Make up your mind on #MeToo
Unsure of what consent means or where you stand with respect to it? Here are six books to guide you
The public outcry that erupted following the unmasking of film producer Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator last year is far from over. The latest man from the world of showbiz to be called out is comedian and actor Aziz Ansari, whose encounter with a woman, going by the alias “Grace", threw social media into a moral tizzy recently.
From Mary Wollstonecraft to Simone de Beauvoir to Gloria Steinem, women’s issues have been articulated powerfully for over a century across different cultures. Yet consent still remains a slippery slope for men. In a post-Weinstein world, and a week after the first anniversary of the worldwide Women’s March, Lounge recommends six books to help you understand the #MeToo movement.
Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
Described as the “more politicized sister" of Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman, Bates’ book—written after the success of her social media project of the same name—narrates stories of sexual harassment across the spectrum. From wolf whistles and catcalls on the street to workplace inequalities, she covers the entire geography of injustice. This is mandatory reading on modern-day misogyny—and a clarion call for change.
Asking For It: The Alarming Rise Of Rape Culture—And What We Can Do About It by Kate Harding
The blogger-author’s book, endorsed as “a no-holds-barred examination of the social phenomenon of rape culture" by the New York Journal Of Books, combines statistics, real-life stories, and recommendations. Written in a style that is insightful and acerbic, Harding sets out to bust the myths around rape and to educate her readers, using examples, on the meaning of “rape culture".
The War On Women—And The Brave Ones Who Fight Back by Sue Lloyd-Roberts and Sarah Morris
Among the most acclaimed TV journalists of her generation, Lloyd-Roberts died soon after she penned this book—but in death as in life, she served as a mouthpiece for womankind. “From the gender pay gap in Britain to forced marriage in Kashmir and from rape as a weapon of war to honour killings," The War On Women journeys across the globe and documents gender issues. More pertinently, perhaps, it also portrays women who are fighting back.
Seeing Like A Feminist by Nivedita Menon
A long-time advocate and author of women’s rights, Menon’s wide-ranging work is situated between the scholarly and the accessible. From sexual harassment charges against international icons, the Shah Bano case, the Pink Chaddi campaign, and the ban on the veil in France, to the decree in 2011 that female badminton players should wear skirts, the book boasts of a breathtaking scope, one that revisits feminism through a fresh lens.
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise And Reign Of The Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen
Praised as a “gloriously bumptious, brash ode to non-conforming women", the cultural critic and Buzzfeed writer’s topical book understands “unruliness" via 11 pop-culture powerhouses—featuring Serena Williams, Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, and more—and pushes the boundaries of preconceived “feminine" behaviour.
Girls & Sex: Navigating The Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
Perhaps best known for her 2011 book Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein’s latest release, which paints a picture of “the new sexual landscape girls face in the post-princess stage", was on Time’s top 10 non-fiction books of 2016. This is a guide to parenting—bridging the generation gap, and bringing to the surface various societal and sexual pressures young girls face.