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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Shattering the Ceilings

We've still got a long way to go, baby

Women Money Power by Josie Cox

Stars: 5

You know when you start a book and you have this sense that it will make you just so mad, hurt, and angry but then also leave you feeling empowered? Normally I find that in works of fiction but I feel like it holds true for some nonfiction that deals with a heavy subject in such a respectful way, books that try to find the silver lining in otherwise disheartening situations. Josie Cox’s examination of women in the workplace from the start of World War II to the present day caused indignation combined with a hope that things, though slipping in the last few years, have the potential to get better. 

Cox begins with women joining the workforce in the 1940s, the Rosie the Riveters, who stepped up to fill in for all the men that had left for the war. She examines the post-war baby boom that found the same women back at home, mostly out of the workforce again. And then follows women through the 60s and 70s as they try to break into those areas largely only ascribed to men, into the 80s and 90s, the era of women having it all and balancing everything, into the 2000s where we find ourselves facing a backlash, with less women again in places of power, still not earning the same as the men doing the same jobs, wondering, can we really actually have it all or does something need to give?

The women Cox highlights are fascinating and she brings to life the forgotten heroines of the feminist movement. Women today owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who went before,who dared to challenge the system, who stood up for themselves and fought the powers that be; the choices and expectations we have in our lives are due to the battles they fought for us. This book raises some great questions, conversations that we need to be having about what it means to be a woman in the 21st century and I hope this book finds its way onto a lot of people’s reading lists. 

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