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Book Review: Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace

Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
Goodreads Summary: Part manual, part manifesto, a humorous yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work—a pocketbook Lean In for the Buzzfeed generation that provides real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women.
It was a fight club—but without the fighting and without the men. Every month, the women would huddle in a friend’s apartment to share sexist job frustrations and trade tips for how best to tackle them. Once upon a time, you might have called them a consciousness-raising group. But the problems of today’s working world are more subtle, less pronounced, harder to identify—and, if Ellen Pao is any indication, harder to prove—than those of their foremothers. These women weren’t just there to vent. They needed battle tactics. And so the fight club was born.
Hard-hitting and entertaining, Feminist Fight Club blends personal stories with research, statistics, infographics, and no-bullsh*t expert advice. Bennett offers a new vocabulary for the sexist workplace archetypes women encounter everyday—such as the Manterrupter who talks over female colleagues in meetings or the Himitator who appropriates their ideas—and provides practical hacks for navigating other gender landmines in today’s working world. With original illustrations, Feminist Mad Libs, a Negotiation Cheat Sheet, as well as fascinating historical research and a kit for “How to Start Your Own Club,” Feminist Fight Club tackles both the external (sexist) and internal (self-sabotaging) behaviors that plague today’s women—as well as the system that perpetuates them.”
To start of the New Year, I picked up this book. And yes, I know it’s not fiction – It is a step outside my comfort zone, but I had heard such rave reviews that I simply couldn’t resist this one…. And it did not disappoint!
I can truly say this book gives great perspectives on the female struggle in the workplace. It walks you through barriers that women face by explaining, and fondly naming, the typical male behavior types women might see and then identifying the various behaviors of females in the workplace. I particularly loved that Bennett references other successful businesswomen and their tales of woes.  Her book is not just based on her own experience, but on other prominent women and facts. For example, I was intrigued about the amount of women that feel as if they are a fraud; Bennett explained that even Sheryl Sandberg felt as if “one day soon the jig would be up.” I honestly think every woman, if not our male colleagues too, will find some character type they will recognize as “that man” in the workplace. Maybe they will even identify their own behaviors. Are you “The Herfectionist” over-preparing for meetings? Are you trying to balance between being “The Nag” and being a pushover? Don’t worry there are tips for you here!
The book doesn’t stop there – it also offers comprehensive advice on how to negotiate for a raise and how to react if you are act to take the meeting minutes. Above all, it emphasizes the importance of women supporting other women rather than letting our catty side impede female progress.

I promise you will finish this book still thinking – are you caring too much? Are you apologizing too much? Is your posture conveying confidence? Are you using “active, authoritative words?” I could see myself returning to this book even as I progress in my career for new advice that didn’t stick out to me on my first read.  A great book for the New Year! Go run and get your copy now! 5 Stars! 

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