Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is the ultimate guide on how to deal with and overcome the outdated views and opinions installed in us by the patriarchy. Social media influencer Florence Given talks about feminism, sexuality, gender identities, and how to be the love of your own life in a constantly male-focused world. If you identify as a woman, or you’re looking to unleash your inner feminist, then this book is for you.
(This review mentions themes surrounding sexual assault/rape culture.)
Embarrassingly, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given is the first proper feminist book I’ve read. I’ve read books about feminist history or key female figures, but nothing about the ideas behind feminism itself. Because of this, I was hoping for an easy and accessible guide to important feminist discussions.
Florence Given covers loads of key topics, from gender identities, sexuality and sexual assault. There were themes that I already knew a bit about, and others where I was introduced to new ideas or conversations. I think if you’re well-read in feminist literature, then you probably won’t learn much new, but for me, this was a great introduction, and I can imagine this being a fabulous book for younger girls who are starting to face the harsh realities of the world around us.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters on refusing to find comfort in other people’s flaws – too often are we comparing ourselves to other people, and we feel better by looking for faults in other people. This literally doesn’t benefit anyone, including us. This chapter definitely opened my eyes to how I talk about other women and people in general.
Florence also shares the harrowing truth of what it’s like being female. There are a few chapters on rape culture and sexual assault, which are immense themes, but are so important to hear about. It broke my heart to read that in 2018, only 1.7% of rape allegations in the UK resulted in a charge. So many people are scared to come forward about rape because of statistics like this, and it just goes to show how we’ve got such a long way to go.
There are a few topics which Florence Given touched on slightly, for example, black women or trans women’s experiences, but these could have been developed even more for me. However, Florence does reiterate her privilege throughout the book and explains that some themes discussed throughout are based on her own experiences as a bisexual woman.
I also have to say how beautifully put together the book is, and I absolutely loved the images that went alongside the text, designed by Florence herself. It’s by far one of the prettiest books on my shelf.
This book is by no means a complete guide on feminism, and Florence herself credits other people’s work that has influenced her opinions and writing. I almost wished there was a ‘further reading’ section to get more feminist literature on my reading list.
Women Don’t Owe You Pretty has opened my eyes to new things, reconsolidated my opinion on others, and has definitely encouraged me to look more into this subject. If you’re a beginner or looking for an easy and empowering read, then I’d absolutely recommend.
“Anything that does not seek to add value to your life doesn’t deserve a place in it.”
“You don’t have time in this life to be wasting precious energy on people who don’t even realise what a privilege it is to know you.”
“A man in a room full of women is ecstatic. A woman in a room full of men is terrified.” - Unknown