According to the author, she wrote this book because as part of the feminist movement, she realized that there were many misconceptions around feminism and there was no little book which she could give to people that could help them have first hand knowledge about the movement. People saw feminism as anti-nature, anti-God, and anti-male. She does not see feminism as that and with this book she wanted to change that. This is the criteria which will guide my judgement of the book.
The book is short at 123 pages, divided into 19 little chapters, and written in simple language for ease of comprehension. In the beginning the author defines how feminism is not anti-male, rather it is anti-sexist, and that it offers both males and females the promise and hope of a better future where male domination is absent, women can make active choices about their lifestyle, job, spirituality, reproductive health, romantic partner, chores, and responsibilties, and where males and females can together create comfortable spaces for each other inside and outside the house.
After setting the tone in the first 3 chapters, the author discusses ideas under different headings like feminist politics, sisterhood, feminist education, reproductive rights, class, race and concept of beauty etc. While the book’s structure should have strengthened the narrative, it was the content that weakened it. After the first 3 chapters, most of the content was repetitive. The author chose to discuss issues in a very broad general sense, never giving the reader a detailed historical and factual account of how feminism helped transform ideas about different issues and how legislation and movements helped shape change. This was disappointing because for someone like me who is not from the US, I never got to read about the mechanics of the movement – the leaders, the followers, their issues and challenges and how the movement evolved with time. Instead, the author kept discussing the internal rifts that have divided feminists with different visions for the movement.
When it comes to removing misunderstandings about feminism, the author is able to help the reader understand that the reason why there is so much hatred towards feminism is that most of the media’s attention has been on a small group of feminists who anti-male agenda was used by the media, who the author believes is partriarchal, for inciting hatred towards feminism.
The author successfully establishes that the feminism has always been about the rights of women and that it has helped several women in fighting issues like domestic violence, unequal/low wages, and reproductive rights. She also reiterates throughout the book how racism and classism have hurt feminism, benfitting white women more than women of color.