This book – curated by Scarlett Curtis – had been on my radar, I’d seen some tweets and it had been reviewed in Red Magazine – but I hadn’t actually ordered it. Then, on October 4th, after Penguin had set up a a pop up stall to sell the book in the flagship Top Shop store on Oxford Street in London, they were asked to take it all down again allegedly upon the instruction of Top Shop supremo Sir Philip Green. A Topshop spokesperson said: “…. we made the decision from a production and creative standpoint to retract the Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies pop-up from one of our stores. We are sorry – this in no way reflects our stance on feminism and we will be making a donation of £25,000 to Girl Up. We continue to fully support the sentiment of the book, Scarlett Curtis, feminism and equality.” This was before the recent news reports about Mr Green hit the press, post House of Lords revelations, but I think the #pinknotgreen hashtag was searingly appropriate even at that point.
Anyway – in a fit of solidarity with Ms Curtis, I bought a copy! Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“We asked 52 women: what does the F word mean to you?
The result is extraordinary.
The must-read book for 2018. Follow @feminists on Instagram for updates.
Curated by journalist and activist Scarlett Curtis, with incredible pieces by:
Emma Watson – Zoe Sugg – Keira Knightley – Gemma Arterton – Bridget Jones (by Helen Fielding) – Saoirse Ronan – Liv Little – Dolly Alderton – Karen Gillan – Alicia Garza – Jameela Jamil – Kat Dennings – Nimco Ali – Beanie Feldstein – Olivia Perez – Amika George – Evanna Lynch – Akilah Hughes – Tanya Burr – Grace Campbell – Alison Sudol – Elyse Fox – Charlie Craggs – Rhyannon Styles – Skai Jackson – Tasha Bishop – Lolly Adefope – Bronwen Brenner – Dr Alaa Murabit – Trisha Shetty – Jordan Hewson – Amy Trigg – Em Odesser – Emi Mahmoud – Lydia Wilson – Swati Sharma
Warning: contains a lot of feminism and some explicit content!
**Published in partnership with Girl Up, the UN women’s foundation, royalties will benefit this amazing charity** “
It is a really varied book – as you would expect from many women’s own experience of feminism. Some of it was funny, some tragic, some historical, some forward looking, some educational – and I really enjoyed all of those different aspects. It was perfect to read one person’s chapter at a a time (yes, it was a ‘toilet’ book for me post bowel surgery……)
Some of it has been horribly misquoted in certain elements of the press. For example it was said Keira Knightley SLAMMED the Duchess of Cambridge, who gave birth a day after Keira herself, for posing on the hospital steps. But it wasn’t written like that at all. In my eyes, Ms Knightley was pitying Kate for having to be on show like that – not saying she was doing womanhood a disservice by doing it. But hey – why let the actual context of a written piece get in the way of then newspapers stoking up a supposed catfight between celebrity women……
Some of the contributors were a lot younger than me – but I didn’t find that an issue – and I liked the different perspective.
Overall it was a good read – and I’m not sure I could have found a better book for my ‘A book about feminism’ prompt for my 2018 Reading Challenge!
In another review I read it said to give this to every teenage girl you know! Well, I went for donating my copy to the teenage girl resident in this house. She reckons she’s far too busy with Year 11 revision to read it – so I’ve just left it in her bedroom – and hope she’ll be inspired to read it in the future.