This small, colorful book introduces readers to the complexities of an ever evolving movement, drawing partly on world history but mainly concentrating on the United States in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The introduction, “Are you a feminist?” gives an excellent historical overview and then, noting the controversial nature of this “f-word,” offers definitions to ponder. The six chapters that follow cover an enormous breadth of material—including workplace discrimination, Guerilla Girls, rape culture, reproductive and gender justice, and more—presented in short, accessible paragraphs and charts. Disagreements among feminists are discussed without judgment. There is some questionable use of statistics, but that is not too problematic, since anyone who reads the book will feel compelled to do further research. Oddly, the artwork misses the mark more than once. For example, the photograph of Kelly Clarkson is not the controversial one described in the text. Also, it seems silly to show thin, white Ashley Judd in a T-shirt that says, “This is what a feminist looks like” in a book emphasizing intersectionality and inclusion. Why not show an Asian-American man wearing it, for example? Equally disconcerting in this mostly progressive book is its apparent conflation of minimum wage and living wage and, in its thumbnail biographies, the inclusion of Ms. magazine co-founder Gloria Steinem but not co-founder Dorothy Pitman Hughes.
A good starting point for discussions. (timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography, further information, resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)