Book Reviews

Book Review: The Fictional Woman

…by Tara Moss.

The Fictional Woman is part-memoir, part sociological research exploring the different labels or ‘fictions’ that are given to women. Moss’ main argument in her first nonfiction book is that it not natural for women to be treated unequally. She looks at the stereotypes that are associated with women and just how they originated. She questions the gross under-representation of women in parliament currently as well as the gender pay gap. She uses statistical facts to show just how much inequality exists in society today right from the media to the government to movies. Moss also questions some of the fictions around men which make them believe they are active participants while women are passive. It is all these fictions that have been passed down for generations through societies and through religions that sees us living in a world with gender imbalance. Moss manages to intertwine her own personal experiences which are common to a whole lot of women with these statistical data to make the book appealing and relatable to all of us.

I haven’t read any of Moss’ crime fiction but I really want to. I went to see her speak at the Sydney Writer’s Festival in the Southern Highlands when she spoke about this book. She is an intelligent and articulate woman and I’ve been in awe of her work for children and women’s rights.

As for the book, I loved it. It was interesting to read her personal experiences and be able to relate to some of those {for instance, being a tomboy or being complimented for looks over brains}. It was even more interesting to see the facts and numbers in terms of just how prevalent gender inequality is in society even today. We are not talking about developing nations but supposedly developed nations like ours or the US or Canada. For instance, it’s scary to think that most Hollywood movies do not pass the Bechdel test where the criteria is for two women to have a conversation about something other than a man. When you think about it, how hard is that? We do that in everyday life! Yet, movies portray otherwise.

If you want a book to open your eyes to why we still need feminism, this one is it. Moss puts forth her arguments clearly and supports them with evidence. She also puts it in a way that those who question feminism might at least be open to her views. Then again, with some people, no matter how much evidence you throw at them, they choose to remain ignorant.

My rating:

***Linking with Grace for FYBF***

Until next time,


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  • Pinky Poinker
    28 August 2015 at 7:07 am

    Sounds interesting. I need to read something other than fiction for a change and I like Tara Moss.

  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    28 August 2015 at 7:30 am

    Tara’s fiction is well worth a read too- she researches so thoroughly that it’s evident in her stories. I haven’t read this yet but it’s on my list- she’s an amazing woman and role model. Also, she has a retro caravan that I’m way jealous of! 🙂
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…Gayby Baby BanMy Profile

  • Deborah
    28 August 2015 at 10:51 am

    Tara Moss was just here in my hometown for a dinner and bookshop appearance and I have to admit I didn’t go. I think I probably haven’t given her a fair go… assumed she got publishing contracts cos of who she was rather than her writing (though, like I said, I know that’s not fair of me cos I’ve not read her work). Everyone said she was nice though.
    Deborah recently posted…Author interview with Claire Varley – The Bit in BetweenMy Profile

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    28 August 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I was very excited when this book came out as I love Tara. I read it a while ago and probably should re-read it but it was eye opening and very inspiring. Loved her honesty #FYBF
    Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection recently posted…Sliding Doors – when headache causes life to alterMy Profile

  • Kathy
    30 August 2015 at 12:09 am

    Sounds interesting, I’ll need to add it to the list books to check out. ♥
    Kathy recently posted…Avenue of ImaginationMy Profile

  • The month that was August 2015 - Living my Imperfect Life
    1 September 2015 at 6:02 am

    […] I also reviewed one of my favourite local restaurants, Spice Boys, an awesome book by Tara Moss {who by the way, followed me on Twitter!!!}, and a downer by John Green. Oh, and how could I […]