The fiercest new voice of feminism – Emer O’Toole is the perfect mix of Caitlin Moran, Germaine Greer and Lena Dunham.
Emer O’Toole once caused a media sensation by growing her body hair and singing ‘Get Your Pits Out For The Lads’ on national TV. You might think she’s crazy – but she has lessons for us all. Protesting against the ‘makey-uppy-bulls**t’ of gender conditioning, Emer takes us on a hilarious, honest and probing journey through her life – from cross-dressing and head shaving, to pube growing and full-body waxing – exploring the performance of femininity to which we are confined.
Funny, provocative and underpinned with rigorous academic intelligence, this book shows us why and how we should all begin gently to break out of gender stereotypes. Read this book, open up your mind and, hopefully, free your body. GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS is a must-read wake-up call for all young women (and men)
After reading this book, one question came to mind; do we still live in such a sexist world that the arguments in this book are ‘controversial’ or even ‘new’? I did enjoy O’Toole’s way of relating the issues to her own world, but there was nothing in this book that I haven’t read, heard about or even thought of before. However, it is still a good book for those who are embarking on the scary world of feminism for the first time.
Each topic is a simple one that many women experience on a constant basis; from body hair to the roles around the house. Even if you don’t relate to every single experience, there would probably be one that feels close to home for you. I mean, I don’t have sex so I cannot relate to the concept of male not considering the female’s pleasure during intimacy, I am sure it is an issue that many others can face. There is a reason each chapter is in the book, and I hope it will make at least one person reconsider aspects of their life.
My favourite part of the book is when O’Toole examines a discussion that took place when she was in her teenage years and made an argument that sexism wasn’t an issue anymore. Just be including this scene, she explores how sexual equality is a complicated issue and thoughts can change as we mature. I believe in the good of people. Most people aren’t strongly sexist and think men are far superior to women. We just live in a society where it’s easy to slip into the roles that are expected from us.
There is still a comedic sense to the book. In one section, O’Toole actually uses a direct blog post from a few years and it includes a vernacular that I can only laugh at. This break from the seriousness of the discussion is essential to remind us that we are still talking about a pretty good society compared to others. We’re not talking about a lot of horrific exceptionally sexist situations, but that doesn’t mean the residue of patriarchy has disappeared.
One idea that I found fascinating is that O’Toole is more critical on female authors than she is of male authors. It is the one point where I had to stop and think. Do I do that? Am I like her and think that men are so much smarter than me that I can’t possibly compete with them intellectually but I have a chance with women? I like to think not, but it is something I will need to consider in the future.
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it didn’t really change the way I viewed life, so I’ll give it 8/10.