Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real WorldHere We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen
Published by Algonquin Young Readers

This is a really strong collection of feminist writing geared mostly at teenagers and young adults that I really enjoyed. While it is aimed at younger readers newer to feminism, it definitely has universal appeal and the diversity of voices in the collection absolutely gives something for everyone.

I loved so many of the pieces in this collection but I wanted to highlight a few in particular that really stood out to me. “Bad Feminism: Take Two” by Roxane Gay, which I’d previously read in her book, Bad Feminist, is a super inspiring essay about her particular feminism and how certain things that Gay is interested in may make someone label her a “bad” feminist but explaining that everyone’s feminism is different and feminism has room for ALL the different voices that make up the movement. There is a conversation between Laurie Halse Anderson and Courtney Summers titled “A Conversation about Girls’ Stories and Girls’ Voices” about why “rape books” are so important and why it’s so crucial to young women to read stories told from the perspective of girls going through the same things they are going through. “Reading Worthy Women” by Nova Ren Suma, about how she had a college professor who had a syllabus of only male writers, and upon asking him why, he informed her that there are “no worthy women writers” for his students to read, and this one interaction fueled her quest to read as many women writers that she could (and of course, she found plenty of “worthy” women to read). These are just a few of the incredible essays found in this collection, and there are many more.

Here We Are is a fantastic collection that I highly recommend. Highly recommended.

6 thoughts on “Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen”

  1. We need more books and essays like this if only to guide the next generation of women to understand that feminist and feminism are not derogatory in any way.

    “no worthy women writers” my a$$. Seriously. That professor needs to get over himself. But I am glad it spurred Suma to change that because I have really enjoyed her novels!

    1. Yep, I totally agree. I couldn’t get over how awful that story was! But how great of Suma to take it in a positive direction and as inspiration rather than be discouraged. It was a really good essay and I need to pick up her fiction!

  2. Haha, what Michelle said about the college professor. What an idiot. This sounds like a fascinating collection. I’ve heard about Roxane Gay and Laurie Halse Anderson speak and I was very impressed, so I’d definitely like to check out their essays.

    1. Roxane Gay is an incredible writer, in my opinion. Her collection Bad Feminist was one of my absolute favorites, so I was excited to see her have a contribution for this collection.

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