While there were a couple of bits of this book I liked (hence the two stars), on the whole, this is a thumbs down for me.
Firstly, it was incredibly heWhile there were a couple of bits of this book I liked (hence the two stars), on the whole, this is a thumbs down for me.
Firstly, it was incredibly heterocentric. While the book at times acknowledged gay people existed, that didn't change the tone throughout. The only two gay people mentioned were a graffiti artist who did a work the author admired that was apparently commentary on the (then current) AIDS crisis, and a lesbian who on the author's advice maintained contact with her toxic, homophobic family. Apparently that was the right thing to do, because they've 'improved' over time. Sorry, lady, reality check. Queer people do not exist as diversity lessons for straight people. Cutting people who hate us is often GENUINELY a matter of survival. Just because the family structure is somewhat maintained does not justify the acid erosion of homophobia, up close and personal, on the individual. If you're in that situation, just get the fuck out.
Secondly, apparently, abusers are that way because of the patriarchy - because they had horrible childhoods and/or society made them do it. Oh, and empathising with them and forgiving them is the one true way to being awesomely full of joy and self-esteem. This, I would have thrown the book at the wall about, if I had a physical copy. While toxic masculinity and the patriarchy are actual things, these sentiments fail to acknowledge that some people out there hurt people because they like hurting people. My abuser had an idyllic childhood. He hurt me because he is a sociopathic sadist with a taste for little girls. He wasn't made that way by his parents or society - he did it because he wanted to, and he has no guilt for what he did. He's probably out there doing it to some other kid right now. Empathise with him? What would that teach me? Nothing. Forgive him? Listen. One of the most self-esteem building things I ever taught myself was that I didn't have to forgive. That honouring my experience was more important, and acknowledging that NOTHING justified the hurt I went through was more powerful than just giving him back my power again by saying it didn't matter, that it was excusable. It DID matter. And all trying to forgive him would do would be to put my own needs last, yet again.
Thirdly, she spent a whole whack of the middle complaining about kids today and modern society and how back before the '50s, materialism didn't exist (whut), whining that current day relationships are 'disposable as Dixie cups if someone's needs aren't being met' while almost in the same breath saying how great and important it is that people have the freedom to leave unhealthy relationships (confusing), and managing to victim blame Nicole Simpson and call Monica Lewinsky 'a prostitute' and a 'a fake victim' while rationalising that Bill Clinton couldn't keep it in his pants because of some childhood sad or something, like we should feel sorry for him for taking advantage of a woman decades younger than himself that he was in a huge position of power over (just plain tasteless, and really not the kind of thing I expected from someone labelled as a feminist with a speciality in male dominance) .
Lastly, despite acknowledging that organised religion is not the answer for everything, this book went weirdly heavily Christian at times, notably when the author wrote some whole section about angels being real and how the story of Jacob and Rachel was about him growing as a person, somehow. All I could think was, I remember that story, and it is LITERALLY about a man buying women like cattle. It's about trade - work in exchange for women. It's not about love at all. Oh, and because I actually don't believe in a soul or angels, I'm spiritually dead or not even human or something, IDEK. Way to go, there. Yes, I'm an atheist. Yes, I somehow manage to be a good, kind, empathetic, loving person despite not believing in God. Fancy that....more
Incredibly heteronormative and cisnormative, with new age weirdness throughout. I was hoping for a book that was more open and welcoming to autistic wIncredibly heteronormative and cisnormative, with new age weirdness throughout. I was hoping for a book that was more open and welcoming to autistic women, but it seems more like a manual for how to conform to society's rigid expectations of women than a book on how to empower yourself and love the woman you are. Some might like it and find it useful; I did not....more