Like all good books, Caroline Criado-Perez’s book left me both utterly aghast at injustice but equally uplifted by those brave women who look at injustice in the face and tell it to go fuck itself.
In equal measure, I was either frowning and perplexed at the incredibly awful things that have happened to women (or should I saw happen, as in the present tense) and then in the next page, eyes wide, sharply inhaling and loudly exclaiming “That woman is bloody amazing!”
Over five chapters and 200 pages, Criado-Perez introduces us to a huge variety of women, as she states in the intro, “…whose names deserve to known…More than this, we deserve to know about them.” P. xxii. And she’s right. I had only come across a handful of the women in the book and all through it, when encountering another incredible woman, I wondered how could I have not known about her before?
But that is answered as well, in gut wrenching, disheartening detail. Statistics of women unrepresented in news stories (and in reporting itself), in the workplace, in higher education, in medical research, in international organisations. Sadly, overwhelming represented in forced prostitution, rape, illiteracy and injustice at the hands of the asylum system.
But even then, sometimes in the face of what would seem staggeringly impossible odds, women are there, fighting back. One of my favourites was Latifa Nabizada and Afghani pilot – who took her daughter on her flights as the military doesn’t think about things like childcare. But also Karen Ingala Smith tweeting and blogging about the women in the UK who are brutally murdered every year. Even more so are women in regimes that are often looked upon as victims, and while they are no doubt oppressed in many ways, they’re still fighting back against that oppression in either subtle or incredibly flamboyant ways.
I’m not going to give too much away, as this is a book that should be read. It is an inspiring read. It makes me want to help in some way. It makes me think in the heroic, rather than the ordinary. Even though I may only participate more in the women’s group at work – it makes me think that while that can help, I should be able to do more. It makes me to want to stand up to injustice and oppression and tell it to get fucked.