The Guy’s Guide to Feminism

This is a guest post by Josh Cooke.

Do you believe that women should…

    • Have the right to vote?
    • Drive a car?
    • Enjoy sex?
    • Get paid the same as men for the same work?

Did you answer yes to all of the above? Then you’d better lie down… You’ve probably caught feminism!

[amazon_textlink asin=’1580053629′ text=’This small, green book by Michael Kaufman & Michael Kimmel’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’saragrah0e-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’9b4ba999-0a83-11e7-822a-77d600657115′] is an incredibly accessible and entertaining A to Z guide to all things feminist.

It offers simple, balanced views of the key elements of feminist issues and why and how feminism should be everyday common sense rather than some unobtainable aspiration.

The book is structured in short, sharp, alphabetical sections that get straight to the point. Most of the sections are setup as simple scenarios, many in the form of jokes, that lay down the bare bones of the problems and solutions to everyday feminist issues. Other sections include top-ten lists and pop quizzes to deliver large amounts of information to the reader in short, palatable chunks.

“A priest, a monk and a rabbi walk into a coffee shop…” Sure sounds like the opening to a terrible joke, doesn’t it? It’s this simple but engaging style that allows any reader to pick up the book and instantly be entertained and educated about what feminism actually stands for and how it is relevant in all walks of everyday life.

The book covers obvious issues such as sexual assault, pornography and housework, but also focusses on more everyday themes such as sports, love and relationships, and even explores more shocking topics like genital mutilation and human trafficking. The informal tone of the book helps to keep the reader’s attention during these difficult themes while helping the information to be digested in a constructive way. Some of the chapters discuss quite difficult, even brutal, themes but, by avoiding shock tactics, the information is conveyed in a constructive and compelling way.

The book has also opened my eyes to a huge amount of new information that in modern society seems completely baffling. On reading the ordered list on paternity leave, I learned that in Norway, new fathers receive up to 45 weeks of paid paternity leave. That’s a stark contrast to the mere two weeks that we receive in the UK. That seemed like a completely unfair disparity until I read the final line; In the USA, new fathers receive no paternity leave whatsoever. None. Zip. Nada.

Despite the difficult themes in this book, it’s presented in such a way that it is accessible to pretty much everyone. I’m sure there are plenty of pre-pubescent boys out there that wouldn’t be able to resist laughing at the numerous references to vaginas, but other than that it should be on the essential reading list of every guy from the age of about 13. While this book breaks down feminist themes into very simple concepts in order to make them accessible to beginners, it is in no way a book for beginners only. It offers reasoned arguments and explanations of core concepts that is at a level suitable for any feminist ally.

I think the most impressive attribute of this book is that not only does it offer real insight into the huge advantages that feminism brings to women, it highlights the equally huge benefits that it brings to men too. For that reason, I’d urge every man on the planet to buy a copy of the book and let’s change preconceptions of feminism for good.

[amazon_textlink asin=’1580053629′ text=’You can buy The Guy’s Guide To Feminism here.’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’saragrah0e-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’bfcbb05f-0a83-11e7-899d-d7b9afbd524b’]

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4 thoughts on “The Guy’s Guide to Feminism

  1. I love your blog…. tons actually… But this rubs me the wrong way (just this one teeny tiny sentence): Sarah, MATERNITY leave doesn’t exist in the US. (!!!!!) Not just no Paternity leave (yes, with a p), but not even maternity leave. [From Kat- usually UK, now US]

    1. Thanks for the info Kat. Obviously the review is based on the info in the book and the parts that most struck my partner when he was reading it. I’ve not read it myself yet, so I can’t honestly tell you whether maternity leave is discussed too, although I’d be very surprised if it isn’t – from what I’ve seen the authors seem to be very thorough in the topics covered.

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