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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mdoris - LibraryThing

The other title for this book was "A History of Feminism in 11 Fights". The fights were..... divorce, the vote, sex, play, work, safety, love, education, time and abortion. Helen did a very good job ... Read full review

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This is an absolutely brilliant book, written with humor and intelligence.

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What I liked.
The chapter format. Each one covering the big topics that have been and still are prevalent in a system with structures, economics and money power firmly controlled by and benefitted
by men (the vote, divorce, education, sex, abortion). Although as a big history fan she necessarily has to skim on detail which I'm left wanting more of.
I love the fact that Helen Lewis dedicates this book to taking the airbrush off these women from the biggest struggles in this class war to show them for what they are, human beings. Too often in this day of social media debate nuanced and complex characters and points of view are boiled down to a Insta palatable 'bite', my concern is that this perpetuates a problem of individuals getting used to obtaining and judging debate in this format. It is reductive and boils down centuries of fight against discrimination to 'good' & 'bad' or 'right & wrong' or 'woke v Boomer'. NOTHING is that simple and Helen Lewis demonstrates this through the very flawed, human and wonderful characters that have affected the most change in this plight.
Even better if.
Perhaps greater detail on what next and the way to go collectively. I was actually left a bit deflated in the final chapter when Helen reminds us of the original womens movement core goals / demands:
1. Equal Pay
2. Equal Education and job opportunities
3. Free Contraception and Abortion on demand
4. Free 24 hour nurseries
5. Legal and Financial independence for all women
6. The right to a self defined sexuality
7. Freedom for all women from intimidation from the threat or use of violence or sexual coercion regardless of marital status. And an end to the laws, assumptions and institutions which perpetuate Male dominance and aggression to women.
We've got so far to go, perhaps this was her saying 'over to you'.

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Funny and well written.

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