A Women's Guide to Claiming Space by Eliza Van Cort
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|A Women's Guide to Claiming Space by Eliza Van Cort|
|Category: Politics and Society|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Every woman should read this book: it could change your life. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: May 2021|
|Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers|
|External links: Author's website|
She brings a hug-kick-thunderclap that every woman needs in her life. Again and again and again. (Alma Derricks, former CMO, Cirque du Soleil RSD)
To claim space is to live the life of choosing unapologetically and bravely. It is to live the life you've always wanted.
Sometimes the reviewing gods are generous: at a time when violence against women is much in the news, A Women's Guide to Claiming Space by Eliza Van Cort dropped onto my desk. Now - to be clear - this book is not a 'how to disable your attacker with two simple jabs' manual: it's something far more effective, but discussion at the moment seems to be about how women can be protected. I've always thought that women need to rise above this, to be people who don't need protection, people who claim their own space. If all women did this, those few men who are violent to women would realise that we are not just an easy target to be used to prove that they are big men.
A lot of women grow up hoping, believing that they will be scooped up, rescued and looked after. Forget it: the rescuer is the one who gets to have all the adventures, whilst the rescued stays home and, er, stays home. So, what are we going to do about it? Well, we're going to learn five ways in which we'll claim space. First is bowing to no one: you'll find ways to develop great posture and how to speak with confidence. Then we'll start to amplify each other: an old girl network of strong women is much more than the sum of its parts. Then there's a negative to take into account: don't cede space. Know your pain points. Eliminate toxic relationships and know what can bring you to your knees. Learn to thwart aggressors - and then create a better world for us all.
A world where every woman can claim space without apology or fear is a world worth fighting for. It doesn't sound easy, does it? That's OK - it isn't going to be an easy transformation: you're going to have to work at it but the great thing is that it's all broken down into simple, achievable steps. I loved the sections on posture and I've started the exercises: they're simple, need nothing in the way of kit and only take a few minutes. Mirroring is explained perfectly and I now understand when it will be advantageous for me to mirror someone else's posture and when it would be a mistake. Perhaps the best section for me (at the moment - more on that later) was on antimentors and people who make you small. It helped to put into context certain situations and relationships in my own life. For the first time, I was certain that it wasn't me who was the problem!
Does it sound as though there's a lot to take in, to learn? Well, there is but it's going to be a book you read and then go back to reread those bits which spoke to you at the moment. Another time, you'll probably go back to a different section: it's about the help you need now and there's an acceptance that people are not perfect. You might get bits right but others will slip by the wayside or a particular pressure will show up a weakness you hadn't realised was there. Eliza Van Cort says that she doesn't achieve everything all of the time and she can't always follow her own advice. Thank you for tolerating my hypocrisy, she says. It's not an easy target to achieve but the reading is very easy. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.
You might find The Wisdom of Psychopaths: Lessons in life from Saints, Spies and Serial Killers by Dr Kevin Dutton interesting: it will definitely help with recognising toxic relationships.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Women's Guide to Claiming Space by Eliza Van Cort at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Women's Guide to Claiming Space by Eliza Van Cort at Amazon.com.
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