Title: Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World
Author: edited by Kelly Jensen
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Netgalley for review purposes.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World is an inclusive and feminist-as-hell anthology featuring numerous essays on numerous topics and what feminism means to them. It features playlists, reading lists, and illustrations. I believe Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World should be essential reading for feminists.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World features powerful pieces from a diverse collection of authors from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds – authors of colour, from different races, religions. There are gay and trans authors, disabled authors etc. Kelly Jensen has made an impressive attempt to collect and put together an intersectional feminist anthology.
There is something in this anthology for most feminists. There are too many pieces in here to review every single piece, no matter how much I want to, but I will highlight some I really loved. I loved Roxane Gay’s excerpt from her book Bad Feminist. Courtney Summers piece on ‘unlikeable female characters’ was also a favourite, where she talks about the demand placed on female characters to be ‘nice’ and ‘likeable’ rather than the messy and complex human beings that women are. Alida Nugent essay titled ‘Pretty Enough’ was very powerful – about how she struggled as a child with her appearance due to the white beauty standards she’s been surrounded by.
There was also a great piece by Angie Manfredi about reclaiming the word fat and about reclaiming her own body. I also really liked Constance Augusta Zaber’s piece about feminism, female image, make-up, and what it means to her as a trans woman. There was also a fantastic, emotional, and powerful piece by Kayla Whaley about her disability. Kaye Mirza also has an insightful and honest piece about how people think her faith and feminism don’t go together, she writes that ‘as long as I practice my faith, to many, I am nothing more but a secondhand feminist’. She talks about the racism and Islamophobia she has faced her entire life from people who think she’s oppressed due to her faith – an important piece.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World ended with a great piece by Kelly Jensen on ‘quiet feminism’ that really resonated with me. She talked about how her feminism was quiet and less visible. Her feminism is more about support and being in the background, rather than on the front lines.
‘My feminism was, and still is, lowercase. My strengths, listening and thinking, assessing and supporting, matter just as much as the strengths of the louder, more visible feminists.’
There were so many more great piece – pieces about black sisterhood, pieces about virginity and sex, pieces about girl-on-girl hate, and many others – so I do really suggest you pick this one up, I highly recommend it.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World is ‘a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it really means to be a feminist.’ It’s highly important, informative, and a fun resource for teenagers just discovering themselves and their own feminism. So, if you know a teenager – give them this.