Genre: Non-Fiction/Current Events/Culture
“On May 24, 2014, Twitter exploded with stories of women’s experiences of harassment and assault in their daily lives using the hashtag #YesAllWomen.
With the Twitter conversation as inspiration, 10 women came together to share their stories with each other and the world. They dug within themselves to find wisdom...but they also revealed their own inner conflict about their experiences and their views of the world. They were willing to be vulnerable and admit not only how they have been hurt, but also how they have hurt others.
Through telling our stories - and hearing the stories of others - we learn that there is much more that unites us than divides us. That is the purpose of this book. To remind you: You are not alone.”
Leah Carey is a journalist, professional speaker, life coach, and author. She conceived of this volume, edited and compiled it, as well as adding her own material to tie it all together.
The point of this book, on the surface at least, seems clear. Through the stories told the authors can share their experiences (a positive for them, as you’ll see if you read it), and in the process tell other women that You Are Not Alone, another positive in the message of understanding it sends. The clichéd win-win.
However, I’m not in the obvious demographic to read this book and would suggest it can be a win-win-win. (Something that Carey recognized as well.) With decades of training and feedback from sisters, spouses, a daughter, and now a granddaughter who is old enough to speak up, I like to think I’m more cognizant of how certain actions or words can be perceived. That it is easy to send a message that is unintended. It is easy to say you see those of both genders as equals, but actions sometimes contradict what you say and consciously believe. Many of these stories, I understood. But others, gave me a different perspective that will hopefully help in the interactions with the important women in my life.
Lest any man think this book is about man bashing, it isn’t. There is a universal recognition among the authors that many of the things discussed are cultural attitudes that, if they are to change, need to be discussed. There is also an understanding (explicitly stated in a few places) that women are also guilty of reinforcing some of these cultural stereotypes. Interspersed through the book are tweets from the original twitter explosion mentioned in the book description.
One of them seems like the ultimate description of how I perceived this book.
I think a lot of people assume the goal of #YesAllWomen is to persuade when really, it's just to explain what so many of us go through.
A small amount of adult language.
Added for Reprise Review: You Are Not Alone was a Winner in the Non-Fiction category for B&P 2015 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran February 13, 2015
No significant issues.
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 35-40,000 words