Anyone looking for their next feminist book club pick may want to consider How to Win at Feminism.
Penned by Beth Newell, Sarah Pappalardo, and Anna Drezen, the minds behind Reductress, the satirical women’s magazine, the book serves as a more humorous guide—or rather, “wo-manual”—to feminism.
However the book doesn’t take aim at the feminist movement itself. With content divided into sections like “Women at Work!” and “How to Love and Sex,” as well as with articles titled “How to Love Your Body Even Though Hers is Better” and “How to Apologize For Having It All,” it’s clear that the butt of the book’s jokes isn’t the feminist movement, but rather the way in which media aimed at women tends to cover it—not unlike what Reductress does on its site.
With How to Win at Feminism‘s release date coming up on Oct. 25, read on for exclusive excerpt.
How to Do More With 23 Cents Less
According to a Huffington Post article you saw once, women are paid on average 23 cents less than men for equal work.* Say whaaaat? There’s nothing fair about institutionalized unfairness. However, as you should know by now, being a feminist means not letting institutionalized unfairness hold you back! It’s also super important to not be seen as pushy while pushing back—feminists have worked hard to maintain a fun, likable public image! If you’re not the “fighting for what’s rightfully yours” kind of girl, here’s how to get equal pay the passive way: by finding clever and creative ways to spend less and earn more!
* And that’s not even accounting for the time we spend doing our “professional but young but respectable but fuckable” makeup every morning.
Hello, tax breaks! The sneakiest way to get paid the same as a man is to legally bind yourself to one. You’ll be like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor (you). If you’re worried this isn’t the most feminist fix, just think of it as a fiscal protest. Having a joint checking account is basically the same as burning a bra!
Stop eating dinners out—or in!
Eliminating one meal a day will not only get you closer to your financial goals; it’ll also get you closer to your goal weight! You’ll also save time by not doing all that cooking, grocery shopping, ordering at a counter, looking at a menu, chewing, tasting, swallowing, and pooping before bed. You’re that much closer to earning the same as Todd, your boss’s cousin who just got hired and can barely read!
Use one fewer tampon every period.
Little expenses add up! If you’re wondering where the hole in your budget is, the answer might be in the hole in your crotch. Brand-name tampons can cost up to $12 for a box of forty, which is $16 in woman dollars. Yikes! Instead of cutting back on quality or buying generic,** simply use one fewer tampon each period. That saves $0.30 a month, which is $3.60 a year. That’s $4.80 woman dollars to spend on anything you want!
** Your vagina knows when you’re being cheap and might retaliate by making you think of Mr. Rogers during sex
Become your own boss (in addition to your regular boss)!
Maybe the corporate work-o-sphere just isn’t cutting it. If you want to make up for the gaps in your paycheck, consider moonlighting as a sales rep for a cosmetics, skin-care, Tupperware, health-supplement, or knife company. All you have to do is front a few hundred bucks to get your starter kit, and the rest is a party! Your friends already buy products. Why not have them buy them from you? Remember, if you don’t turn a profit and actually lose money on this deal, you probably didn’t connect with enough high-school friends on Facebook and LinkedIn to “catch up” and tell them about this great opportunity to score an incredible deal.
Get a loose-change barrel.
You’re gonna need a bigger jar! An empty sauce jar is not gonna hold a year’s worth of lost wages, so head down to your sundries store and see if they’ll part with one of the barrels they use to display old-timey candy. At the end of each day, empty out your pockets and purse of any loose change you have. After a few years, you should have a nice cushion in case you get fired for being “too go-getting.”
Download a budget app Downgrade your smartphone.
A flip phone has everything you need to slowly send texts, make phone calls, and even tell what time it is! Sure, a smartphone is considered a de facto necessary tool for keeping up in this modern workplace, but when you’re earning only 77 cents on the dollar, you have to make up the difference somehow! Ask the fine folks at Metro PCS to dig deep in the backroom for a basic model that costs less per month than most Forever 21 rompers. You love a vintage find!
Simplify your living space.
As you learned that one time you got bedbugs, your car’s backseat is the perfect size for sleeping! Living in an apartment can be costly, especially if you live in a major city. Plus, it’s full of closets, kitchens, hallways, and other areas not meant for sleeping, so why pay for all that? Cut ties with that dead weight, sell or sublet it to some rube, and take to the open road. You can shower at your gym!* Finally, the fact that you sleep in a fetal position due to work-related stress nightmares will pay off.
* You’re obviously not getting rid of your gym membership—that’s a little extreme!
You still have that ukulele you bought back when you had bangs, so why not make it work for you? Let the world hear your take on “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” and you might just see a pot of gold—or at least a tiny cup with two dimes and three pennies!* You deserve to get paid equally, but in the meantime you gotta learn how to live with less. So readjust that budget, girl! You’re so agreeable!
* That’s 23 cents!
Try our feminist fortune-teller.
Getting bogged down by all these life decisions? Starting your career is hard, especially when people still treat you like a little girl. Remember when that was a good thing? Now, when you’re feeling powerless in your profession and wondering what the future holds, cut out and use this feminist “Cootie Catcher” to find out where your career is headed.
Fold along the dotted lines, slide thumbs and forefingers under the squares, and move the fortune-teller back and forth to find your feminist professional future.
From HOW TO WIN AT FEMINISM: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some! Copyright © 2016 by Elizabeth Newell, Sarah Pappalardo, and Anna Drezen. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers.