Life Honestly: Strong Opinions From Smart Women

Life Honestly: Strong Opinions From Smart Women


Life Honestly is a guide to modern life from some of today's most talented and insightful writers.

Within this book there are stories from bad sex to bad boys, from inequality to the joy of learning, this collection of essays will spark hope, triumph and occasionally outrage.

Life Honestly is full of lessons and observations on what it means to be a woman now.

Our Review

Life Honestly is a fantastic collection of essays on topics faced by women every day. These topics range from politics and relationships to motherhood and sex. Each essay is informative and well-written. I will be adding Live Honestly to my book collection.

The editor of the collection and co-founder of The Pool introduces the book by telling the reader about the role articles have played in her life.

“Over the years I have been indebted to the women bold enough to share their stories about everything from cripplingly heavy periods to massive career leaps. Laterly – and less seriously – I have learnt to say ‘and’ instead of ‘but’, delete every other ‘sorry’ from my emails and to say ‘yes’ unless I really mean ‘no’. In which case I just say ‘no’ and have done with it. When my eggs abruptly dried up, it was to other women’s stories I turned to get me through.”

Together with her co-founder she created The Pool to offer a safe space for women.

“A bull-shit free, truth-telling zone. This is how it is. The anti-Instagram, if you like, where the pain, stress, ridiculousness and joy of everyday life was not airbrushed away.”

The first section of Life Honestly was my favourite because it was about gender politics and power. One of the first essays in this section says that in order to make feminism work you need to share stories to raise awareness of inequality which is what this book does.

In this section of the book one woman talks about the story of a woman who was unable to close a joint bank account with an abusive partner without him being present, about the slut-shaming of Monica Lewinsky. My favourite essay of the section was one about why we don’t always take sexual offences seriously.

The woman who wrote the essay had to put up with a man masturbating next to her but didn’t report it because she felt like it wasn’t serious enough. In the essay she looks at the reasons why she came to that conclusion.

“Don’t make a fuss. Don’t whinge. There are far worse things that happen aren’t there? Don’t ever seem too highly strung, or emotional or ‘crazy’. Don’t appear like you ‘can’t take a laugh.’ The way women are publicly treated – shamed and embarrassed by uncaring self-righteous, self-centred men is diminished as ‘just a joke’. And so, when something happens, we…diminish its gravitas too.”

One of the other essays that captivated me was the one by the rape victim who described herself as a victim blamer also. She talks about her experience and then about a phrase she heard later which has stuck with her and is important to remember.

“Then a few years ago I heard the phrase ‘lets stop teaching women how not to get raped and start teaching men not to rape.”

Later essays in other sections talk about maternity leave and attitudes in the workplace to women of potential childbearing age, friendship and how to avoid toxic friends, and body image.

I found the article by the woman who chose not to lost weight for her wedding particularly refreshing.

This book is a must for anyone interested in feminism or simply looking to read more about issues facing contemporary women.

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Our Rating

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