Book Review: The Feminine Revolution
Now more than ever, the need to discuss traits traditionally considered feminine, is paramount. Luckily for us, Amy Stanton and Catherine Connors have opened up the dialogue in a strong and welcoming way. ‘The Feminine Revolution’, serves as a great introductory text for anybody looking to learn more about gender theory and how these archetypal feminine traits came to be.
Framed around 21 core traits that any female should embrace, ‘The Feminine Revolution’ celebrates female modes of being which include, but are not limited to: crying openly, being a dreamer and unleashing your wild woman. This piece of literature can be commended for a multitude of reasons but ‘The Feminine Revolution’ should primarily be celebrated for its unapologetic stance for acknowledging a wide range of ways to express feminine power.
Stanton’s and Connor’s book is a great example of a passion project gone right. By making the point to ensure that the concepts discussed within this book are coupled with actionable steps, via How-To Guides, and personal anecdotes, ‘The Feminine Revolution’ makes the point to ensure that their message is universally accessible. It’s ability to provide all who are willing to listen with a seat at the table is a great trait and it is one that should be congratulated.
However, this collaborative effort is not without some faults. While this piece of literature is great at connecting with individuals who are not well-versed in gender theories or gender studies, ‘The Feminine Revolution’ does run the risk of coming off as a tad too basic for those who commonly engage with these schools of thought. So, for those of who tend to engage with texts regarding gender studies and feminist works more often, you may feel yourself feeling little unchallenged.
But that’s okay! This work ultimately comes off as a book that was written to be a positive affirmation which urges humanity to embrace the feminine traits that society has pigeon-holed for far too long. It is because of this ‘The Feminine Revolution’s’ accessible nature is an overall positive. Knowing that this book includes an extensive list of recommended further readings such as ‘Bad Feminist’ by Roxane Gay and ‘Gender Trouble’ by Judith Butler, it can be fair to imply that this book is intended as a springboard for any new or prospective feminists.
When deep-diving into the content written within the book, the chapter that tended to leave the most lasting impression was the chapter titled ‘Cry Openly’. In a time where this reviewer needed it most, that chapter in particular resonated with me and helped me find acceptance within myself. Being known as a crier myself, it was quite liberating to read that other women felt equally as challenged by the rhetoric surrounding the suppression of tears within a professional environment.
Through anecdotal stories and tidbits of philosophical thought from varying influential figures, the notion of crying being tethered to a lack of comprehension or weakness is rightfully obliterated. When these nuggets of wisdom, stemming from professionals including Ad Vingerhoets and Dr William Frey, are coupled with an unapologetic and actionable How-To guide to openly embrace your emotions, this chapter joyfully plays with the utopian vision of a society where expressions can roam free. In a world where society equates tears to weakness and ultimately sees tears as a stranglehold on success, the chapter openly celebrating womanly sensitivities and emotions as a Godsend.
Another chapter that left a long-lasting resonance was the one that dealt with the notion of ‘Embracing the Supporting Role’. While I feel like this chapter may come off as somewhat problematic at first glance, once engaging with it fully those preconceived notions quickly subsided. Upon closer analysis, this section within Stanton and Connors works really and illustrates just how much thought and affection went into the crafting of this novel. By carefully deconstructing the notion that the only place for power is atop the pyramid and by illustrating that true power can be wielded at any point in the hierarchy, this novel aims to provide power through acceptance, peace and gentle ambition. By blending conversational language with graspable examples such as The Prince and his counsel (to demonstrate where true power lies), ‘The Feminine Revolution’ provides a positive starting ground for anybody wanting to embrace their feminine side.
Ultimately, ‘The Feminine Revolution’, serves as a great starting point for any readers out there with a curiosity to learn more about what traditionally qualifies as a feminine trait. It also lays the groundwork for anybody wishing to break out of the boundaries of what is traditionally considered male or female. By openly encouraging feminine traits such as intuition and sensitivity, Stanton and Connors take great strides in reclaiming these attributes and, rightfully, renaming them as a positive. This work by Stanton and Connors is one that I can see young women picking up after a tough day in high-school when in need of guidance. It is the kind of novel that I can see becoming a source of wisdom for those of us who occasionally fail to appreciate our feminine traits. If personified, I see this book like an old friend who is always willing to grab a cup of coffee with you and celebrate your greatness.
By: Liliana Occhiuto
"The Feminine Revolution: 21 Ways to Ignite the Power of Your Femininity for a Brighter Life and a Better World" was published in November 2018 and is available to buy online.