Being a girl in this day and age is hard—thankfully Eloquent Rage author Brittany Cooper has co-written a book with fellow Crunk Feminist Collective members Chanel Crft Tanner and Susana Morris to help Black and brown girls feel empowered. Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood “uses the insights of feminism to address issues relevant to today’s young women,” queer girls, trans girls, and gender nonbinary folks.
Unlike other books targeting young girls, Feminist AF doesn’t pander to or speak down to its young audience. Brittany, Chanel, and Susana are the cool aunties who know that the kids these days need real guidance and support to truly be alright.
The authors answer the age-old questions that will be asked by tweens and teens for millenia (such as understanding dating and sex and navigating complicated romantic and personal relationships). But they also answer questions that stem from living in a oppressive patriarchal and racist society through a feminist and hip-hop informed lens. (And since they’re keeping it real, the language reflects that and may be better suited for ages 13 and up.)
WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR?
We wrote this book for all the girls who proudly rep the feminist flag but want to know how to live their feminism out loud.
We packed it full of things you should know on your journey to feminism. It will help you grapple with friendships, bodies, family dynamics, emotional health, music, misogyny, racism, pop culture, and more.
This book is for loud and rowdy girls (turn down for what?!), quiet and nerdy girls, girls who rock naturals, girls who wear weaves, outspoken girls, opinionated girls, girls still finding their voice, girls who are already feminists and girls who don’t know what feminism is, queer girls, trans girls, and gender nonbinary young folks who want to make the world better and who need the insights feminism has to make it happen.
Everyone has something to say about girls. They’re too thick, too sexual, too bossy, too quiet, too loud, too fast, too everything. It’s all too much.
How can you love yourself, be yourself, and advocate for yourself and others when everyone tries to make you feel like you’re a problem? Well, we’re here to tell you that feminism can help you address almost any question that will shape your life.
We wrote this book to give you tips, strategies, and resources to show you what feminism looks like in real life, and to help answer many of the questions you may have on your road to crushing girlhood. Questions like: how do you give yourself compassion and grace in a world that tells you you’re not enough? How can you use feminism to build your confidence and leadership abilities? How do you stand up for yourself and own your power and your voice? And how do you deal with the burden of the expectation of Black girl resiliency while also celebrating #BlackGirlMagic?
In the first section of this book, “Me, Myself, and I,” we show you how feminism can help you with self-love, self-confidence, and self-assurance, and offer you a notion of collective well-being.
How can you love yourself, be yourself, and advocate for yourself and others when everyone tries to make you feel like you’re a problem?
Maybe your questions are about crushing beauty goals while feminist. You may be asking: What do you do when you feel like your natural hair is ugly, or when people won’t stop talking about it? What is body positivity, and is it available to you as a trans girl when it seems the world demands you can’t be who you are?
How do you address colorism and beauty privilege in a family and culture that may prize fair-skinned women over those with darker skin tones? How do you dress and present yourself in ways that feel good to you? Our “Beauty” section has many of the answers you’re looking for.
We know that family issues and expectations, friendships, and dating are also big deals for young women, so the “What About Your Friends (and Family and ’Em)?” section covers those issues. You’re getting older and as the relationship with your family changes, you may be wondering if feminism can help you navigate these new dynamics. How do you figure out which version of you is the real one, the one with your parents or the one with your friends?
How do you actually date while feminist? And what about sex? Is feminist sex a thing? And how can feminism help you navigate some of the issues you’re having with your homegirls and help you build meaningful friendships? We got you.
You may have heard of intersectionality but are wondering what it looks like to practice a feminist politics that includes all kinds of women. How does wealth inequality intersect with feminism? What if you’re an immigrant or the child of immigrants, and you have all this cultural pressure to meet from your parents’ expectations while feeling like you just don’t fit in anywhere you go? How do you crush girlhood in the face of racism? How do you figure out the kind of physical and emotional intimacy you want to have with others while exploring your sexuality?
No worries, we keep it real about classism, code-switching, white supremacy, and homophobia in “Fight the Power,” and then wrap it up with some final thoughts about how you can use your feminism to make a difference in the world.
We got you, little sis. Given all the noise it can be hard to figure out who you even are and what things you care about. Feminism can help you to clear out some of the clutter and figure out what things matter to you. We’ve been there and we have some tips to help you crush girlhood, feminist-style. We love feminism, and we believe it offers you a world of possibilities when it comes to what’s important to you and what’s good for you.
Feminism can help you to clear out some of the clutter and figure out what things matter to you.
WHY FEMINISM NOW?
Feminists have all the tea. We know where all the bodies are buried. We’ve peeped all the systemic logics that are designed to keep women, girls, and femmes to understand why women are paid less and are disproportionately poor around the globe, feminism has the answer.
If you wonder why reproductive rights are continually on the chopping block in this country, or why people are being forced to have children that they would otherwise choose not to have, feminism’s got the answers. If you wonder why this country struggles to elect a woman to the presidency, whether she is more centrist or more progressive, we feminists have some ideas about why that is. And if you ever asked yourself why we needed a #MeToo movement, we certainly have the cheat code for that one.
We got this, and every smart girl knows: the future is up to us.
It’s the patriarchy, dammit. Patriarchy is the system that has led to these terrible conditions for women both in the United States and around the globe. Patriarchy has bequeathed us rape culture, coerced parenthood, slut-shaming, mansplaining, Karens and Beckys in every generation, misogynist music, body hatred, colorism, fat-shaming, you name it.
And it’s time for all that shit to come crumbling down. Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist who supported women’s rights, said “power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.” Feminism is up for the fight to save our future from the patriarchs and mediocre dudes who think they run this. They don’t run shit. We got this, and every smart girl knows: the future is up to us.
Feminism is fun. It makes life better. Don’t believe it when people tell you that feminists hate men—shit, we have sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, husbands, and boyfriends too. Don’t believe it when they tell you that we ruin all the fun—we watch Love & Hip Hop and practice our twerking skills and rap all the lyrics to “Bodak Yellow” too. We can do dance challenges for the ’Gram and TikTok with the best of ’em. Don’t believe it when they say we are only angry—our lives are filled with so much joy and passion and purpose.
And whoever ain’t down with the cause can #StayMad about it. We are guided by great feelings of love and hope that we can build a better world for everyone—but we can’t do it without our little sisters/siblings!
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