CBR8 Review #139

Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

2016 has been a rough year. And as a woman, I’ve keenly felt the slings and arrows of misogyny this year. So Jessica Bennett’s workplace superhero manual for feminists is an absolute gift to anyone who is a woman or an ally in the professional workplace. You might think the humor is schlocky or stupid based on the title, but I can assure you, it’s a deeply practical and necessary guide to implementing successful techniques in your workplace environment.

Bennett describes problems, especially gendered problems that arise in the workforce to prevent women from being heard, acknowledged, or promoted. She then provides tactics for preventing and combatting such issues and moving ahead in the workplace. She discusses mansplaining, “manterrupting” (you know, where a man interrupts you to say the SAME THING you were going to say), having ideas appropriated, and getting guilted into doing things that your colleagues are not being asked to do—and often for no extra pay or career advancement. These are all things that happen, and Bennett is determined to help you avoid these pitfalls that she and other friends have all been entrapped by.

This book is not only excellent and practical—it’s necessary reading. I have a lot more practical methods to avoid doing unnecessary work, feeling bad about standing up for myself, and asking for the same thing that men ask for. Put this into the hands of every woman you know, whether or not she’s in a male-dominated workforce. Put this into the hands of female college students. Most important, if you have a man in your life who has demonstrated allyship or expressed an interest in improving his communications, put this into his hands (really, if he’s a jerk, he needs it the most, but he may not be interested in improving himself). I just got this as a birthday present from The Chancellor—I look forward to the next re-read and putting these techniques into practice.

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