Author: Clementine Ford
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction
Reviewed by: Aoife, Newbridge Library
Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.
Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.
Early on in the book, Clementine Ford describes how she realised even though there was slight sexism in her home as a child, at least she was safe, “which is a privilege not all children can claim.” Feeling burdened by herself, she speaks of the common thread that all young adults deal with – that of trying to carve out their own separate identity. The struggle for girls and women is that “boys have the universe in which to expand……girls are allowed only enough room to be stars.”
Usually around adolescence, girls become self-conscious and try to fit themselves into a box with a label. The labels are based on what peers might think of them, such as the charge that a girl takes up too much space, or that a girl is too boisterous. Give someone a label and eventually this will become how they define themselves. The author describes how a sense of shame enveloped her as a teenager, becoming withdrawn and angry. This quickly manifested itself in an eating disorder, causing her body eventually to stop normal functions. She also developed problems with anxiety. The world is designed to keep girls and women in their place, “to be the scaffolding for boys to reach new heights.” She explains that girls teach themselves to become invisible, spurred on by a cocktail of capitalism and misogyny.
However, women and girls are meant to take up space. It’s OK to get annoyed at the way the female form is portrayed. It’s OK to get angry at violence against women. After all, it’s not just men who can change the world – women can, too.
I found this book to be engaging and very thought-provoking. Some observations made me laugh, and some made me angry. Clementine Ford has a forceful voice and she made me feel as if I was having a conversation with her in the room.
Available on BorrowBox as an audiobook
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