Review by Booklist Review
If feminism is defined as political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, then how does it account for a lack of that parity among women? Mainstream feminism is just that, normative, and tends to work for everyone save those who live on the margins. Blogger, speaker, and essayist Kendall is a Black woman who knows what it's like to live outside the majority patterns of society in general and feminism in particular. She has known hunger and been the victim of violence. She has fought for autonomy over her own body and had to justify her beliefs to the people she holds dearest. In this forceful and eloquent series of essays, she takes on the feminist myopia that ignores the daily existential struggles of women of color and encourages a broader support of society's most vulnerable citizens. If such support is forthcoming and awareness expanded, then not only will those outside the feminist establishment be empowered, those within the current movement will also be enlightened as to their cause's true universal potential.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2020 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Blogger Kendall (Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists) indicts mainstream feminism for focusing on "debates over last names, body hair, and the best way to be a CEO" rather than the basic survival of marginalized women in this searing essay collection. Grounding her critique in personal experiences of gun violence, police discrimination, single motherhood, poverty, sexual harassment, and the "school-to-prison pipeline," Kendall accuses "theoretically feminist white women" of failing to "make common cause against white supremacy" and "turn to the patriarchy for protection" when they feel threatened. She asks white, straight, cisgender, middle- and upper-class women to become "accomplices" rather than "allies"; to stop fetishizing the bodies of women of color; and to make a living wage, safe neighborhoods,"food insecurity," voting rights, and access to quality medical care and education feminist issues. In the case of Muslim and African-American women challenging the patriarchal structures of Islam and the black church, however, Kendall advises mainstream feminists to step back and resist the impulse to play "white savior." Her forays into satire, including instructions for "How to Write About Black Women," are less impactful than her autobiographical reflections, but Kendall manages to draw a clear picture of what true intersectional feminism looks like. This hard-hitting guide delivers crucial insights for those looking to build a more inclusive movement. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Kendall writes a searing critique of mainstream white feminism and its neglect of issues like hunger, the education gap, and a living wage, drawing on her own experience as a Black Chicagoan.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A book about feminism from the perspectives of those often left out of the conversation.Kendall (Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights, 2019) takes a magnifying glass and megaphone to the plights of marginalized women, many of whom are criminally overlooked or erased in mainstream feminist discussions of the hardships women face. The author frankly highlights how issues like race, food insecurity, gun violence, and poverty, among others, are all feminist issues, with many of them overlapping or serving to exacerbate others. Using history, pop culture, and statistics along with personal stories, Kendall demonstrates the problems with mainstream feminism's lack of consideration of intersectionality. She purposefully shifts the focus to women who are generally treated as a footnote and holds up a mirror to feminism's usual spokespeople by pointing out blind spots in a movement that claims to be for all women but which has shown itself to be exclusionary of most. A military veteran, wife, mother, and ardent opponent of respectability politics, Kendall shows how several talking points used by mainstream feminists and policymakers cause more harm than good to the groups they are trying to serve, and she supplies practical suggestions for ways to make worthwhile and sustainable changes. While acknowledging that no one is without flaws, Kendall also notes that we have a responsibility to make society a safer, more equitable place for women of all backgrounds. Sometimes, that involves stepping aside so someone more suitable gets the platform and support to do so. Kendall is a highly knowledgeable and inspiring guide, and she effectively builds on the work of black women who have, for ages, been working to better the lives of themselves and their communities. The book is an authentic look, from the perspective of a black feminist, at the ways mainstream feminism must be overhauled, from the personal to the policy level, and a demand that its practitioners do better.A much-needed addition to feminist discourse. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.