I requested this book off Netgalley because I’m interested in this movement and what it means for our world as we know it. I’ve wanted to combine this review with some others, I’ll write for ARCs I requested from Netgalley, but decided it against it. You know why? Because I’d rather include a discussion on misogynism, sexual abuse, harassment and feminism.
I will start with the discussion, if you’re not interested, you can check my review down below!
I’ve been a feminist for some years now, a movement that I’m most grateful to, because before I was aware of its existence, I felt all those gender-based injustices and was so frustrated because I had nothing to turn to, no one to turn to. I found out about feminism from tumblr (you’re probably rolling your eyes right now, but as imperfect as tumblr feminism is, it’s something!) and I’ve felt like my issues weren’t mine anymore, I belonged to a group that shared my opinion that things had to change for the better.
I continued to learn and read about it from other sources too, I’ve related to many issues these women spoke about, I couldn’t relate to some of them, but I empathized to them nonetheless. Because it’s goddamn hard to be a woman. It’s goddamn hard to have all this pressure on your shoulders all the time, the pressure to always look good and slim because otherwise you’re not good enough, but not too good and not too hot because men can’t contain themselves around you. To try to be smart, but not too smart because men are intimidated by smart women. To try to get a job, but know that you will never measure to your male co-worker.
I’ve been tired for a while now to be catcalled, to have to think a hundred times about whether I can go to a certain event because it might be too late or whether there’s a lot of traffic around that area because some jackass might try something. I’m tired of having men touch me without my permission, like my body belongs to them and not to me, like I’m just an object that they can ogle to.
It’s awful because you can never feel safe when you’re around a man. Because reading these #MeToo stories, made me realize there are no guarantees a man will not try something. It doesn’t matter if you know them or not, if they are your relatives or friends, if they are young or old. It doesn’t matter what you wear, it doesn’t matter where you are going, it can happen to anybody and it can happen in any context. You are never protected from it.
Isn’t it sad that we have to learn our daughters how to avoid rape from a young age? Isn’t it sad how we teach our sons to be strong and always in control of their feelings? We teach them to be those robots that never feel too much, that can’t take ‘no’ for an answer because that would hurt their manhood?
1 in 5 women are raped. I know I would like to do something to stop this from happening. Maybe we should start by talking about it more or maybe we should start by educating our children differently.
And as a conclusion, I want to say that not all men, but enough men. And that hurts women every day.
Now, onto the book, I liked its purpose very much, it’s admirable, it’s raw and makes you feel things and understand the gravity of the issue. I was hoping for an all-women book, though, because while men have to be our allies in this problem, it would be nice to hear women speak of their issues, only women for a chance. I wanted to hear how #MeToo affected women, how it changed the way they saw life, whether the hashtag helped them or not. Men already have so many ocassions to speak, on any subject, this is about women or even men that had been victims of sexual abuse/harassment. But the men that contributed to this book, mostly spoke of how they had been ignorant of the magnitude of this issue or how they had been bullied at work and some of them did say supportive things, but you get my point.
There were some essays in this book that hurt me deeply, you have these strong women that had to go through so much at the hands of men. And it’s awful to read of it. There were some stories that didn’t surprise me because they happened to me too, to women I know, but I still stood there and wondered how did we reach this point where rape and harassment are the norm. And having control over your body being something that you were lucky enough to have.
This book mostly made me sad, it did raise some questions, most of these I had already thought about multiple times. There was a question that stood up, though, and that was whether #MeToo will make a lasting impression.
I’m very much interested in knowing this, too. Because for a while, it’s been an international matter, things changed, men lost their jobs, women came forward or felt safer speaking about what happened to them, but will it make a lasting impact?
Will it push us towards making this world we’re living in a safer place for women? Only time would tell, I suppose.
Thanks Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with this copy. I admire the hard work everyone put into this book in order to inform people about why #MeToo matters.
And I want to thank everyone that was brave enough to come forward with their stories, you are forever my heroes.
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