I Call Myself a Feminist is a collection of essays written by twenty-five women under the age of thirty, who have been carefully picked out by editors Victoria Pepe, Rachel Holmes, Amy Annette, Alice Stride and Martha Moss to reflect on what it means to be a feminist. Urged by the initiators behind Fifty Shades of Feminism, the editors attempt to put together a collection suitable for everyone – whether you call yourself a feminist or not. The book explores our generation’s views on feminism, and it does so with a wide range of writers, hoping to reach a diverse range of readers.
The introduction written by the editors presents the task at hand; “We need feminism”, they write, “because girls are shot in the head for going to school”, women are underrepresented in too many spheres of life and they are punished for not submitting to any male desire. Indeed, we need feminism, and the twenty-five writers that follows the introduction explores these issues admirably. In the essay ‘Silent Screamers’ Yas Necati addresses how she, at a young age, labelled herself “Feminist” and she found it isolating. She argues that young people are represented in the mainstream media as without opinions, so when you combine “young” and “female” you get a silent screamer – one whose voice is not heard. Caroline Kent, another writer in the collection, has found a way to be heard by becoming a dating columnist but she describes herself as a hypocrite, because her life and her relationships have been far from perfect. She finds comfort, however, in feminism because it is the only place where it is okay that she is difficult, confused, and it does not want her to be less – or more – than she is.
I Call Myself a Feminist is for everybody. The essayists are neither well known nor highly experienced, but that is exactly what makes the read worthwhile: it is raw and unpolished, and it covers a number of political, social and cultural aspects of Feminism on a personal and identifiable level.
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