Compiled by the 20-year-old college student named Female Activist of the Year by Elle UK in 2017, these essays by established and emerging writers from diverse backgrounds explore what feminism means to them in the context of their other identities—from a hijab-wearing Muslim to a disability rights activist to a body-positive performance artist to a transgender journalist.
This is an anti-colonial, anti-racist feminism, that is informed by the need for intersectionality ... It's perhaps that very concept—the struggle against privilege—which most clearly defines the collection in Can We All Be Feminists?—It's the thread which runs through each of the contributions, whose contributors are as varied in their identities as they are in their individual understandings of feminism ... their focus on the problem with privilege offers an optimistic approach. Above all, the book is a call for awareness of one's own privilege, both as individuals and as members of whatever broader movement we consider ourselves part of ... The authors don't shy away from incisively honest personal reflections on the contradictions they've experienced in their own relationships with feminism, and the ways in which they see their own past behavior in different lights. The book's gentle emphasis lies in learning from, not guilting over, the mistakes we make in our relationships with others, and not shying away from the many contradictions we sometimes feel and express between our ideals and aspirations and the way we live in the real world. Contradictions are at the heart of this collection, which bravely puts them in central focus ... Can We All Be Feminists? is a superb collection, and a stirring call for an intersectional feminism at a time when it is more urgently needed than ever before.
The book is filled with reluctant feminists who remain faithful to the movement due to a lack of options, but desperately want to see it evolve ... The anthology convincingly argues why intersectional feminism should replace the current feminism, which predominantly caters to white cisgender women, ignores the needs of marginalized women, and ultimately fails us all ... I loved reading about the myriad directions intersectional feminism takes ... This is what feminism should look like.
Evette Dionne, the black American editor of Bitch Media, provides a devastating history of violence, including sexual violence, inflicted on black women by the police—and traditional feminism’s disturbing willingness to ignore it in the interest of cozying up to law enforcement. Other essays miss the mark, or contain odd conceptions of what a feminist project might be ... Much of Can We All Be Feminists? reminds us just how often feminists have failed to listen. Parts of the book also remind us how feminism has not been listened to.