It may only be early in the year but I’m calling it as I see it. Subverted is one of the must read books of the year.
No, I’m not exaggerating.
It’s no secret that I’ve researched a lot about feminism and its consequences and that, in my case, my passion for this area resulted in recognition by the Australasian Catholic Press Association for my series Death of the Feminist and The Feminist Mistake.
So it will come as no surprise that reading this autobiographical account of one journalist who experienced the feminist revolution first hand; worked for Helen Gurley Brown at Cosmo; and was inspired by the real life figure of Betty Freidan, has resonated with me so strongly.
Sue Ellen Browder admits that she was part of the problem, and that she was required to leave her journalistic integrity at the door when she began working at Cosmo. Over decades the lies and falsehoods that Cosmo spun as truth would influence generations of women who believe their success comes only from being ‘like men’ and additionally, being sexually promiscuous.
Added to her expose, and personal experiences, of living at a time where revolution permeated all areas of society is her own story and one that ultimately becomes a conversion story. And it is her conversion that eventually became the catalyst for this book.
I learned so much more about grassroots feminism, including its initial pro-family, anti-abortion stance and about the characters of the day whose names are synonymous with feminism. She articulates the reality for working women in the 1960s and 1970s, the unfairness and sexism that dominated the workplace. And as her narrative continues she outlines the consequences of attitudinal changes, the good, the bad and the ugly.
I also enjoyed the personal journey of the author, as she tried to find her way to truth amidst a web of lies. Unfortunately, her journey was a long one, and she and her husband suffered painful experiences as a result. And some hurts could only be healed upon their becoming Catholic and seeking God’s forgiveness.
Honestly, once you read this book, you’ll see that my call of it being a must read is well and truly justified. If you read only one book this year, make it this one.
Available from Ignatius Press in a number of formats.
About the Author: I am a reformed perfectionist who is now a stay at home mum with five children under nine years of age. I am a qualified journalist and graphic designer with a decided creative streak, and run a hobby business called Emily Shaw Design + Write. I will attempt most craft activities and love to write about topical - and especially controversial - issues.