The Female Persuasion is a contemporary, fictional novel written by Meg Wolitzer. It is 464 pages long and was released on April 3, 2018. The Female Persuasion addresses the issues of feminism, loyalty, and friendship in regards to the millennial generation.
The story covers the the life of three college students – two young women and one young man – as they grow into responsible, happy adults. Along the way is the life story of an aging well known feminist, Faith Frank, who influences the women.
The main character is Greer Kadetsky. Greer is an unhappy, lonely, insecure freshman at Ryland College. She feels that life is unfair and doesn’t know how to change it. Her friend Zee is a lesbian activist who is always fighting for one cause or another. Zee desperately wants to help society but cannot find a way to contribute. Greer’s boyfriend Cory is a just a sweet guy who gets sidelined by a family tragedy. Faith Frank is an aging feminist who wants to help women by uniting them for the purpose of protecting and supporting each other. She mentors Greer. Each person struggles to find a meaningful, authentic life.
I really didn’t like this book and had to force myself to finish reading it. There were four main stories with flashbacks to follow and I found this tiresome. I skipped a few pages. The stories were sad and joyless. I did not feel good as I was reading this book or amused. I did like some of the wisdom Faith Frank shared with the girls. This was my favorite:
Although it was not my idea of a “feel good” kind of book, The Female Persuasion did make me think more about the millennial generation, feminism, and the #Me Too Movement. I did some research on Wikipedia. These are the concepts that influence the storylines of this book. So, according to Wikipedia, the millennials are a more civic minded group with traits of confidence, tolerance, entitlement, and narcissism. Most millennials have a liberal political view and feel a social responsibility. The behaviors of Greer, Zee, and Cory can be explained by these common characteristics of the millennial generation.
Current feminism is mostly about fighting sexual harassment and violence against women using social media. The Female Persuasion begins with a”Me Too” sexual harassment incident. Greer is groped by a male student during a frat party. The student is a serial offender and the victims band together seeking justice. The abuser is prosecuted, confesses his guilt, and is lightly sentenced to a few counseling sessions. His victims are feel very unhappy with this punishment. have been curious and confused about the #MeToo movement. According to wikipedia, the Me Too Movement is an international movement against sexual harassment and assault. The hashtag is used on social media to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.
I did not enjoy reading The Female Persuasion but it did make me think more about women’s issues.