Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection (Amazon) is… a brief history of feminism intermingled with an exhausting amount of cis-het-normatism with a side of biological essentialism. In this universe, race and sexuality are an afterthought, “transgendered” is an adjective, and women who don’t want children don’t exist at all.
Most of the time I was reading it, I was wondering what I was supposed to take away from it, I found my answer towards the end:
“My generation made a mistake. We took the struggles and the victories of feminism and interpreted them somehow as a pathway to personal perfection. We privatized feminism and focused only on our dreams and our own inevitable frustrations.”
Which does lead to one thing that I did like, that I think we should talk about more often – the concept of satisficing. That feminism fought for choices, but having those choices means making them – including what not to do, and what not to do well.
But – I am frustrated by the idea that women could just choose to “be less hard on ourselves” in a society that holds us to impossible standards. I’m angry about the lack of consideration for intersectionality. The book is from 2014, but already feels extremely dated. I don’t entirely know why I finished it – perhaps the historical aspect? It’s relatively well written, interweaving the author’s experience with the changes of the time. But on reflection, it probably wasn’t worth the time, and I don’t recommend it.