Misogyny: The New Activism
Early in Misogyny: The New Activism, author, educator and social worker Gail Ukockis sets the tone: "We have work to do! You are going to be one kick-ass (or genteel) advocate for women now!" Misogyny, and the oppression of others often denied their dignity, can be a topic that does not always offer much hope. Ukockis approaches these issues forthrightly and optimistically: "if I did not believe in positive social change, I would not be wasting my time writing this book."
Ukockis defines misogyny as the hatred of women, both by individuals and by society, and then enumerates this hatred's effect on communities, through discussions of street harassment, beauty bias, employment issues, transphobia, ableism, rape culture, toxic masculinity and intersectionality. These issues have a particular poignancy and relevance following the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the emergence of the #MeToo movement.
Each section includes useful action steps for activists and allies, as well as case studies that either provide concrete examples of how misogyny harms individuals or how activism has helped ameliorate some of these harms. The book concludes with steps to become more involved generally, partnering with other social justice movements, speaking out or writing, or working with politicians. Here, critically, the author emphasizes being intentional and circumspect, as "thoughtful activism, then, requires more than an automatic reaction to a perceived problem. Planning one's actions by considering the possible consequences is essential." --Evan M. Anderson, collection development librarian, Kirkendall Public Library, Ankeny, Iowa