Fight Like a Girl
Fight Like a Girl made me angry. It made me realize just how often women are discriminated against at work, at home, and in social settings. I became more aware of the insurmountable abuse, both sexual and verbal, that women tackle daily at the hands of men, and this enraged me. But these horrible, icky feelings got me thinking, and what’s more, it got me talking. By sharing my experiences, my anger morphed into empowerment – driven by the urge to fight for a world that recognizes this inequality and demands to tear it down.
Fight Like a Girl is a mix of memoir and investigative journalism, tackling the controversial subject of feminism, and focusing on serious issues women face, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape culture, mental health issues, and eating disorders. It questions the dominant role of the patriarchy and demands change for the substandard way women are perceived and treated. It’s a resounding, passionate war cry to all the women out there who have been downtrodden, held back, and made to feel ashamed by men. But don’t misunderstand; it’s not a man-hating rant. It’s an inspiring manifesto empowering women to take control of their bodies and their lives.
Clementine Ford is an Australian feminist writer, broadcaster, and public speaker. She’s a warrior for women’s equality and her debut book, Fight Like a Girl is a no holds barred account of this. She writes from a place of honesty, passion, and downright rage. I get it. How many women have been made to feel inferior by men? We’re told to be feminine, to remove the unsightly hair from our bodies, to be sexy but not slutty, and to have an opinion but only if that opinion doesn’t disrupt the status quo. Insert your experience here. As Ford says, “If a woman cannot be endorsed favourably by the male gaze as something desirable, what’s the point of her at all?” Why wouldn’t we be full of rage? Fight Like a Girl conveys this with punchy dialogue, searing personal accounts, and plenty of profanity. Ford isn’t trying to appease her audience by tiptoeing around touchy subjects. She’d rather let off a big-ass firecracker in the attempt to wake people up. And that’s exactly what this book does.
I’ve been waiting for Fight Like a Girl all of my life. I was 17 the first time I told someone I was a feminist. I thought it would be empowering. I guess I was naïve. Their looks of disgust made me shrink inside. I had gone from being a well-liked teenager to a weirdo. One of those, as Ford says “man-hater, ugly femmo, feminazi bone killer” kind of girls. I became ashamed of who I was and it wasn’t until recently when I decided to not give a crap what people thought of me, that I embraced my feminism with all its equal glory. This book would have shaved years of self-hate and shame off my precious life.
Fight Like a Girl is not just for women. Men need to read it and they need to read it NOW. In the last chapter, Ford tells women that it’s okay to be angry. She says, “Be rageful. Be loud. Be unrepentant. Be assertive. Be aggressive. Be everything that women are always told not to be.” Even as I’m writing this, I want to scream that sentence out loud to every woman I know. Let’s rage against the system that has oppressed women for too long. Let’s fight like a girl!