100 Times: A Memoir of Sexism

100 Times: A Memoir of Sexism

A memoir of sexism, harassment, and assault.A catalog of one hundred incidents of sexism, harassment, and assault from age five to now by Lambda Literary Award finalist, Chavisa Woods. From gender-based discrimination in work places, to unsolicited groping from strangers in public, to the attempted assaults on herself and the assaults of close friends, Woods uses personal...

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Title:100 Times: A Memoir of Sexism
Author:Chavisa Woods
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100 Times: A Memoir of Sexism Reviews

  • Niklas Pivic

    This book is a modern beacon where sexism is concerned, when focusing on sexual violence.

    From its introduction:

    In

    This book is a modern beacon where sexism is concerned, when focusing on sexual violence.

    From its introduction:

    I must admit, being a white, middle-aged man, that the last sentence in that paragraph woke me up somewhat. A second after reading it, I thought, "Oh yes, most people don't actively try and think as feminists".

    The real need to read this book, for me, doesn't have to do with the fact that I enjoy feminist literature; personally, I believe sexism to be one of the biggest problems that humanity is not only facing but has faced for a very long time, but the thing about this book that truly helped me, are the many and versatile ways through which Woods has been subjected to sexism from men; it viscerally and intellectually reminded me of reading Laura Bates's "Everyday Sexism", and also following the #everydaysexism hashtag on Twitter, as they exposed the far-reaching nature of men's verbal violence and discrimination of others than men in ways I had not experienced before.

    So, the book starts:

    Now, thinking about that, I suppose that some men may think "It's a boy's prank!" but Woods is right; that last sentence does put the finger on the matter; a girl could probably not have gotten away with doing the same thing to a boy, and they're five years old. The old "boys being boys" idiocy just has to stop, and reading that paragraph kind of validates that the tombstone needs to be in-place soon.

    This example is also mind-numbingly horrific, in my mind; to even joke about something like sexualising a six-year-old child is in the realm of the insane. It's not OK, it's not acceptable, and it's assault. To be male and to propagate the behaviour is simply degenerate and punishable.

    Early into the book, it stunned me. I had to put it down and recognise how most men, I wager, seldom come across this pap. It's simply not in "our" world, by which I mean that a lot of men seem to think "well, it doesn't happen to me, which means it doesn't happen", which is solipsistic beyond sanity.

    Reading this book is a mind cleanser; for me, it's like sobering up.

    is what the incel sexists need to read and not hang out at Twitter and Reddit and become even more stupid.

    The incident that is described in the following two paragraphs recently replayed, in near-entirety, where I live, in Sweden:

    That event was actually explained and deemed to be completely justified in the eyes of some persons, which I believe is at the gist of what we men need to do when hearing of sexism being performed in any way: we need to point it out and denounce it immediately.

    On another note, I love how Woods prints small facts about hailed persons, showing them for what they actually are:

    Sure, Mailer was a celebrated artist, but he also (much like Pablo Picasso) was a complete sexist, which must be known for all admirers of "The Arts" who try to explain away the behaviours of sexists everywhere.

    Some times, while reading the book, there comes a story that somehow ends on a good note, despite of something tragic having taken place:

    It's poetic, in the middle of all the hate. Woods does carry off the hard task of balancing her stories while maintaining good prosody; this book

    well.

    Woods also speaks of how all transgender persons that she was close to, who revealed their coming out/transitioning to living as a woman lost their job within a year of doing so; about how she asked a male friend to read her exact words from a script to make another man act; how she was chased by a bunch of boys with baseball bats who tried to kill her (according to herself and at least one witness; how cis males believe they can "turn" lesbians; how men blatantly and without any context tell her to shave her legs, etc.

    This book is a triumphant achievement. If I worked in a school, I'd try my best to force it to buy a very large amount of copies and spread it everywhere. Physically grown men need this. People need to talk about this, mainly men. And let's not forget that sexism exists everywhere; women do it too.

    I give this book 5/5 without even thinking about another grade. This is masterful and immensely needed by all, realising it or not.

  • Paula Hartman

    The author (Chavisa Woods) shares 100 examples of sexism that she herself has experienced since she was 5 years old. As she says in the book, there have been many, MANY more incidents than that but these were the most significant to her.

    I think both women and men can gain a lot from this book. For women, her experiences will be very familiar. For men, it's a good way to learn how sexism negatively affects women, how draining it can be to deal with that kind of thing every.fricking.da

    The author (Chavisa Woods) shares 100 examples of sexism that she herself has experienced since she was 5 years old. As she says in the book, there have been many, MANY more incidents than that but these were the most significant to her.

    I think both women and men can gain a lot from this book. For women, her experiences will be very familiar. For men, it's a good way to learn how sexism negatively affects women, how draining it can be to deal with that kind of thing every.fricking.day. Woods makes it clear that she doesn't hate men, that she has male friends and that she knows that not all men are assholes but she also doesn't apologize for letting men know when they have crossed a line and fucked up.

    I've heard some guys say, "OMG, it has gotten to the point where you can't even TALK to a woman in a bar," and Woods calls that out for the bullshit it is. She is a queer woman but she is fine with flirting, with someone finding her attractive, etc. However, if the man doesn't back off when she says she's not interested, she doesn't put up with it. She's fierce and I love it.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Chavisa Woods tells 100 stories of harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault from her own life (age 5 - now) to show the pervasive nature of these incidents in an average woman's life. It didn't matter if she was in a Midwestern small town or New York City, drunk or sober, walking alone at night or at her place of employment. I think all women could write their own collection. I think it should be required reading.

    I had a copy from 7 stories press. I can also recommend her collection of sh

    Chavisa Woods tells 100 stories of harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault from her own life (age 5 - now) to show the pervasive nature of these incidents in an average woman's life. It didn't matter if she was in a Midwestern small town or New York City, drunk or sober, walking alone at night or at her place of employment. I think all women could write their own collection. I think it should be required reading.

    I had a copy from 7 stories press. I can also recommend her collection of short stories -

    .

  • Constance

    I had to keep putting this down because it made me so angry and sad. It also brought up a lot of memories, some that still felt confusing. Woods is so clear about the conflicting emotions that sexist incidents give rise to. We often wonder whether we're overreacting, or we get tied up in expectations that women should be nice--even when they are faced with insulting or frightening behavior. Most women could easily write about 100 times when others acted inappropriately and sexist toward them, of

    I had to keep putting this down because it made me so angry and sad. It also brought up a lot of memories, some that still felt confusing. Woods is so clear about the conflicting emotions that sexist incidents give rise to. We often wonder whether we're overreacting, or we get tied up in expectations that women should be nice--even when they are faced with insulting or frightening behavior. Most women could easily write about 100 times when others acted inappropriately and sexist toward them, often blaming them if they push back. This is an important book, and I wish everyone who has forced their wrongheadedness on another would read it with recognition and remorse.

  • Katherine Arnoldi

    It's about time. I am telling everyone I know about this book. Any woman could have written it and titled it 3,000 times or a zillion, but the clincher is, Chavisa Woods did it first. That is when you know it is a good book, when you wish you had written it. This book is what you would call elegant. By that I mean the idea of the book. Simple. Elegant. Funny. Smart. Poignant. Important. Rings so true that all of us could have, should have, would have been the author. Me, I got, like, at least 50

    It's about time. I am telling everyone I know about this book. Any woman could have written it and titled it 3,000 times or a zillion, but the clincher is, Chavisa Woods did it first. That is when you know it is a good book, when you wish you had written it. This book is what you would call elegant. By that I mean the idea of the book. Simple. Elegant. Funny. Smart. Poignant. Important. Rings so true that all of us could have, should have, would have been the author. Me, I got, like, at least 500,000, but the 100 here is good, really good.

  • Laurie

    This book is laid out with a very simple format: Woods has put down on paper 100 different instances of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, ranging from discrimination, to verbal abuse to groping to out and out assault. These instances are laid out chronologically, from age 5 to her mid-30s. These have happened everywhere; in school (by a teacher), in places of employment, in bars, and even in her own apartment – by her male roommate who refused to wear pants. And they are not by any means *all*

    This book is laid out with a very simple format: Woods has put down on paper 100 different instances of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, ranging from discrimination, to verbal abuse to groping to out and out assault. These instances are laid out chronologically, from age 5 to her mid-30s. These have happened everywhere; in school (by a teacher), in places of employment, in bars, and even in her own apartment – by her male roommate who refused to wear pants. And they are not by any means *all* the problems she has had with sexist men. She writes plainly and simply, just laying out what happened with no melodrama attached.

    Most women reading this will be horrified, but will also recognize their own lives. Most of us have endured these kinds of discrimination, harassment and assault. I cringed, because I certainly have, from the mildest to the worst. And despite the fact that these things happen to almost all of us, a huge segment of men- even men who are feminists- do not believe that sexual harassment happens. It is so ingrained in our society that it’s become invisible. We mostly shrug it off.

    I wish this book were given to each and every middle school student in some kind of health or even civics class. These problems need to become visible, before the kids get out there navigating adult life. Five stars, and kudos to the author.

  • Joseph Young

    None of these stories are that surprising on its own. It is the sheer number that happen to one person, throughout only part of one life time that shows the impact that this single issue can have, and how it manifests as a recurring theme, jading one's view. It is impossible to not change due to the fear that each event piles on. Would recommend this book to any feminist, whether it be a man who really wants to get it, or woman wanting to find comfort from others who have dealt with shared sexis

    None of these stories are that surprising on its own. It is the sheer number that happen to one person, throughout only part of one life time that shows the impact that this single issue can have, and how it manifests as a recurring theme, jading one's view. It is impossible to not change due to the fear that each event piles on. Would recommend this book to any feminist, whether it be a man who really wants to get it, or woman wanting to find comfort from others who have dealt with shared sexist experiences.

    In the first few stories, the sexism seems a lighter flavor, the 'accepted' sexism of society and its expectations. For example in the 2nd story where a kid doesn't want to share his toys, sexism seems secondary, just an added flavor that occurred because it was available. However, soon it becomes all sorts of sexism whether it be unwanted come-ons, well-intentioned flirtations, and malicious assault. And besides the constant affronts one seems to have to deal with, there are the enablers: 'explainers' or 'justifiers'.

    I have to admit that at times, I thought about a few of the stories, "is this sexism?" But I don't think that was the point; sexism is part of the equation, whether it be through interpretation of actions or unconscious intent.

    Woods does a good job in showing how sexism comes from men and women, people we respect and complete strangers. After finishing the book, I was struck by the pervasiveness of it all.

  • Lauren

    Chavisa Woods’

    has a straightforward structure: Woods writes, in chronological order, 100 instances of sexism she has experienced or observed. The majority of these instances involve either verbal or physical sexual harassment, in private and public, including assault and attempted rape.

    Woods makes the most of the book’s format by using it to show just how relentless sexism can be in the lives of women. Her writing is conversational and not at all academic. Re

    Chavisa Woods’

    has a straightforward structure: Woods writes, in chronological order, 100 instances of sexism she has experienced or observed. The majority of these instances involve either verbal or physical sexual harassment, in private and public, including assault and attempted rape.

    Woods makes the most of the book’s format by using it to show just how relentless sexism can be in the lives of women. Her writing is conversational and not at all academic. Reading this book feels like talking to a friend and having that friend confide in you. This writing style paired with her chronological arrangement of the subject matter really helps the reader understand the mental and emotional weight of sexist harassment.

    For me, the section of the book with the most impact was number 97. In this section, Woods listens to a man at a bar acknowledge the statistical fact that the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S. is violence from their male partners. He acknowledges this, but still implicates these women in their own deaths because “there’s two sides to that.” He states they must have done something to “push” their male partners to kill them. He acknowledges the rate of women being murdered, but insists that it’s women who actually have power over men. Somehow.

    While reading this section, I remembered a much earlier one: number 25. In this section, a nineteen year old man in Woods’ hometown murdered himself and the daughter he’d had with his eighteen year old ex-wife. The murder-suicide was speculated to be his way of getting back at his ex-wife for divorcing him and for having a new partner who would assist in raising their child. And yet, despite having had no hand in the violence herself, there is an attitude in the town that the ex-wife somehow caused it by not sticking it out with her ex-husband. Why isn’t this man being held solely responsible for his own violence? Why would anyone think things would have been better if this woman had forced herself to stay with a man proved himself to be capable of such violence that he killed his own child? With her writing of these sections, Woods is laying plain just how distorted and unhealthy North American society is when it comes to gendered violence.

    It was also notable for me as a lesbian that Woods wrote openly about the lesbophobic harassment she has received. Sometimes heterosexual women assume that lesbians don’t have to endure as much sexism or misogyny because we do not partner with men. The world at large sometimes seems to assumes that homophobic violence is only ever directed at men. This book shows how untrue this is. Lesbian women still have male family members, friends, and colleagues. We encounter men when we go out in public every day. While we have come a long way in terms of human rights, I still see news stories every year about lesbian (or bi or queer) women who are violently attacked for their sexuality.

    is a deceptively simple book. It is clearly written and easy to read, but it hits hard. It’s the kind of book that sticks with you long after reading it. I’m hoping to see it on various recommended book lists of 2019.

  • Chris Tucker

    I was so torn about reviewing this book, between 3-4 stars. I liked it, but I don't think it's just about sexism. I think it's also about homophobia, as well as the author's personal frustrations and lashing out. It's not an easy book to read, because basically it's a litany of 100 times the author experienced either harassment, sexism, or homophobia.

    My conflict is this: and I hesitate to express it, let me preface this by saying I do NOT doubt the author's experiences or recollectio

    I was so torn about reviewing this book, between 3-4 stars. I liked it, but I don't think it's just about sexism. I think it's also about homophobia, as well as the author's personal frustrations and lashing out. It's not an easy book to read, because basically it's a litany of 100 times the author experienced either harassment, sexism, or homophobia.

    My conflict is this: and I hesitate to express it, let me preface this by saying I do NOT doubt the author's experiences or recollections in the least. It all happened. But my first thought reading this was "omg, I have been through this as well, but I can't remember 100 specific times". Then, because I am one of those people that love to analyze, I think "is she holding onto these? did she write down each time in a journal? It is hindering her, holding this anger? Can she let it go?" she does overreact on a few occasions, but based upon what she went through, you can understand why she snapped. I've told more than a few men off in my time, but I never punched anyone (except when I was in second grade, and he deserved it), usually my words were enough.

    This is not an easy book for a woman to read, because it may dredge up memories that they want to forget, but it would be a good book for a man to read, only because most of them have no clue just how ingrained sexism is in our society. Although they may have been brought up to "respect" women, this book gives them a good picture of just how insistent it is, and how it occurs on almost a daily basis.

  • Sarah Schulman

    This is a book that makes you think about your life differently. The female reader cannot avoid cataloguing at least a symbolic portion of their experiences being degraded or diminished, threatened. I watched Chavisa develop the manuscript on Facebook, but reading the actual final draft really reveals her strength, focus and determination because facing the frequency and resonance of these experiences is very difficult. Maybe an "Artists Way" type of workbook could be created helping each of us

    This is a book that makes you think about your life differently. The female reader cannot avoid cataloguing at least a symbolic portion of their experiences being degraded or diminished, threatened. I watched Chavisa develop the manuscript on Facebook, but reading the actual final draft really reveals her strength, focus and determination because facing the frequency and resonance of these experiences is very difficult. Maybe an "Artists Way" type of workbook could be created helping each of us have the courage to do the work that she does here, because - while difficult- it does produce understanding.

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