Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement by Catherine Redfern & Kristin Aune
Browsing around my local library a few weeks ago, I noticed that they have quite a small but rather concise feminist writings section, full of many of the books which I would recommend as introductory texts to any interested in feminism as well as the longer tracts from the well-known names. I had never read Reclaiming the F Word before so I added it to my check-out pile and threw it into my handbag for lunch-time reading.
Reclaiming the F Word draws on research done amongst 1000 people about their perspectives on feminism and what issues they think feminism should tackle. The writers take these insights from the research and use them to outline the direction that modern, Western feminism has been taking over the past year and neatly lays the issues out into the main topics of body rights, sexual rights, workplace equality, cultural equality, politics and religious, freedom from violence and equality in the home.
The interspersion of the comments made by those surveyed and interviewed added a layer of interest and insight to the chapters about why feminism is still relevant to many people in the 21st century. While some of the chapters maybe suffer for taking on too much in their analysis, there are other chapters which make me pause for thought and nod my head in agreement. In particular, the chapter on religion and whether it can be changed to include female perspectives in its structures and worship.
One of the biggest criticisms laid at feminist writings is its lack of inclusion of the male perspective, and this is where this book really works. When the authors discuss their main issues, they always acknowledge that men also suffer as well from rape, violence, stifling gender norms amongst many other issues, and that men can also be feminists.
So even if you’ve moved beyond Feminism 101, Reclaiming the F Word will probably be of interest, and this is a must-read for anyone interested in the state of the current feminist movement.