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
Ooh, *rubs hands* controversial! ;)ReplyDelete
Well done on putting your views across in a way that isn't sh**ty Em! :)
I get where your coming from, but then there's a fine line between not generalising about men, and the 'not all men' crowd. Unfortunately, due to a lot of people's (i.e. bigoted ar*es')inability to see the subtlety, the 'other side' - the feminists - often feel like they have to polarise their stance in order to be heard.
I think true feminism supports men to break free of the problems caused by traditional gender roles (domestic violence against men, the male mental health crisis, etc.) but also understands that in some circumstances (e.g. when talking about rape culture,) strong statements garner more attention than (for example) 'maybe some blokes aren't very nice.'
(Also, from a British perspective, the Democrats are comparable to our Right-Wing, so I think most Brits would hear 'Republicans' and immediately run in the other direction!!! (Certainly left-y Brits like me!!!))
I’m so happy I got my opinions across nicely!! That was my main goal :) You bring up some great points here! I think that it is very easy for feminists to generalize all men under the same category because the bigots tend to overshadow the good men, so typically all we hear is the negative. I think more men definitely need to speak up and support feminism and speak against the bigots, so we are all able to come together and smash the true villains. Thanks Cee!Delete
Mm, I've heard some amazing things & some horrible things about this book -- thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, love! I think it's a really hard line to walk when it comes to "I hate all men" vs. "society has trained men to be horrible & it's really important that we call them out on that & start undoing all of the centuries of misogyny that have built many of the constructs we take for granted". Men need to support women & vice versa -- that's really the only way we move forward, you know? I'm glad this book made you think, though it wasn't perfect -- I think any book that moves forward the conversation on feminism is an important & necessary one. xxReplyDelete
Topaz (Six Impossible Things)
Very well said! There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of people need to learn that it’s ok to stand up for what is right.Delete
Eeeep I'm nervous about reading this book now! But I totally agree that feminism should never be about man hating - that IS missing the point - and I'm sorry you found this book to be crossing into that territory. It's also a huge pity about the lack of intersectional feminism :(ReplyDelete
Excellent review, Emily :)
I would say to still give it a go! It’s intentions were good and the message was great, it just had some negative connotations to it that I didn’t love.Delete
I love this. It was critical and eloquently delivered, good job! I love your reviews because they're always a bit more critical than most. I think the man hating is where a lot of people get the bad idea of feminism and I hate to see it being promoted. I'd love to give it a read as it sounds like an empowering read, but it's a shame there were some not so great aspects. Fantastic review Emily!ReplyDelete
Thank you Brooklyn! I appreciate the compliment. I definitely think every girl should read this book and be able to weigh its pros and cons.Delete
Oh, what a shame it didn't live up to its full potential! I've seen quite positive reviews around for this one so far, but you raised some very valid points and I totally see where you're coming from! Authors should really start thinking more about the brand of feminism they endorse because more often than not they end up labeling all men as trash and that's NOT what we need rn. Loved this review, Em! Very balanced <3ReplyDelete
Thanks Ruzaika! Yes, I definitely agree. I feel like this book just had a branch of feminism that I didn’t find very positive.Delete