Last month, I read Clementine Ford’s memoir/social commentary/feminist manifesto, Fight Like a Girl. I am embarrassed to admit that, if it wasn’t for the fact of it being our book club’s book, I would probably not have read past Chapter 9.
To this point, I cringed at some of her descriptions, and I felt like she was shouting at me for being a bad feminist. I remember thinking, “This book was sold to me as a manifesto, not an angry memoir. I want my manifesto!”
That was a fairly lazy opinion to have. Because each person’s story is their own.
Having read it through, I have to agree with where Clementine is coming from. I can forgive her the personal indulgences (it is her book, after all!) in light of what she is doing for women everywhere: she is taking back permission to express un-nice emotions, like rage, and to call out and change the destructive thoughts, behaviours, and systems we see operating around us every day.
By speaking about her public trolling episodes and sharing some very personal experiences over the course of her own journey, I think she is able to connect with something in every woman’s experience. She makes a powerful statement on how women are treated universally, and a compelling argument for systemic disruption because so much of it is still so wrong.
What appeals to me most about Clementine’s book — and her twitter feed, for that matter — is her honesty and clarity. She is an inspiration to me.
Clementine’s voice is louder than her. She is speaking for those of us who, for familial and other reasons, perhaps can not articulate our experiences with the same eloquence and intensity. And she is gunning for a massive result — for large-scale cultural change — and that necessarily comes with volume and discomfort.