cover image Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women’s Rights

Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women’s Rights

Rachel B. Vogelstein and Meighan Stone. PublicAffairs, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5417-5862-9

Vogelstein and Stone, senior fellows at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program, debut with an eye-opening global tour of women’s activism in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Spotlighting activists in seven countries, the authors make clear the diversity of the movement, discussing, among other topics, the push for increased political representation by women in Brazil; performance art campaigns by young Chinese women, who use blockchain technology to preserve online posts in the face of government crackdowns; and the recognition by Swedish feminists that their international reputation for gender equality hid terrible behavior by powerful men. The authors also describe the central role of social media in building solidarity and providing a safer space for individuals to speak out, and show that physical protest is also still critical, especially as activists seek to include women in poorer or more rural communities. Vogelstein and Stone push for Western foreign aid groups and feminist organizations to “decolonize” their programs and let local women lead, and outline how the movement can progress by focusing on the “Five Rs”: redress, reform, representation, resources, and recalibration. Readers will be galvanized by these detailed portraits of bravery, creativity, and persistence in the struggle for women’s rights. (July)