Where to start? I guess with saying that A Guide To Crushing Girlhood: Feminist AF, by Brittney Cooper, Chanel Craft Tanner, and Susana Morris, is a phenomenal book that I would recommend ALL girls to read.
This book is a practical guide for feminists (and wannabe feminists) everywhere. Although targeted at teenagers and young girls, I believe girls of any age will get something from this book – I certainly did. Divided into four main sections: ‘Me, Myself, and I’; ‘Beauty’; ‘What About Your Friends (And Family And ‘Em)?; and ‘Fight The Power’; this book is jammed full of tips on navigating everything from friendships, bodies, music, misogyny and pop culture as a feminist.
There are so many great things about A Guide to Crushing Girlhood: Feminist AF but the best thing is without a doubt that this this book, unlike most books on feminism, is not just theoretical. Brittany, Chanel and Susana give real and practical tips on living your feminism out loud. In each section it lays out the issue being discussed in an easy to understand way and then gives actual tips to help girls combat it as a feminist, along with fun suggestions of things like playlists to listen to (their ‘playlist for feeling’ is *chef’s kiss*). It is refreshing how easy and accessible this book is to use. Not only is the layout perfect, but the whole book is written in a casual, conversational and accessible style which means important topics are covered with ease and charm.
Another thing I love about this book is that although it is aimed at Black girls it makes an effort to be inclusive for all types of girls and many of the topics covered are relevant for everyone. A Guide to Crushing Girlhood: Feminist AF acknowledges that all girls are different; they have different personalities, family make-ups, races, sexual orientations, and it even (rightly) includes anyone who identifies as a girl in their discussions. I have never read a book that is as inclusive as this and it is exactly the kind of book you want young girls to have access to.
Lastly this book is awesome because no topic is taboo in A Guide to Crushing Girlhood: Feminist AF. Brittany, Chanel and Susana cover everything from hair to sex to relationships with families and pepper it with personal stories and anecdotes that make it all the more relatable. They challenge preconceptions of what is appropriate to talk about with young girls and dive into polyamorous relationships, masturbation and all the things young girls want to know about but are too scared to voice. Brittany, Chanel and Susana keep it real and give true advice that may not always be what young girls want to hear, but it is all said in such a kind and sincere way that I have no doubt the young girls reading this book will take it on board.
To sum up, this book rewrites the common misconceptions of feminism, showing that it is truly there for everyone and that you can enact feminism no matter how young you are. It is the essential toolkit for feminism providing you with all the advice, playlists, films and podcasts you need to become a badass feminist. I cannot recommend it enough.
Girl Museum Inc.