Cover image for Shrewed : a wry and closely observed look at the lives of women and girls : essays / Elizabeth Renzetti.
Shrewed : a wry and closely observed look at the lives of women and girls : essays / Elizabeth Renzetti.
Publication Information:
[Toronto, Ontario] : House of Anansi Press, 2018.

Physical Description:
278 pages ; 21 cm
Introduction: tales for young witches -- The voice in your head is an asshole -- The way of the harasser -- Fearlesness -- Weddings are Satan's playground: a letter to my daughter -- Ambition: three life lessons -- You'll pay for those breasts, or the cost of being a lady -- Never enough: women, politics, and the uphill battle -- If the world were made of Lego: a letter to my son -- Unbalanced -- The story of my mother -- Four lions -- A view from the outside: a letter to my younger self -- The long crawl to defeat, the slow march to victory -- Killer robots, Amazon planets, and the fight for the future -- Size matters: a commencement address.
Women's rights have moved forward by leaps and bounds, but there are still plenty of issues that have yet to be discussed. Elizabeth Renzetti looks at such issues as women in politics, social media, and sexual harassement in a collection of essays on the female experience.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
305.42 REN Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Why are there so few women in politics? Why is public space, whether it's the street or social media, still so inhospitable to women? What does Carrie Fisher have to do with Mary Wollstonecraft? And why is a wedding ceremony Satan's playground?

These are some of the questions that bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Elizabeth Renzetti examines in her new collection of essays. Drawing upon Renzetti's decades of reporting on feminist issues, Shrewed is a book about feminism's crossroads. From Hillary Clinton's failed campaign to the quest for equal pay, from the lessons we can learn from old ladies to the future of feminism in a turbulent world, Renzetti takes a pointed, witty look at how far we've come -- and how far we have to go.

If Nellie McClung and Erma Bombeck had an IVF baby, this book would be the result. If they'd lived at the same time. And in the same country. And if IVF had been invented. Well, you get the point.

Author Notes

ELIZABETH RENZETTI is a columnist for the Globe and Mail, and has reported for many years from Toronto, Los Angeles, and London. She is also the bestselling author of the novel Based on a True Story, which was a finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and a Canadian bestseller. She lives in Toronto with her husband, author and Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders, and their two children.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Journalist and novelist Renzetti (Based on a True Story) delivers a sharp assessment of what it is to be a woman in a man's world in these short, punchy essays about, among other things, the myriad reasons women stay silent after being assaulted by men, the things the author wants her daughter and son to know about misogyny, and the way the patriarchy normalizes inequality. Entertainingly mixing the personal and political, Renzetti describes the voice in her own head and most women's as "an asshole who does not want you to test your wingspan... ask for a book contract, or go for an audition, or apply for a job promotion." She then explains, "There are people... who instead have a throaty-voiced cheerleader reclining on the chaise lounge of their consciousness, saying Damn, they'd be lucky to have you for that job. These people are called 'men.' " She takes readers into her own frantic efforts to balance work and family life, as well as her interviews with remarkable women such as Germaine Greer. Renzetti acknowledges the criticism that white feminism has excluded women of color and candidly describes the difficulty and necessity of having "to pass over the grievance microphone" to other people. Throughout, Renzetti's prose is clever, witty, and accessible, making the book fun for feminists and a good gift for anyone who questions why feminism is still necessary. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Tales for Young Witchesp. 1
The Voice in Your Head Is an Assholep. 15
The Way of the Harasserp. 21
Fearlessnessp. 45
Weddings Are Satan's Playground: A Letter to My Daughterp. 57
Ambition: Three Life Lessonsp. 65
You'll Pay for Those Breasts, or The Cost of Being a Ladyp. 85
Never Enough: Women, Politics, and the Uphill Battlep. 97
If the World Were Made of Lego: A Letter to My Sonp. 121
Unbalancedp. 129
The Story of My Motherp. 145
Four Lionsp. 167
A View from the Outside: A Letter to My Younger Selfp. 199
The Long Crawl to Defeat, The Slow March to Victoryp. 209
Killer Robots, Amazon Planets, and the Fight for the Futurep. 235
Size Matters: A Commencement Addressp. 255
Notesp. 265
Acknowledgementsp. 275