BY Harsimran Kaur ON July 13 , 2021 IN BOOK REVIEWS, DIFFICULT WOMEN/HELEN LEWIS/NON-FICTION
I have hope. I have faith. I love and live. I am a woman!!
But still I am considered to be difficult. Why??
Helen Lewis answers the imperative question with a cornucopia of thick-skinned feminist who dared to change the unblemished patriarchy and impregnable subservience.
Difficult women is about the real hard struggle of various feminist, one of them being Caroline Norton who indefatigably fought to give custody of kids under 7 to their mothers. Her distraught marriage, and the discordant divorce laws emboldened her to march ahead to give women a life with less social and economic implications.
Helen Lewis, the author, has voiced stentorian opinions on feminism. She talks about of equality of sexes, and deems it important for liberation of women from the beleaguered refuge of male idiosyncrasies. We need to see feminism as a cause to make women enjoy the same rights and privileges as men and not be left to live a humdrum existence. The book “Difficult Women” is a plausible read and an eye-opener to the set of struggles and tyranny the feminist in different fields went through.
Talking about the Right to Vote, Constance Lytton, a suffragette activist, unflinchingly strives to achieve her goal. Her ordeal in the prison where hunger becomes an implacable enemy with food being blatantly shoved down the throat sends shivers down the spine. Further, the author talks about sexual desire and guilt pleasures, and how women reluctantly give into the unhappiness they are surrounded by. Every topic from right to education to right to abortion, divorce, right to play and work hold a solid yardstick for the empowerment of women. In this torrid war of rights, Constance Lytton and Marie Stopes, the two feminist extensively talked about in the book, go through an arduous struggle to quash the pejorative practices and the Palaeolithic
Every right referred to in the book talks loud to be accepted without compulsion. A right to vote is as important as the right to education. Marriage and divorce are two sides of a coin. Divorce is not a denial of marriage but an uncompassionate consequence. The right to live out of a tumultuous marriage helps women to breathe again. Sex and abortion too are forced on women blotching her very existence. These need not be governed by patriarchal norms. Another facet of the book focuses on giving the women right to work to make their minds progressive with ample time to fulfil their desires.
The approach of feminism changes with time but the ideology remains the same. It’s a journey to conquer the inner inhibitions, to ward off the impediments to achieve the fathomable, to pull off a desire without self-denial and giving a voice to one’s opinions and beliefs. The book is well-researched and gives an insight into the hardships of various feminist to bring life into the air we breathe today.
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