WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU PRETTY – FLORENCE GIVEN

#LizzieReads

I’m really not sure where to start without trying to offend anyone – oh wait, do I feel like that because I am a woman?

These are just some of the issues Florence Given raises in her novel. A self-proclaimed feminist, her novel is essential an amalgamated piece of things we are learning to understand in society.

This is a very feminist book, however I did find myself a bit bored throughout reading it, much to my disappointment. It happens, some books just don’t float your boat and this was one of them. The fact that this took me a long time to read gives an indication as to how I felt, as I didn’t look forward to reading it (but I can’t not finish a book!).

For me, it was alright. But only just that.

I understand this has received a lot of positive reviews and publicity online, but sadly I feel this was overhyped. But that isn’t to say I disagreed with her, I think it was more her way of writing and the fact that I have already read a lot of feminist pieces here and there to educate myself.

I agreed with her points of women not needing to seek ‘another half’ which is, let’s be honest, expected of society. And an unmarried, single woman is a ‘sad sight’ – maybe she is happy on her own?

For me, I didn’t quite get why there was so much swearing in a bid to get a point across at times, which made me raise my eyebrow at times. I too like to call myself a feminist, but being an introvert, maybe I just have a different view on how to express my own views.

Being a feminist means different things to different people; to different women. Some may still possess the idea feminists are women that burn bras and hate men, but that is rarely the case! Men can be feminists too!

Not only did she draw on feminist points, but societal issues regarding racism, sexism, gender stereotypes, class, ethnicity and sexuality, which are things I did open myself up to when reading this. For instance, being a slim, white woman is more likely to get you ahead than a larger, overlooked counterpart who may be more skilled.

Given’s book did confirm a few of the things I have experienced which I wouldn’t have thought too much about previously, such as considering how I dress to be considered a looking by others: think about that, I’m dressing for someone else, not me? Let me tell you, I dress for me and my fam would back me up otherwise! Or even work dress: choosing not to wear heels because they are so darn uncomfortable and damaging, yet are considered professional and appropriate in business settings. Being taken more seriously for wearing makeup. Just some of the small things that women are punished for where men are most likely not to.

This isn’t me hating on men. No. Far from it. It is an overview of how society has portrayed women, especially through the arts and media, which we are still trying to combat and change views for equality.

I’m glad I read this as I did learn some new bits, however I still remained bored and did not look forward to reading it. It is a quick, easy read otherwise at just over 200 pages with pictures for those who enjoy this genre.

rating – 2.5/5 – only half, just because I was a little bored to pick this up
genre – intersectional feminism

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