Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

240 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Algonquin BFYR
Source: Publisher

Once in a while, some books come along that give you pause and make you think about the world and your place in it. Here We Are offers a variety of perspectives on feminism; what it is, what it means to different people, and the role it is has played in different peoples’ lives.

I enjoyed all of the essays, arts, and poetry in this volume but there are some that struck me a bit deeper than the others. “The Big Blue Ocean and My Big Fat Body” by Angie Manfredi details Angie’s struggles and eventual acceptance of her body. It felt wonderful to read about her making peace with who she is and finding beauty in herself. I feel like as a woman it is especially difficult to love yourself if you do not match a certain standard set by society and its impossible expectations.

Faith and the Feminist by Kaye Mirza was also an eye opener. I’m always in my own head so I have never really paid attention to things that do not directly affect me. So I didn’t know that faith and feminism were considered to be at odds with each other. Kaye’s essay shows how she tackled that issue and, in all honesty, is still tackling it. I absolutely loved “I Have Always Eaten the Bread” by Lily Meyers and Mindy Kaling’s “Don’t Peak in High School” is absolutely riot. “That’s What She Became” by Jen Talley is inspiring and Nova Ren Suma’s “Reading Worthy Women” gives you something to think about. And of course Shveta Thakrar’s “A Thousand Paper Cuts” has to be mentioned.

The collection contains something for everything. It is accessible and for those new to feminism, it has basic FAQ which no one might have taken the time to answer before this. This book is absolutely invaluable for young people for whom it is written. It shows people what feminism is, how it can be inclusive and how it is not just a line of thought but a way of life. With brightly coloured papers and a fun layout, with essays often interspersed with artwork and playlists, I reckon this book will appeal to even the most resistant of readers.

High recommended.