By Thomas Sherlock
In this comprehensive book, Tim Shipman aims to document the tumultuous events of British politics from the rise of Theresa May in July 2016 to her leadership under siege in October 2017. A follow-up to his previous book All-Out War, which covered the lead-up, campaign and immediate aftermath of the EU referendum in 2016, Fall Out provides an insight into the events that followed, ranging from the Chiefs’ management of Number 10, plotting in the corridors of Parliament and how the election thought to be the ultimate coup for May turned into a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Summarised as above, it is easy to mistake the events of the last two years for that of a political thriller.
Throughout this short and insightful book there is one powerful and potent message: Gender does matter, no matter the sex you are born with, the money you have, or where you come from.
The main purpose of this book is to act as a rallying cry, a point of call to use when confronted by someone who is yet to accept that gender is still a major issue in societies across the globe. Whilst addressing the issues that women, particularly those in countries that are too often neglected by other feminist writers, Adichie focuses on an issue which owing to the rise of ‘white European feminism’ is negated: that because of the roles forced onto children from birth, men to are also disadvantaged, because their “humanity is stifled”. Many feminists may take issue with this, arguing that a focus on men’s issues distracts away from the central issues of gender, that is: the inexcusably high percentages of sexual harassment that women face compared to men, the lack of opportunities we are offered because we are taught from birth that we can have ambition, “but not too much”; we “can aim to be successful but not too successful otherwise” we “will threaten the men” and the roles we are expected to take.
Julia Ebner’s ‘The Rage’, provides an extremely interesting insight into the inner workings of Islamist and Far-Right extremist groups, and the mind of the extremist themselves. She combines on the ground experience of such groups, with an outside online and statistical view in order to gather a multi-dimensional perspective of how these groups work, both within the UK and internationally.
The main point of this work is to show that there is a circle of ‘rage’ between both Islamist and Far-Right extremists; when one group acts in some way, it has an effect on the other, causing a kind of reaction from them. The reaction, Ebner argues, can be sometimes violent or non-violent but still extreme, in a way, they both rely on each other for their continued existence, Far-Right groups will use examples of Islamist extremism to claim all Muslims are at war with the west; whereas Islamist extremists will use examples of Far-Right extremism to claim the west is at war with Islam, both sides use the other as a form of justification for their beliefs. She also puts forward the idea that Islamist and Far-Right extremists are two side of the same coin, in that they both have similar desires for a future conflict between Muslims and Non-Muslims, believing that the two are somehow incompatible with each other.