Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women’s Rights

PublicAffairs. Jul. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781541758629. $28. SOC SCI
Making reference to Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel The Awakening, this book by Vogelstein and Stone (both NGO advocates for women’s rights) carefully situates their analysis of the global impact of the Me Too movement in a literary, social, and sexual narrative that is always “both/and” rather than “either/or” in its embodiment. They make the case that, like Chopin’s heroine, women who come forward about abuses have sometimes found their voices, but have at other times been silenced. This book assembles individual stories along with case studies focused on different forms of social change and provides strategies that readers can use individually or collectively to dismantle systems that perpetuate sexual violence. Like the Me Too movement itself, this book’s narrative is not linear; it draws its strength from the authors’ awareness that global efforts are not monolithic or one-size-fits-all and that the democratization of communication platforms doesn’t always make it easier to ignite positive change. This book isn’t simply a history or a series of case studies and anecdotes; it compiles these narratives to show readers how change happens, so that we can continue to do the work of disrupting and dismantling systemic injustices.
VERDICT Complete with a broad selection of resources for advocacy, this call-to-action will spark the interest of aspiring activists.
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