Book Review: I’m Afraid of Men

by Vivek Shraya

5 Stars

I’m absolutely not someone who generally reads non-fiction and enjoys it — and honestly, who can blame me when fiction is so much more entertaining than reality? — but if you do not read (or place a hold on) this amazing non-fiction book you are transphobic, misogynistic and racist. I don’t make the rules *sniffs nose and looks haughtily down on you*. OK, fine. Maybe you’re not those things but seriously: GET. THIS. BOOK.

It’s a 96-page book mainly about misogyny affecting Vivek Shraya, the author, and her struggle with inner (and outer) misogyny as a trans woman who was raised and perceived as a gay man. The story follows Vivek throughout different stages of her life and shares short stories of transphobia, over-sexualization and misogyny she’s faced. I’m not going to lie… this book had me on the verge of tears multiple times, which doesn’t happen often. This was an own-voices book (literally a mini life story of the author) so rating it seems somewhat trivial and disrespectful (I can’t exactly say their life was 1 star respectfully) but if I had to give it a rating it would be 5/5, 10/10, 100/100. The writing was beautiful- lyrical — and interacted wonderfully with the reader by asking probing questions that left you dumbfounded and deep in thought. It was a phenomenal queer-feminist read and gave the perspective of someone who was ‘not raised a woman’ (Vivek experienced the oppressor side and does not share the same experiences AFAB women are more prone to) but has experienced both sides of misogyny. Again, 5/5 stars.

Age rating: Mature people
Trigger warnings: Transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, over-sexualization, mentions of biphobia/bi-erasure, cheating, mentions of sex, body dysmorphia, self-loathing, mentions of (sexual) assault and more. Check for more if you’re sensitive!

Reviewed by Jazleen H.

View in Library Catalogue: Print