This is a collected book of short essays, art, and poetry about different types of feminism and what it means to that specific writer. Some of the writers that I recognized when I picked up this book were writers like Kody Keplinger, Mindy Kaling, Roxanne Gay, Melinda Lo, etc. There are forty four contributors to this collection which I think helped shape and define feminism even more with the different perspectives.
There are so many different perspectives and so much diversity in this collection that you're bound to feel a connection or relate to one or more of these pieces of art. What is really great is that even if you can't relate to most of the writings and art, you'll most definitely learn more about the struggles of women all over. I especially found it really interesting to see what feminism meant to each writer and what it looks like where they live. A lot of the time while reading I found myself either relating to the writer or artist, or I felt like I knew more about the struggles other women have to face because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, or just where they lived. I think this book is one I definitely would love see being used in classrooms for women and gender studies classes or feminism classes.
The essays were well written, I liked all the artwork in the comics that were scattered in between the essays, and I think the way the book was set up was really great. I think it reminded me a lot of a textbook, but one I would have loved reading in high school or college. These stories get personal and deep, so you can't help but admire the women for telling their stories and sharing their lives with the reader. I appreciated the raw emotion because it made the stories in the book feel real. I think that what surprised me the most was the fact that I saw my experiences and heard the words I never had the guts to say in this book at times. I think one of the greatest parts about Here We Are is the fact that it reminds other women that they're not alone when it comes to going through struggles while being a woman. I also enjoyed seeing representation for transgender, LGBTQ+, non-abled bodied, people of color, and women of so many walks of life in this story. It made me happy to know that any woman who read this book would see themselves in parts of the story and remind them that they're not alone.
However, there were a few essays I wasn't a fan of because personal preferences. Like many books with short stories or different some of the pieces will mean a lot to you, and others will be a miss for you. It happens, but I think it makes me feel like I can't give this book a full five star rating because I didn't love the book entirely. I do appreciate that the pieces of writing I didn't like will probably mean so much to another writer, and most of them were written well, but it wasn't for me.
Overall I recommend this book to every reader. I think books like this will mean a lot to a lot of women. I couldn't help but take photos of my favorite passages and look up some of the writers to read their other published work. There are so many powerful messages being highlighted in this book that made me feel inspired by the women telling their stories. I hope books like this will help rid the negative connotations of the word "feminist".