What an amazing and important commentary on the way that young girls are treated in, unfortunately, a painful number of schools in the United States today. Kim Harrington’s Revenge of the Red Club is one of those books that I honestly wish every young girl would read. The fact of the matter is that some schools still shame young girls for their bodies, still shame them for something as natural as menstruation, still censor and deny their education in essential areas of life. And why? Well, it’s the complaining parents, of course, who are happy to have their children live in ignorance to life’s truths and ultimately damaging them horribly in the long run.
I was fortunate enough as a child to have parents who didn’t censor my education, who were actually active in ensuring that I knew about my body and provided me with the support needed in understanding facets of the world that I was growing up in. Depressingly, there are many places where this is not the case. One just has to think of the abstinence-only education that happens in the southern states to recognize where the problems are. Regardless, Revenge of the Red Club focuses primarily on the censorship of education and support surrounding periods and body shaming.
In a world where both the school and, unfortunately, some of the parents do their best to keep the education of their students’ censored from perfectly normal things like menstruation, a group of girls set up a club for anyone who has started their period so that they can support each other. This comes in the form of weekly meetings and newly built friendships. But when someone’s mom complains and gets the club banned, the girls have to do everything in their power to fight back against the injustice. And not only that, but there’s the ridiculous dress code and shaming of women to address as well.
And so the girls band together to protest, making plans for different kinds of pranks to pull throughout the week as they move forward.
I think this book is an excellent commentary on some of the problems with the education system and society in general. There are a lot of frustrating things that happen just as a result of the closed-mindedness of an unfortunate number of people that need to be changed. And while this book isn’t going to change everything, it at least offers an opportunity for young girls to learn more about their world and what’s right vs. wrong. I’m honestly surprised by how little it’s been read up until now.
If you have a daughter around twelve, honestly, you should do her a huge favor and get her this book.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.