As I said in yesterday’s Week in Books, it turns out that the week after the move is also super busy. And I have so little brain space going on for anything that it’s not funny. Anyway, another non-fiction pick this week. What can I say, all my library holds for non fiction books are coming in and I’m trying hard to read them as soon as I get them so I don’t run out of time on the loans! And this is one that I’ve heard a lot about – including some great interviews with the author Anne Helen Peterson.
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud’s subtitle is The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women and examines a series of women and what it is about them that the media and society finds so difficult to deal with. Each woman is picked for one specific trait that makes her unrulyy – Serena Williams is too strong, Kim Kardashian is too pregnant, Hillary Clinton too shrill. And in examining these women it sheds light on to how society views women and challenges assumptions that you may have made yourself. Anne Helen Peterson is a senior culture writer at Buzzfeed and this is incredibly readable, as well as packed with what was clearly a lot of research.
Even if you don’t like all of the women here – and there are definitely some that I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of – but I found that there was something in every chapter that made me think, or reconsider some of my preconceptions. And as someone who used to be a radio newsreader, I’ve had a lot of comments about my voice over the years, so there was definitely some stuff in the too shrill chapter that I had a lot of feelings about. But I think most (every?) woman reading this will recognise something that’s been said about her or too her in this.
I know this review is shorter than the usual – but that’s mostly my brainfade talking. This is a really, really good and interesting read – I raced through it – and fits in really well with some of the other writing about women and society that I’ve read recently. Peterson is currently writing a book about burnout – if you haven’t read her essay about how Millennials became the burnout generation, you really should – and I’m very excited to see what she has to say about it.
My copy of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud came from the library, but you should be able to get hold of it fairly easily – there are Kindle and Kobo editions as well as paperbacks and hardbacks that you can get from places like Book Depository. I’m not sure how easy it’ll be to get in an actual bookshop – because I still haven’t worked out if these are UK editions or imports.