review: ‘Girl Up’ by Laura Bates

girl up laura bates

4 stars

Again, read and reviewed back in 2k16. Bringing it back cause FEMINISM YEAH!


This was good. I wish this was around when I was an early teenager. It would of made that time period a lot less isolating, and I wouldn’t have hesitated to call myself a feminist, at a time where I wasn’t surrounded by many women that would of called themselves one proudly, and without hesitation.

First of all, the actual book itself is really well put together. The paper is luxuriously thick and the paperback has a nice weighty feel. I loved the punchy, bright colours, I enjoyed the accompanying illustrations – cute, funny, and to be honest, who doesn’t want to see a bunch of dancing vulva’s wearing top hats?

dancing vulvas girl up

The layout has a very ‘text book’ vibe. Each chapter dedicated itself to a different arena within feminism and empowerment, and the book has a self-help, educational feel. The text is broken down by the inclusion of the aforementioned illustrations, and also graphs, tables and flowcharts, among other cool stuff. But despite the school book type format, the writing style is super colloquial, very friendly, and full of foul mouthed language, that Bates was unashamedly featuring throughout.

Angry at times, but in a way that was necessary, inspiring and made you take note. Girl Up is insightful, and contained a bunch of real life women as examples, and tonnes of facts and figures (some of them pretty shocking) to support the opinions. This book acknowledged factors such as race, disability, gender fluidity and sexuality, and discussed how they all have a different effect on what feminism means for the individual. It also didn’t exclude men, often mentioning how feminism benefits men, and looks at why feminism, and not humanism, is the more relevant term when talking about gender equality.

Obviously this isn’t perfect. Occasionally the humour was a little over the top/try hard for me, and some of the double page illustrations could be considered filler pages – both of these points are down to personal preference however. But all in all this was a really accessible look at a broad range of topics within feminism, that I think would benefit young women, older women, even men and those who don’t always gender specify. A very current read, that I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from!

sign off heartJess




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