This was a timely book to have happened upon during this era of #MeToo. Definitely a one of a kind book. I have never read this sort of science-fiction before and it was strangely liberating and incredibly insightful.
It is amazing how it takes such a simple exercise of role reversal to make you rethink some of the things you’ve long accepted as “normal”.
There is one main character in the book that really shows you the progression of change that is occurring in this fictitious society. He goes from living in a world where he ALWAYS feels safe, to living in a world where he is likely to get violently attacked at any moment (and does). Having that sort of mental exercise put into context the violence that we, as women, have to face on a nearly daily basis. And if we are not directly facing it, we are living in constant fear of violence against us.
The UN recently released a report titled a Global Study on Homicide: Gender-related killing of women and girls. One of the key findings of this study was that of the 87,000 intentionally killed women in 2017, more than half of them (58%) were killed by intimate partners or family members. This study made headlines because it was stated that in the four regions of the world with the highest share of murdered women, the home was the most likely place for a woman to be killed. To put this into context, women and girls account for only 20% of total homicides. And only one out of every five homicides at the global level is perpetuated by an intimate partner or family member. However, women and girls make up the vast majority of those deaths (64%).
The Power gives the reader the opportunity to imagine what the world would look like if women no longer had to fear for their lives. If women no longer had to fear for their lives in their own homes. If women no longer had to fear their significant other or their family members.
There is this particularly powerful scene in the book where a governmental official realizes during a meeting that she is the most powerful person in the room. That if she wanted to she could do anything she wanted to anyone she wanted. The internal discussion she has with herself is incredible because she thinks to herself, “Is this how men have always felt?”.
All in all, a great read and highly recommended.