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The Challenge of Being a Woman
Why I'm Bold, Brash, and Brazen

by Pat Estelle

      The subtitle alone gives this book its character. Bold, brash, and brazen, Pat Estelle is angry and not going to take it anymore; so she wrote a book. It is about women, as the title suggests, but it is the reference to women in a derogatory way that distresses Estelle.

A contemporary word that young men use to characterize many women is "whore" or 'Ho". In Estelle's opinion, this new slang word has become synonymous with the word woman in recent years. Whether it means what it says or whether it is just a misnomer, it does not sit well with the author. In succeeding chapters she points out the accomplishments of many memorable women to support her thesis that woman are strong and independent. Her viewpoint, although somewhat interesting, was a little monotonous. In addition, a couple of chapters seemed to wander off topic, such as "Dead Beat Dads" in which Estelle takes the men's side, claiming equal rights for all.

The "He Says She Says" chapter was interesting and fun in a much more lighthearted study of how men look at women and visa versa. I would have liked to read more about that in her book.

Instead, I read the book with a guarded curiosity. Unable to personally relate to some of the author's sentiments (I have not experienced the same animosity that Estelle shares in her book) I do know that for women who have been the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, it would be common to harbor these resentments.

In general, I found the book too opinionated for my taste. If you are a women's rights enthusiast and like to read books that support similar theories then you might find Estelle's book a warm bedfellow. If you are not, it will either make you think or make you mad. Which she does admit in the Introduction, "I do express some very candid and unpopular personal opinions which may reflect a degree of bias."

The Book

July 2007
Non-fiction / Miscellaneous
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The Reviewer

Nicole Merritt
Reviewed 2008
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