The Young Woman's Survival Kit

Jessica Mandanda is an exceptional young woman who has recently come out with a book titled “The Young Woman’s Survival Kit”. The author holds a PgD in International Gender Studies and a B.A in Journalism and Mass Communication, she is also the creator of the blog “My Body Audacity”. The book is a captivating narration of the struggles and misconceptions that women deal with in their day to day lives. Jessica speaks unapologetically about the internal struggles that she has faced in her own life and how these have shaped how she views not only herself but the people and environment around her. She speaks of the struggle of being different and how this has led to her being more empowered. She touches on the importance of respecting people’s differences and how simply agreeing to disagree is more powerful than trying to force your opinion onto individuals.

Throughout the book she also explain experiences that have taught her never to never settle for things that to do not bring her peace or pleasure. She exclaims over and over that the female body is constantly begged to be seen and finally when it is society shames us, she apologises to the women who have been violated whether knowingly or unknowingly, she explains that the lines are extremely burred until you know better and this it is our responsibility to impart that wisdom on the younger generation in order to avoid the perpetuation of this. She defiantly speaks on the importance of understanding that Vagina is not a bad word and in several parts of the book asks the reader to repeat the word vagina over and over and to come to terms with the fact that it is a gloriously crafted part of the body that we should not be ashamed of and that the concept of it simply being a child bearing tool be demolished both in society and in our own minds.

Jessica narrates the importance of having a tribe that stands with you through thick and thin and shares her own stories that have made her come to this realization. She speaks of the importance of taking time out and discovering the things that make reality easier to deal with, she speaks of mental breakdowns and being diagnosed with depression and the steps that she took and still takes to conquer each day. She embodies the term “healing is not linear” and shamelessly reminds us that pain and shame are difficult to forget however the choice to walk outside of those memories and live boldly and truthfully are signs of strength that we must remember to congratulate ourselves for.

The book is brilliantly written and each section flows effortlessly into the next, each chapter being more relatable than the last and holding your attention. The book explains that feminism is not perfect and is in fact flawed because we too as humans are flawed and this concept resonates not only in that chapter but throughout the book. She is constantly explaining that humans make mistakes and that concepts such as perfection are subjective and this is where respect lays a role, understanding that people different and that’s okay. She empowers women to take a stand and control of their lives while shamelessly pouring love into themselves.


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