#GWCBookClub: ‘The Guilty Feminist’ by Deborah Frances-White

On the cover of the Guilty Feminist book there’s a note from Emma Thompson which says “essential reading for the planet”. And I couldn’t agree more.

In a world where feminism is no longer a dirty word, where you even have men parading around in their “I’m a feminist” t-shirts, the concept guilty feminism rings true for a lot of women. Women are taught to always strive for perfection and this also applies to being a perfect feminist. I recently heard a friend say “my boyfriend is a better feminist than me” which is a feeling many women experience – this idea that they aren’t feminist enough.

Enter Deborah Frances-White. She started out in improv comedy and now hosts an award-winning podcast under the same name as her book. Her idea of guilty feminism is honest and inclusive – A guilty feminist is one who proudly ascribes to the idea that women are equal to men, but is aware of the many paradoxes behind their values. And that’s ok because you don’t need to be a perfect woman or a perfect feminist.

The book is fresh, intelligent, witty and eye-opening on the many challenges women face in today’s society. The book covers feminism exploring “our noble goals to our worst hypocrisies”. It covers everything you have always wanted to know about feminism but were afraid to ask and is delivered full of banter and light-hearted self-deprecation that us Brits know and love.

Following the style of her legendary podcasts, each chapter of her book starts with “I’m a feminist but…”. One of my favourites is:

“I’m a feminist but when I was choosing a new headshot, I asked my husband ‘Does this photo of me look a bit “Dove campaign for real beauty?”’ And he said, ‘No darling, you look lovely,’ and I thought, ‘Well, that campaign’s failed’”.

This really resounded with me because, I’m a feminist, but the first thing I do when I have an important client meeting is mentally plan my outfit in my head. That doesn’t make me a lesser feminist or not a good lawyer (because appearance is as important as the advocacy behind it).

If you’re not much of a reader, then I highly recommend listening to her podcasts. It will keep you entertained on your commute and also entertain your fellow passengers as I’ve had many a laugh-out-loud moment.

But forget that, go and get her book immediately (if not sooner) and join our discussion in January on our social media pages.

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