When you first see Rebecca Shaw’s neon-coloured book, ‘No to Feminism: 70 Reasons Why Femism is Bad for You’ on the shelf, do yourself a favour and don’t judge too soon. Take a copy down, hold it in your hands, and flip through a couple of pages. Better yet, peruse Shaw’s witty, tongue-in-cheek introduction and see for yourself what an entertaining and compellingly agonising book this really is.
No to Feminism was born out of a Twitter account that popular satirist Rebecca Shaw set up in order to ridicule the anti-feminist movement that she found to be abundant online, and to her surprise, the humour caught fire. Shaw was quick to note that although she sees various valid reasons for women to not identify with the feminist movement, such as lack of intersectionality or transphobia, many of the arguments put forward by anti-feminists seemed to be ridiculous to her.
Littered with bizarre outbursts of anti-feminist sentiment, each 140-character excerpt is accompanied by brilliantly wry cartoons by Fury, featuring such gems as, ‘I don’t need femisms because I enjoy looking after my family! No femisist even has a family, they all live with raccoons in garbage bins’.
Every turn of the page features a new, if-you-don’t-laugh-you’ll-cry passage, so realistic you might even mistake it for the words of your sexist Uncle Stephen. Although the various mis spellings of the word feminism adds an extra level of humour to each of the faux-tweets (fweets?), it sometimes becomes jarring when reading each page in succession, and upon deeper reflection while flipping through the pages, may have the effect of seeming conceited, and talking down to people who, like your sexist Uncle Stephen, may just need to be educated rather than belittled. Regardless of these perhaps deeper-than-necessary thoughts, the book achieves its goal in satirising a movement that has had a great impact on the online feminist community, and provides some welcome relief from a stunningly clever and curt comedienne.
This book will either have you in fits of laughter, bouts of tears, or petitioning to ban women from parliament. I personally found myself in the throes of the former, and I really, really advise you against the latter. But no matter what, No to Feminism is a wonderful light read when the patriarchy is getting you down and you just need some fist-sized literature to throw at the back of Uncle Stephen’s ignorant head.