Today, i want to chat a little bit about one of the feminist books that i’ve fallen in love with. I have a very small collection of feminist books, some of which i’ll talk about in a post later in the week, but today we’re focusing on Feminists Don’t Wear Pink by Scarlett Curtis.
FDWP (abbreviating cos damn that title is long) was released in October and i remember that because i was in Belfast just after my birthday when i bought it. I literally hunted it down and was not leaving Ireland without it.
So, what is FDWP? It’s a collection of excerpts from different women – some are actors, entrepreneurs, activists; everyone has representation. They all talk about what feminism means to them, what they’ve learnt and what experiences helped shape their feminism. IT’S SO GOOD.
I have quite a lot of favourites because it’s just such a good book, so apologies if this post is so long. The beauty of this book, though, is you don’t have to read it in order. You can skip to the articles that sound most interesting to you or the people that you want to hear about.
The Catastrophizer’s Alphabet by Kat Dennings
This one is so funny. Honestly, i read it all the time because it makes me laugh so much.
It’s written in the style of the alphabet – obviously, starting from A. Kat lists all the reasons, as told by her mother, how she will end up kidnapped if she does anything at all. Some of them are downright hilarious, others actually ring pretty true.
This is the one that i read and it made me stop laughing because, holy shit it’s true. Going out at night when you’re a woman is scary, whether you’re alone or not.
Apart from that, 10/10 hilarious read and i love Kat Dennings.
N is for Night.
It’s night. You go outside. Are you out of your mind?
KIDNAPPED.Kat Dennings – Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
Call Me A Feminist by Chimwemwe Chiweza
This is a slightly shorter chapter in the book, where Chimwemwe talks about her past, specifically how her mother is a big feminist inspiration for her.
I love learning about each women as individuals, but the paragraph that makes this my favourite is the second one. She talks about how she believes each girl has the ability to do amazing things, and feminism is about helping them realize that.
No matter where they’re from, how old they are or their background, girls can be incredible. It’s not about hating men, tearing men down, or any shit like that. It’s about women. Shockingly.
I believe in women’s empowerment. Not because i hate men and want to eradicate them from the face of the earth, but because i believe in the ability to achieve great things that resides deep in the hearts of women.Chimwemwe Chiweza – Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
The Question by Lolly Adefope
I was obsessed with Lolly before reading her chapter and i honestly didn’t even know it. I listened to a lot of podcast episodes with her featuring in them, and it wasn’t until researching for this post that i realised, actually, it’s the same woman. And i love her.
Lolly’s chapter is a work of fiction (i hope, i googled and couldn’t find proof it was real SORRY LOLLY) and it just grips you from the first sentence. Probably because you do think it’s real so you’re like, damn, i gotta know.
The chapter is about her being on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and everyone being downright rude towards her. The last question forces her to choose between identifying as a woman, or as black. The whole excerpt is a great insight into the struggles some woman have with their gender and race.
As a white woman, i will obviously never know about this struggle on a personal level. I am only oppressed because of my gender, and any kind of insight into the women who are oppressed because of both their race and their gender helps make my feminism more intersectional.
I’d like to call myself a feminist, a comedian, a good person…but when you’ve been called every name under the sun it’s hard to remember who you are and what you stand for.Lolly Adefope – Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
Imposter Syndrome by Alaa Murabit
This one is a very interesting read, and one that i think a lot of women can relate to.
Alaa is a doctor and founder of women’s rights organization, Voice of Libyan Women. The chapter is about her past, how she got to where she is, and how she still feels like she doesn’t belong.
People have a certain image of professionals in their head. I do, you do, everyone. You don’t want to admit it because it is always a bit sexist and racist, but that’s what the patriarchy has done. When you think of a firefighter, you think of a strong, white male.
When you think of a doctor, you think of an old, white male. Which is what Alaa’s chapter eventually comes to talk about – she was told to move from her seat as the intern didn’t believe she was Doctor Murabit. It’s shocking, quite upsetting, and it happens all the time.
I will always be the little girl who grew up believing she could make it to the moon, in a world that still debates whether girls should have an education and whether women should have reproductive rights.Alaa Murabit – Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
They Say Feminists Don’t Wear Pink by Trisha Shetty
I love Trisha’s chapter because it gives a really good insight into the feminist movement, for someone who may not be familiar with it.
It reminds you that you cannot let anyone else critique your feminism. There are feminists who will never be happy, no matter what the rest of us are doing. They want to see results instantly, big results, such as the equality of women. It’s not that simple.
There are other feminists, the good feminists, who are striving for small wins. I got a sanitary bin put in the previously all-male toilet, that’s a small win. And eventually, all of these will build up to the world being a little more equal for women.
We all need to think about what we can do each day as feminists. How can we help the movement a little more today? If you don’t help, you have no place to criticize. We’re all fighting for the same thing, at the end of the day. The methods you choose are up to you, and nobodies business but your own.
We fight and fight on, all so that we can have small wins. We take five steps forward, our bodies and minds bearing the battle scars of the costs we paid and sacrifices we made, only to look around us a few years later and realize we have taken three steps backwards.Trisha Shetty – Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
The Weaker Sex by Keira Knightley
I honestly think this is my favourite of them all. It’s blunt, bloody and doesn’t mess around.
It portrays as an open letter to her daughter, about her birth, how motherhood has changed the way she thinks and how men are treated differently to women in parenthood.
Men can still work hard when they become a parent, women are expected to put their career on hold but also berated for giving up their career to care for their children. How are we supposed to do the right thing, when both choices are somehow wrong?
When men look after their children, they are babysitting. As if it’s not also their child, and the majority of the responsibility of raising them is placed on the woman.
Keira talks about how she is treated differently at work to her male counterparts, how they can behave atrociously and still be paid better than her. After the intense pain of childbirth, being split in half to bring the life that you grew inside you into the world, after being strong enough to go back to work and still being treated unfairly by colleagues – really? Women are the weaker sex?
Kate Middleton had her baby the day after mine. We stand and watch the TV screen. She was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see. Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful, look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate.Keira Knightley – Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
Feminist Comebacks by Scarlett Curtis
I couldn’t not include one from Scarlett herself – this book is her baby and to pay tribute to it, i just have to pay tribute to her.
This chapter is pure genius. I have studied it, memorized it, personalized it, and i’m ready for the questions. Scarlett knows when you star publicizing that you are a feminist, you’ll be bombarded with people questioning the movement and questioning you. So, she’s preparing you for the inevitable.
It touches on the answers to questions about what feminism is, why we still need it and if men can be feminists – all of which are really important to the movement in general.
I love this chapter because it’s like Scarlett has climbed inside my head and taken my answers out, then plagiarized them in her book. She obviously hasn’t. But she may as well have.
The paragraph on why we still need feminism is something that is so important to me, and something that i try to talk about a lot. Although we may feel like our geographical area is doing fine in terms of equality, there are so many places around the world where women can’t even get an education. It’s about more than you personally, and i don’t understand how anyone could be so selfish and blind to the struggles women face around the world.
Don’t you worry that all this ‘feminism’ is going to make you really unattractive to men?
Great question! Glad you asked! The thing is, i’d rather not snog a boy who doesn’t believe in women’s rights or understand that the fight for women’s equality benefits every human in the world, not just girls. Also, Margot Robbie’s a feminist, and she seems to be doing just fine.Scarlett Curtis – Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
Today’s focus organization is, i think, in collaboration or a huge part of Feminists Don’t Wear Pink. I’m slightly confused at the relationship, i think it’s a partnership, but anyway, Girl Up features heavily in FDWP. There’s a lot of chapters from members from all around the world.
Girl Up helps females from around the world become activists and lead their own area into equality, no matter where they are in the world. Also, it’s a cool play on the phrase “man up” and we are here for that.
To get involved, you can donate (and it tells you what your money can get), lead by starting a club at your school or university or by taking action and attending a Girl Up meeting near you.