This is a must-read for… everybody. Obviously the people who probably need to hear this message the most are not the same people who are going to pick up this book. That’s kind of okay, because for me this book was more about reinvigorating my anger that had turned into despair, and it was also a way for me to formulate arguments that had been swirling around in my brain.
It was hard to read at times, because West spends some time recounting the events leading up to 2016 election. It’s necessary to understand how we got here if we are going to fix anything.
One of the most relevant and important ideas that West talks about in these essays is that change is uncomfortable and difficult. Confronting implicit bias and challenging our ways of thinking is hard. Realizing that you have been wrong about so many things is painful. Now, cis het white men are being held accountable, and it is disrupting their lives. Good. It should. The current system our society operates under, the patriarchy, is not repairable. The only way to move forward is to dismantle the existing system and build a new one. Despite all the terrible things happening around us, it feels like this might actually be starting to happen, and that gives me hope.
West is very good at alternating between content that is very difficult and content that is slightly less difficult to read. Let’s be honest, none of this makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. The most lighthearted piece in this collection is about GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s weird side hustle that proposes unrealistic and sometimes harmful beauty standards under the guise of wellness. Or in other words, one of the many examples of a woman with influence maintaining her power by oppressing other women. Don’t even get me started on Joan Rivers.
Anyway, this book is amazing and everyone should read it! It goes on sale Nov 5, so go ahead and get that pre-order in or reserve it at your library.