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Feminism for Beginners

I'm a hardcore feminist! According to Grethe Nestor. feminist Handbook can give teenagers meat on their feet in the feminist debate.


The hardcore feminist is a younger relative of the old feminist. She is against porn and silicone dolls, and she may be working as a politician or professional feminist. In the worst case, pussy artist or performance artist. And then jeg then, as neither has read Under the pink rug or The other sex.

But forget about the hardcore feminist! Forget about the cyber feminist, the guccifeminist, the badgirl feminist and the oh-so-feared womb feminist. These are just categories in feminist test on the last pages of Grethe Nestors feminist Handbook.

The author and Klassekampen writer has said that she wanted to write the book she herself needed as a 15-20 year old. The purpose is to give young girls, who possibly consider themselves feminists, a little more meat on their bones before throwing themselves into discussions. And for that purpose it works excellently. The slightly ragged stall setting is one of several humorous elements – probably Nestor has used the implemented light tone, because she know that feminism talk is experienced as the hassle and teasing of many young people.

No fog land

There is a lot that brings out the smile in the book, including wicked feminist jokes like, "What is the fastest way to a man's heart? Through the chest with a sharp knife. "

Still, it is the more theoretical parts of the book that make it worth reading. Without rooting in academic fog, Nestor explains the distinction between two main directions of modern feminism; equality feminism and difference feminism. Also called political feminists and womb feminists. The author clearly distances herself from the latter category when she attacks the "natural arguments", which are often used against gender equality: Why does mother care most about children? It is naturlig. Why mother should breastfeed as long as possible? It is so naturlig. Why gays can't adopt children? It is not natural.

Nestor also takes up the media's unconscious rendition of "research news" such as "it's trendy to stay home with children", "meanwhile makes you uglier" and "housework reduces the risk of cancer" (especially uterine and breast cancer, of course). And the same media's focus on the sad, single and childless lives of successful women like Siv Jensen and Åsne Seierstad. These sections should be pasted into the syllabus of the journalism college.

Crash course

Nestor also provides the reader with a quick course on feminist history and brief tips on how to enhance their "feminist formation" through books, movies, and music. Very useful here, although I have trouble seeing the red feminist thread in the record selection consisting of Nora Brockstedt, Pink, Madonna and Blondie. It's kicked a bit here and there, like in the section on beauty tyranny and plastic surgery, where she takes up the thread from Jostein Pedersen's blog last year, claiming that Queen Sonja's "language course in France" is starting to leave clear traces. Head hunter Elin Ørjasæter also gets an ear flutter in the quotation chapter, where the author in a fiery defense of quotas, wisely concludes that it is not about quoting women, but to quit to quote men.

The feminist handbook idea is not new. In 2000, Nina Banggren, Aina Griffin, Mai Lindberg and Jill Moursund came with the handbook Half the sky is ours, which was aimed at even younger girls. The authors wanted to help the girls to become tougher and braver, and thus stand better equipped for various forms of pressure. The book addressed many of the same themes as feminist Handbook, for example, ruling techniques, argumentation techniques and feminist history, and it was all sprinkled with images, exercises, quotes and drawings at such a hectic pace that it recalled good old "U" clipping.

Another starting point was the Swedish author Jennie Sjögren when she wrote her feminist handbook Ordination: Everyday feminism, who came out at Bokförlaget DN in 2003. She wanted to meet the woman with work, children and her husband, with specific tips on how we can create equality at work, at home and in bed. Here, the reader was given tips such as "how do you deal with sexual harassment?", "How do you claim equal pay as your male counterparts?" And "how to share day-to-day responsibilities for children fairly?" This is a form of "consumer friendliness" »Nestor would have liked to have made more use of it. The Swedish book also contains some interesting statistics on the wage gap, women's violence and women's and men's time spent on housework. No reasoning beats clear numbers.

feminist book Review is equally full of both entertaining and petty. It is far from objective, but contains some well-explained feminist theory for all of us who do not have a bachelor's degree in women's and gender research. In other words, an edifying graduation gift for a girl you care about.

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