The Feminist Orchestra Bookclub discussion

Everyday Sexism
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Book Discussions > Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates Discussion

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Jean Menzies (jeanmenzies) | 115 comments I mean, this is already one of the absolute best books I've read this year so... I hope at least some of you love it as much :). I can't wait to hear your thoughts regardless.


Dani (danieadie) | 10 comments I read this at the start of the year back when you first mentioned it on your channel. Still one of my fav reads of the year. I think the end was my favourite because despite the content and tone of the book, it gave me hope and really inspired me. Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did!


Nurai | 3 comments I'm reading this now, and it is so good! It makes me super angry, but in a - i want to do something about this - way, so I suppose that's a good thing. I made my mom read some of it (she's a feminist but she's often hesitant in saying things like this) and she's already stood up to a sexist co-worker (I was very proud). When I'm reading I keep thinking: everyone needs to read this, if only more people - specifically men - read this.


message 4: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie (marienuit) | 2 comments Nurai wrote: "I'm reading this now, and it is so good! It makes me super angry, but in a - i want to do something about this - way, so I suppose that's a good thing. I made my mom read some of it (she's a femini..."

I agree with every single thing you say! It makes me SOOO angry to and I've only read 25 pages so far... I'm so shocked about the radio show telling a student who wants contraceptive coverage in health-insurance plans that she's "a slut", "a prostitute" who has "so much sex it's amazing she still can walk", and "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, we want sthg for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch" :o OMG no, if "you" pay for it, what you get is no undesired kids so shut the hell up. And it makes me think that often, as a woman, I don't allow myself to say things "violent" like that "shut the hell up", because I'm told that it's hormones or PMS and so I have to be calm to be taken seriously... You can't really get angry, I don't know what you all think about that?


Jean Menzies (jeanmenzies) | 115 comments Nurai wrote: "I'm reading this now, and it is so good! It makes me super angry, but in a - i want to do something about this - way, so I suppose that's a good thing. I made my mom read some of it (she's a femini..."

This is exactly how I felt! Angry but it was a motivating anger. It made me especially concerned with the immanency of change for the next generations hearing about what young girls are going through even now. And it made me reflect back on some of the situations I'd been put in by men I hand't wanted to think about and realised how truly unacceptable they were when I'd just brushed them off. Go your mum! That is fantastic.


Jean Menzies (jeanmenzies) | 115 comments Marie wrote: "Nurai wrote: "I'm reading this now, and it is so good! It makes me super angry, but in a - i want to do something about this - way, so I suppose that's a good thing. I made my mom read some of it (..."

The double edged sword of being an angry woman is so frustrating. As if your anger is unacceptable or something you should be ashamed off when really you deserve to be angry. Being called emotional when you are making any valid point against someone seems to be so common towards women and it has definitely shut me up before, which is the worst bit. It shames you :(.


Ella Taylor (ellamariereads) | 1 comments This was a re-read for me (I originally read it two years ago) and I still stand by what I told my friends when I first read it; it should be read by absolutely anyone and everyone. Such an important, eye opening read.


Nurai | 3 comments I finished it last night, and I really liked (I almost said enjoyed but that doesn't seem like the right word) the last chapters. I thought the chapter about double discrimination was great, because that is something that's often brushed aside, when it is very important to take into account, and also the chapter about men and how -while they do experience sexism- experience it in a very different way. Very glad I read this and I hope my dad will be open to reading it as well.


message 9: by Nurai (last edited Oct 24, 2016 03:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nurai | 3 comments Jean wrote: "Nurai wrote: "I'm reading this now, and it is so good! It makes me super angry, but in a - i want to do something about this - way, so I suppose that's a good thing. I made my mom read some of it (..."

The part about the young girls really made me stop and think as well. My best friend has a fourteen-year old sister who is being rated on Instagram daily (by friends, and the ratings are always nice, but that's not really the point) and that's one of the things that makes me feel so sad: society is forcing young girls to be women earlier and earlier, sexualizing them when they're still children. I think there might be a link between this and the growth of social media and how children are on social media more and more, but it's also very much a part of how society is designed to judge women first and foremost on their appearance - which is horrible.


Quinn (muldwych) | 1 comments I really liked this book. I was actually suprised at how much I liked it and how intersectional it was. I think this might be the first book about feminism I've read that actually mentioned trans women. The chapter on double discrimination was my favourite but I liked how discrimination against minorities wasn't just limited to that chapter, like through out the book we would hear from woc or lgbt women or disabled women too. The information on violence againt women especially the women under attack chapter were soul-crushing but so important. Thank you for picking this book, it was definitely worth reading.


message 11: by Anatha (last edited Oct 25, 2016 07:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anatha (anatha_bananatha) | 1 comments I'm only about halfway through it myself, but I'm already impressed by some of the points Bates has brought up; I'm matching them up to my own recent experience at college. I have hope that we will of course win gender equality and acceptance of all lifestyles and walks of life, even if it means I'm not going to see it in my lifetime.

However, the revelation of "lad culture" slipping into place once the "boy's club" generation has retired and passed on, etc., grossly disturbed me. I knew what happened to girls at Greek parties sometimes, even at my own campus, but always after the fact. I assumed that the perpetrators themselves were brought up in such that they would generally feel entitled to have sex with whoever they want, regardless of consent. The rape culture actively and explicitly promoted amongst Greek fraternities was frightening.

And, not to mention, women and even transmen and -women outside of Greek life use 'sorostitute' to describe girls in sororities. In America, at least, it's a gross internalized issue. For similar reasons, I hate the way people describe some women as 'basic.' I had trouble articulating why 'basic' bothered me so much when, on the surface, it seemed like an apt description for women who, to me and apparently others, looked "the same.." Now I understand it much better. It's such an ugly mess.


message 12: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Menzies (jeanmenzies) | 115 comments Nurai wrote: "Jean wrote: "Nurai wrote: "I'm reading this now, and it is so good! It makes me super angry, but in a - i want to do something about this - way, so I suppose that's a good thing. I made my mom read..."

Maybe; social media can be really dangerous and a place where sexual abuse takes place for sure. But then I would see it as more of tool used by that culture than there being direct correlation between cause and effect. The sexualisation of young girls isn't a new phenomenon and it's only really in recent decades society has put its foot down to child-brides etc. and even then only in some places.


Ellie Pilcher (ellesbellesnotebook) | 1 comments I read this after Girl Up and where I thought Girl Up was tame I felt the anger and injustice in this book! It opens your eyes to the things that go on around you - particularly since I read it on trains and i got looks and comments from men, and women, about how it was inappropriate and unnecessary! It's a brilliant read, if at times repetitive. The stories shared make you want to scream! But it could have been slightly more compact in places.


message 14: by Britta (new) - added it

Britta Böhler | 10 comments I've finished reading yesterday and: great pick, thank you Jean!
The book shows that sexism and female oppression is not something only happening in 'third world' / muslim countries but is omnipresent in our Western societies and is experienced by girls and women every day.


Katri (bookishteaparty) | 1 comments I finished reading this today and it was the most important book I've read in years. It made me angry, it made me sad, it made my proud of these girls and women.

Biggest thing this book gave me was the thought of stop being so overly polite and staying silent even when I shouldn't. We have to stand up and say something even if it's uncomfortable. I'm too polite sometimes and afraid to intervene, but I have to. I don't want to be the one who just stood by and did nothing.

Thank you for picking this book, it really made me think what kind of behaviour I will tolerate and how I want to act. It's an invaluable lesson. Can't wait to pick up Redefining Realness!


Carolyn | 3 comments I joined this book club a while ago but this is actually the first book I got around to reading! Woops! ;)

I get that this book is important, and I'd probably recommend it to anyone who denies the existence of sexism or might not be aware of the extent of it due to lack of first hand experience. While it left me a bit shell shocked to encounter all these stories and stats in rapid succession, none of them, sadly, really surprised me or told me much I didn't already know. Probably a lot of this is credit due to Laura Bates and others like her who have written articles and been active on social media about these issues, and I'm not saying that doesn't mean there is loads of value to this book. But personally, I just found this so upsetting to read without the enlightenment I find others got from it. It did get me thinking about responsibility and politics in reading - I don't want to put down a book just because I find it uncomfortable. But I'm not sure I was in a good place to read this at this particular moment in time, if that makes sense. I feel weird inserting myself so personally into this, but I am always interested in reading within the moment and in context of our own experiences.

My favourite chapter was on double discrimination as I feel that's something I do need to learn more about. I appreciate the nod towards intersectionality in the book, but I am really hoping to get more of that in future books here!


Vanessa (vll1990) So I read this in November instead of October haha, oops! Well, it is #NonFictionNovember after all ^_^ And well, it was 5 stars from me! I can't exactly say it's a 'favourite' because it was so unenjoyable to read, but it is most definitely the most important book I've read this year so far.

I have to say that a lot of things really hit home for me personally - the perception of how my body looks based on the power of the misogynistic media, my fear walking home in the dark, my concern that if I ever choose to start a family it will affect my job (either perceptions of me or the possibility I might lose it), and being in a very male-dominated industry. So many feelings, so little time.

I'll have to properly go back to the book and collect my thoughts before I write my review.


Celina | 3 comments I read this book last winter and I needed a long time to finish it because I had to put it down so often because of the high level of language (I'm from Germany and the English we've learned in school is on a basic level) so I needed my time to finish it but I really liked it and I think it is one of the most important books I've read in my life !! I highly recommend this book


Svetlana Sharavina | 1 comments Celina wrote: "I read this book last winter and I needed a long time to finish it because I had to put it down so often because of the high level of language (I'm from Germany and the English we've learned in sch..."

Feel the same!
I have read decent amount of good literature but this one really changed my views. I had a lot of discussions due to described topics and it really made my friends be more attentive because they really had no idea about all those "daily basis prejudices". So am I.. It is so unfair that we have to hide those problems because they really matter to whole process of disrespecting.


Julie | 11 comments I read this book last year and thought it was very well done. I feel like this is the book to hand people who don't believe feminism is relevant at this time. It's a book full of arguments as to why the feminist movement is just as important as ever.


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