Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak About Feminism for the Real World

Posted April 24, 2018 by shooting in Book Review / 25 Comments

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
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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.

25 responses to “Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak About Feminism for the Real World

  1. Does sound like an interesting one for sure! I have to admit I’ve never read anything like this for whatever reason, maybe I should give it a chance?

  2. I like how you said that while you dont relate to everything in the book, it was still important. I feel that way about a lot of things I read like this. Sounds like a good one!

  3. This sounds like an incredible book and I love the diversity of the voices featured. Though it may have been intended for a younger audience, I agree that these kinds of books can be and should be on all of our reading shelves. Also feminism is for everyone!!

  4. This book sounds fabulous. What a great way to discuss ‘feminism’. I will definitely be adding this to my TBR, Lauren. Thanks for the recommendation and thoughtful review. That poem is powerful! The gun vs. Catcher in the Rye. Yup. That about puts it in perspective.

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  5. This sounds awesome Lauren! I’m in a book club that focuses on feminism and I’ll be mentioning this book to them! Thank you for sharing. That poem…chills.

  6. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. I love that it’s a collection of poems, comics and art, interviews, and essays. I thought that it was a book of essays, but now I’m even more excited to read the book since it’s a collection of different forms of writing.

  7. kinda cool that this is for teens, since it does seem to have a bad rep thanks to some misinformation out there – targeting the younger audience is hopefully one way to fix this in the future.

  8. Definitely a book I am considering. There are many writers involved who I have a lot of respect for and unfamiliar ones I’d like to get to know. Glad you enjoyed this one and even found something to appreciate with the ones you couldn’t necessarily related to.

  9. Ooh this sounds so good. I consider myself a feminist and it is really important to me as a mom to raise my kids–both boy and girl–to be feminists as well. I’m so thankful for books like these!

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