Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennet

Title: Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace
Author: Jessica Bennett
Year Published: 2018


Genre: Adult non-fiction
Pages: 269 plus notes
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)USA

FTC Disclosure: I received this book as a gift

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): It was a fight club--but without the fighting or the men. Every month, women would gather in a New York apartment to share sexist-job frustrations and trade strategies for how to tackle them. For years, these meetings were kept secret. But the time has come to talk about the club.

In Feminist Fight Club, acclaimed journalist Jessica Bennet blends the personal story of her real life fight club with a studied assessment of the gender gap that continues to plague the American workplace. With equal measures wit and rigor, Bennett provides the tactical strategies--and the camaraderie--every woman needs to fight back, as well as tools for the men who support the cause.

Review: I had never heard of this book, but my college-aged daughter gave it to me for Christmas so I had to dive right in. I work in education, which is full of women, so I thought at first that this book wouldn't be as relevant to me. Sure, women in education deal with some sexism, but I figured it was worse in the business world.

Well, as I read each section, images of my experiences came to the front of my brain. It is everywhere. The mansplaining, the sports metaphors by male leaders, the interruptions of women who are speaking, and more. I like that the author gives sensible suggestions for how to deal with each of these issues in a calm and respectful way. She also has a fun list of already-existing Feminist Fight Clubs that exist and have existed throughout history.

I read a number of reviews that felt it was very genitalia-centric (therefore leaving out the trans women readers) and not inclusive of LGBTQIA and women of color. I concur. Others felt it was a bit flip and one-liner-y. Also true. But, if you can see past that (and perhaps knowing it going in will help to do that), there is important information for women entering the workforce.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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