UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 18, 2024

Book Nook: ‘Here We Are’ sheds light on different angles of feminism

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Feminism means equal rights for everyone, right?

One soon-to-be-released book tries to bring all the different definitions of feminism together. 

In the upcoming book “Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak about Feminism for the Real World,” editor Kelly Jensen brought brings together a variety of modern feminists. These women and men — since men can be feminists too — each wrote and/or drew pictures about a particular part of feminism that influenced them.

One of the contributing writers’ slice of feminism was from transgender author Constance Augusta Zaber, combating the idea that makeup goes against feminism ideas. She shared a small piece of her transition and how makeup helped her face her body dysmorphia. 

Or as she put it, “Makeup allows me to meet my eyes in the mirror.”

The book moves between these essays — which are about three to eight pages per essay, with artwork, poetry and comics interspersed. This mechanic works well, as some of the essays are emotionally charged, and allows the reader to ease into the next topic.

One controversial topic came from Michaela DePrince, a famous ballerina and activist, who uses her visibility as a platform to address female genital mutilation. Her essay covered what female genital mutilation is without being graphic, yet it still conveyed to the reader how critical it is to stop the practice. DePrince encourages women to become involved in women’s rights activism, but she also invites men “to become feminists along with their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters.”

According to the back cover, this book is meant to be “a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it means to be a 21 century feminist.” However, I found it just as an enlightening a read at my age of 28 years old. The book’s layout is in the cutesy scrapbook style that has risen in popularity after books like Tyler Oakley’s “Binge” and Grace Helbig’s “Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown Up,” but it doesn’t detract from the overall value of the messages from the different authors. 

However, I didn’t necessarily agree with all the messages presented. Statements  from the book’s editor, such as “there’s no right way and no wrong way [to live]”  simply aren’t true or realistic. However, the mission of the book is to present the multifaceted way feminism exists today, and even with statements like the one above it achieved its purpose.

This engaging book isn’t for sale just yet. It will be available Feb. 28 and is tentatively priced at $16.95. I highly recommend this book, if you or a young person in your life wants a better understanding of the modern feminist movement, this book would be a good place to start.

Dixie Sun rating: 4.5 suns