Cooper presents power in contemporary society as one long succession of glass ceilings that must be patiently chipped away at, and that’s precisely the work she proceeds to do in the book. Her outrage is primarily directed toward a patriarchal system that serves them, a system that has for millenia “tortured, demeaned, raped” women and shown them “in no uncertain terms that their brains aren’t worth recognizing.” Cooper connects historic and contemporary injustices into a clear, coherent case: from infanticide against young girls to ensure a male heir, to men’s continued treating mensuration as unclean, to the pervasive fear of being “found out” or not good enough that women are inculcated to feel in the workplace.
Cooper faces all this with strength, analytical insight, and productive outrage, while writing throughout with clarity, sensitivity, and wit. (She relishes letting men know, in an aside, that sending women explicit photos of their genitalia is absolutely not a turn-on.) Lovers of tell-it-like-it-is truth telling, stories of catharsis and growth, and the possibilities of enacting societal change will enjoy this book.
Takeaway: Illuminating essays about power, fragility, and breaking glass ceilings.
Great for fans of: Melissa Broder’s So Sad Today, Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A