Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 19, 2017 by: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Vivian Carter has had to deal with enough scrutiny and hate in her small-town Texas high school, especially when it comes to the boy's football team who will stop at nothing to bring down all of the girls in school. Fed up with the boys' misogyny and inspired by her own mother's past as a punk-rock feminist, Vivian publishes a feminist zine called Moxie, and distributes it to all the girls in school. Pretty soon, Vivian has started a revolution, and the girls of her high school rally together to stop the hate.
Moxie was a very powerful and very feminist novel. It dealt with a variety of issues such as dress codes, hallway catcalling, and overall misogynistic stereotypes and kicked some ass in the process. However, I did have some thoughts on it that I wanted to bring up. I don't know if this will be articulated well within this post, but I'm willing to give it a shot. This will be more like a discussion post than a book review. Please be nice in the comments, even if you don't agree. *deep breaths*
I found this book to be a bit man-hating. Now I get it, a lot of men are rude, misogynistic, downright disgusting individuals who pick on women or adopt the "meninist" movement. I get that, I have had to deal with that personally. However, this book sort of puts all men into the category of being "trash", which I think is very degrading and kinda misses the point of feminism.
We talk about this a lot in school, about how the feminist movement has developed and what are its strengths and weaknesses. Now personally, and I know a lot of other women in my life agree with me, I think that the branch of feminism that declares that "men are trash" and that we should "drink up the male tears," is not gonna help any more men declare themselves feminists. If anything, it would make them feel unwelcome, unappreciated, and below us as opposed to equal to us. I don't know about anyone else, but if I were called trash on a daily basis online without ever having done anything bad in my life, I would feel pretty pathetic.
This book deals with that a lot. Suddenly all men are evil and there's not a single nice one in all of Texas. (Except of course Vivian's crush).Vivian even goes so far as to judge people's political background's, like immediately hating her mother's Republican boyfriend simply because he's a Republican, but he never says anything derogatory at all. Now I'm not going to go fully into politics here, but there are many Republicans that do not support Trump's policies, or the policies that we typically associated with Republicans, such as gay rights being wrong, abortion being wrong, etc. There are so many other things that make up the political spectrum and it's a lot more complicated than people think. There isn't a firm left or right anymore.
I think this book also could have done with more WOC rep. It mentions it a little bit, but I wouldn't go so far to say that this feminism was intersectional as it seemed to exclude some of the more marginalised groups of women in this world. I think more could've been said, and I also would have liked more attention on what moxie girls would do to help girls in third-world countries, because it is a whole other world of terror there that I feel like many seem to forget.
I didn't hate this book. I actually thought it was quite empowering, quite important, and I enjoyed reading it. I appreciated the author bringing such a poignant image of the struggles that some high-school girls face. However the feminism that was portrayed in this book is not the feminism that I typically associate myself with, because I think that that feminism puts up more barriers between the good men and women in the world, then draw them together.
So those are my thoughts. I understand that many may disagree with me, but I am also confident that other women in my life do agree with me. I'd appreciate your thoughts, positive or negative, but I do hope that you will be respectful. There's already too much hate in the world.
Emily @ Paperback Princess