New review: One book – three reviews

Reviewing a book co-authored by Catherine, founder of The F-Word, was always going to be an interesting one. In a break from our usual review style, I asked three women to tackle Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement. Here are the first two paragraphs of each review, click through to get the whole story

Annika Spalding, Jamillah Knowles and LonerGrrrl offer three different and independent takes on Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement by Catherine Redfern, founder of our site, and Kristin Aune

book cover

Annika Spalding

When I was asked to read and review Reclaiming the F Word, I was a little apprehensive. Not because I am intimidated or offended by the ‘F’ word, or because I have difficulty in reading a book (I love books). I’ve tried to read books on feminism previously, and felt alienated by them. The content is not always UK specific, or is difficult to understand because of the way they are written, meaning I’d have to use a dictionary to get through the pages. Some books can be a little preachy, and I find them difficult to relate to.

I’m a mixed race (or dual heritage, as some prefer to say), 20-something, secondary school educated (although have ‘graduated’ from the University of Life), working class, feminist mother (of one) and this book appealed to me.

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Jamillah Knowles

When first approached to write a review for The F-Word, of a book by the woman who created the site, I wondered if this might be a set up. I am not a feminist. I stand by that still. But naturally I respect the work and study the feminists do, in the way that I support all walks of social awareness and improvement. I stand for equality and I hope that others can respect that decision.

Reading Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement was certainly an education for me. As someone who stands for equal rights but has not entered into gender studies or feminist progression, I was delighted to learn more about the topic. But this reading was not without its moments of questioning.

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Over the past few years, spurts of feminist activism have appeared across the UK, but not until this year – with the BBC’s ‘Activists’ documentary (part of its Women series) and Kat Banyard’s book The Equality Illusion – has it begun to be brought together to point to the existence of a larger, more definable movement.

Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune, is next to reflect on this reinvigorated feminist energy. They offer a sincere and celebratory account of the recent resurgence, highlighting and legitimising the activities and voices of the mainly young grassroots feminist activists who have spurred it.

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