For those of you who don’t know, Laura Bates is the brains behind the Everyday Sexism Project and book of the same title. It catalogs all the incidents of sexism we encounter everyday, from the seemingly most innocuous to the more violent and offensive. The Everyday Sexism Project is a wake up call that is both painful and necessary to take a look at. The book, which is now available in North America, is such a powerful and terrifying read.
So here is Bates’ new book, Girl Up. It’s not yet available in North American, but you must keep your eyes open for it. It’s target audience is teenagers, and it is meant to help guide them through the perils place before teen girls. It addresses societal obstacles placed before young people by mass media that tell girls how to act, dress, eat and be taken seriously. Oh yeah, and you have to be thin and beautiful too.
It addresses all the pressures the on-line world presents. I thought I had a handle on this, but I so do not. This was a real wake up call. It teaches girls and women about their bodies because words like vagina are not bad words. (note: this part comes with psychedelic colour by numbers vaginas!)
Basically, Girl Up is masterful.
Who would like this book? I don’t care if you’d like it or not, you should read it. That being said it is raunchy, full of swearing and quite sarcastic (and it features dancing vaginas). It may offend those with a delicate sensibility. I bought it because I thought at some point it would be good to give to my daughter. Now is not that point. She’s 10 and as much as I want her to be comfortable in her body, address sexism head on and know how to fight back against it, this book is geared at an older audience. I’d say 16 year olds, but more likely it is appropriate for 14 year olds. Personally, i think it would make a great gift for someone heading to college.