Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak About Feminism for the Real World (edited by Kelly Jensen)
Review by Lauren
source: personal copy; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, they share diverse perspectives on and insights into what feminism means and what it looks like. Come on in, turn the pages, and be inspired to find your own path to feminism by the awesome individuals in Here We Are.
Review: Do you believe in equality for everyone, regardless of sex, gender, race, etc.? Congratulations – you’re a feminist. Feminism has such a bad rap, and certain celebrities (not going to name names) aren’t helping with this by saying that they aren’t a feminist, they don’t hate men, etc. Feminism isn’t about hating men. Men can, and should, be feminists. While Here We Are was released for a teen audience, it’s something I think adults would get a lot out of too, so I do recommend it even if you’re no longer in high school (after all, I’m not, and I loved it).Do you believe in equality for everyone, regardless of sex, gender, race, etc.? Congratulations - you're a feminist. #feminism Click To Tweet
Here We Are is a collection of poems, comics and art, interviews, and essays all about topics that fall under the umbrella term feminism. While most of the contributors are women, there are also men included. Some of the contributions were also published elsewhere, so you may have seen them already, but most of the book is new, which I appreciated. Granted, I hadn’t read most of the previously published items anyway, and I think that might be true for many of you.
There is a poem in the book called “Somewhere in America” by Zariya Allen that I really loved. As it’s National Poetry Month in April, I thought I’d share a little bit of it here (I bolded the lines that are bold in the book) –
Now somewhere in America there is a child holding a copy of
The Catcher in the Rye and there is a child holding a gun.
but only one of these things has been banned by their state government
and it’s not the one that can rip through flesh
it’s the one that says “Fuck you” on more pages than one
There are many more wonderful additions to the book, from names I recognized, and others I didn’t. While I didn’t personally relate to every single story, that doesn’t mean they weren’t important. There are essays and other work about body image, sexuality, being transgender, not wanting kids, being a male and a feminist, mental health, and so much more. And yes, they are all about feminism.
So tell me: would you read this book? Do you already identify as a feminist? Why or why not?
ETA: Leave a Mark Auctions are back – at least for a few more books. You can bid right now (open to international bids too) on an Annotated Copy of Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson. All proceeds benefit a little boy whose had multiple heart surgeries. Bid – and/or – learn more here.