Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are few books like this anymore. We're used to long scholarly treatises and we're used to little soundbites that say everything and almost nothing at all.
What we've been missing is a call to arms. That's what a manifesto is. A mixed mission statement and an outrage. A rallying call and a hot pinprick of a single idea meant to sear itself into your brain.
That's what a manifesto is supposed to be. A wake-up call.
But what is this one in particular?
It's about the nature of power and misogyny, first cutting through the crap of old Greece through her quality scholarship and then directly applying the topic to our modern world. I can be boiled down to the Voice of Authority. If you don't have a lower register, you're told to shut up.
This isn't a joke, although it is furiously funny. It's no laughing matter, but many women and more men than you might think have gone crazy with the absolute absurdity of it.
But there you have it.
Sit down, shut up, bear with the assholes, bide your time, work within the system, tell yourself that one day the glass ceiling might be shattered, and eventually give up, frustrated, disheartened, and disillusioned.
Or postulate: "If the power game is rigged, then it's not women who need to change in order to get power. It's the nature of power that needs to be changed."
But what is power? Ah, well, that's the trick, isn't it?
IT IS WHAT WE DREAM UP. It's words. It's our decision to make. All of us. We can bow down to the almighty lower register or we could start listening to what ALL our smart PEOPLE have to say. Use logic. Reason. Clarity.
It's worth thinking about.
I'm a feminist. I'm also a man. It's freaking RATIONAL to be this. I'm not playing a Us vs Them game because it only leads to further cutting. The only way through this mess is TOGETHER.
So do I appreciate this manifesto?
And I part with you on a high note. A little Laurie Anderson that makes me laugh until I cry. Mach 20, yo.
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