Today is my last day off and I am spending it planning out some assignments and reading Everyday Sexism. I finished Bracken's The Darkest Minds last night and rated it 3 stars. I was not impressed. The concept was interesting and Ruby was a wonderful character. But I found it hard to follow. The romance between Liam and Ruby lacked depth, I think, and I wasn't emotionally invested in them as a couple. I'm beginning to think that I prefer fantasy as a sub-genre for YA. I am very disappointed with The Darkest Minds and I hope that Passenger is better.
So, following this dissatisfying read I proceeded with Bates' Everyday Sexism. I am twenty pages in and completely in love. It is brutally honest and makes me uncomfortable at times, in the best way. I am currently reading a chapter on whether women are 'asking for it'. 'It' meaning rape, and sexual assault. Bates' quoted women such as Joanna Lumley and I was heartbroken. Lumley was a woman I spent my childhood watching in documentaries as she travelled across the globe. I was fascinated by her. But to read her agree with this absolutely broke me. To say that women should not be going out dressed like 'hussies' knowing that they are vulnerable to attacks of this nature. Anything could happen to them. She, and other men and women, suggest that women should be careful about what they wear, where they walk whilst wearing it, how they behave. That we should live in fear of men that will 'rape you, or they'll knock you on the head or they'll rob you'.
I am not so naïve to know that this isn't a view that is taken by many. But for other women to think this? Never in my life have I been so embarrassed of my own sex. Why on earth is this being debated?! The victim is never to blame and I was deeply troubled that there are those that think differently.
I dread to think of all the times that I have gone to university in short skirts, or low cut tops, or occasions when I've been to parties in similar outfits. What have women thought of me? Have they thought that I would be asking for it, if I were to be attacked sexually or otherwise. That's horrific.
A running theme throughout this book seems to be a correlation between lacking a sense of humour and feminism. On the numerous occasions in this book when a woman has attempted to stand up for herself, and protest sexism, she has been accusing of not having a sense of humour. She is accused of not being able to deal with banter. One entry summed this up perfectly. It stated 'you complain, they try to silence you. You shout so as to not be silenced, they role out the mad-woman clichés. Lose Lose'. It is true. Bates points out that sexism is invisible and not taken seriously and I couldn't agree more.
I started this book irritated that it was a book about sexism, and yet seemed to only feature arguments from women. However after just a flick through, I found that I was wrong. This book is so powerful and I am not even half of the way through yet. I spent the few pages I have read of this book, cringing and wincing. It was physically painful to read. But I am enjoying it, because it's hard hitting and revolutionary.
I will of course post a full review when I finish the book!
Okay, I have a favour to ask! I need serious reading recommendations! It may not seem like it but I feel as though I am in a reading rut. I'd be so grateful!
Have a lovely week guys!