A vociferous, highly motivational call to arms for the feminist movement.

THE SEVEN NECESSARY SINS FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS

A striking anti-patriarchal manifesto.

Written “with enough rage to fuel a rocket,” the second book from Egyptian American activist Eltahawy (Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, 2015) presents a platform of female empowerment and gender equality supported by seven essential traits (anger, attention, profanity, ambition, power, violence, and lust) every woman should have in her feminist arsenal. The author advises women on how to individually resist and collectively deconstruct society’s “universal and normalized” patriarchal hierarchy by employing an interlocking series of “sins,” traditionally tabooed beliefs about women’s outward expressions of contrary opinion or personal power. Eltahawy’s opening is strong, with a chapter on how anger and rage are key components in the fight alongside ambition, sexual expression “outside the teachings of heteronormativity,” and an insistence that attention be paid to female voices instead of promoting efforts to silence them. The section on power seeks to engage women in business and social leadership. Eltahawy is at her most controversial when discussing what she believes are the leveling benefits of physical violence in the face of patriarchal crimes. Sprinkled throughout the narrative are moving personal stories, histories, and profiles that further reinforce her plan to dismantle the rampant injustices against women. The author’s prose is feverishly enthusiastic and laser-focused, powered by teenage emotional trauma from repeated sexual assaults while on pilgrimages to Mecca, where she was warned to stay silent but ultimately vocalized her outrage. She channels the rage about her violations toward the empowerment of other women in their embrace of feminism that is “robust, aggressive, and unapologetic…a feminism that defies, disobeys, and disrupts the patriarchy.” Her urgent narrative encourages women of all ages to resist classic compartmentalization and to raise their voices and demand equality within every sector of society. “Let us always tell girls they can be more than,” she writes.

A vociferous, highly motivational call to arms for the feminist movement.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8070-1381-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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