13 April, 2013

Book Review: The F Word: How We Learned to Swear by Feminism

The F Word: How We Learned to Swear by Feminism - Jane Caro & Catherine Fox
From Goodreads: When it comes to the work/life balance, modern women continually find themselves in a no-win situation where they are criticized regardless of the path they choose. The F Word: How We Learned to Swear By Feminism argues that the pervasive idea that women will never be able to effectively combine work or interests outside the home with marriage, a social life and parenting is a furphy. In their lively and topical new book, Caro and Fox combine both personal experience and the stories of a range of women with the big picture, and provide practical suggestions for forgiving ourselves, having fun and not giving up while holding it all together.

What I Thought: I think one of the great myths of today is that woman have achieved equality. We haven't - at least not in reality anyway. While it all appears good on paper, reality proves otherwise.
You see, equality is about more than the right to a career, more than about equal pay for equal work, more than the right to make decisions about our own bodies, our own money, our own lives (although all of that is important), it's also about being viewed as equals in society regardless of our marital status, parenthood status, age or appearance. It's about not being judged because we return to work, don't return to work, have ambition to reach the top of the corporate tree, have a spotless house, have a messy house, serve home cooked meals, pick up takeaway - you get the picture. It's about not having to "play the game" a way a man does in order to get ahead, being able to be ourselves without being labeled a slut, a ball breaking bitch, a macho cow. You only have to spend half a day listening closely to conversations or cruising social media sites to realise all of these happen every day. Whether it happens in your house or not, reality is that regardless of their work outside the home, women still do the majority of work inside the home as well. Our clothes, our weight, our whole appearance is still open for comment and debate. Violence against women is still seem by many as a joke, and when women don't laugh, show our disgust, we are called names and told to develop a sense of humour. Reality is, it's not funny. Don't believe this stuff still goes on? Go to Google and type in the following and see the suggestions you get.

Women shouldn't...
Women should...
Women need...
Women want to...

Now put men at the front. Notice the difference? 

Jane Caro and Catherine Fox discuss all of these things and more. They also celebrate how far we have come, how our sisters in other cultures are still facing days we have left behind and how important it is to continue. We need to reclaim the word feminism and make it about what it really is - men and women who support positive change and want true equality for all.

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