GA Book Club #3: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

The month of September is over which means it’s time to discuss ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie. I hope you’ve been able to get involved with the book club this month either by reading the essay or watching Adichie’s TED Talk.

What I like about this essay is its accessibility. It’s accessible first and foremost because of its length; I’d have a much better chance of convincing someone who isn’t particularly interested in either reading or feminism to give this text a go than I would offering them a chunky and thick hardback. Its pocket-sized design is really great in this way, and the relatively short length of the text does not take away from its quality either as it moves quickly, covering many different aspects of feminism, making it the perfect text for the aforementioned purpose. Adichie also creates accessibility in her writing style through combining anecdotal stories of her life with a humorous tone and limited use of subject-specific or low frequency lexis.

However, the essay’s length and style also had some drawbacks
for me personally. After watching Adichie’s Ted Talk, I was surprised to
discover that it was almost identical to the essay I had just read and I felt
like some aspects of the text could have been expanded on more as it almost
moved too quickly for me. Although, this is coming from someone whose main
interests are reading and feminism and would happily read hundreds
of pages on the things Adichie discusses. This essay would have been absolutely great for me a few years ago when I was first discovering feminism and although this meant it was lacking in some ways for my current self, I can appreciate it’s worth as a ‘guidebook’ or ‘introduction’ to feminism and I am glad it exists as it does! Anna, one of the founders of GA, described the text in a similar way when I told her we would be reading it this month for the Bookclub.

Despite the fact that reading this essay didn’t completely blow me away, there were some parts of it that I found really interesting. For example, Adichie’s consideration that physical strength was the defining factor that made men the more powerful and important gender one thousand years ago. Through
discussing this she highlights the absurdity that this could ever be used as an
argument to promote gender inequality in our world today where, amongst other things, intelligence and creativity are valued much more highly. She puts it nicely stating, “We have evolved. But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much.”

Adichie’s forgiveness of the people who have been unintentionally misogynistic towards her throughout her life is also important. In describing her experiences of being on the receiving end of misogyny, for example in describing waiters who greet the man she is with but not her, she states “The waiters are products of a society that has taught them that men are
more important than women, and I know that they don’t intend harm’. Even though the way in which the men act anger and upset Adichie, she understands that they are not acting in such a way out of spite but rather because this is the way society has taught them to act. Although Adichie telling these men that they should also greet her might have made her feel better, it probably would not have changed the way they view gender and specifically women in society, but watching her TED Talk or reading her essay might have. It can take a great deal of energy calling out people every time they make a misogynistic comment and Adichie shows the importance here of picking and choosing when it is most productive to react. That said, of course sometimes it is totally okay to call people out when they are being blatantly and intentionally misogynistic and you’re always justified in doing so!

Even before watching the TED Talk, I read parts of the text in my head in Adichie’s voice and was confused why I recognized the line, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.’ I soon realized that part
of Adichie’s essay/talk is included in Beyoncé’s song ‘Flawless’ which is why I
recognized what I was reading. For me, this reflects the accessibility of this
text because it is an example of how Adichie really brought this discussion into
the mainstream. I feel as if this text is really important for our generation
as it has been represented by many different forms of media and in a world
where media dominates, it is necessary that a message can be received on as
many platforms as possible and it is Adichie’s straightforward prose that allows for this to be the case.

Another aspect of the text I enjoyed was Adichie’s statement that women are portrayed as ‘inherently guilty’. This portrayal hugely affected me when I used to find excuses for the misogyny I experienced, particularly when I was groped and particularly when no one else knew about it because I was in a packed environment such as a gig. This victim-blaming mind-set was so harmful for me because society has taught us to ‘close your legs’ and ‘cover yourself’ as Adichie comments on in the text. I want to use this as a reminder to never blame yourself for being on the receiving end of misogyny.

Although Adichie has come under some controversy recently for her comments about transgender women, her discussion of gender in this text is seemingly pro-LGBTQ. She states ‘The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.’ Although I wish Adichie would have further discussed the transgender community in this text, she regularly rejects stereotypes and traditional views of gender throughout. Again, it seems that she does not go into too much detail on the subject because she does not go into too much detail on anything in this text, it’s main drawback for me, but these subtle references help the reader more easily understand the experience of transgender people.

I think my favourite part of the essay is Adichie’s rejection of the so-called evolutionary argument. She states ‘Some people will bring up evolutionary biology and apes, how female apes bow to male apes- that sort of thing. But the point is this: we’re not apes.’ Simply put, this sounds so obvious! But I am regularly surprised about how when I express my thoughts on anything that people tend to disagree on, someone says ‘well, apes do it so it must be natural’ or ‘well, that’s how cavemen lived so it must be right’. We have evolved for a reason! We are supposed to be making progress socially and intellectually so it baffles me that people refer to our primitive ancestors or
to apes, who we can all agree are not as intelligent as humans, as a point of
reference.

Overall, I would recommend this essay. It wouldn’t necessarily be my first recommendation for someone who takes great interest in reading and feminism as I think, if you have the time and the want to do so, there are better and more informative texts to read. I would however recommend this to someone who has considerably less interest in either reading or feminism or both. Considering the short amount of time it takes to read though, it is worth a read for anyone who has the best part of an hour on their hands, maybe not even that if you’re a fast reader!

For the month of October, we will be reading ‘The First Collection of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic’ by Jessica Hopper. It was recommended to me for the Bookclub by a fellow GA rep, Sophia Simon-Bashall, and the title immediately caught my eye. It seems like a great fit for our campaign and although music criticism is not something I am particularly well read on, I am very much looking forward to giving this collection of essays a go!

If this book sounds like something you’d be interested in I hope you’ll join me in reading it over the next month. You can send us your thoughts on the text either on Twitter using the hashtag #GABookClub, email us at girlsagainstbookclub@gmail.com 

or join our GoodReads group and contribute to the monthly discussion by following this link- https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/230714-girls-against-book-club

The post discussing Jessica Hopper’s essay collection will be up on Sunday 5th November so keep an eye out on our Twitter page for the link then. And if you do have any thoughts on any of the essays then make sure you send them in before this date for a chance to be featured in next month’s post!

Written by Alice Porter (@aliceporterx on Twitter).

GA Book Club #2: The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

Welcome back to the Girls Against Book Club! For the month of August we have been reading ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker, a novel first published in 1982 that follows the life of a black woman named Celie. It is set in rural Georgia during the period 1910-1940 and tells the story of the many struggles Celie and those around her face during this period in her life that she documents in a series of letters. I found this novel to be absorbing yet harrowing as it exposes many of the problems women of colour faced in the early 20th century and some of which they still face today.

I’m going to start by discussing the structure of the novel as I think it is an important feature of the text. The events of the novel are recounted through a series of letters written by Celie addressed to God for most of the novel, then eventually addressed to her sister Nettie. Initially for me, this epistolary form was confusing as the letters jump straight into the events of Celie’s life with barely any recognition of the context surrounding them. However, this structure reflects two very important aspects of the text. The first is that the letters portray Celie’s isolation, as she believes she has no one to confide in other than God as everyone in her life during the first part of the book – other than Nettie who eventually moves away – treats her cruelly. Celie’s letter writing and her increasing levels of freedom throughout the novel also depict how necessary literacy is in order to gain liberty. Walker also makes this clear at the beginning of the novel when Nettie encourages and helps Celie to improve her knowledge stating, “You got to fight. You got to fight.” Something that always interests me when learning about oppressed groups in the past and in the present is the efforts of the oppressors to prevent the oppressed from gaining an education and how vital knowledge seems to be for groups and individuals in gaining freedom. Alice Walker illustrates beautifully in ‘The Color Purple’ that knowledge truly is power.

‘The Color Purple’ is a novel that follows Celie’s increasing levels of self-awareness that she gains through the help of other women. This self-awareness is eventually what sets her free from many of the things that have oppressed her throughout her life. The two women who have the most influence on Celie’s journey of self-awareness are her sister, Nettie, and
Shug Avery. Nettie and Celie have a wonderful relationship that is at the heart
of the novel and whether Nettie is physically present in Celie’s life or is so
only through letters, she constantly supports and empowers her. At the beginning of the novel when Celie’s husband showers Nettie with compliments Celie explains, ‘He try to give her a compliment, she pass it on to me. After while I git to feeling pretty cute.’

Celie and Nettie’s bond created throughout their childhood and teenage years is so strong due to the dreadful things that they both endured, so much so that when Celie gives up on writing to God, she writes to Nettie instead. She does so because ‘the God I been praying and writing to is a man. And act just like all the other mens I know. Trifling, forgitful and owdown.’ This is a hugely important moment for Celie as she realises that she should not worship God just because she is told to, just as she should not submit to the men in her life as she is told to. From completely accepting all of the awful things in her life and refusing to fight them, to denouncing everyone that has played a part in her struggles, even God, Celie gains a great deal of autonomy throughout the text despite the subjugation individuals and society have tried to implement on her.

When Nettie leaves to become a missionary, Shug Avery, who at the time is Celie’s husband’s girlfriend, takes over in Celie’s empowerment. Shug is perhaps the most mportant individual who directly influences Celie’s life as she encourages her to redefine life in her own terms and allows her to be herself completely, emotionally and sexually. This is exemplified by Shug’s assurance that Celie is still a virgin because although she has technically had sex, she had never enjoyed it. Shug continues to help Celie to abandon what she has been told about religion, sexuality and many of the other things she has been oppressed by as a black woman, as she engages in sexual relations with her leading to a lasting romance between the two and helps her open her own business. Celie’s relationships with the women in her life truly reflect the importance of female solidarity and portray the life-changing effects of looking out for the women around you.

Walker also effectively highlights the difference between the oppression white women face and the oppression black women face. This is portrayed through a story Sofia, a strong black woman, tells about the white woman she works for. She tells Celie that Miss Millie’s husband bought her a car but that he refuses to let her drive it and although this represents the oppression all
women felt because of the strict gender roles in the early 20th century, when reading this section of the book it seemed highly trivial to me compared to the things in which the black women had been through. I found this anecdote to be an interesting way to portray the privileges that people have and the importance of understanding intersectionality.

The final aspect of the text I wish to discuss is the way in which it dismantles gender stereotypes. There are so many examples of the way in which Walker does this throughout the novel but an important one is the conversation Celie has with her husband towards the end of the text. In discussing Shug and Sofia, two of the most outspoken women in the novel, Mr _____ states “Sofia and Shug not like men…but they not like women either” and in reply Celie says, “You mean they not like you or me.” This conversation portrays how restrictive stereotyping is as Celie’s husband is completely unable to describe the way in which these women are simply because they do not fit into a gender stereotype and Celie immediately recognises his narrow-mindedness and highlights it through that simple sentence.

As usual, I asked for your thoughts on the novel and I am really appreciative of people becoming involved with the book club as it’s always interesting to have multiple viewpoints of a text. We had an email from a girl called Alice this month who is doing a feminist reading of this text for her English coursework and contributed many interesting thoughts. Here are some of them:

‘For my essay I’m going to talk about gender roles as well and how with the characters of Sofia and Harpo the roles are almost reversed with Sofia beating Harpo rather than the other way round!’

 This is something I hadn’t considered in terms of gender roles and I think it is another example of the way in which Walker attempts to dismantle stereotypes. Thank you very much for your email Alice!

I think this is novel is a very worthwhile read as it not only has a gripping and emotive storyline but touches on so many issues surrounding gender and race. It is very well written and I became so attached to the characters that the last letter made me cry – I always think this is a good testament to a novel’s quality.

So, for the month of September the Girls Against Book Club will be reading ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamand Ngozi Adichie. Adichie
is a Nigerian author and in this essay she offers a definition of feminism for
the twenty-first century. It’s a text that I’ve been meaning to read for a
while and it’s also relatively short, which I think will be good for the month
of September with many people not having as much time on their hands as they did during the summer months. Adichie also did a ‘TED Talk’ with the same title that you can watch if that works better for you- https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_we_should_all_be_feminists?language=en#t-3644

I hope you’ll join us in reading this essay! If you have any thoughts on the text or the author you’d like to contribute you can email us at
girlsagainstbookclub@gmail.com
or join our GoodReads group and contribute to the monthly discussion by following this link- https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/230714-girls-against-book-club

The post discussing ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ will be up on the Girls Against blog on Sunday 1st October so there is plenty of time to give it a read before then and I would love it if you did!

Written by Alice Porter (@aliceporterx on Twitter).

GA Book Club #1: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

‘Books are often far more than just books’ writes Roxane Gay in her essay ‘I Once Was Miss America’. This statement rings true to me when writing this blog post and epitomises why I want to use this book club to discuss important issues. The meanings and implications that many of the books I have read have helped shape my perspective of the world. ‘Bad Feminist’ was one of these books, as I first read it a couple of years ago when I was beginning to discover feminism as something that aligned with my beliefs, but was fearful to outright call myself a feminist in fear of ‘getting it wrong’. This book allowed me to realise that I could still be a feminist even if some of my past and present habits did not align with my beliefs, as long as I was working on improving these things. As the last line of the book states, ‘I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.’

‘Bad Feminist’ is very accessible, not only because of its conversational voice throughout but because of Gay’s complete willingness to admit that she is far from the ‘perfect feminist’, if such a thing really exists. The book also begins with the claim that feminism is flawed ‘because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed’. This is important to remember, especially for people who are quick to denounce feminism, and the statement allows a reader who is sceptical of feminism to find a middle ground with Gay, perhaps making them more willing to listen to what she has to say.

‘Me’

The first set of essays have a confessional tone, as does much of the book, as Gay, amongst various other things, goes into detail on her competitive scrabble wins and losses. These essays are humorous and portray Gay as relatable and charismatic to the reader, allowing her to discuss the hard-hitting issues this book is about whilst remaining approachable to the reader. This aspect of the text makes ‘Bad Feminist’ a really great book for someone who is still finding their feet as a feminist and is perhaps feeling overwhelmed, and Gay’s discussion of popular culture would also be useful for this reader as it is something most people can use as a reference point and reflects how the promotion of intersectional feminism is still absolutely necessary.

My favourite essay from this section is ‘Peculiar Benefits’ as Gay discusses the necessity of acknowledging privilege but the dangers of completely silencing those with it, which would create ‘a world of silence’. She claims: ‘we need to get to a place where we discuss privilege by way of observation and acknowledgment rather than accusation’, which is crucial as I have witnessed how excluding individuals from conversation has dwindled discussion rather than encouraged it.

‘Gender and Sexuality’

These essays have an autobiographical format, which allows Gay to use her own experiences to discuss gender and sexuality, whilst also considering their portrayal in popular culture.

In ‘How We All Lose’ Gay denounces the view that women should be grateful because of the progression of our position in society over the last 100 years, stating, ‘better is not good enough, and it’s a shame that anyone would be willing to settle for so little.’ As a woman who has been told that the cat-calling that makes me feel physically sick from vulnerability should be taken as a compliment, I can vouch for the fact that just because our rights have improved, we are yet to gain total equality. Gay states ‘if the patriarchy is dead, the numbers have not gotten the memo’ and, from my experience, neither have the men who shout sexual remarks at a women walking home alone at night.

‘The Careless Language of Sexual Violence’ is an essay that explores how damaging the casual ways in which we deal with rape can be, from living in a time that ‘necessitates the phrase rape culture’ to it’s gratuitous portrayals in television and film. Gay discusses how language is often used to ‘buffer our sensibilities’ from the brutality of sexual assault, leading to sympathy for the perpetrator and isolating the victim. This is something that is hugely relatable for me as someone who would shrug my soldiers when I was sexually assaulted at gigs saying things like, ‘they only pinched my bum, it’s not a big deal’ whilst feeling completely uncomfortable for the rest of the night, Even at a gig around a year and half ago when I spent the last two songs being grinded on and groped despite my clear unease and efforts to move away leading me to leave the gig early, I refused to accept to myself that I had been sexually assaulted and even attempted to make up excuses for the perpetrator in my head. Being sexually assaulted felt a great deal more significant than being ‘felt up’ but had I immediately accepted that that was what had happened to me, I know it would have been much easier to remove any responsibility for what happened from myself. This essay does a great job at bringing the importance of the language around sexual assault to light that, as Gay states, is not just careless but criminal.

In ‘Beyond the Measure of Men’ Gay discusses how the actions of women are often compared to and measured against those of men and portrays the prevalence of this this through certain books written by women being labelled as ‘women’s fiction’ but similar books written by men being simply fiction for everyone. She states ‘narratives about certain experiences are somehow legitimised when mediated through a man’s perspective’. This is something that I had never considered but found really interesting as a book-lover.

In the essay ‘Some Jokes Are Funnier Than Others’ Gay considers the humour behind rape jokes. She concludes that they not only serve to remind women that their bodies are open to legislation and public discourse but also that it is because sexual violence is embedded into our culture so deeply that people feel comfortable in making these jokes. Gay talks about her experience of rape in this book and, for me, her story alone would be enough to make rape jokes unfunny and completely insensitive. She also explains why women are allowed to respond negatively to misogynistic humour, ‘We are free to speak as we choose without fear or prosecution or persecution, but we are not free to speak as we choose without consequence.’

The final essay I’m going to discuss from this set is ‘Blurred Lines, Indeed’ as it discusses how music and feminism are linked – something that is particularly relevant to Girls Against. She looks at how rape culture is embedded and accepted in popular music such as in Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ that ‘revisits the age-old belief that sometimes when a woman says no she really means yes.’ Gay comments on how the culture that supports entertainment that objectifies women also elects lawmakers who work to restrict reproductive freedom. Gay describes this as a ‘chicken and the egg’ situation and as ‘trickle-down misogyny’. If we cannot deduce whether it is the lawmakers influencing the media or the media influencing the lawmakers should we really be willing to treat these songs as insignificant?

‘Race and Entertainment’

The next set of essays are significantly shorter, seemingly because they are much more focussed and specific than the previous set, as Gay discusses how race is portrayed in entertainment through considering various films and their significance.

The first essay is centred around The Help and Gay’s take on a film/book that I initially enjoyed was really interesting and helped me to see it in a different light. She explains how The Help is a white interpretation of the black experience and is ‘an unfairly emotionally manipulative movie’, offering us a ‘sanitised’ picture of the early 1960s portraying life as hard for white women, and slightly harder for black women, when in reality life for black women was immeasurably more difficult in segregated America. Gay also describes the black women in this book and film as ‘caricatures…finding pieces of truth and genuine experience and distorting them to repulsive effect.’ After reading this essay I can see that this film that I initially enjoyed was seemingly created for the purpose of enjoyment alone. It uses real historical events that are distressing to provide entertainment and not to truthfully portray the painful history of black Americans because if this were the film’s purpose, an accurate depiction of their experiences would have undoubtedly been more of a priority.

Gay feels similarly about Django Unchained, a film that I have not seen and so have less authority to comment on, describing it as ‘obnoxious’ and ‘indulgent’ as Tarantio uses a traumatic cultural experience to ‘exercise his hubris for making farcically violent, vaguely funny movies that set to right historical wrongs from a very limited, privileged position’. She also touches on the Oscars and how ‘Hollywood has very specific notions about how it wants to see black people on the silver screen’, as critical acclaim is often dependent on black suffering or subjugation. She asserts that despite this, audiences are ready for more from black film and I certainly agree with this- there is a great deal more to black experience and history than slavery.

In a further essay ‘The Last Day of a Young Black Man’ Gay discusses the detrimental effects of demonising young black men in contemporary cinema in reference to the shooting of 22-year old, defenceless Oscar Grant. The effects of the demonisation of young black men in society are terrifying and Gay’s examination of how this is reflected in film is harrowing.

Orange Is The New Black is the subject of the last essay in this set ‘When Less Is More’ as Gay explains how its source material concerning a privileged white woman serving a prison sentence will never be anything more than this. She also states that ,as black woman, she is tired of feeling like she should be grateful ‘when popular culture deigns to acknowledge the experiences of people who are not white, middle class or wealthy, and heterosexual’ and that the way in which we are focussing on OITNB’s attempt at doing this shows the extent to which we are forced and willing to settle.

‘Politics, Gender and Race’

These seven essays cover a broad range of issues and are much less focussed than the previous two sets. In the first essay ‘The Politics of Respectability’ Gay discusses the danger of encouraging respectability politics, stating that the targets of oppression should not be wholly responsible for ending that oppression. She uses examples to portray the problems in suggesting that just because one person from a marginalised group has been successful this does not mean everyone is able to reach this same level of success. This is an interesting essay that shows the many ways in which different groups of people can be diminished and the difficult consequences of this.

In perhaps my favourite essay of the entire book, ‘The Alienable Rights of Women’, Gay discusses reproductive healthcare and why it is so important to women’s freedom. Repeating the phrase ‘Thank goodness women do not have short memories’ throughout the essay, Gay explores how trivially reproductive freedom is discussed by certain politicians and why the ongoing debate surrounding it, usually instigated by men, is ‘the stuff of satire’. People have actually questioned me on why reproductive healthcare is a women’s rights issue and although I usually have a long and detailed answer to this, Gay sums it up neatly, ‘There is no freedom in any circumstance where the body is legislated, none at all.’

‘The Racism We All Carry’ explains how racism is embedded in pretty much all of us because ‘We’re human. We’re flawed. Most people are simply at the mercy of centuries of cultural conditioning.’ Gay comments on the fact that for many people, there are times when you can be racist and times when you cannot, depending on your company and setting. Sadly, I feel this is true for a great deal of people, proving Gay’s previous point.

‘Back To Me’

In the final set of essays, Gay plainly states that she ‘falls short as a feminist’ and describes the ways in which she does. Not only this but she describes how feminism has been ‘warped by misperception’ and that her main issue with it is that it ‘doesn’t allow for the complexities of human experience or individuality.’ Gay’s rejection of a prescribed form of feminism is really what makes her approach so accessible. She concludes in stating that although she might be a ‘bad feminist’, she is committed to the issues feminism promotes despite its issues and that it’s importance and necessity cannot be denied.

I enjoyed reading ‘Bad Feminist’ this time round as much as I did reading it for the first time, however there are some small issues I have with it. Gay’s complete acceptance in sometimes falling short as a feminist and straying from the principles that she believes in provides reassurance for the reader but perhaps too much leniency. It’s okay if some of your habits don’t completely align with your views but I think rather than completely accepting it, it’s important to work on changing them and improving yourself and Gay’s approach is often a little too laidback for me. I would have also liked Gay’s essays to have been more focussed on the topics they were supposed to be centred around according to the sub-heading they were under. Although I enjoyed the essays themselves, I felt like the way in which they were organised into sub-headings was a little bit lazy and last-minute and this is especially relevant to the penultimate set of essays, ‘Politics, Gender & Race’.

Despite these arguably minor issues I took with the book, I think it is great because it covers such a wide range of topics in an informative, thought-provoking way and I would recommend it to feminist newbies and veterans alike, so much so that I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads, which is rare to say the least! If you can’t get hold of the book, many of her essays are available online including some of the ones I have mentioned.

For the month of August, the Girls Against Book Club will be reading ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker. If you aren’t familiar with this feminist classic, it’s a novel, first published in 1982, set in rural Georgia that focuses on the life of women of colour in the 1930s. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while and I hope that you will join me in reading or re-reading it!

If you do have any thoughts on ‘The Color Purple’, the Girls Against Book Club would love to hear them and we will feature any comments we particularly enjoy in the September blog post. You can send them to us any time before Sunday 3rd September by emailing us at girlsagainstbookclub@gmail.com or joining our GoodReads group and contribute to the monthly book discussion here.

Written by Alice Porter (@aliceporterx on Twitter).

GA Book Club: Welcome!

Girls Against began as a campaign that aimed to establish a discussion of the issue of sexual assault at gigs and although this discussion has been firmly established, we are still working on expanding it. Not only do we want to discuss the issue itself but we want to bring to light the issues surrounding it – i.e the deep-rooted attitudes installed in our culture that have made sexual assault at gigs commonplace. And with that, welcome to the Girls Against Book Club!

We hope to use this book club as an opportunity to discuss a range of important issues whilst amplifying the voices of people whose values are in alignment with the campaign’s. We want to encourage you to become more involved with the campaign by contributing your thoughts on the matter of discussion. Hopefully this will widen the scope of discussion surrounding intersectional feminism.

It isn’t going to be limited to one type of text – we’ll be including both fiction and non-fiction texts as well as poetry, which will hopefully mean you can get involved whatever genre you prefer! There will be opinions, reviews and ratings of each book on the first Sunday of every month on the Girls Against blog and this post will also include the book we’ll be reading for the following month. We hope that making this book club monthly will give everyone enough time to get hold of the book, read it and gather their thoughts on it.

The book we’re going to start with is ‘Bad Feminist’ by Roxane Gay, a series of essays on various issues that Gay discusses through her experiences as a woman of colour whilst also providing a commentary on the state of feminism today. The majority of the book is split into three main sections titled, ‘Gender and Sexuality’, ‘Race and Entertainment’ and ‘Politics, Gender & Race’, so seemingly it is a good one to kick-start our book club with as it focuses on many of the topics we hope to discuss.

As mentioned, we want you to get involved! This book club is going to be a discussion and so your thoughts and opinions on whichever book we’re reading will be very much appreciated! You can send us an email with your opinion at girlsagainstbookclub@gmail.com. Any comments on the book we particularly enjoy will be included in August’s post.

I’m really looking forward to using this book club to discuss the issues that are important to Girls Against and myself and I hope you are able to take advantage of it in the same way!

Written by Alice Porter (@aliceporterx on Twitter).