Following the recent news that Emma Watson is launching an online book club focused on feminism I was sceptical at first. Firstly, how would it differ from women’s book club focusing on feminist literature from world renowned academics? I wondered about the cost for others, including myself, to buy a new book every month for an online discussion. I wondered whether Watson would focus on intersectionality. Luckily, my worries were quickly quelled by the Goodreads thread specific for Our Shared Shelf. There were tips for getting your hands on the book of the month, guidelines for behaviour and everyone seemed passionate about gender equality.
I hope through Our Shared Shelf, more people are encouraged to read feminist literature and broaden their horizons and we all develop a respect for it because many books that have paved the way for feminism have been left, never to be acknowledged again, until now. Through an online community led by someone who is respected and idolised by many teenagers, Watson can encourage intelligent discussion between feminists of all ages without the stuffiness and superiority of more mature feminists.
In a world where feminism is a dirty word, Watson has brought it into the mainstream and words written by some of the most influential, and forgotten, women of our past and present will become popular for the greater good. Our Shared Shelf is going to become a book club powerhouse and I hope to be a part of it when it happens. I’ll be joining next month with a review of the book they focus on in February.