Culture · Non-Fiction

Girl Up by Laura Bates

What is it about?

Part guidebook, part feminist theory book, part memoir, Girl Up by Laura Bates is a follow up to her first book, Everyday Sexism. If Everyday Sexism is a call to arms, then Girl Up is trying to be the weaponry of the revolution.  Aimed at teenage girls/young adult women, this books covers issues such as porn, street harassment and body image, each chapter following an effective formula of; addressing the issue, making the point, backing it up with facts and figures, and then telling the reader how to combat the issue or otherwise deal with it.

Is it any good?

Laura Bates’ first book, Everyday Sexism, is a favourite of mine, so I was expecting high things of Girl Up. Honestly? It fell somewhat flat of my expectations. Whilst it does have its laugh-out-loud funny moments, it feels like Bates tries too hard to make jokes about everything, to the point where it becomes rather cringey and tedious. It reads like it can’t quite decide if it’s a book for teenagers or for feminists in general; resulting in a book full of four-letter words and lashings of patronising language. However, Girl Up does offer many eureka moments interspersed with brilliant graphics and illustrations. A good book for a fifteen-year-old girl looking for inclusive examples of feminism and how to navigate the world as a woman, but not a great place to start if you’re looking for feminist theory.

Rating: 6/10

How long did it take to read: four days

For fans of: intersectional feminsm, stand-up comedy, Tumblr, The Equality Illusion by Kat Banyard


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