You know, it’s funny. I never considered myself a feminist when I was younger. Maybe it’s b/c I never heard the word, or in my families military circle it was never really talked about. Even in college I don’t remember hearing much about it. Then, I entered the super fun world of Defense Contracting.
Now, I’m a feminist. After being thrown into the “real world” and realizing that many times a woman is perceived as not as qualified as their male counterparts I learned the need for equality for all. I had the privilege of growing up with a family that never told me what I could be or not be. They let me find my way and even encouraged me to go higher than I even thought. Even now, my Dad tells me to reach for jobs that I’ve been conditioned in the workplace to think of as out of my reach when I fact I’m probably overqualified for. As a woman I’ve been taught to just be adequate. Never reach too high, you might be judged harshly.
My current job, while not overtly sexist, still had a lot of the same obstacles that I encountered in the DC world. A majority older office, there is a tendency to look down on younger females in the office. Whether it be for jobs, promotions, or raises, no matter how hard you work, how helpful to the customer you are, you are stuck behind people who give “men” the benefit of the doubt over women.
So I started to read Jezebel.com in my spare time. All of a sudden, there was a whole group of people who were speaking truth to what I’ve been feeling for so long. Women’s rights is something I feel very strongly about, and now I’ve found a community that feels just as strongly.
So when I heard a former writer, Lindy West, was writing her first book, I knew I had to read it.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
This book is quite possibly one of the best things I’ve read in a while. As someone who recently gained a lot of weight and has had some self-esteem problems, It’s nice to read about people who are awesome and comfortable in their own skin. It’s also nice to read about someone who has learned not to give power to people that are out to destroy them (i.e. “trolls”). At times sad and self-reflective, Lindy still has incredible humor that really got me. And I also like how unapologetic she is about everything in her life. Yeah, we all have regrets, but you can’t change things, you can only hope to move forward. I like that.
Just as a note….you should definitely follow Lindy West on twitter. She’s awesome.