Feminist Fight Club written by Jessica Bennett is an office survival manual. Specifically for a sexist workplace. If you didn’t know already, Jessica is a writer for the NY Times and fun fact: she’s a Seattle native. The book is written in a light-hearted conversational tone, but the topics are certainly not light. We have made strides in workplace equality but there is still so much room for improvement. One of my concentrations in college was HR management and I now work in HR. This book gives me a lot of inspiration for how I’d like to impact the policies and culture of any place I work in the future. Regardless of your profession or college major, I guarantee this book will be applicable.
Here are some of my favorite points made in the book. You’ll have to read Feminist Fight Club yourself for more – but I promise it’s worth your time!
- “Recognizing sexism is harder than it once was.” Today sexism can be casual, politically correct, even friendly. We see it in the smallest forms and yes, even women exhibit sexism. That doesn’t make it acceptable. I like Jessica’s examples because they are things I’ve seen with my own eyes. Ever hear someone mistake the boss for the admin just because she’s a woman? Or automatically assume a woman is going to take notes during a meeting? This book is filled with relatable examples that you and I have both witnessed.
- Knowing thy enemy is important. Here are some of the types of enemies we as women need to be aware of. Plus – you’ll learn some fight moves.
-Manterrupters: Jessica uses the infamous Kanye/T-Swift moment from 2009. (How was that 7 years ago?) The truth is women are twice as more likely than men to be interrupted. If you’re keeping up with this presidential election, don’t try to argue this isn’t a very real truth.
-Bropropriators: One who appropriates credit for another’s work. I don’t have a lot to add to this, except #bye. If you do this, kindly exit the workplace.
- Get to know yourself and your habits. We all do this horrible thing where we get in our own way sometimes. Some general examples of sabotaging actions and how to combat them make for a great introspective exercise. As I read this section, I picked out a few that I personally do at times. I was also happy to read that some of the ‘fixes’ are things that I personally believe in. Like not checking your work email on your phone when you should be relaxing, eating dinner, and spending time with your cat/significant other/or your own awesome self. Overtime at home doesn’t always work out in a woman’s favor, particularly if they are bearing the bulk of the work at home as well.
- Everyone’s favorite conversation to have: salary negotiation. (Not.) For most people, especially women, this is a really difficult conversation. There’s a whole section in this book with a script of sorts to guide you and help you go into this conversation with confidence.
Also, just a quick two cents on feminism… Admittedly, I used to cringe a bit at the word feminist. I realized that’s because I didn’t quite understand the true meaning of feminism. A quick Google search will uncover the mystery for yourself if you share the same confusion. A feminist is simply someone who supports equality of the sexes. The thing is, it is up to us as women to keep fighting for our rights and equality in society. We’re not done with this fight just because we’re allowed to vote in the next US presidential election. It’s time to start these conversations that can be difficult sometimes, but we need to challenge the issues that are still rampant in our workplaces. So if the term feminist bothers you or gives you a bad impression, know that this is really bigger than just a term. You can call it whatever you want, but equality is the theme here. And if you ask me, equality is pretty important.
Thank you to the Feminist Fight Club team for gifting me a copy! All opinions are my own.