The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming


Now available EN FRANÇAIS here 🙂

I don’t know what’s the most horrifying really : the narrow-minded and downright stupid misconceptions all these so-called geniuses spread about women through History, or the fact that many people *cough* politicians! *cough* still perpetuate parts of these offensive stereotypes.

In The Trouble with Women, Jacky Fleming both quotes some *delightful* opinions from our much-beloved geniuses, like Charles Darwin

or Jean-Jacques Rousseau (because I’m not chauvinistic) … I mean, have you read Émile ou de l’éducation? I did, and really, with all due respect to my teaching professors who urged me to read it at the time, not only this is painfully boring, but his “views” on women’s education are plain sexist.

… and she introduces several women whose apparitions in History books stay awfully rare (trust me, I’m a teacher – women are definitely NOT present in French History textbooks, if you except Marie Curie). They’re trying, though, and the textbooks – thankfully – evolved during the last 20 years. Yet they only offer “generic chapters” for now (more like 2 pages really), as “women during WW2” or “women during French Revolution” – better than nothing, but definitely not enough. Or, their love affairs are the only aspects that are mentioned, like Aliénor d’Aquitaine’s (which is a shame really, given how interesting she was).

Needless to say, every idiotic remark is confronted to the reality in order to show – if needed – how ridiculous it is. Romanes thought that women’s minds tended to wander and waver all the time?

Although it was a little too short for my liking, the sarcastic voice still makes for an interesting and thought-provoking read. It’s not nearly enough, though. We need to do more to boost women, especially women of color whose voices NEED TO BE HEARD (yes, I felt like yelling that. Sounded fitting given how often their struggles, opinions, and skills are dismissed. That needs to stop).

I’m a firm believer in changing things by involving everyone. We aren’t living a period of time in which we can afford to let politics take our choices from us and decide what’s best. The USA are led by a narcissist, misogynous, racist joke of a President. France’s Marine Le Pen, who is leading polls for first turn (which does not mean she will win, at all, given that we have two turns, but still), runs with a program that threatens women’s rights as a whole (as Fillon, the right wing conservative candidate). It’s not the time to be lazy and think that our rights are here to stay forever. First because there are many women in the world who still son’t have these rights, and secondly because if History showed us something, it’s how easily rights can be removed. 

So let’s not wait for 2018 International Women’s Day and let’s do what we can in our every day life. As for me, I’ll focus on boosting woc voices and trying to educate my students on these subjects. It’s not much, it may not change the world, but damn, I’ll try. Everyone can.

4 responses to “The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming

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