Here we are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

This week's book review was written by the library's Book Review Blog's co-host, Nicole Kutz-Menard. Missed last week's book review? Check it out here: On the Edge of Gone. Happy reading!

Here we are: Feminism for the Real World
Edited by Kelly Jensen

Nonfiction| Feminism |Essays |Anthology
Audience: 14 & up | General Adult

Book Blurb from Goodreads:
Let’s get the feminist party started!

Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it really means to be a feminist. It’s packed with essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia, politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular YA authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. Altogether, the book features more than forty-four pieces, with an eight-page insert of full-color illustrations.

Here We Are is a response to lively discussions about the true meaning of feminism on social media and across popular culture and is an invitation to one of the most important, life-changing, and exciting parties around.

Nicole’s Review:
This compilation of essays, comics, poems and pictures opens the door to feminism for young women and young men. The topics range from empowerment to acceptance. Each section of the book tickled a memory of similar questions and encounters I had to experience as a young woman. The book reads like a slam book my friends and I could have put together post adolescence.  You can turn to any page and be educated or entertained; likely both without knowing.

Sensitive topics are breached in a relatable fashion without sensationalism or righteousness.  Each expression of the various artists or writers, presents a different story, asking only to be respectfully heard.  Those to be found between the pages are Laverne Cox, Lily Myers, Courtney Summers, Matt Nathanson, and others. The range of topics is truly engrossing.  There are the common concerns addressed by the pop culture feminist dialogue such as: body image, cultural heritage, acceptance, sexuality, and identity. The compilation presents a range of material that addresses these well -known aspects of feminism. Delving deeper into the complexities of this political movement, the book offers the shoreline of religious implications, male perspectives, mental illness, and physical disabilities as they pertain to feminism.

As you read each passage, a quiet stirring can connect you to each experience.   The reader can find a connection to people with whom they might not come across in their daily lives. This is the true beauty of writing; crossing cultural mileage with language. Connecting people who otherwise wouldn’t be familiar with one another. This book presents a multitude of perspectives sewn together by the common desire that both the reader and the writer share: mutual respect.

Interested in other Feminist perspectives? Check these out: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, The Crunk Feminist Collection, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Why I Am Not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin.