The Feminist Persuasion is a discussion on equality

Various characters offer a wide range of perspectives

Rachael Jaeger
Staff Writer

Greer Kadetsky is a college freshman who, up until now has stayed buried in the books. Then her first Friday night on campus, books suddenly sounded boring and she took a chance to indulge herself at a party, only to have a guy touch her without her consent. A few weeks later, her new best friend Zee encouraged her to attend a lecture that she believed would help give Greer insight into her situation.

Google searches eventually convinced Greer to attend the lecture Zee informed her about. Greer discovered that Faith Frank, the speaker, was a legend for the women’s movement for decades. At the lecture’s close, Greer summoned her confidence to voice a bold question of what women were expected to do about misogyny.

From that moment on, Greer and Frank appeared to have had an instantaneous connection. Frank had no clear answer except quiet advice to keep the conversation going which sounds ineffective. Greer herself in the book sounds just as disappointed but then later she and Zee have a personal chat with Frank in the bathroom. I got the impression that Frank wanted to be real with the college campus and the students in the lecture but the misogyny problem is more complicated and involves much more than a political statement. Misogyny isn’t something that can be just talked about but it does help when more people begin to see the need and the reason for taking a stand.                               

While The Feminist Persuasion centers around Greer and Frank, the book also includes chapters about other characters as well, including Cory, Greer’s boyfriend. In that third chapter, readers are introduced to the inside of his life and his side of the story when he first met Greer. His guy friends had watched girls and gave them numbers based on their physical appearances and when Greer passed by, his friends gave her a six.

Cory felt the opposite about Greer who intrigued him with the blue streak in her hair and the imperfections in her face that he found appealing. When Cory’s friends pushed the paper they had written on showing the number six, he changed it into a nine. In turn it ticked off one of his friends who called him a piece of shit and tripped him so casually that it appeared that Cory had fallen on his own accord.

That is one of the other scenes that has stood out to me so far. There are more I keep discovering as I turn the pages, which is the mark of a true good book. That scene appealed to me because manliness seems be the epitome picking on others’ flaws or weakness while he builds himself up. A true person, not just according to their gender or sexual orientation, is someone who will rise above scornful laughter and deriding comments and say, sometimes without words, that that kind of treatment is not right.

In the book it is also mentioned that Greer and her friend Zee also talk about why Greer likes Cory and why Zee finds other females appealing. It definitely opens up the conversation table as to how events in The Female Persuasion can play a part of your own life and how you treat others. Even with Frank who encompasses a big name, takes the time to open herself up to Greer and serve as a mentor and a friend.

I am only a hundred pages into the book so far but am looking to what other people will have to say about it. Barnes & Noble at the River Hills Mall in Mankato is hosting a book club discussion about The Feminist Persuasion on May 2, starting at 6. If anyone is interested in reading it, the book is 30 percent off at $16.80 plus with an extra ten percent off as a member. On purchase of the book, readers also receive a free tall latte and cookie of their choice. The book discussion offers an opportunity to meet people and make some friends from the conversation.

Photo: (CC BY 2.0 Bokmässan)

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