... the coronavirus outbreak has made Scott’s message more urgent than ever ... Scott isn’t above showing us her anger and frustration, usually in the form of bracingly barbed asides, which aren’t aimed exclusively at the usual suspects...But she isn’t all rage. Above all, Scott is practical and pragmatic. She has little time for hand-wringers of any variety, preferring to focus on briskly Getting Things Done ... a breath of fresh, if infuriating, air. In a world where so many of us stick safely to criticising the status quo, it’s heartening to read someone willing to offer viable solutions. The question is, will any of us listen?
What [Scott] brings to this relatively well-worn argument is a global perspective, drawing on often fascinating vignettes from the African and Bangladeshi villages in which she has worked, but also a rallying cry against blaming women for things that are not their fault ... If you hadn’t already guessed, this is no light lockdown read; with its pages of graphs, it falls more into the category of what Andrea Dworkin famously called feminism, but not the fun kind. But those who have had more than enough 'fun' feminist books – frothy you-go-girl stuff by celebrity authors, or compendiums of inspiring women down the ages – may well find it a tonic ... For here is the antithesis of what’s often sweepingly described as Lean In feminism, or the argument that women wanting to succeed in corporate life should just push a little harder, mastering the secrets of how to pass in a male-dominated world ... The advantage of the non-western lens she brings to this is that it can be easier to see palpable injustice when it is taken to extremes – in societies where women are still not able to own property in their own right, choose their marriage partners or refuse sex – than when it is closer to home ... Not every chapter bridges the two worlds quite so successfully, however. The absorbing human detail that makes the African sections come to life is thinner on the ground in the western sections. There is not much light and shade to be found, either, with little exploration of the ways in which British working mothers’ lives might have shifted over the last two decades – or indeed the way in which younger men’s working lives and attitudes have evolved ... Yet there’s something curiously exhilarating all the same about the brisk, no-nonsense anger bubbling beneath the surface of the text.
Researcher and activist Scott examines how male financial domination holds back economic growth, assembling a breathtaking array of data and case studies from settings as disparate as rural Ugandan schools and the board rooms of venture capitalists ... As the book’s title signals, Scott sometimes falls into the trap of gender essentialism, and she gives little consideration to the impact of intersectional oppression, particularly in developed nations. Despite these flaws, The Double X Economy is a thorough, authoritative rebuke to the sexist exclusion of women from financial systems across the world.