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We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere is a bracing, honest, uplifting manual for changing the world by owning your gifts, telling the truth, expressing gratitude, and living with joy. It’s for every woman, everywhere on the planet. Open to any page. And there you will find a truth that can set you free. We’re all in this together. And We is the GPS for the journey." (Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom)
“We, which is written in a conversational, almost confiding tone—no pop-psychology babble here—is a fresh, smart look at how women can cut through the bull---- cluttering their lives and focus on the things that are truly important.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“A brilliant look at being a woman in the 21st century: unmasking limitations, relinquishing the desire to compare and compete, stating the importance of vulnerability and acceptance, the need for more joy in life, and rewriting your own story.” (Ms. Magazine)
“Anderson and Nadel’s feminist manifesto is written as a practical guide for women, using many personal insights and struggles as the beginning point for what they hope will be a miraculous journey of individual and collective healing.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Inspiring and provocative, it challenges the annoying concept of women “having it all,” and instead, using the authors' personal experiences and career trajectories, focuses on maximizing happiness and fulfillment. It’s actionable and girl power-y—just the kind of book we need right now." (PureWow)
“By focusing on the female experience and combining many well-known personal growth procedures, this guidebook offers a somewhat fresh perspective. Fans of Anderson and Nadel will be drawn to their accounts of striving toward self-actualization.” (Library Journal)
“Warm and easy to use as a reference…Readers will find both specific and more holistic advice, essential practices, affirmations, reflections, aphorisms, and mantras. The overall effect is a journey by small steps, which could be inspiring material for discussion groups.” (Booklist)
“From longtime friends Jennifer Nadel and Gillian Anderson (yes, Dana Scully) comes a book that's part self-help, part social theory, centered in the idea that instead of having it "all," women can live happier, better lives by becoming more free. We all have the power to create change, one woman at a time.” (Glamour)
About the Author
Gillian Anderson is an award-winning film, television, and theater actor and producer, writer, and activist. She currently lives in London with her daughter and two sons.
Jennifer Nadel is an award-winning broadcast journalist, qualified attorney, writer, and activist. American-born, she lives in London with her three sons.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lets get this out of the way right off the bat - if you're a Scully/Bedelia/Stella/Media/etc fan, and you're hoping for some sort of weird intersect between a feminine manifesto and the X-Files, you're going to end up disappointed. "We" has nothing to do with any of Gillian's screen or stage work other than a few anecdotes from her life during those times. The only place you'll see any of the titles of her work mentioned by name is in the credits/about pages.
I'm not much for self-help books, which this tome most certainly is. I'm generally a pretty sarcastic person and when forced to read books like "7 Highly effective habits," I usually can't help but laugh while reading many of the passages and suggested exercises. "We" calls you out on this mindset right off the bat. Many of the centering exercises that the book has you go through say in no uncertain terms, "You might feel silly doing this, but do it anyway."
If you're entrenched in your sarcastic mindset like I am, many of the exercises in "We" will be trying and feel almost silly. It will push you out of your comfort zone. I don't consider myself an overly emotional person so I found that the affirmation and speaking exercises to be harder than the soul-searching types. "We" suggests that you go through all of the exercises as you read the book - which is what I tried initially - but the completionist in me really wanted to read through the entire volume first to get an idea of where it was headed. I'm also a pretty linear thinker so the act of stopping my reading, breaking out a notepad, writing some items down, then picking the book back up to continue felt incredibly disjointed to me. After finishing the book, I really don't think you'll be impacted by whether or not you know and understand the 9 principles before you start the first exercises.
"We" is broken up into chapters based on four "Essential Practices" - exercises which the book suggests you do on a regular basis - and nine "Principles." The Practices are things which help put you in the proper mindset of "We" and are relatively simple things like feeling gratitude towards people and providing positive feedback to yourself, from yourself. The Principles make up the true bulk of the book and are like a general set of guidelines to use in every day life. Sprinkled throughout the book are small personal anecdotes from both Jennifer Nadel and Gillian Anderson, touching on the impact of the particular principle in their life.
An example of a practice would be imaging taking care of a good friend during a tough time, writing down the things you would do for them to make them feel better. Now, do these things for yourself. An example of a principle would be Peace - taking time to really listen to your inner thoughts through things like meditation, and remembering to stop and pause to really take in your surroundings on a regular basis.
For me personally, the book did start to lose me when it started talking about spirituality and the divine. One of the major principles in the book is that of Joy, and the book relates it directly to spiritualism. "If you keep an open mind and seek out joy, you will start to have a spiritual experience." It also says things like, "Many atheists experience the divine but call it awe and wonder," - to me, neither awe nor wonder are equated to anything divine and honestly the entire section felt like a religious person's attempt to shoehorn their beliefs on something (atheism) that they didn't quite understand. Joy also goes a bit sideways for me when it starts saying things such as, "You'll become aware of coincidences and opportunities that are increasingly difficult to dismiss as happenstance. You'll notice that the trust you once found hard to practice has crystallized into a faith that you are being taken care of." I liked the general theme of the Principle, I just sort of mentally fuzzed out and ignored that whole bit on the divine and spiritual.
Towards the end of the book after the nine principles takes a more activist stance at life. One of the major beliefs put forward in "We" is the thought that women acting as a whole can create a huge and impactful influence the world. This includes becoming more active in social outreach or political issues. The last bit touches on women's issues such as paid maternity leave, the glass ceiling, wage equality, and so forth. It urges women to become interested and active in women's rights issues. The appendix includes quite a few resources and suggestions on starting a "We-based" community.
All-in-all, "We" is an interesting manifesto and I plan on working through the suggested exercises for a prolonged time period. I did definitely see some of my negative habits mentioned in this book and there are absolutely areas I feel I could improve on for myself. I also plan on sharing this book with a few female friends of mine to see if they want to follow along with me and compare notes. After reading books like these, I often wish I could speak directly to the writers and pick their brains - I always feel like many of these books would come across more poignantly if they were more personalized. Perhaps one of the stops on their book tour will wander close to Texas.