The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
“To me,” Faith continued, “there are two aspects of feminism. The first is individualism, which is that I get to shape my own life. That I don’t have to fit in to a stereotype, doing what my mother tells me, conforming to someone else’s idea of what a woman is. But there’s a second aspect, too, and here I want to use the old-fashioned word ‘sisterhood’, which may make you groan a little and head for the exits in a stampede, but I will just have to take that chance. Sisterhood is about being together with other women in a cause that allows all women to make the individual choices they want. Because as long as women are separate from one another, organized around competition – like in a children’s game where only one person gets to be the princess – then it will be the rare woman who is not in the end narrowed and limited by our society’s idea of what a woman should be.”
I was fully invested when I started The Female Persuasion. I highlighted so many passages the pages of my book started to look like the cover. Wolitzer covers so much ground regarding feminism, assault, victim shaming, finding your voice (just to name a few of the topics here) and I was glued to the page. But as I barreled towards the end there was a disconnect. I wish the ending had been different, and I found myself much more invested in Zee and Cory’s plot line than Greer’s when I closed the book. The differences between Faith’s traditional feminist stance and Greer’s desire for a more intersectional approach were certainly illustrated.... but I was left wanting so much more from Greer, who by the end seemed to just only have the desire, not the actual drive to go out and act for/create change.
This book also really drove home to me the point that those who speak the loudest are not necessarily the ones we should give all our focus to... Cory and Zee both did incredible work, not for glory or to call attention to themselves but because it was the right thing to do. They quietly, day in and day out, worked so hard to make a difference and by the end I found their story much more compelling than the list of conferences and fancy speakers lined up by Loci. All that being said, the book is still INCREDIBLE. I devoured it in just two days and I completely understand all the hype that is surrounding it. I went back and forth between 3.5 and 4 Stars and ultimately landed at a solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This would be a FANTASTIC book club pick because there is just so much to discuss. I have no doubt this will be on book lists for years to come.