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Everywoman: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,057 ratings  ·  101 reviews
If you’re thinking, ‘Jess, who?’ then I’m glad that there was something about ‘Everywoman’ and ‘truth’ that caught your eye.

Or you might already know me as that gobby MP who has a tendency to shout about the stuff I care about. Because I’m a woman with a cause, I have been called a feminazi witch, a murderer and threatened with rape. The internet attracts a classy crowd.

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Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 23rd 2017 by Hutchinson
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  1,057 ratings  ·  101 reviews


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Lucy Banks
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Frank, open account about how women are treated in society - and what to do about it!

I've always been quite fond of Jess Phillips. She speaks her mind (sometimes a little too much), but at heart, she seems to care about what she does, and genuinely wants to make a difference. Yes, she wears her heart on her sleeve, in a working environment which doesn't really accept that sort of thing, and I respect her for it.
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Emmy Gregory
Jess Phillips and I probably agree on about 95% of the issues. It certainly raises my estimation of her when the worst people on the internet despise her as much as they do. The book is interesting, readable, sometimes funny, and usually pretty well informed.

So why only three stars? Well... I have a deeper unease about this book which I can't put out of my mind. If I start with the Caitlin Moran quote that's prominently displayed, it may become clearer. Caitlin Moran wrote a book entitled "How
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Claire Nundy
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jess Phillips is what a lot of people would call a shouty feminist. In this book she speaks the truth even when the truth is difficult or unpleasant. What's the opposite of pretentious? Down to earth? That's exactly what this book is. Everyone who thinks politicians are all pretentious elitists needs to read this book. She's unapologetic and confident throughout. Her underlying message all the way through is that if she can do it, then so can you.
B.E.L.L.A.Mc
I hated it, and it's left me feeling despair and anger. Despair for those in the UK desperate for a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn, and anger at right wing MP’s pretending to be Socialists.

If you're expecting - as I was - a book about women and our fight for our Rights; you'll not find it here. I'm absolutely aghast at what Mrs. Phillips has written. She uses ad hominem, disparaging comments/analogies aimed at Jeremy Corbyn throughout; he’s the Leader of the Labour Party she’s supposed
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Georgia O'Brien
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't always agree with Jess Phillip's politics, but Everywoman is a revelation. I am feminist/political book junkie and Everywoman rises above a crowded field because it is totally unpretentious. If you're looking for a manifesto, this isn't it. But what you will find is a book that is honest even when honesty is ugly. Funny, smart and inspiring.
Sarah Bates
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a rant. A glorious, emotional and completely inspiring rant. It reads as if it’s spoken - so you can hear the voice very clearly. I was in tears at the end, and I have made some resolutions as a consequence.
Rick Burin
It’s quite hard to judge this book, just as it’s quite hard to know what to make of Jess Phillips. She has done more good than I will ever do in my life. Her campaigns to stop violence against women are extraordinary and inspiring. She receives intolerable abuse because she is a woman who strongly and unapologetically speaks out about appalling, systemic misogyny. And she seems to expend an unusual amount of energy launching unhelpful, self-aggrandising attacks on her own party, then complaining ...more
Lucyfedia
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and I greatly admire Jess Phillips. This is a plain speaking guide on how she got into politics and how she handles all the shit now she is there. Written shortly after Jo Cox’s death, she examines how the stakes are set for women in positions of power and how to deal with attempts to silence women’s voices.

Useful for tips and insights on:

* Quotas
* Logical consequences of meritocracy
* Self Promotion - it’s very refreshing to hear someone just straight up talk about how they
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Laura
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fresh, frank and unpretentious. Jess Phillips' book is an education about the workings of the political system in Westminster and an inspirational rallying call to women everywhere. I didn't think I agreed with her on lots of issues, and I still don't agree with her on some, but she's won me over in a big way. Know a woman, young or otherwise, who needs a confidence or self-belief boost? Buy them this.
Katey Lovell
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Jess Phillips discusses serious issues in her trademark honest, no-nonsense way and the result is a collection of themed articles addressing feminism, politics and British society.

Everywoman is not a light read, but it is an important one. It is both rage-inducing and raucous, and Jess comes across as a woman with society's best interests at heart - and exactly the sort of person I want representing me.

An empowering read.
Robin Temmink
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's magnificent! It's an introduction to the life of Jess, a self help book for (aspiring) activists/campaigners/politicians and an analysis of sexism in politics written from the front. All in one! I only paused to let particularly poignant point sink in.
Sarah
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those books which made me want to rush out and tell everyone to read it on finishing. Jess recounts how she became an MP, but this isn't just a memoir. It's about something much bigger - how female MPs and women in politics are perceived and treated, society's attitudes towards women who are subjected to domestic abuse (she worked at Women's Aid in Birmingham for a number of years before being elected), and so much more besides. If any of this sounds vaguely intriguing to you then I ...more
Catherine Anna
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both reassuring and inspiring.
Clarissa
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Jess Phillip’s writes refreshingly frankly displaying her trademark honesty on all truths presented.

‘Everywoman:...’ is an easily accessible, no frills, no feminist/political academic jargon publication which allows us, the general public, to get on board and see politics transparently - which it bloody well should be. Jess doesn’t pussyfoot around serious issues but hits them head on and presents them as they are backed up with the facts. It’s not all doom and gloom, there are plenty of witty
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Louise
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding! I am immediately recommending this to everyone I know and I'm sure my social media followers are already sick of my posting screenshot of my favourite passages. This book made me angry - in a good way! I feel fired up to make a difference, equipped with some brilliant counter-arguments and facts and ready to go make some changes in my community. It's also heartwarming and tear jerking and of course funny. Must read!
James
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: society
This book was not written for me, and I know this because the last line told me I'm kick-ass, as all women are. I can't say I'm a fan of Phillips either, and after reading this I respect her more, but am no more fond of her, finding her hypocritical and self-important, even if the abuse she gets is undeserved.

I imagine people who like Phillips will like this book too, as it largely mirrors her public profile (which to be fair is consistent with her position that she is 'just herself' as an MP)
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Louise Douglas
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback
I read this book in one weekend while house-sitting for my sister. It was so hot out that I basically hibernated on the sofa in front of a fan and devoured this book.

I’d heard of Jess Phillips before with some of her tweets being retweeted into my timeline, but I didn’t really know much of who she was. This book was a great intro into her mind and the things that she stands for.

Partly her life story, partly her opinions on key issues such as abuse against women, the book was compelling
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Johanne
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I am ever harassed, marginalised, silenced, bullied or abused I want Jess Phillips in my corner. Reading this book filled my heart with joy and sadness in equal measure. Jess is a powerful, feisty, opinionated Brummie and I wish there were more voices like hers in both society and Parliament. She has issues she cares passionately about and isn't afraid to say it like it is. The parts of the book which deal with her work with and campaigning for women who have suffered violence and domestic ...more
Robin Hall
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jess Phillips isn't the best writer in the world, and not everyone will agree with her politics. But she speaks from the heart, and what she has to say is important. Her book is easy to read, her points easy to understand and the impact of what she fights for could be significant. She is a feminist who can articulate how equality should be a positive thing for men as well as women, someone who fights for families who refuses to value anyone by the number of children they have and a real ...more
Daniela Coelho
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. Jess, a Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, feminist and anti-violence campaigner, provides so many interesting stories in this book. Although she has tried to make it as lighthearted as possible by discussing funny situations which she went through, there were occasions where I felt my eyes watering because of some of the heartbreaking stories which she writes about. I felt that I could relate to many of the situations which she discusses because I went through ...more
Heather
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now that I've broken my reading funk I'm working my way through my half-finished books from the last few months. I've seen Jess talk at a few events this year - she's so good, she talks sense, she talks of how she was sick of being on the wrong side of the table and became an MP to get on the right side and really fight for change. I find that marvellous. Jess' book is a manifesto that outlines what many women go through, and encourages you to use your voice. There are highs in her life and her ...more
Martin Talbot
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

I had been aware of this book for a few months and had kept meaning to pick it up and read it. I wish it hadn’t taken so long. What a fantastic book.
Jess Phillips is an MP for a Birmingham constituency, whose name I have seen around, who occasionally I had seen speaking on TV, Twitter or elsewhere on the Internet. I always warmed to her. Now I love her.
This is required reading for anyone interested in gender relations, who thinks the patriarchy is a thing and who wants to understand
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Bob Hartley
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only complaints I can have about this are negligible: the language used in it contains a lot of these 80's americanisms, and the writing gives the impression of being too down to earth, if that makes sense. At times it's like when I ring Giffgaff voicemail and the robot voice says, "you've no messages. Nice one." Bit too matey (I write unironically).

But I'm not really the target audience, and Jess Phillips MP does use the same, if less spell-checked, style on social media and articles, so
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Amy Alice
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I didn't know anything about this when I saw it on the library shelf, but thought that the title sounded like a strong feminist book. Later I realised that this was by Jess Phillips, the Labour MP. I thought that her chapters on feminism, on how women are treated differently, and on female politicians were amazing. However, there was a lot of "look how amazing at everything I am". She does point out that as women we are not encouraged to flaunt our successes and maybe that is why I find it so ...more
Stacey
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jess Phillips is tough as nails. The fact she wrote this within two years of becoming an MP with a huge workload is sheer bloody-mindedness. Opinionated, loud and under a constant barrage of online abuse and threats for speaking up about violence against women, Jess gives a pretty good insight into what it means to be a woman and an MP, trying to get anything done in Westminster. She's honest about her mistakes and urges others to find their voice and not to be silenced. She also discusses the ...more
Sho
Well that was a refreshing read. I've only heard/read/seen a little of Jess Philips but what I've seen I've liked.

What I like is her commitment to helping up and holding up other women with deeds as well as words. THAT is feminism.

I do have a couple of issues with the writing. Jess is from Birmingham UK and as such I wonder at her use of the word "douche". It's just... I don't know, we don't really use that one in Britain do we? Wanker fits better, wankspangle even better.

Also there was a part
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Rhiannon Grant
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This is an interesting, passionate, lively book. Much of it I already knew at some level, but Phillips as an MP has a particular insight into some of our political system which added a great deal. I did find some aspects of it odd - although feminism and gender is a constant theme, I think she doesn't use the words 'trans' or 'cis' even once. I can imagine reasons for that choice (some of them good ones: e.g. not knowing enough about the issues to form a careful opinion), but it had the ...more
Laura Boakes
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
9/10 Jess Phillips is, among many things, a labour MP, passionately outspoken & proudly feminist, standing resolutely amongst the, still largely male dominated, parliament in the UK. Everywoman powerfully delivers the truth on a range of issues, from motherhood, to equality, to violence, to growing up, & pretty much everything in-between. Whilst it could be perceived as ‘preachy’, I think Jess manages to speak not just one woman’s ‘truth about’*, but as the title intends, the truth for ...more
Sarah
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with Jess Phillips about a lot of things, many of which she mentions in this book. It is passionately written and quite visceral in places. It spares no punches and doesn't worry about fancy language or writing.

I think I wanted to read a book about feminism and women's issues though, and instead this was more of an autobiography.

Jess writes as she speaks; I'm sure for many this is a really valuable part of the book, and it is great to have her regional accent and less-traditional
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Jemma
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best political autobiographies I've read and accessible to everyone, as she notes that her English is plain spoken. Jess is the kind of person you would want as a friend and whom it is great to see in Parliament. Perhaps you don't think you could cut it in Parliament, well Jess will show you how you might and will help if she can.

Happy to explore her genuinely leftist roots and yet not seduced by a would-be Messiah, Jess is the genuine article and calls a spade a spade when necessary.
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