A book which is a memoir of Jessica Bennett’s life with her husband who has Asperger Syndrome, and their journey through the world of neurodiversity. The Fight Club movement in this book comes about as an idea for people living on the spectrum to meet each other without feeling awkward or judged by outsiders–an action rooted in self-preservation rather than social good. It was eventually deemed unethical when it led to physical altercations between members at meetings, and its founder took a plea deal after being charged with rape.
Are you seeking for a synopsis of Jessica Bennett’s novel Feminist Fight Club? You’ve arrived to the correct location.
After reading Jessica Bennett’s book, I wrote down a few significant takeaways.
If you don’t have time, you don’t have to read the whole book. This book synopsis summarizes all you can take away from it.
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I’ll go through the following issues in this Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace book summary:
What is the purpose of Feminist Fight Club?
The fight club was devoid of fighting and males. Every month, women would meet in a New York apartment to discuss their sexist workplace issues and share techniques for overcoming them. For years, these meetings were kept under wraps. It’s now time to talk about the club.
Feminist Fight Club, by journalist Jessica Bennett, combines the personal tale of her real-life fight club with an examination of the gender gap in American industries.
Bennett discusses the tactical strategies—and the camaraderie—that every woman needs to fight back, as well as tools for men who support the cause—with equal parts wit and rigour.
Who Is Feminist Fight Club’s Author?
Jessica Bennett is a journalist who focuses on women’s issues and culture. She is a staff writer and editor at The New York Times, where she was named the paper’s first gender editor in 2017, and she is spearheading a push to increase gender coverage across platforms.
She is the co-editor of “This Is 18: Girls’ Lives Through Girls’ Eyes” and the author of “Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace.”
Summary of the Book Feminist Fight Club
This is a colorful, amusing, and hilarious handbook on surviving at work. It’s a how-to guide for daily sexism, covering everything from overt harassment to more subtle ways males treat women at work that may stymie their advancement.
Bennett relies on her own Feminist Fight Club’s experiences and conversations, a group of women who met socially to compare notes and provide suggestions about their experiences.
Bennett briefly touches on the historical view of sexism – looking at when it was once acceptable for a man to be openly sexist (including inappropriate touching, language, and attitude) – and how we got from there to the society we now live in, where some men believe the feminist wars have been fought because women have good professional jobs and men don’t.
However, as Bennett points out, views toward women in the workplace are still far from gender-neutral, from categorizing them into assigned categories (mother, daughter, wife) to various ways males act with women on a daily basis.
Bennett discusses the conflicts that often arise in the workplace. If you’re a male, being dubbed “ambitious” is OK, but if you’re a woman, it indicates you’re controlling and bossy. Women must be kind, but not too nice, otherwise they will be seen as pushovers; they must be confident, but not arrogant; and compassionate, but not maternal (or, god forbid, a genuine mother) because they would be perceived as uncommitted to the work.
Bennett highlights some of the shortcomings in men colleagues’ views toward their female counterparts, and the book makes some valid observations in this regard.
Bennett classifies men into comedic profiles depending on their behaviors, focusing on individual solutions for coping with professional challenges.
There’s the ‘Manterrupter,’ who interrupts women in meetings, the ‘Menstruhater,’ who believes women are hormonal when they’re aggressive and stick to their guns, and the ‘Lacthaters,’ who assume moms aren’t devoted to the work while passing the same judgment on dads.
The ‘Bropriator’ takes your ideas and claims ownership of them. Then there’s the ‘Dismisser,’ who is patronizing, the ‘Himitator,’ who is arrogant and conceited, and the ‘Stenographucker,’ who demands women to handle secretarial and administrative chores regardless of their position.
Of course, there are guys who meet these descriptions, but it’s debatable if mocking males is the best approach to remove gender stereotypes. Bennett feels that challenging preconceptions is important, but fighting fire with fire seldom works out successfully since no one ends up paying attention.
Bennett’s answers are riddled with jargon. The book has a section called ‘The Fight Moves,’ which suggests that when confronted with a Manterrupter, you should keep talking, keep your pauses brief, and maintain your momentum. When confronted with a Bropriator, publicly congratulate them for picking up on your concept.
The jargon continues: ‘Put the Phucker in His Place,’ ‘Underpromise, Overdeliver,’ ‘Throw to a Bro,’ and so on. ‘Clitoral Mass’ is another phrase she employs (avoiding female marginalisation). To outmaneuver the guys, the message is to increase the number of women in the room. She doesn’t go into detail about whether or not this is feasible.
Bennett refers to women employing other women as “Vagaffirmative Action,” arguing that increasing the number of women in the workforce enhances the chances of more women in strong positions.
There are three main points to be made here. First, modify the system (with little in the way of guidance); second, be able to stand up for yourself; and third, find a girl-gang to back you (your own Feminist Fight Club).
Also, avoid appearing too feminine and exude the confidence of an unassuming white guy. Bennett’s most useful advise is on how to ‘know your opponent’ and ‘know yourself.’
She’s here to recognize the self-imposed limitations that many women face as a result of societal conditioning. She advises readers to learn to recognize when a male coworker is being annoying, assess their own behaviors, and consider how they could be regarded. This is where the book’s most beneficial self-help content is found.
Bennett alludes to her own Feminist Fight Club members as being part of that group with their professional occupations, and the book has naturally drawn criticism for its white, privileged outlook.
While funny, the book fails to consider the impact of low-paying menial employment, race, background, or poverty, and its use of jargon may become repetitious. It might also be criticized as being too light.
Yes, men’s attitudes toward women in the workplace are socially conditioned, and this requires action, but approaching it as a joke or a game will not improve anything.
Bennett’s work is heavily illustrated, but it doesn’t have much to say, and what it does express is primarily in the form of soundbites and funny language. It’s best seen as a lighthearted guide to getting through the workday as an individual rather than a comprehensive guide to positive transformation.
Sexism in the workplace has become more subtle than overt, so be mindful when it occurs. Workplace men may be classified into numerous stereotypes, and there are methods to gently challenge them in order to change their behavior. Recognize your adversary – the behavior that irritates you.
Know yourself — be conscious of your own beliefs about your skills and how your responses may be contributing to the situation. Find a female support group to help you cope with your employment issues. Hire other women if you’re a woman to boost your stats.
If you enjoyed Feminist Fight Club, you may be interested in reading the following book summaries:
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