Top critical review
Has Its Moments
Reviewed in Australia on 27 September 2020
I liked a lot of this, especially the relationship advice that Given swears she never gives in real life. She's right in that you need good boundaries, to recognise dodgy behaviour, and to not be afraid of being single. Everyone needs these qualities and tools.
I think it's the hectoring tone on privilege that grates. Given is only 21, and at 21 you do think you have the Rosetta Stone and unified field theory of everything. It will be interesting to see how she feels at 30, at 40, and at 50. I don't expect old heads on young shoulders, but I think Given does. She neglects to explore the single greatest source of her privilege: YOUTH.
Her approach currently seems to be: Don't criticise - but write a book criticising the hell out of most women. Don't impose your morality on others - but feel free to impose your ideas of morality on backward hets because they're racist and never check their privilege. I am concerned that this book provides a charter for bullies, as in her eagerness to reverse her own privilege, she puts some minorities in an 'above reproach' position. If a cishet white woman was bullied in her workplace by a minority supervisor, she would find it very difficult to get help from Florence Given.
I think she's right about a lot of things, but it will be interesting to see how this stands the test of the author growing into full maturity.