I read Franchesca Ramsey’s book on her career in both media and activism and it was a good read. If you want to know more about her or activism, Well That Escalated Quickly is an excellent book to read over the summer.
I used to watch a bit of Franchesca on Youtube and always liked her a lot. When I saw she had a book out I was pretty curious about it, especially with the tagline “Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist.” In my mind Franchesca was always the activist. I bought the Kindle version but there is a print copy available as well. I can imagine that if you are an online activist or if you are interested in learning more about activism and social justice, this is a book you’d like to have a hardcopy of!
Franchesca! Like a lot of Youtube and influencer books it is about themselves, but Franchesca is a little bit more interesting than the average Beauty Guru in Youtube land, because her online presence very much focuses on activism and comedy. I find her interesting and inspiring.
There are things in her perspective that I fundamentally disagree with, but I like how her book educates and her approach in the book is very light-hearted.
On her activism she says: “It felt like an uphill battle, but one I genuinely thought worth it” which I think is a beautiful sentiment.
Although I have quietly but wholeheartedly withdrawn from Twitter activism, in my real life I work every day to be inclusive and intersectional in my feminism. To learn more about it from the OG SJW in this book? Really freaking cool.
KOOKINESS SCALE (1-10)
I feel like calling it kooky would be a disservice to everything that real activism is about so no, this is not a kooky book. It is a strong, fun book with a headstrong tone at times, but it’s not radically out there.
There are two main things that I vehemently oppose.The first one is the notion that Jenna Marbles when she privately apologised to Franchesca about the whole slutshaming video should have publicly apologised because otherwise it ‘didn’t count’ (I’m paraphrasing but that’s the vibe it gave off).
I disagree with that, because nobody gets to decide for someone else how they want to handle their mistakes in the public eye. Additionally, I feel like bringing up that Jenna once said “she was crucified” in an interview (which she was, however with reason it might have been) is not taking into account the growth that did absolutely occur afterwards.
Second thing I disagree with is that we shouldn’t say ‘hey guys’ because it can make not-guys feel uncomfortable. I feel like the evolution of language is grossly overlooked in some of the hot takes on certain expressions, and ‘hey guys’ has long transformed in a common, general greeting to address a group of varying people, not just for men.
Other than that I can follow most of the thought processes and there is a lot of statements I can get behind. As a white women I will never fully understand, which is why I try to let those who do understand take the platform and if I can broadcast them, not my own ideas.
- “There are experts in the field of Problematic Archaeology who will spend hours coming through your tweets and preteen blogging efforts to uncover the most offensive artefacts of your past.”
- “The sense of deep moral righteousness each party feels in the moment, furiously typing clawbacks and subtweets before members of the opposing #TeamWhoever can get their barbs in, gives the whole thing the illusion of importance when it is almost always infighting or attention seeking.”
- “My feminism extends to women I don’t like, however misguided they may be, and so should yours.”
- “Why are you doing this? Do you want to raise awareness of a problem, or do you want to raise awareness of your Twitter account, which you believe is scandalously underflowed?”
- “You accidentally step on someone’s toe and break it, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t mean to break their toe. The toe is still broken, and you have to make up for that somehow.”
- “It made me realise I should quit trying to please everyone and just say whatever the hell I want. Going public doesn’t mean that the public gets to define you.”
- “Procrastination had become my coping mechanism. That way when I bombed an audition or the video wasn’t as good as it could have been, I had an excuse: I hadn’t had enough time to try my best. So the failure wasn’t my fault.”
- “Look at your work as a contract you have with yourself.”
- “There’s a saying “if you have haters, you are doing something right,” but I disagree — at this point if you have haters you’re doing anything.”
- “You can’t reason with people whose whole purpose is to get your attention and subtract you.”
- “When it comes to work and social media, it’s best to hear that immortal reality show mantra: “I’m not here to make friends.”
- “‘Save the Rainforest’ doesn’t mean ‘Fuck all the other trees'”
SELF HELP HIPSTER STAMP OF APPROVAL
It is a great read, because Franchesca, who also writes for TV, is a great writer.
I don’t have to agree with her on everything to understand what an important role she has played in the (online) work when it comes to black women, racism, feminism and her famous response to Jenna Marbles’ sluts video did incite the first big wave of anti-slutshaming on the Internet, which I really appreciate. She is a real one.
Additionally, Franchesca is not oblivious to the toxicity and problematic behaviour that happens in cancel-culture and shares her own mistakes and lessons from either going too far lecturing or trashing others, or being crucified herself. That makes it a good and well-rounded book.
And if you want to read an honest and inspiring take on what you can do when you’re jealous of someone, you should read the chapter ‘Stop Hating, Start Studying’. I had that video saved on my Tumblr ever since she posted it and I was so glad she dedicated a whole chapter of her book to it.
It also discusses the gossip forums that grow everywhere on the Internet about famous people. I personally always feel like talking about other people online can be a hobby just like mine is playing Two Point Hospital, but Franchesca really sets out how toxic and self-distracting-and-destructing these places can be.
Well That Escalated Quickly is a book that educates, informs and inspires us all to be conscious of injustice and strive for inclusiveness, while also inspiring and motivating us to work hard for the things we want.
That sounds like a good and conscientious life to live, so I’m down.