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“The earth is shifting under the status of women. UPRISING tells a remarkable story about women claiming their own space – against all odds – and how this shift from oppression to emancipation will improve the economy, reduce poverty and curtail conflict. Sally Armstrong, also known as the war correspondent for the world’s women, has been following the action on the front line for women and girls in Bosnia, Egypt, Congo, The Middle East, Afghanistan and America for twenty-five years. She says the manifesto for this revolution is being written in mud-brick huts in Afghanistan and on Tehrir Square in Egypt and in the forests of the Congo, as well as on the streets of Kenya, where 160 girls sued their government for failing to protect them from being raped, and won, and in Pakistan, where Malala Yousafzai, is fighting for the rights of all girls. Uprising is about the final frontier for women: having control over your own body, whether in zones of conflict, in rural villages, on university campuses or in your own kitchen. Armstrong has been an eye witness to the worst atrocities and is now the first to write about the astonishing changes that are happening in Asia, Africa and the Americas.”

I had seen this book a few times before I went to the library looking for a book that started with U, but I hadn’t really looked into it. I assumed it would be good and give me more about Malala. I was disappointed that despite Malala being on the cover she is just mentioned briefly and there is actually no real reason for her to be on the cover when other women were the focus of the book. If the book had the 16 year old girl who had started LW4LWA as a pre-teen on the cover I would have been more impressed. Instead I felt like I was lead on.

The book itself was a book that was needed. Though the delivery often felt like the author was just namedropping because it was always “when I went” or “we talked about”. The author always had to mention that she had interviewed the women and by the end it felt like the author felt like the more women she interviewed the more helpful she was for the cause. Though, I really hope I was just cranky reading it and the author is wonderful.

My biggest issue with the book is why are you quoting Gloria Steinem about women in other countries? She is known for saying things like rich white women are the most oppressed (do you see the racism, classism, narcissim, and problem in that view) and saying that groups that are different (transsexuals and kinky people for example) are just products of a bad system (clearly they are not identities that people have). Why would you quote someone who is so obviously racist when you are talking about women that aren’t white? I am highly disappointed that Gloria Steinem is still seen as relevant, especially when there are women like Malala who are making a huge impact for women everywhere.

If you can manage to ignore all the Steinem quotes, name dropping, and lack of Malala this book is fairly good. I didn’t know about many of these women which saddens me. Why aren’t they getting the news stories? Why are Americans instead hearing about the Kardashians when women in the Congo are being gang raped? Why is what make-up a celebrity wearing matter more than women having acid thrown on them for disobeying their husbands? This book brought out so much feminist rage against the media.

This book is a good introduction into feminism outside of America in a way that doesn’t say that America has all the answers or swooping in and forcing change is the best. Instead the book promotes education and supporting the women’s movements that already exist instead of trying to barrel in and save the day. The message of this book was superb and should be mentioned more often.

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3 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book, but not to people who actually like Gloria Steinem for her current politics.

You can buy this book here.

~Isaiah

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