Energetic from the first, Kylie Cheung’s A Woman’s Place is blunt as it narrates the current political and social landscape with regard to women’s interests.
Each chapter tackles a different aspect of women’s existences, and many of the examined occurrences are fresh from intense public speculation and ridicule. From society’s gendered assignments of birth control responsibility, to the vexing quick halt of male birth control development due to side effects similar to ones experienced by women, the inequities pile up.
Cheung’s extensive response to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing suggests differences in acceptable public emotions between genders. She concludes that strong emotions from women in public places are more likely to be perceived as hysterical, and that such perceptions have the potential to cross over into life-threatening circumstances. Sobering data reveals women’s uphill battles in hospitals and doctor’s offices to have their claims of physical pain taken seriously.
The book’s chapter on social hierarchies is captivating as it highlights men’s perceived challenges within the #MeToo movement. Also touched on are the swept-under-the-rug divisions in feminist ideals according to ethnicity—the book criticizes white feminists who are less vocal and less seen when black women organize to speak out against police brutality and other race-based discrimination.
Written with authority and passion, A Woman’s Place is a packed tour through what it means to be a feminist and a rallying cry for women of all ethnicities. Though Cheung acknowledges that she is privileged, she also details the circumstances that led her to rise above comforts to speak up on behalf of all women.
A Woman’s Place is a hard-hitting, academic presentation of women’s struggles not just for equality, but to be seen, heard, and believed.
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