Feminism has been the word du jour lately, especially with what has been happening in the world. Not only that, it’s become quite toxic in a lot of people’s minds, like the dirty ‘F’ word you toss into a debate when things get heated. But much like the game of ‘Telephone’ or spreading rumors, a lot of people seem to have lost the real meaning of what ‘feminism’ stands for.
French-Canadian illustrator Mirion Malle, creator of Commando Culotte, brings The League of Super Feminists, a bright and vibrant explanation (note – NOT femsplanation) around why hot-button terms like feminism, representation, diversity, and inclusion are so vitally important right now. Her approach is clear and factual, never coming from a place of victimhood.
Malle’s artwork is fun and colorful, with clear explanations (with a fine translation by Aleshia Jensen) as to what subjects such as representation, stereotypes, friendships, romance, consent, beauty, privilege, and gender are really about. A lot of people may have mixed ideas or they’re incorrectly informed by others, rather than seeking the facts for themselves. And for the most part, women, people identifying as women, nonbinary, trans, and gay people all bear the brunt of that misinformation.
The artist even covers the topic of whether feminists truly hate men, as it is wont for many men to use in arguments whenever the term ‘feminist’ comes up. Even to the point where if you call someone a feminist, they might get offended! But it’s not about hate; it’s about equality. Malle does an excellent job to show how a lot of men like to use that term to deflect any sort of privilege that already lays at their feet. And we do have to remember that – by ending sexism, it also equates to the end of male privilege.
Malle does an amazing job of laying out the terms and explaining it as you would to anyone who’s learning – i.e. a child or an adult who has never come across any of these terms. It’s a great way to come from a place of equality, rather than condescension. Even the drawings are inclusive and her discussion around consent is an important one everyone needs to have, especially in today’s society. The fact that women fear saying ‘no’ to anyone shows how much everyone ignores consent these days.
A few of my favorite parts included: beauty – as women are usually brainwashed into thinking Euro-centric beauty sits at the top; romance – because romance for women center around marriage or being rescued; and consent – this is a topic that should be discussed in every household, friend group, and workplace. If we’re able to learn how to share children, why not learn how to ask for consent?
Change is coming. And a lot of people in our society may feel that it’s flipping their world upside down but this change is necessary and Mirion Malle has captured just the right balance in her fun and highly informative new book. The League of Super Feminists lays a factual foundation for anyone to build their understanding on feminism and what it really means. It helps to push people to realize things have been so one-sided, calling into question where our societal beliefs truly come from and whether we can – or should – still hold onto them.