I bought this book about 25 years ago, from a second-hand bookshop on the Isle of Wight.
My mum tried to dissuade me, as she felt that £6 was an enormous amount to spend on a second-hand book that I only really wanted to buy because it had Suffragettes drawn on the front.
Mum was, as ever, right: £6 was a lot to spend on this book, but it wasn’t *just* because it had Suffragettes on the front. I wanted this book because I’d had a little flick through and it was FILLED with useful information about how to start an anti-man revolution.
Well, I thought it was, and my teenage-self wanted nothing more than for men to get over themselves, finally realise that women could do the things the patriarchy thought we couldn’t and, quite frankly, let us get on with it (we’d do a MUCH better job and in many cases, we were).
My teenage-self was fierce and fearless and wonderful.
Over the years, I’ve become a little less fierce and a little less fearless: I still want the world to change, but have found more effective ways of helping to bring about that change; while the patriarchy is still real and horrific, that’s not the fault of all men (who, it turns out, aren’t all awful); we’re better off working together to smash inequality of all kinds; if people don’t like being challenged, get upset or don’t want to be my friend, sobeit.
The book, however, has stayed constant, travelling with me to university, through house-moves and relationships, career-changes and political and personal turmoil. Whenever I’m a bit lost or alone, I can open up my Book of Dissent and find some words of wisdom. It’s filled with quotes and essays, snippets and poems, on just about everything.
For me, this book is about making the future better by learning from the past. It means challenging what has gone before and finding out whether or not the same-old-same-old is the right thing to do. I suppose it was the start of me deciding to be less angry and more coherent; more thoughtful and less impulsive.
Maybe this book is my Good Book?