Women are either angels or witches. History and literature has taught us that there is no in between. But………………that’s utter crap. Women are people and have as much complexity as men, so let’s not put ourselves into this diametrically opposed construct. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West is a memoir that demonstrates that women don’t neatly fit into this construct and outlines issues women face.
Detailing experiences from childhood when she was shy and trying to fit in like everyone else to adulthood where she’s embraced the things about her that make her unique, West offers stories that both entertain and illuminate the state of our society. With topics on being fat, abortion, rape jokes in comedy, and dealing with Internet trolls, West has created an interesting time capsule for contemporary society within her memoir.
West’s writing is humorous, realistic, intelligent, and super easy to read. The sparing use of footnotes helped to offer further explanation, as well as laughs. She voices ideas that make me go “YES. ALL OF THIS YES,” which is telling for how badly women need a greater voice in our patriarchal society–if you need further proof, please peruse the Internet on the topic of feminism to see the debate around the word and concept.
Overall, I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.