Book Review: The Guy’s Guide to Feminism

The Guys Guide to FeminismBy: Michael Kaufman and Michael Kimmel

Feminism is often understood as a women’s topic that only engages ideas that matter to women. In The Guy’s Guide to Feminism, Michael Kaufman and Michael Kimmel turn that assumption on its head and use humour to explain why feminism is not only important, but also an integral part of life for males and females.

Kaufman is a co-founder of one of Canada’s most successful and internationally lauded charities, the White Ribbon Campaign which encourages men to join the cause of ending violence against women. Kimmel is an author and a sociology professor at State University of New York. Together, they have authored this step-by-step guide for guys. Even though the book is titled as a “guy’s guide,” just like feminism, it is not exclusively for one sex as it is interesting and relevant to everyone.

The book is a comedic encyclopedia that addresses a wide range of topics that are important to feminism and explains how these topics impact the lives of men. Issues such as birth control and domestic violence, consent and rape are redefined as issues that are important to men as well as women. At bottom, feminism is about equality. It is about three things:

1. Recognizing that there is discrimination against females in our world (such as women being stoned to death in Iran, girls being prevented from going to school in Pakistan, and the missing and murdered Aboriginal women of Canada).
2. Acknowledging that discrimination based on sex is not right.
3. Taking action against that discrimination and working in big and small ways to make the world safer for everyone.

The strength of Kaufman and Kimmel’s book is that it is a very accessible and funny introduction to many important issues that are an essential part of men’s and women’s lives. They use short stories, comics, and plenty of jokes to get their message across. The book is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about the basics of feminism and equality. It is also a great read for anyone who hopes to make the tenets of feminism more accessible for others.

The Guy’s Guide to Feminism is available through the SADI Resource section of the Pinawa Public Library.

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