April 9, 2019

Book Review - Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

As always, I was wary of an autobiography, and moreover of a writer, who is known for her comedy. She had also done stand up comedy... now I was so unsure whether this is my kind of book! This was the book club pick, and I always try to read all the picks just so that I am exposed to different genres and I am not stuck in my own rut of Literary fiction, historic fiction etc.

Source: Lindywest.net
Shrill by Lindy West. I had never heard of the author, or read any of her columns, but I googled and read up about her and what she writes about. Her writing style was very direct, conversational and moreover like how you would hold a dialogue with a friend. I decided to pick the Audible version as I was still not convinced that I will get myself to read the complete book if it was on Kindle. Looking back, it was a good decision; I was listening very intently to Lindy speaking to me and somehow the reading was so much better than how I would have read to myself. Her speaking style and personality reflected in the reading which added great depth to the words.

Women, fat, rape, abortion, marriage, love - So many topics and I am sure every woman would have gone through  some of these comments and unnecessary interference in their life. Hell, men even have an opinion on whether you should wear a bra or not! Whether you should cover up your arms or not! They seem to have an opinion on all things women, and take it upon them to comment, suggest, solve our problems and show us the path which is the best! The best path which suits them.

As I listened to the book, I was nodding along on many instances when I recalled how life always hands out those typical misogynist views to everyone and it doesn't really matter whether you are petite or fat, rich or poor, educated or not, in fact nothing really matters. And when it came to the numerous rape jokes and how Lindy tried explaining to the men around, from the producers to viewers why it was important to not trivialize serious issues such as rape... I was still nodding alone, as this is what you see everyday across media, news sites or Twitter/Facebook. The world keeps saying that these things are just being made a big deal about. The world says that this has always been the case, always been what has been happening, just that social media has made a platform to bring all this to the forefront. But, does that make it right or fine or not to be bothered with? The question about intrinsic right or wring was not the question here, it was more of why bother about it, since everyone is aware.

This was a book which I was not sure whether I would like, but it proved me completely wrong. It has all the right elements to make us sit up and see what is happening around, and to think that this woman has been fighting it for so long. She says there have been small changes, but when is a true big change coming?

When will that happen? Or will it take a lifetime to see that change?

Rating: 5/5