“Make ambition a female trait”

Just last week, there were articles all over the internet talking about ‘shine theory’ and ‘amplification’; the idea that if you are a working women, it’s in your best interests and the interests of the other women working alongside you, to support each other, and get your voices heard, by repeating what your fellow female employers say, until it’s taken seriously by the whole room. It’s a clever idea, and it’s just one of the ideas mentioned in Jessica Bennett’s new ‘Office Survival Manual For a Sexist Workplace’, Feminist Fight Club.

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Jam-packed full of tips and inspiring anecdotes from America’s top working women, this book helps you to overcome the ingrained sexism that most women will experience regularly, throughout their working life.

“Make ambition a female trait. Chip away at that glass ceiling and don’t apologize for it. And when you’ve trail-blazed your way to the top, remember your Feminist Fight Club duty: to bring other women with you.”

It’s a nice idea, and most women will be able to relate to many of the sexist situations that frequently take place in workplaces, even today.

And yet, after a while it does start to get quite repetitive. To be fair, it is exactly what it says on the tin: a survival manual. However, it would still be nice if Bennett changed things up every now and again.

By halfway through, I had had quite enough of the – this is what the situation is, and this is how you overcome it – structure, and would’ve liked more of the anecdotal parts which are arguably the highlight of the book.

By the sounds of it, Bennett has more than enough examples of sexism that she has experienced, or her friends have experienced, from working in the world of journalism, and yet we only really get a glimpse of that.

With more personal experiences, this could’ve been a really motivational, interesting, girl-power-esque book, which I think is what Bennett was trying to achieve, and yet, even with all the good intentions in the world, this book falls into the same vein as other ‘the world is sexist, this is how you can overcome it’ books.

The occasional illustrations are humorous, and the more personal moments are interesting, but overall, this is a repetitive and sadly disappointing read.

3/5

I was sent a copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Featured image by Cliff Chiang.

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