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Girl Up

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,390 ratings  ·  488 reviews
They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups - never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 21st 2016 by Simon & Schuster Ltd
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,390 ratings  ·  488 reviews

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Bo Bickmore
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
You know those scoff worthy puberty guides you were given in high school that glossed over tackling serious issues and just gave very basic and limited information? Well this book shits all over those! From page one I wanted to thrust this into every teenage girls hands but also into the hands of her parents and her male friends and every teacher that thought the Sex Ed that they were teaching was good enough. Laura Bates highlighted all the important lessons that young people should be being ta ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
This is a book, that is essentially a guide for girls, and has gone on the complete assumption that you know nothing regarding the subjects of relationships, bodies, sex and sexism. So really, if you know all of this stuff, some women may find this pretty pointless to read, right? Wrong! This book was rather thought provoking, humorous, but all done in a simple manner, so it may be understood by anyone.

I found the chapters about feminism, our bodies and women's mental health the most interestin
Acordul Fin
I'm not the intended audience for this book, it's meant for much younger people (didn't realize it when I picked it up), but If I had read this 10 years earlier I would have benefited quite a lot from it. ...more
Lucy (TheBookBelle)
Every woman needs to read this. So brilliant.

Watch my video review of Girl Up here:
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
She tries to be intersectional, although it seems more like an afterthought than at the centre of her feminism and experience. I don't think I'll be reading from Laura Bates again and I'm sick of her brand of feminism being labelled revolutionary. She's nothing new, just seems to produce more of the recycled 3rd wave typical stuff you can get on the internet. You can most definitely read more intersectional informative content from a more diverse range of opinions for free on the internet. If I ...more
Anna Morgenstern
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I believe this book should be handed out to every teenager and young women.
Bates covers everything from career to sexism to sex
Very recommended
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perfect book to give girls a confidence boost and an ideal start to feminism 💜
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
They told you you need to be thin and beautiful.

They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups - never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels.

They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty.

They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you'll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreake
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
First off, I think it should be made clear that this book is aimed at teenage girls. I wasn't clear on that when I initially downloaded it, so I wanted to make that clear in my review so that others reading it won't be surprised like I was.

Now, this isn't a criticism, I just think it needs to be clear who the target audience is because this book is divided into 12 chapters giving advice to teenage girls on how to deal with different things they will encounter as they grow up and enter society. T
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So this is basically just an excellent and empowering guide to life for young women everywhere. Yes is has some swears, yes Bates talks about vaginas a lot, yes she tackles some really challenging and confronting topics. But also yes, she does all this in a respectful and hilarious way. This is exactly what we all need and I want to give it to every young woman I know. "When the going gets tough, the tough Girl Up." ...more
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you've been following me on social medias you'd know how much I love Laura Bates & her Everyday Sexism project & how that book pretty much changed my life.

For someone that has read about feminism for years, it felt a bit redundant at times - but mainly because concepts like "no means no" are obvious things to me now. If you want to start reading about feminism, sexism, body image & sex in a positive way this is the right book for you.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I've been reading this off and on with my little sister since we checked it out from the library about a week ago and we finally finished Girl Up this morning. I'm so glad I was able to read this with her because there were so many important things in this book that she needed to know but that I didn't have the words to accurately talk to her about, but this book helped me with that. Eye-opening and enchanting. ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Girl Up is a guide that comes with a sexist bullshit klaxon and is written on the assumption that you know literally nothing about sex, relationships, bodies, anything that society, and largely men, feel that they can dictate for young girls and women. So if you know all this stuff, you might find it a little redundant (but still pretty on point and funny), but it's not really for you, is it? Imagine being 13, all the stuff you had no idea about or only knew about via playground chat or the inte ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
This is a fantastic book about how to deal with being a young girl/woman in the current climate. I laughed out loud several times at the hilarious comebacks/flow charts/illustrations but it also brought home to me how much further we have to go before we live in a more equal world.

Laura Bates is a fantastic writer who backs her fantastically constructive opinions up with statistics and real life examples. A must read for everyone like her first novel.
Kara Babcock
It took me a while, but I figured out why it took me so long to read this book: the typeface.

That might seem picky, or petty, but it's true. This small, heavyweight, sans serif typeface just did not appeal to me. I trucked on—because this book is definitely reading—but I did not, alas, enjoy the actual experience of reading it. Your mileage will probably vary, but typography is something I’m sensitive to.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. The truth is, Girl Up is quite fantastic. It’s kind o
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“Girl Up” is a fantastic, unapologetic book that, frankly, EVERYBODY needs to read. Laura Bates points out the difficulty of a young girl living in a very flawed patriarchal society. It is clearly aimed at young teenage girls who are dealing with trying to understand why being a boy is different, why society expects them to dress sexy but still cover up so they don’t get raped, why it’s okay for boys to sleep around but condemn woman who are comfortable with their sexuality, why taking control d ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
"The way you feel is not liked to the shape of your body."

These may seem like simple and obvious words, but still they were able to let me think about myself differently. Bates expertly adds these small pick-me ups throughout the book: there is one that hits home for every reader, I would think.

The book provides a 101 look at gender, feminism, sex, relationships (online and offline) and even though I've read my share of books on these topics, never have I found a book as simply-put and informati
Alyce Hunt
It has been a long time since I've felt this incensed and motivated. I've read a lot of feminist books in the last couple of years, but this is the most inspiring and definitely the most in-depth, tackling more topics than you'd imagine possible in 300 pages and delving deeply into each one.
If you're a feminist, read this book and feel justified.
If you're not a feminist, read this book, girl up and stop being an arsehole.
Katey Lovell
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is the kick up the backside I needed. A frank, feminist read that tells it like it is. Highly readable and wholly empowering.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Controversy reigned within the school library as soon as Girl Up arrived in the post. Banned for review by all years groups except Year 13 who duly refused to have anything to do with it.
As you can appreciate Girl Up was instantly deemed unsuitable for distribution within the school library due to the satirical and outrageous delivery of the subject matter, pictures of dancing lady parts would not be accepted by the majority parents. However, as a parent of teenage girls myself, I can certainly
Fadilla Putri
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
"If you try to challenge unfair or prejudiced authority and find that you aren’t successful, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you’ve played a part in a revolution whose end just isn’t yet in sight. And even if you manage to make one person think differently, or change one single mind, you’ve taken a step towards a goal that will eventually be reached, thanks to your help. Winning isn’t everything. Making a difference is what matters."

Another book that fascinates me ❤

also this is the first review ever wow


This is so good! It's inclusive, funny and addictive. I found it very informative and entertaining. People of all genders and experiences should definitely read this,
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Young Persons Life Bible!

Superbly written. I only wish I had this fantastic book to read when I was in my teens. Every young person should be given this book. A fun and light hearted approach to deliver some extremely important messages. I have so much respect for Laura Bates and everything she has done to stand up to everyday sexism.
Touchstone Books
WHAT CAN WE EVEN SAY ABOUT THIS BOOK OTHER THAN WE ARE OBSESSED WITH IT!!! Dancing vaginas for everyone! (Literally though, the endpapers are illustrated tap-dancing vaginas). Check them out at!
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-work
I am so unbelievably thrilled to bring this incredible book to the US!! I want every teenager to read this book. #girlUp
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
(Review Not on Blog)

If you loved Bates' Everyday Sexism you will like this one. I like the format - writing and images.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This was a really great book! Not everything applied to me, but I absolutely loved basically everything. From the witty writing style Bates uses to tell the stories of girls throughout the ages who decided to defy the sexism and double standards around them to how she totally calls out history, society, the media and entertainment industry and politics when it comes to those exact double standards. I also loved that she really carefully explains what things like sexism and feminism are and it's ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I'm glad she did because this book was beautiful. My friends, family, and regular readers know that most of my background and interests lie mostly in Queer Theory and Gender studies, however most of my research and reading tends to deal more with sexuality between men and internal construction of masculinity. I'm actually really weak in terms of women and their gender construction. It was a lovely surprise then while reading this book that most of ...more
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Oh lordy. Do I love this book? Yes, yes, yes I do! Laura Bates has written a diamond of a book and I salute her for EVERYTHING she has said here. From school uniform dress codes to porn - this book covers everything that girls and young women face today. And I must add that I myself, want my own 'sexist bullshit klaxon'
Although it touches on some very serious and hard topics (e.g consent and rape) Bates delivers with every chapter with a sprinkling of humour (occasionally in the form of dancing
Matthew Kozak
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Yup -
And Super Yup -
To MOST everything in this book!

Really enjoyed the visuals as well (...but really, what kid raised off of pop-up picture books and Capri-Suns wouldn't have :).

Like most Rock-Star and No-Nonsense books, this is not for the faint of heart. This is not a butter knife of a book, but a butcher knife of one - cutting right to the heart of a lot of important issues and items that need discussion.

I wouldn't buy it for my 8 to 13 year old niece or daughter to go on her present table
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Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 100,000 testimonies of gender inequality, with branches in 25 countries worldwide. She works closely with politicians, businesses, schools, police forces and organisations from the Council of Europe to the United Nations to tackle gender inequality. She was awarded a British Empire Medal for services t ...more

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“If a guy is put off by you being a feminist, you need to ask yourself how put off you are by someone who doesn't believe in equality for women.” 8 likes
“A slut isn’t a person, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Like beauty, or an annoying eyelash. We decide who a girl is based on something she’s done (or even just rumoured to have done) and then brand her with it as if it’s a permanent part of her identity. Guys, on the other hand, get to wear their relationships and ‘conquests’ like medals or badges of honour, which are much easier to take off, and hurt a lot less.” 4 likes
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