Fight Like A Girl

Clementine Ford

Fight Like A Girl
Allen & Unwin
29 August 2018

Fight Like A Girl

Clementine Ford

“A friend recently told me that the things I write are powerful for her because they have the effect of making her feel angry instead of just empty. I want to do this for all women and young girls - to take the emptiness and numbness they feel about being a girl in this world and turn it into rage and power. I want to teach all of them how to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL.” - Clementine Ford

Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.

‘With wit, insight and glorious, righteous rage, Clementine Ford lays out all the ways in which girls and women are hurt and held back, and unapologetically demands that the world do better. A passionate and urgently needed call to arms, Fight Like A Girl insists on our right to be angry, to be heard and to fight. It’ll change lives.’ - Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident 


The shocking nature of online abuse that Clementine Ford has received for her feminist writing is pretty widely known. In her first full-length book she fights back with a wholly justified vengeance. Ford describes this book as ‘an exploration of my experience as a girl in this world’ and it begins with her unwillingness as a teenager to identify with the feminist movement because she thought it was ‘irrelevant’ but really because she thought it might mean that boys wouldn’t like her. Ford goes on to describe her experience with an eating disorder, her sexual awakening and ongoing struggle with mental health. She positions all these experiences against a backdrop of the structural oppression (patriarchy, capitalism etc.) that shaped them.

Importantly, Ford also acknowledges that she is a privileged white woman and that unpacking privilege is an incredibly difficult but important part of any movement. Ford’s writing is explosive, hilarious and incredibly accessible without dumbing down the big theoretical issues too much. In many ways this book is perfect for teenagers (I was going to write teenage girls but it’s essential that boys read this kind of stuff too) and I certainly wish this book had been around when I was a teenager. Reading it as an adult, I found that Ford has a wonderful ability to crystallise all that swirling unease that surfaces whenever I hear a sexist comment or joke but have become too complacent and lazy to call it out. Ford ends the book with a reassurance that ‘it’s OK to be angry’, which is good because now that I’ve finished reading it I am reminded that there is still so much to be angry about.

Kara Nicholson

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