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The Trouble With Women

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  3,101 ratings  ·  519 reviews
Can women be geniuses? Or are their arms too short? Did we only learn about three women at school? What were all the others doing?

The Trouble With Women does for girls what 1066 and All That did for boys: it reminds us of what we were taught about women in history lessons at school, which is to say, not a lot. A brilliantly witty book of cartoons, it reveals some of our gr
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published February 18th 2016 by Square Peg
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Now available EN FRANÇAIS here :)

I don't know what's the most horrifying really : the narrow-minded and downright stupid misconceptions all these so-called geniuses spread about women through History, or the fact that many people *cough* politicians! *cough* still perpetuate parts of these offensive stereotypes.

Jacky Fleming both quotes some *delightful* opinions from our much-beloved geniuses, like Charles Darwin...

or Jean-Jacques Rousseau (because I'm not chauvinistic) ... I mean, have you
Dave Schaafsma
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes, we have the depressingly realistic Handmaid’s Tale to satisfy our need for dystopian feminist horror, but once in a while we need to laugh at these related issues, even in these #metoo times (I say, speaking for myself, now, in the third person, and FOR you, in the male way). This is a very funny illustrated book documenting how stupid the male establishment has been throughout history in disrespecting the potential and achievements of girls and women.

[Inspirational story at the end of thi
Scarlet Cameo
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This one is so...sad...and accurate..and sad...ugly sad. If you're a person who think the most probable is that you know that, in the human kind history, women were relegate to minnor roles because the believe that they were incapable of think or doing things. Even the greatest minds of every generation (or something like that) believed that women don't have the brain to do something more than clean and mostly educate children.

But...why this book like me so much? I mean, there's a lot of book th
Susanne  Strong
Aug 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming is supposed to be a funny, sarcastic, take on the reasons why women don't appear in history books. Unfortunately, while the author might have written the truth about why women were not written about in history, the book wasn't funny, sarcastic, or tongue-in-cheek and I have a hard time believing that anyone else could possibly think so. I found the writing to be
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
+Digital copy gently provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review+

My feeble tiny spongy brain feel like fainting and a bit histerical after reading this enlightening book about the historical vision of women from many ejem 'well knowing' men.

The sad issue here, people, is that women keep getting the worst deal: minor wages, pricey medical insurances, and others. And face it, women are STILL seen as odd because we are single.

And yes, many awesome women do amazing things everyday. But w
Anusha Narasimhan
A unique tongue-in-cheek take on the history of women. I loved the sarcasm. Here are some of my favourite lines:

In the Older Days there were no women which is why you don't come across them in history lessons at school.

In the 700 years between Hildegard of Bingen and Jane Austen women writing was frowned upon, because it required thought, which interfered with childbirth.

Women found lifting a pen very tiring as it caused chlorosis which disrupted blood flow and in some cases led to uterine prola
Ivonne Rovira
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, of course!
Recommended to Ivonne by: Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
I love my history with a snide of snark. And does author Jacky Fleming ever deliver in The Trouble With Women. In this season of unbridled misogyny on display on the campaign trail, Fleming’s book provides the perfect antidote.

This book, illustrated with winsome cartoons, recounts how “genius” after “genius” — Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher Immanuel Kant, critic John Ruskin; Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin, the
Jul 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Bought for my daughter, but I couldn't resist a quick peek.

Very funny exploration of why women are inferior in all respects to men, and have been recognised as such throughout history. It seems that it is all to do with their small brains, weak bodies and inability to think proper.

I may have detected a hint of sarcasm now and then.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
★ 2016 AtY Reading Challenge ★: A book with a great opening line .
"In the Older Days there were no women which is why you don't come across them in history lessons at school. There were men and quite a few of them were Geniuses.
Then there were a few women but their heads were very small so they were rubbish at everything apart from needlework and croquet.
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love this! Funny and scathing. Buying this for all my female friends immediately.

One of my favourites of 2016, in the category 'Best Funny Feminism':
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism
This graphic novel was on my most-anticipated list and although it's very small format and has only 128pgs I am so happy I bought and read this. This is a humorous and eye-opening take on the history of women, or rather the way history has blocked out women. Every page has a small story, quote or point its making, and each one is satirical, funny or engaging in some way. One of the first we hear about, for example, is that Darwin thought women to be feeble and have smaller heads so they couldn't ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Update: several photos added to review

This is a really fun illustrated book (or should I say book of illustrations?). For anyone who likes sarcasm - you should love this book. A really fast read with way over the top sarcastic humour about how women were treated and thought of before the 20th century. Fun quick read!

I got this book free on Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. This was definitely worth my time!

P.S. Some time after reviewing I received a lovely gift from the publishers,
Rosemary Standeven
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finally, I know where I went wrong: “You see how pretty Emmy Noether was before she damaged her prospects with too much algebra”. So, it is not too much good food, lack of exercise, disability or approaching old age that has destroyed my youthful good looks – it is studying mathematics! Also, “The Marquise du Châtelet put herself at serious risk of growing a beard and ruining her reproductive system by dividing 9 figures by 9 other figures entirely in her head”. Fortunately, I have never been ab ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: july-2016, kindle
I don't think I've ever spluttered so much at a graphic novel. This was tongue-in-cheek hilarious.

A few personal favourites of mine:
- 'Women weren't allowed out at night because of their poor night vision. They were also too emotional to take anywhere so mostly they stayed in and wept, sometimes hysterically.'
- 'Women were more concerned about their skirts getting caught up in the wheels [of bicycles], and sat astride wearing Bloomers which turned them into lesbians.'
- 'One girls had learned six
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. I should also note that I read this via Adobe Digital Editions, and for some reason each page took quite a bit of time of load. This no doubt explains some of my frustration.

On the one hand, this is a funny book about why women get written out of history. On the other hand, it is a joke that goes on for too long. I don’t usually say this, but if this book had been saying half its length, it would have been funnier.

Flemings tongue in cheek look at how men and soc
Fabulous mockery (and educational) of history's intense misogyny.

A best of 2016 for me. Much more than a mere comic strip. In fact, it's a rather cohesive theme all the way through. Jumps around in timeline but easily read as a continuous strip from start to finish.

Jacky Fleming is a genius! I'd recommend for junior high or high school history classes. A fun changeup from dull textbook reading.

Thank you to the publisher for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive)
Read all my reviews on

This was fun and I grinned a lot while reading, but nothing laughing out loud as my feeble minded, tiny head would never be able to grasp it all.

On a more serious note: this booklet, it is too short to actually call it a book, makes fun of sexism by explaining historical visions on women from people nowadays considered geniuses. The sad part is of course, that while it is immediately clear now that these are all rubbish, they have held
My only issue with this, if you can even call it an issue, is that it seemed to have ended so abrubtly. Aside from that I was living for how shady this book is. Each page is dripping with sarcasm that is equally entertaining, appalling and informative.

Honestly, women are amazing and utterly badass. The trouble with them is that they will not take your bullshit for so long without revolting about it at some point.
Liz Janet
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
There are people today that believe this. Humanity is doomed!!!
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a nice cynical tale about the general relationship between men and women. It has some very nice drawings to clarify the points made also.

I thank Rosemary for her recommendation.
Jessica Jeffers
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, feminism
This book is a flippin' brilliant satire. ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is being compared to reading Kate Beaton, and in a way, it is. This book explains why we never hear about women doing anything in the past. And now we know, it is because they didn't exist, or those that did had tiny heads, so couldn't study very well.

Very occasionally a woman would learn a foreign language, go abroad to study and come back qualified as a doctor, but that didn't prove anything except hat women cause trouble as soon as you allow them out.

For a long time there were no b
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a very quick read. (It took me less than 3o minutes to finish.) It's a satirical look at the history of female genius–basically, 117 pages of biting sarcasm. It is equal parts funny and infuriating, and features black-and-white illustrations on every page. It's a great little book to flip through if you want to have a good gripe session about the unfairness of female history. I would also recommend it as a gift for a female friend. ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Smart, snarky, dark satire look at the way women have been thought of and marginalized through the ages, in cartoon form... my only complaint was that it was too short and ended way too soon!
"In the 700 years between Hildegard of Bingen and Jane Austen, women writing was frowned upon becase it required thought, which interfered with childbirth. Women found lifting a pen very tiring as it caused chlorosis which disrupted blood flow and in some cases led to uterine prolapse. Or was that the corsets?"

This was a light and short take on how women have been bullied throughout history and why they have been deemed too incompetent to deserve a place in history books.


The book is built around
Chris Wolak
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A funny and biting satire on how women have been left out of history and relegated to their own sphere by ridiculous notions of femininity and masculinity. Several male "geniuses" are targeted for their ridiculous theories. Ironies, double-standards, and plain ridiculousness-es are pointed out, such as: Women's hands are weak, so they can't hold paint brushes long enough to create great art, yet at the same time women are also slaves and work in coal mines.
Read my full review at http://www.wildm
I absolutely loved this book. It's an easy and highly enjoyable read on history's sexist double standards and invisibilization of women (mainly focusing on the 18th-20th Centuries), and the style, both regarding the text and the lovely illustrations (both by Jacky Fleming), is full of an awesome feminist snark that is on point. Highly recommended. ...more
Robin Stevens
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I laughed until I WEPT. It's so funny because it's so true. One for every feminist.

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this, but I don't think it's something that will really stick with me in the future. ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A funny little book about how women have been oppressed, caged (in the "domestic sphere", plus those damn corsets and heels), ignored and lied to - as we all have concerning half the human race - all throughout history by important, "genius" men who you definitely learn about in school and history books.

Jokey review ahead:

Academic men - scientists, evolutionists, philosophers, anthologists - seemed to have achieved so much, and were revolutionary in their intelligence and open-mindedness. Yet m
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Jacky Fleming went to a suffragette school in London. She emerged awesomely uneducated because of the teachers' inexplicable preference for Latin as a first language. A year at Chelsea School of Art and a degree in fine art at Leeds University greatly improved her table-football technique. Other qualifications include A— for posture and a silver medal in Latin-American dancing. A brief stint in th ...more

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“Schopenhauer said only men had the total objectivity necessary for genius, and that you only had to look at a woman’s shape to see that she wasn’t intended for much mental or physical work.” 8 likes
“Women were more concerned about their skirts getting caught up in the wheels, and sat astride wearing Bloomers which turned them into Lesbians.” 6 likes
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