Book review: The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been a fan of The Guilty Feminist podcast for at least four years now. I began listening to it in one of my first office jobs after a colleague recommended it, and it really opened my eyes from my sheltered life and into the world of feminism.

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I've always been a feminist, even before I knew what the word meant or everything that comes with it. I've always been headstrong, determined, and vocal of my opinion and believed I could do anything, despite the oppression I faced of being a woman. I properly first heard the term 'feminism' spoken vocally in my A-level English class when we were studying feminist literature and my teacher said 'you are all feminists.' I can remember vividly, the shameful stares everyone made at that word, like it was poison and wrong, when really, feminism is simply, equality and dismantling the patriarchy. However, it has many bad connotations around it and that's why lots of misogynists think it's barbaric that feminism is a thing.

But if it wasn't for feminism, we women wouldn't have gotten the vote, birth control, bank accounts, career opportunities and so much more. It's the feminists over time who have helped us gain our rights and opportunities.

Book review: The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White

The Guilty Feminist is my favourite podcast and I love nothing more than listening to the latest episode when I get a spare hour or two. The podcast is hosted by Deborah Frances White and features a panel of different speakers and musicians each week, all of who discuss the topic of feminism. And, talk about our noble goals and worst hypocrisies around feminism.

I've been meaning to read this book for ages after loving the podcast for so many years and it lived up to expectation, and here is my full review.

Synopsis

The Guilty Feminist is a book about challenging, reassuring and empowering its readers to view the world differently. The book talks about everything from intersectionality, the #MeToo movement, workplace inclusion, saying no, rom-coms to pornography and privilege, and really tackles the questions for the modern-day woman. It's packed with stats, historical facts, interviews with activists, businesswomen, and inspirational people - and discusses how women need to abandon the guilt, learn to say no, and ultimately, change the world, and ourselves for the better.

Chapter topics

The book is split into three different parts and then, sub-section chapters. Part 1 is all about how we got to this point and what feminism is for. Part 2 is called what do we do about it? This part discusses diet culture, speaking up in the workplace and putting our point forward (having confidence), the power of yes, and hearing us roar - which talks about women having ideas and making their voices heard. Part 3 is all about change and talks about the power of no, how the patriarchy affects men too, all the reasoning around 'I'm a feminist but...' and activism, and what we can do to dismantle the patriarchy.

Every topic spoke about was written in so much depth and I especially found it interesting to read about the many interviews included as it offered a different perspective to Deborah's on each topic, and really, gave even more insight. The book is packed with knowledge, facts, and opinions and teaches everything to know about feminism.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I have too many good things to say about this book. As a fan of the Guilty Feminist for so long, I didn't think the book could top the podcast, but really, it was as if the podcast was right in front of my eyes on a page, and I took in every page with admiration.

The book is a combination of fact and experience and offers that personal insight into what feminism is to Deborah, how she had faced oppression, and also the interviewees in the book. That additional insight help gave me more perspective on what others have to go through, and experienced, and how I can use my privilege to help those not in the same position as me.

It's one of those books that with every page I felt as I was adding more knowledge to my feminist dialogue and grasped the history that shaped feminism into what it is today and the leaps and bounds many feminists/activists did to give us the rights we now take for granted. But, it also made me even more aware of how far we still need to go in terms of feminism, dismantling the patriarchy, and have society view men and women as equals.

I truly loved this book as not only did I learn a lot, it also gave me the reminder and encouragement that I can really do anything I put my mind to and women, in general, are the strongest humans around with everything we tolerate in day to day life.

Ending

With this type of book, there is no exact ending, however, the last chapter did end on a lovely and inspiring note. It was a chapter that said instead of the famous 'I'm a feminist but' used in the podcast, said 'I'm a feminist and...' And, then went on and listed everything that Deborah does as a feminist, and it was such an empowering section. The things that stood out were learning to say no, setting boundaries, being fearless, and the fact of not being perfect. But my favourite bit was when she writes about dreaming of ending the patriarchy and living in hope for the women of the future.

You can purchase your own copy of the Guilty Feminist here.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Are you a fan of the Guilty Feminist?

Thank you for reading <3

43 comments

  1. I never read this but it sounds so inspiring! Will add this to my TBR right now! I haven't yet read much about feminism, so this will be a first! Can't wait to read, thanks for your great review Della x

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  2. Great book, and interesting that it gives reader challenges and making fun read. Great review!

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  3. This is so interesting. I've got several equality and inclusion books in my TBR pile, think this one will be joining them.

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  4. This sounds great, definitely going to put it in my reading list :)

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  5. I just finished The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, which really helped open my eyes to how much feminists have helped the world move forward. On the one hand, I have friends who say they have been going to the same rallies all their lives and, on the other hand, stepping back in time a few hundred years powerfully shows just how much has actually changed.

    Love the sounds of this educating and inspiring read! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Wow, that sounds interesting, I'll have to give it a read! Thank you so much xx

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  6. This sounds like such an interesting book. Its definitely one that I'd like to read. Great review.

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  7. I haven't read this book before, but it definitely sound like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing! Xx

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  8. I've heard a lot about this book, and I would like to give it a go :) at the moment, I'm working my way through the original feminist texts by women such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! OOh they sound interesting and right up my street xx

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  9. This sounds like a great book, I think it is a book my partner would enjoy so may look at getting it for her. Thanks for the review.

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  10. This sounds like a fab book and I really need to listen to the podcast too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Tash - A Girl with a View

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  11. This sounds like a really inspiring book and I need to listen to that podcast! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  12. I had never heard of the book or podcast, but I am very intrigued about them now. Thank you for this post.

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  13. I used to listen to the guilty feminist all the time, not sure why I stopped. I didn't know they brought out a book, I'll add this to my to-read list!

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  14. The book sounds really interesting, but I'm surprised you didn't really hear the term 'feminism' spoken vocally until your A-level English class, there was quite a push for it when I was a child

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  15. I'm a big fan of the books that empower women. We should be able to do anything we want freely. I will make sure to read it. Thank you for sharing it with us :)

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  16. I've never actually heard of this book or the podcast before but it sounds super interesting!! I'll have to check them out at some point! Thanks for sharing x

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  17. I've always heard about this book, but I haven't read it. However, after reading this I think I may have to go pick it up!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

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    1. Thank you so much, let me know what you think x

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  18. Now that I've changed my job and work environment, I'm able to look back on inappropriate behaviour much better - at the time, I was trying to smash my job and get noticed.

    This book sounds like it'll open my eyes even more which is so important in this day and age!

    Rosie

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    1. Hindsight is a beautiful thing! It really opened mine xx

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  19. This sounds like a really good read and you've given a fab overview - might have to give it a read now! x

    Han // www.behindthefalselashes.com

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  20. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention! It sounds right up my street and I definitely need to pick up a copy. Great review x

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  21. A great review! This is definitely a book I need to add to my to be read list- it sounds like such a powerful read! Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Learning to say no and mean it is something I struggle with so much - this sounds like a book I really need to read, thank you! x

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