Review: Reclaiming the F Word

Originally published at Feminist Times.

f-word-624x416

[amazon_textlink asin=’1780326270′ text=’Reclaiming The F Word’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’saragrah0e-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’faa73dbe-0a82-11e7-9a3d-ddc32ef44796′] was one of the first feminist books I ever read as a fledgling undergraduate feminist, so when co-author Catherine Redfern offered Feminist Times a review copy, I jumped at the chance.

Reading it the first time around, [amazon_textlink asin=’1780326270′ text=’Reclaiming The F Word’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’saragrah0e-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’0eec4c2e-0a83-11e7-b5d6-81bb8e6df179′] came as a huge surprise and relief – at age 20, I suddenly realised there were thousands of feminists across the country who felt the same way I did and were doing something about it.

The book draws on Redfern and Aune’s extensive research into the 21st century feminist movement, quoting articles, books, and most interestingly the responses of the more than a thousand feminists they surveyed, covering all the hot topics of contemporary feminist debate: liberated bodies, sexual freedom and choice, violence against women, equality at work and home, politics and religion, and popular culture.

The tone of the book is, in Redfern and Aune’s own words, “unapologetically positive”, providing a clear – if slightly rose-tinted – window into the best and most diverse of the feminist movement’s work and achievements between 2000 and 2009.

The authors are evangelical about offering newcomers an easy way in via the action points that conclude each chapter. For me, it served exactly that purpose – providing a stepping-stone for discovering feminism and activism for myself.

Having started my feminist journey with [amazon_textlink asin=’1780326270′ text=’Reclaiming The F Word’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’saragrah0e-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’210a350c-0a83-11e7-861e-334bb7942cb5′], I’ve seen a huge number of changes – good and bad – since the first edition was released back in 2009. Four years on, and we’ve seen a renaissance in feminism online, in the media, and in popular culture. We’ve seen austerity measures put in place that have disproportionately affected women, we’ve seen a number of attacks on abortion rights across the UK, and we’ve seen the far-reaching shockwaves of Operation Yewtree in the wake of sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile and others.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg and, in their preface to the new edition, Redfern and Aune explore the changes of the last four years – and its impact on national and global activism – thoroughly but concisely. A whole new book could probably have been written to take in those changes, but Redfern and Aune’s new edition brings [amazon_textlink asin=’1780326270′ text=’Reclaiming The F Word’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’saragrah0e-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’2ea26ee4-0a83-11e7-a674-57bbb7e9fa2e’] up to date and shows why feminism is just as, if not more, relevant today than it was in 2009.

[amazon_textlink asin=’1780326270′ text=’Reclaiming The F Word’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’saragrah0e-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’3b2826ce-0a83-11e7-9855-01d71308d295′] is a must-read for tentative new feminists, and an encouraging breath of fresh air for jaded older ones. It’s an energising call to arms, and a reminder that feminism is ripe for reclaiming.

Leave a Reply