Friday, November 24, 2017
Book Review: Moxie
AUTHOR: Jennifer Mathieu
PUBLISHED: September 19th, 2017
PREMISE: A girl gets fed up with the rampant sexism in her school and starts a feminist zine to fight back.
MY REVIEW: When I heard the premise for this book I was both very nervous and very excited for it. I was excited for it because we are now actually in a place where YA is bluntly talking about and embracing feminism. That is amazing to me and I'm very happy about it. I was wary about it because I was afraid it was going to be what I call faux feminism (or White Feminism depending on the situation): it would be all about empowerment to an extent. I will give the author credit: she did try to emphasize that feminism should be inclusive.
For the most part I liked this book. It is a very basic introduction to feminism. If this is what it takes to get girls to realize feminism doesn't mean hating men and is not the evilness their friends have probably assured them it is, I'll take it. Seriously that conversation the main character has with her friend where the friend is all "I just like...don't hate men. I'm into like, equality! So I'm not a feminist"? Yeah, I've had way too many conversations like that. Guys, if you're into equality, congratulations: you're a feminist. Because that is what feminism is. Do some research, okay? A lot of the stereotypes out there about feminists are in fact bullshit made up by anti-feminists. Not to say the movement is perfect, it isn't, we need to work on our crap same as everyone else. But a lot of the stereotypes you hear are usually not even remotely true.
I just have two issues with this book. One: it's not subtle at like all. The sexism in this book is very in your face and easy to spot. Which, okay, I get it. But here's the thing: a lot of the sexism nowadays? Is not easy to spot. It's subtle and done in little ways so that the person can go "oh that's not sexism, you're making a big deal out of nothing!" It's like racism: it got coded and is done such away so that people can hand wave it away if they feel like ignoring it and don't want you calling them out on crap. I really wish the book had gone into more of the subtle ways sexism gets perpetuated in our society today.
The second issue I have is it does try to say your feminism needs to be inclusive...but it sort of does it as an afterthought. Like there are token characters of representation here and there and the character goes "oh yeah, inclusiveness is important!" and then goes right back to focusing more on the straight white females of the story. Perhaps if there's a sequel, the author can focus more on that bit.
So it's got issues. I wish the author had done a little more then what she did. But at the same time I appreciate that we're even getting this book at all. The plot is a solid one. It definitely gets the message across. In short it did its job. So...all in all I'm satisfied with it.
WHO SHOULD READ: Feminists, contemporary fans not scared off by feminism being in their books
MY RATING: Four out of Five Moxie Girls
Note about Notable Releases: Here's the thing about November and December in book world: there are usually no really big releases during those months. For the next few weeks or so there are only about one or two books I'm mildly interested in during this month so it's not really necessary for me to do notable releases right now. So it's on a brief hiatus until the beginning of 2018 and you get all the January releases. And there are so many books in January guys. SO. MANY.