with her husband not doing enough housework and child care, and then towards the end throws in a couple of half hearted sentences about how gay people also exist, and some people aren't of a binary gender. She doesn't mention anyone who is transgender within the binary - Julie Burchill's influence, perhaps? For me the most blinkered moment in the whole thing was when she asks the reader to think about their dad. When he ate his lunch at work, was he thinking of his children? Of course not! Does the reader hate their dad because he wasn't sufficiently focused on his kids? Of course not! He's your dad! You love him! WHOAH HOLD ON THERE A MINUTE. Has she really not considered that there will be a lot of readers who didn't have a dad in their lives at all, or had a dad who didn't work, or had a dad who cared for them full time, or had two dads, or had a dad who fretted about them all day, or grew up in foster care, or had a dad whom they actually did totally hate? Again this isn't pickiness. You can't write a book that suggests that you represent all of us in our fight against the patriarchy and then actually only speak to the experiences of the ones among us who actually got pretty lucky. But that is the message throughout the book: Jess Phillips is Just Like Us. I'm wary of people who say that, because the "I'm just like [the collective] you" generally means they are nothing at all like me personally, but at the same time expect that everyone is going to be just like them. I don't particularly care to hear for the 320th time that Jess Phllips thinks I could totally get out there and be an MP, because it's a meaningless statement unless it's addressed to someone the speaker actually knows. Thanks, but I'd actually hate every minute of being an MP, and who gave you the impression that everyone wants your job in the first place? So what I come away with is this. Jess Phillips is not Everywoman (which is fine) but thinks that she is (which is really not fine at all).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Claire N

    Jess Phillips is what a lot of people would call a shouty feminist. In this book she speaks the truth even when the truth is difficult or unpleasant. What's the opposite of pretentious? Down to earth? That's exactly what this book is. Everyone who thinks politicians are all pretentious elitists needs to read this book. She's unapologetic and confident throughout. Her underlying message all the way through is that if she can do it, then so can you. Jess Phillips is what a lot of people would call a shouty feminist. In this book she speaks the truth even when the truth is difficult or unpleasant. What's the opposite of pretentious? Down to earth? That's exactly what this book is. Everyone who thinks politicians are all pretentious elitists needs to read this book. She's unapologetic and confident throughout. Her underlying message all the way through is that if she can do it, then so can you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Georgia O'Brien

    I don't always agree with Jess Phillip's politics, but Everywoman is a revelation. I am feminist/political book junkie and Everywoman rises above a crowded field because it is totally unpretentious. If you're looking for a manifesto, this isn't it. But what you will find is a book that is honest even when honesty is ugly. Funny, smart and inspiring. I don't always agree with Jess Phillip's politics, but Everywoman is a revelation. I am feminist/political book junkie and Everywoman rises above a crowded field because it is totally unpretentious. If you're looking for a manifesto, this isn't it. But what you will find is a book that is honest even when honesty is ugly. Funny, smart and inspiring.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bates

    This is a rant. A glorious, emotional and completely inspiring rant. It reads as if it’s spoken - so you can hear the voice very clearly. I was in tears at the end, and I have made some resolutions as a consequence.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rick Burin

    It’s quite hard to judge this book, just as it’s quite hard to know what to make of Jess Phillips. She has done more good than I will ever do in my life. Her campaigns to stop violence against women are extraordinary and inspiring. She receives intolerable abuse because she is a woman who strongly and unapologetically speaks out about appalling, systemic misogyny. And she seems to expend an unusual amount of energy launching unhelpful, self-aggrandising attacks on her own party, then complaining It’s quite hard to judge this book, just as it’s quite hard to know what to make of Jess Phillips. She has done more good than I will ever do in my life. Her campaigns to stop violence against women are extraordinary and inspiring. She receives intolerable abuse because she is a woman who strongly and unapologetically speaks out about appalling, systemic misogyny. And she seems to expend an unusual amount of energy launching unhelpful, self-aggrandising attacks on her own party, then complaining when people tell her to fuck off. (Here, she talks about politicians being human and her tendency to put her foot in her mouth, but it doesn’t always feel as guileless as that.) I tend to get switched off by books in which people just bang on about how great they are, but the (somewhat lengthy) bragging here is offset by vulnerability, honesty and a passion for instigating meaningful change on issues of critical importance. Handled as a piece of writing, it’s kind of shapeless and rambling, sometimes shallow and disingenuous (the line about ‘education, education and education’ – give me strength), and – aside from that encounter while out canvassing – pretty unfunny. But I learned quite a bit (especially about the sexism inherent in parliamentary procedure) and, hours after reading it, still feel haunted by some of what she writes about. Phillips has witnessed first-hand the violent extremities of our misogynistic society and starkly tells the stories of women who don’t have the power or audience to do it for themselves. If you can read those passages without wanting to do something to help, then you’re an awful dick. Most importantly, a couple of (female) friends have told me how inspiring they found this book and how they loved the fact that it didn’t just act as a call to arms, but gave practical advice on how to engender change, in ways both large and small. So it’s kind of irrelevant if I thought some of the segues between arguments could have been a bit neater.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lucyfedia

    I loved this book and I greatly admire Jess Phillips. This is a plain speaking guide on how she got into politics and how she handles all the shit now she is there. Written shortly after Jo Cox’s death, she examines how the stakes are set for women in positions of power and how to deal with attempts to silence women’s voices. Useful for tips and insights on: * Quotas * Logical consequences of meritocracy * Self Promotion - it’s very refreshing to hear someone just straight up talk about how they h I loved this book and I greatly admire Jess Phillips. This is a plain speaking guide on how she got into politics and how she handles all the shit now she is there. Written shortly after Jo Cox’s death, she examines how the stakes are set for women in positions of power and how to deal with attempts to silence women’s voices. Useful for tips and insights on: * Quotas * Logical consequences of meritocracy * Self Promotion - it’s very refreshing to hear someone just straight up talk about how they had to promote themselves to get where they had got. * Leveraging tokenism - accept that spot as the token woman on the all-male panel but bring your own demands. As well as harrowing stories from her time at Women’s Aid on domestic abuse as further illustration of why she stands up for what she stands up for. It is very interesting to read the comments on the book written by people who can’t see the irony of attacking her for what she has had the audacity to write. Yes, a couple of the examples are a bit clumsy, yes, she doesn’t talk about *everything* as despite the title she is mainly talking from her own experience but there are some very important straight to the point good ideas in here and I give her five stars for that alone. Despite seeing a very ugly side to people on a regular basis - she manages to maintain an underlying faith in people which is enviable and I only wish I could emulate.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I have a lot of time for Jess Philips. Her work on women’s rights inside and outside of Parliament is exceptional. She’s witty and insightful, and this book is exactly that. One thing I was disappointed with however, was that in a book which shines a light on the abuse faced by women who dare to speak out, there was no mention of Dianne Abbott, an MP for 30 plus years, a tireless activist, and former Shadow Home Secretary, who predictably and devastatingly receives half of all abuse aimed at MPs I have a lot of time for Jess Philips. Her work on women’s rights inside and outside of Parliament is exceptional. She’s witty and insightful, and this book is exactly that. One thing I was disappointed with however, was that in a book which shines a light on the abuse faced by women who dare to speak out, there was no mention of Dianne Abbott, an MP for 30 plus years, a tireless activist, and former Shadow Home Secretary, who predictably and devastatingly receives half of all abuse aimed at MPs. Half of all abuse. There is little mention of any BAME women in this book, which does in some way make sense as it’s mostly a personal account of Jess’ experiences, but I really would have thought that such an important and trailblazing woman such as Dianne would have made it into the book. Also, Jess seemingly believing that Jeremy Corbyn is a similar character to Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson couldn’t really be further from the truth. It looks like she was trying to make a political point there as she didn’t like Jeremy for Labour leader. That’s fine but he really is nothing like that trio of right wing extremists.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Fresh, frank and unpretentious. Jess Phillips' book is an education about the workings of the political system in Westminster and an inspirational rallying call to women everywhere. I didn't think I agreed with her on lots of issues, and I still don't agree with her on some, but she's won me over in a big way. Know a woman, young or otherwise, who needs a confidence or self-belief boost? Buy them this. Fresh, frank and unpretentious. Jess Phillips' book is an education about the workings of the political system in Westminster and an inspirational rallying call to women everywhere. I didn't think I agreed with her on lots of issues, and I still don't agree with her on some, but she's won me over in a big way. Know a woman, young or otherwise, who needs a confidence or self-belief boost? Buy them this.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katey Lovell

    I loved this book. Jess Phillips discusses serious issues in her trademark honest, no-nonsense way and the result is a collection of themed articles addressing feminism, politics and British society. Everywoman is not a light read, but it is an important one. It is both rage-inducing and raucous, and Jess comes across as a woman with society's best interests at heart - and exactly the sort of person I want representing me. An empowering read. I loved this book. Jess Phillips discusses serious issues in her trademark honest, no-nonsense way and the result is a collection of themed articles addressing feminism, politics and British society. Everywoman is not a light read, but it is an important one. It is both rage-inducing and raucous, and Jess comes across as a woman with society's best interests at heart - and exactly the sort of person I want representing me. An empowering read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fern Adams

    Brilliant. A lot of respect for Jess reading this, she is so clearly someone who genuinely cares about others and wants to see the world become a better, fairer and more equal place. She is extremely honest in this and I’m sure pretty much any woman who reads it will nod along with her in sections. What I liked most is the narrative that it’s okay to be who you are and you should go out there and give what ever it is your passionate about a shot. Inspiring book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    One of those books which made me want to rush out and tell everyone to read it on finishing. Jess recounts how she became an MP, but this isn't just a memoir. It's about something much bigger - how female MPs and women in politics are perceived and treated, society's attitudes towards women who are subjected to domestic abuse (she worked at Women's Aid in Birmingham for a number of years before being elected), and so much more besides. If any of this sounds vaguely intriguing to you then I reall One of those books which made me want to rush out and tell everyone to read it on finishing. Jess recounts how she became an MP, but this isn't just a memoir. It's about something much bigger - how female MPs and women in politics are perceived and treated, society's attitudes towards women who are subjected to domestic abuse (she worked at Women's Aid in Birmingham for a number of years before being elected), and so much more besides. If any of this sounds vaguely intriguing to you then I really recommend checking this out.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robin Temmink

    It's magnificent! It's an introduction to the life of Jess, a self help book for (aspiring) activists/campaigners/politicians and an analysis of sexism in politics written from the front. All in one! I only paused to let particularly poignant point sink in. It's magnificent! It's an introduction to the life of Jess, a self help book for (aspiring) activists/campaigners/politicians and an analysis of sexism in politics written from the front. All in one! I only paused to let particularly poignant point sink in.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Anna

    Both reassuring and inspiring.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I agree with Jess Phillips about a lot of things, many of which she mentions in this book. It is passionately written and quite visceral in places. It spares no punches and doesn't worry about fancy language or writing. I think I wanted to read a book about feminism and women's issues though, and instead this was more of an autobiography. Jess writes as she speaks; I'm sure for many this is a really valuable part of the book, and it is great to have her regional accent and less-traditional backgr I agree with Jess Phillips about a lot of things, many of which she mentions in this book. It is passionately written and quite visceral in places. It spares no punches and doesn't worry about fancy language or writing. I think I wanted to read a book about feminism and women's issues though, and instead this was more of an autobiography. Jess writes as she speaks; I'm sure for many this is a really valuable part of the book, and it is great to have her regional accent and less-traditional background in Parliament. For some reason I found some of the purposeful colloquialisms slightly trying however. Recommend, as an interesting and accessible read rather than as a brilliant work of literature.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    Jess Phillip’s writes refreshingly frankly displaying her trademark honesty on all truths presented. ‘Everywoman:...’ is an easily accessible, no frills, no feminist/political academic jargon publication which allows us, the general public, to get on board and see politics transparently - which it bloody well should be. Jess doesn’t pussyfoot around serious issues but hits them head on and presents them as they are backed up with the facts. It’s not all doom and gloom, there are plenty of witty Jess Phillip’s writes refreshingly frankly displaying her trademark honesty on all truths presented. ‘Everywoman:...’ is an easily accessible, no frills, no feminist/political academic jargon publication which allows us, the general public, to get on board and see politics transparently - which it bloody well should be. Jess doesn’t pussyfoot around serious issues but hits them head on and presents them as they are backed up with the facts. It’s not all doom and gloom, there are plenty of witty anecdotes that personally made me laugh. I attended one of Caitlin Moran’s Live tour dates on June 28th where no other than Jess herself was discussing Moran’s new publication and various taboo issues with brilliant clarity and once again that trademark honesty.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Outstanding! I am immediately recommending this to everyone I know and I'm sure my social media followers are already sick of my posting screenshot of my favourite passages. This book made me angry - in a good way! I feel fired up to make a difference, equipped with some brilliant counter-arguments and facts and ready to go make some changes in my community. It's also heartwarming and tear jerking and of course funny. Must read! Outstanding! I am immediately recommending this to everyone I know and I'm sure my social media followers are already sick of my posting screenshot of my favourite passages. This book made me angry - in a good way! I feel fired up to make a difference, equipped with some brilliant counter-arguments and facts and ready to go make some changes in my community. It's also heartwarming and tear jerking and of course funny. Must read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    James

    This book was not written for me, and I know this because the last line told me I'm kick-ass, as all women are. I can't say I'm a fan of Phillips either, and after reading this I respect her more, but am no more fond of her, finding her hypocritical and self-important, even if the abuse she gets is undeserved. I imagine people who like Phillips will like this book too, as it largely mirrors her public profile (which to be fair is consistent with her position that she is 'just herself' as an MP) o This book was not written for me, and I know this because the last line told me I'm kick-ass, as all women are. I can't say I'm a fan of Phillips either, and after reading this I respect her more, but am no more fond of her, finding her hypocritical and self-important, even if the abuse she gets is undeserved. I imagine people who like Phillips will like this book too, as it largely mirrors her public profile (which to be fair is consistent with her position that she is 'just herself' as an MP) of a down to earth Champion of Women's Rights. I had wondered what her political stance on other issues was, and she rails against those who suggest that being a feminist leads you to be typecast. So she offers barely anything else in her book. Her economic policy is to campaign for equal earnings between men and women and moan that pink razors cost more (as women are incapable of buying the same product cheaper in a different colour, presumably), and the only other politics mentioned is that more support for victims of abuse is needed. She supported Yvette Cooper's leadership bid, but offers no reasons why. One wonders how anyone could see a strident feminist as only championing one cause. The central message seemed to be that women need more confidence in their abilities, mainly in the world of work but also their capability to have a career and children. This leads to a heartfelt but flawed defence of all-women shortlists. Phillips compares three women elected in this way against three men, and says "look, these women specially selected by me are more qualified than these particular male counterparts". So this not only proves nothing, but would also allow nepotistic employers to choose their mates for the top jobs so long as they can find some examples of employees who were chosen on merit but weren't top performers. I doubt Phillips would think that acceptable as a Labour MP. She also asserts that being the 'best woman for the job' is a nonsensical comment because no-one says that Jessica Ennis won 'girlie gold', a terrible analogy as women's sporting events only exist because the best women cannot compete with the best men. Phillips herself does seem to be a good MP though, and there to campaign for issues she is passionate about, rather than for consultancy roles with big business. Only time will tell, and she's not as passionately socialist or pro-worker as she is pro-women, but in the most part she embodies what an MP should be, a citizen who has worked her way up to a place where she can influence laws for the better. She seems genuine in her claims that she is always offering youngsters work experience, though she seems to see it as an entirely positive thing that her mother-in-law helps people she knows, because your career should be about how well-connected you are? Although it is quite vague, you get the impression Phillips supports women in parliament whether she agrees with them or not, in order to correct the gender imbalance, when judging on an argument's merits would be a better option. There are other inconsistencies. The unacceptable abuse is done by losers from their mother's basements to make the victims feel superior, but women who use the refuge's phone to do a drug deal are people who need help. The only women who treat their relationships as a hobby are vulnerable, unlike the men, who presumably have no context of their own. Despite the caveats given, the tone is very much of women as powerless victims and men as all-powerful. When the vast majority of victims of domestic abuse are women it's a gender issue. When the majority of homicide victims are men, Phillips still focuses on the female victims. Because 99% of abusive fathers get access, the system can't be loaded against them - access could mean in a staffed contact centre, but we won't know as Phillips doesn't bother to present more than one choice fact. Fortunately Phillips won't care, and nor should anyone else that takes her advice, as she only worries about the impression she makes on people she'd want to date or be friends with. But her logic is lacking (if you think that is sexism at work, work through her logic and try again) and the little things annoy me too, keen to show she was cool when younger and never apologising for 'being who she is', as though modifying your behaviour to your environment is always just being put in your place rather than making life more pleasant. I had my view of Phillips before I picked this up and was prepared to hear her story, but I haven't been converted.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Louise Douglas

    I read this book in one weekend while house-sitting for my sister. It was so hot out that I basically hibernated on the sofa in front of a fan and devoured this book. I’d heard of Jess Phillips before with some of her tweets being retweeted into my timeline, but I didn’t really know much of who she was. This book was a great intro into her mind and the things that she stands for. Partly her life story, partly her opinions on key issues such as abuse against women, the book was compelling throughou I read this book in one weekend while house-sitting for my sister. It was so hot out that I basically hibernated on the sofa in front of a fan and devoured this book. I’d heard of Jess Phillips before with some of her tweets being retweeted into my timeline, but I didn’t really know much of who she was. This book was a great intro into her mind and the things that she stands for. Partly her life story, partly her opinions on key issues such as abuse against women, the book was compelling throughout. You could feel the raw emotion that she was pouring into this book, you know that she truly cares. It was pretty hard to deal with some of the sections, like when she talks about some of the horrific trolling that she has had to encounter. It’s hard to relate to that as someone who has never gone through it, but it’s not something that anyone should have to cope with. Just like some other books I’ve read, it feels a little presumptious to assume that the author is speaking on behalf of all women, we all have such different experiences that you can’t just generalise, but this one wasn’t as bad as some others. All in all, I thought this was a great read, I think Jess Phillips has a great future, she’s going to go far. Even if she’s not your cup of tea, this was still a great read. Posted on: https://emmaloui.se/2019/07/28/jess-p...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Johanne

    If I am ever harassed, marginalised, silenced, bullied or abused I want Jess Phillips in my corner. Reading this book filled my heart with joy and sadness in equal measure. Jess is a powerful, feisty, opinionated Brummie and I wish there were more voices like hers in both society and Parliament. She has issues she cares passionately about and isn't afraid to say it like it is. The parts of the book which deal with her work with and campaigning for women who have suffered violence and domestic ab If I am ever harassed, marginalised, silenced, bullied or abused I want Jess Phillips in my corner. Reading this book filled my heart with joy and sadness in equal measure. Jess is a powerful, feisty, opinionated Brummie and I wish there were more voices like hers in both society and Parliament. She has issues she cares passionately about and isn't afraid to say it like it is. The parts of the book which deal with her work with and campaigning for women who have suffered violence and domestic abuse broke my heart. Her determination not to be silenced when giving these women a voice is truly inspirational. Don't get the idea that this is a dry, weighty, preachy tome, it is nothing of the sort. It is full of warmth and humour, filled with the loud and proud Brummie voice that Jess is so well known for. I had the privilege to hear her speak last year in Birmingham and she was such a wonderful speaker, full of wit and anecdote. How I wish every one could have an MP like Jess. How I wish we all had a cheerleader, a friend like Jess. Am I inspired by her? Hell yes! I won't be standing for elected office but I will stop publicly doubting myself and try to silence the voice of imposter syndrome. If Jess can be strong and big herself up then so can I. So can we all.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    This was a great read! I've admired Jess for a while, just because it's not every day a woman from the midlands is on the TV, never mind as an MP. This book is a mix of laugh out loud hilarious, make you cry unbelievable and shares some completely absurd statistics, like people in the UK donating more to donkey charities than to women's charities (no offence to donkeys, cute beans). It's semi-autobiographical, and we learn a lot about Jess' teenage self, her siblings, family etc. Particularly up This was a great read! I've admired Jess for a while, just because it's not every day a woman from the midlands is on the TV, never mind as an MP. This book is a mix of laugh out loud hilarious, make you cry unbelievable and shares some completely absurd statistics, like people in the UK donating more to donkey charities than to women's charities (no offence to donkeys, cute beans). It's semi-autobiographical, and we learn a lot about Jess' teenage self, her siblings, family etc. Particularly uplifting was a chapter on sisterhood, where Jess relays stories of her mother and mother-in-law, and stories her friends have shared about women helping other women. I also liked the chapter where Jess covers self promotion and how we need to do it more, noting the fine line. Other chapters are darker, detailing Jess' time working for women's aid, stories of abuse and domestic violence. And the the abuse she herself gets on social media and via email from trolls all over the country. It really is awful what some people put out on the internet in attack of others. I think I read this book at the right time in my life and I respect Jess even more than before.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robin Hall

    Jess Phillips isn't the best writer in the world, and not everyone will agree with her politics. But she speaks from the heart, and what she has to say is important. Her book is easy to read, her points easy to understand and the impact of what she fights for could be significant. She is a feminist who can articulate how equality should be a positive thing for men as well as women, someone who fights for families who refuses to value anyone by the number of children they have and a real humanita Jess Phillips isn't the best writer in the world, and not everyone will agree with her politics. But she speaks from the heart, and what she has to say is important. Her book is easy to read, her points easy to understand and the impact of what she fights for could be significant. She is a feminist who can articulate how equality should be a positive thing for men as well as women, someone who fights for families who refuses to value anyone by the number of children they have and a real humanitarian. She manages to convey her passion without being shouty. I'm sure the book will annoy some, especially the noisy legion of women-haters who hurl abuse at her on the internet, and some of her parliamentary colleagues. (Favourite line: if you've ever thought you're not up to being an MP you obviously haven't looked hard at some of the people who are currently doing it.) I hope she persuades more 'ordinary people' to get involved in politics; regardless of allegiance or opinion, we need more of us to step up, challenge the elite and become part of the establishment. A recommended read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    This is part-memoir, part-reflection on womanhood. Jess Phillips doesn’t actually discuss her political views to any great extent in this book, she primarily focuses on women’s issues, such as domestic violence, rape, the gender pay gap, and the ways that women are silenced in the work place. Her views on the importance of feminism and equality are explained clearly and powerfully. Although this may sound heavy going, the book is actually quite light hearted in general, and I laughed out loud at This is part-memoir, part-reflection on womanhood. Jess Phillips doesn’t actually discuss her political views to any great extent in this book, she primarily focuses on women’s issues, such as domestic violence, rape, the gender pay gap, and the ways that women are silenced in the work place. Her views on the importance of feminism and equality are explained clearly and powerfully. Although this may sound heavy going, the book is actually quite light hearted in general, and I laughed out loud at some parts. Jess Phillips has spent most of her adult life trying to support women from all walks of life and has paid a heavy price for that with apparently constant Internet trolling, harassment, and rape threats. Everywoman explains how she finds the strength to rise against the abuse she receives and how she continues to fight for women’s rights in her constituency, in parliament, and the country as a whole. Even if you don’t agree with Jess Phillips’ political views at all, this is an important book to read and I would highly recommend it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniela Coelho

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Jess, a Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, feminist and anti-violence campaigner, provides so many interesting stories in this book. Although she has tried to make it as lighthearted as possible by discussing funny situations which she went through, there were occasions where I felt my eyes watering because of some of the heartbreaking stories which she writes about. I felt that I could relate to many of the situations which she discusses because I went through I really enjoyed reading this book. Jess, a Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, feminist and anti-violence campaigner, provides so many interesting stories in this book. Although she has tried to make it as lighthearted as possible by discussing funny situations which she went through, there were occasions where I felt my eyes watering because of some of the heartbreaking stories which she writes about. I felt that I could relate to many of the situations which she discusses because I went through them, just like millions of women out there. This book focuses on violence against women, equality, sisterhood, motherhood, politics (especially British politics), and trolling. The advice that she gives about these topics is admiring and which I will try to follow. I highly recommend this book to anyone who aspires to bring more equality to the world and make it a much nicer place to grow up and live in now and in the future.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy Alice

    I didn't know anything about this when I saw it on the library shelf, but thought that the title sounded like a strong feminist book. Later I realised that this was by Jess Phillips, the Labour MP. I thought that her chapters on feminism, on how women are treated differently, and on female politicians were amazing. However, there was a lot of "look how amazing at everything I am". She does point out that as women we are not encouraged to flaunt our successes and maybe that is why I find it so ja I didn't know anything about this when I saw it on the library shelf, but thought that the title sounded like a strong feminist book. Later I realised that this was by Jess Phillips, the Labour MP. I thought that her chapters on feminism, on how women are treated differently, and on female politicians were amazing. However, there was a lot of "look how amazing at everything I am". She does point out that as women we are not encouraged to flaunt our successes and maybe that is why I find it so jarring. It does feel like she is pointing out a lot of the flaws of her male counterparts, and in one very upsetting passage, she praises Jacob Rees-Mogg after bashing her own party leader. At the moment, I find this hard to read, as I wanted to look up to her as a feminist icon, and I fundamentally disagree with a lot of her actions, and hypocrisies. Another one bites the dust.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Now that I've broken my reading funk I'm working my way through my half-finished books from the last few months. I've seen Jess talk at a few events this year - she's so good, she talks sense, she talks of how she was sick of being on the wrong side of the table and became an MP to get on the right side and really fight for change. I find that marvellous. Jess' book is a manifesto that outlines what many women go through, and encourages you to use your voice. There are highs in her life and her Now that I've broken my reading funk I'm working my way through my half-finished books from the last few months. I've seen Jess talk at a few events this year - she's so good, she talks sense, she talks of how she was sick of being on the wrong side of the table and became an MP to get on the right side and really fight for change. I find that marvellous. Jess' book is a manifesto that outlines what many women go through, and encourages you to use your voice. There are highs in her life and her experiences as a woman in politics, there are really terrible lows, from trolling to the death of her friend Jo Cox - particularly moving parts to read. There's a power in women's voices, and Jess' book is one that makes you go 'fuck yeah' on many occasions, and think about making your voice that little bit louder from day to day.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Martin Talbot

    Great book I had been aware of this book for a few months and had kept meaning to pick it up and read it. I wish it hadn’t taken so long. What a fantastic book. Jess Phillips is an MP for a Birmingham constituency, whose name I have seen around, who occasionally I had seen speaking on TV, Twitter or elsewhere on the Internet. I always warmed to her. Now I love her. This is required reading for anyone interested in gender relations, who thinks the patriarchy is a thing and who wants to understand Great book I had been aware of this book for a few months and had kept meaning to pick it up and read it. I wish it hadn’t taken so long. What a fantastic book. Jess Phillips is an MP for a Birmingham constituency, whose name I have seen around, who occasionally I had seen speaking on TV, Twitter or elsewhere on the Internet. I always warmed to her. Now I love her. This is required reading for anyone interested in gender relations, who thinks the patriarchy is a thing and who wants to understand how it works, what they can do to combat it. That means, teenage girls, middle aged women, teenage boys and middle aged men. That’s doesn’t mean this is a guidebook of any kind of political treatise. It is a “from the heart” overview of the world we live in, the perspective of one woman, but goodness what an inspiring woman. Read this. It really is great.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sho

    Well that was a refreshing read. I've only heard/read/seen a little of Jess Philips but what I've seen I've liked. What I like is her commitment to helping up and holding up other women with deeds as well as words. THAT is feminism. I do have a couple of issues with the writing. Jess is from Birmingham UK and as such I wonder at her use of the word "douche". It's just... I don't know, we don't really use that one in Britain do we? Wanker fits better, wankspangle even better. Also there was a part w Well that was a refreshing read. I've only heard/read/seen a little of Jess Philips but what I've seen I've liked. What I like is her commitment to helping up and holding up other women with deeds as well as words. THAT is feminism. I do have a couple of issues with the writing. Jess is from Birmingham UK and as such I wonder at her use of the word "douche". It's just... I don't know, we don't really use that one in Britain do we? Wanker fits better, wankspangle even better. Also there was a part when she named a name (Tory politician I think?) where I think discretion would have been the better part of valour. But bloody hell. So nice to see someone list the things they've done and not hide their light under a bushel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Boakes

    9/10 Jess Phillips is, among many things, a labour MP, passionately outspoken & proudly feminist, standing resolutely amongst the, still largely male dominated, parliament in the UK. Everywoman powerfully delivers the truth on a range of issues, from motherhood, to equality, to violence, to growing up, & pretty much everything in-between. Whilst it could be perceived as ‘preachy’, I think Jess manages to speak not just one woman’s ‘truth about’*, but as the title intends, the truth for the major 9/10 Jess Phillips is, among many things, a labour MP, passionately outspoken & proudly feminist, standing resolutely amongst the, still largely male dominated, parliament in the UK. Everywoman powerfully delivers the truth on a range of issues, from motherhood, to equality, to violence, to growing up, & pretty much everything in-between. Whilst it could be perceived as ‘preachy’, I think Jess manages to speak not just one woman’s ‘truth about’*, but as the title intends, the truth for the majority of women. Jess has a natural way of writing, short, snappy sentences, conversational almost. I felt empowered whilst reading this, & I’m so glad we have women like Jess amongst our politicians, being shit scared to speak out but doing it anyway. *each chapter is titled ‘the truth about...’

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Grant

    This is an interesting, passionate, lively book. Much of it I already knew at some level, but Phillips as an MP has a particular insight into some of our political system which added a great deal. I did find some aspects of it odd - although feminism and gender is a constant theme, I think she doesn't use the words 'trans' or 'cis' even once. I can imagine reasons for that choice (some of them good ones: e.g. not knowing enough about the issues to form a careful opinion), but it had the unfortun This is an interesting, passionate, lively book. Much of it I already knew at some level, but Phillips as an MP has a particular insight into some of our political system which added a great deal. I did find some aspects of it odd - although feminism and gender is a constant theme, I think she doesn't use the words 'trans' or 'cis' even once. I can imagine reasons for that choice (some of them good ones: e.g. not knowing enough about the issues to form a careful opinion), but it had the unfortunate side effect that I spent much of the book trying to guess what her views are! I found her discussions of the intersections of gender and class, especially within the Labour Party, helpful, and her comments about the need to accept the humanity of our politicians are important.

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