Sunday, September 29, 2019

100 Times: A Memoir of Sexism, by Chavisa Woods. Seven Stories Press, 2019

This book is laid out with a very simple format: Woods has put down on paper 100 different instances of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, ranging from discrimination, to verbal abuse to groping to out and out assault. These instances are laid out chronologically, from age 5 to her mid-30s. These have happened everywhere; in school (by a teacher), in places of employment, in bars, and even in her own apartment – by her male roommate who refused to wear pants. And they are not by any means *all* the problems she has had with sexist men. She writes plainly and simply, just laying out what happened with no melodrama attached.

Most women reading this will be horrified, but will also recognize their own lives. Most of us have endured these kinds of discrimination, harassment and assault. I cringed, because I certainly have, from the mildest to the worst. And despite the fact that these things happen to almost all of us, a huge segment of men- even men who are feminists- do not believe that sexual harassment happens. It is so ingrained in our society that it’s become invisible. We mostly shrug it off.

I wish this book were given to each and every middle school student in some kind of health or even civics class. These problems need to become visible, before the kids get out there navigating adult life. Five stars, and kudos to the author.

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