Sara Pascoe has written a book. It is a part autobiography, part biology lesson, part sociology thesis, all animal. This book should be issued to every PSHE student. I’m probably going to be giving it to all my friends and family. Not lending it. Buying it. Because that’s how much I A) don’t want to lose my copy and B) think everyone should read it.
In an era where everyone seems to be struggling with PC language, how to use it and whether it has gone too far (y’know, like when you don’t want to dismiss the suffering of Native Americans but on the other hand your feather head dress is ON FLEEK) Sara manages to use language that is inclusive; whilst acknowledging the her experience and interpretations are limited to her cis, white experience.
In Animal Sara charts her life story to interpret feminist theory and ties it up with biological facts. Which arguably means there’s something for everyone, but also means Sara has made herself vulnerable – mainly to forever be asked the same interview question about an episode that happened when she was 17. Perhaps this will be a pleasant change from ‘what is it like to be a woman comedian?’
Why reveal these little histories, the all consuming crush on Take That, the attitude to contraception, the desire for a boob job? Because it all helps contextualise what feminists have been banging on about for years. It shows why we still haven’t come far enough, why we do need to talk about language, women’s rights, sex education and consent.
It isn’t just the personal details that make this book unique – there are already books that combine confession with feminist prose. The excuse of ‘I couldn’t help myself’ is addressed with using research into human biology, Particularly when it comes to ducks and consent – seriously.
It is refreshing to have a new voice added to the feminist debate who is prepared to acknowledge other experiences without undermining her own. This is a fantastic book that successfully manages to effortlessly swing between comedy and tragedy – because when it comes to women’s rights, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.
You can buy Animal by Sara Pascoe here!