Feminist Book Club: Discussing Invisible Women

Last week, I attended my first ever book club. Even better than that, it was a feminist book club!

I have always wanted to join a book club but I’ve never really known where to find them, or I haven’t really connected with the books being discussed (because I am incredibly, and rather irritatingly, fussy about what I read and when).

However, this all changed when I saw that FLO Cardiff were meeting in March to discuss one of my favourite books, Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. I highly recommend you pick up this book!

FLO Cardiff takes place each month, in Wild Thing, a cute, plant-based cafe with social goals. The group of like-minded people join together to chat about a chosen book alongside other key feminist and worldwide issues, whilst making friends and spending quality time with other women.

After running in from the cold, dark Wednesday evening, we all settled into the meet up with our warm pots of tea and delicious vegan cakes. I went for the hazelnut and cacao cup topped with maple syrup after a mouth-watering recommendation from the lovely person taking care of us at Wild Thing.

The first half of the evening was spent discussing how powerful, important and well-researched Invisible Women is. We agreed that there is a lot of information to digest (much of which makes you pretty angry as you read!) but that it’s delivered in a really engaging way.

We shared some of the key points that stuck out to us, and the information that really shocked us the most. Personally, the blatant disregard and omission of women in numerous areas of research (from car safety and healthcare, to infrastructure and domestic needs) is just mind-boggling. There is so much that could be gained from ensuring women are included as participants in research that it makes zero sense to forget about us. It’s lazy, blinkered, dangerous and sexist.

The discussion was free-flowing and there was opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas in relation to the book and its key themes. The night and the space created by FLO Cardiff was inspiring, welcoming and warm. It felt great to be in a room with women who were encouraging, and open to really listening to and engaging with to your opinion.

I wasn’t afraid to speak up or get angry about the content of the book. This felt important because women can often feel that they don’t have the safe space to do so. Rather than trying to dilute our thoughts, feelings and anger for fear of judgement or dismissal, we could share openly. It was so refreshing and interesting to hear from the perspective of the other women at the meet up.

Later in the evening, we also had an incredible talk from one of the women at the book club who works with United Purpose. It was so interesting to hear about the important work the charity does to help empower people with the goal to end poverty and inequality across the world. I recommend checking them out to learn more.

I had such a great evening and it really inspired me to keep connecting with more women, to hear their stories and to collaborate with them on creative projects and activism work.

Have you ever been to a book club?

Did you enjoy the book club? Or, would you ever like to be part of a book club?

If you’re into reading and chatting with other bookworms then I highly recommend it! I can’t wait to join in with the next book club meet up and learn more from the amazing people who come along too.

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