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Podcast: Lauren McKeon is done being nice

By Kobo • March 20, 2020Kobo in Conversation

"What do we do with this anger, what do we do with this momentum? Does it really mean having a female president? Is that change? Or has this signalled to us that it has to be so much deeper and go so much further than symbolic change?"

Lauren joined us to discuss her new book, No More Nice Girls: Gender, Power, and Why It’s Time to Stop Playing by the Rules. While she doesn't dismiss the value of symbolic victories, she's quick to note that symbols can be slippery; she advises paying attention to actions. She talks about what individuals can do to shift popular conceptions of power, success, and leadership. She's particularly interested in teasing apart "the confidence industry," which sells images of "girlbosses" and other feminized versions of stereotypical success while barraging women with supposedly uplifting affirmations. Is this just another game women have to play to succeed? Who makes these rules, and what happens to those who refuse to play, or aren't invited onto the field?

Journalist and essayist Lauren McKeon's first book F-Bomb: Dispatches from the War on Feminism was shortlisted for the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writers Prize.

No More Nice Girls: Gender, Power, and Why It’s Time to Stop Playing by the Rules by Lauren McKeon

In the age of girl bosses, Beyoncé, and Black Widow, we like to tell our little girls they can be anything they want when they grow up, except they’ll have to work twice as hard, be told to “play nice,” and face countless double standards that curb their personal, political, and economic power. Women today remain a surprisingly, depressingly long way from gender and racial equality. It’s worth asking: Why do we keep playing a game we were never meant to win?

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