Thoughts On Outraged. More than just a book review!!
“It was one of the motivations of outrage that I had yet to consider; perhaps
outrage was simply the opportunity for the powerless to be powerful for a day.
An emancipation of sorts.” (Outraged, Ashley 'Dotty' Charles).
”Outrage used to require more than a caption under a reposted picture. It required action and intent. It was the train that aimed to move protest towards progress” (Outraged, Ashley 'Dotty' Charles).
“We don’t need to care less; we just need to care better. Because if we pursued severe social injustices as fervently as we did every insignifi cant faux pas that wafts under our noses, our communities would be far better places. But instead we assemble around life’s dissatisfactions and wonder why the only thing we can negotiate is a half-decent phone upgrade”. (Outraged, Ashley 'Dotty' Charles).
This is a non-fiction book in which the author, Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles explores the concept of outrage and how this is currently demonstrated in our culture. Speaking to both people who have experienced the backlash of the public’s outrage such as Katie Hopkins as well as others who have orchestrated outrage both intentionally or unintentionally such as Stephanie Yeboah (don’t worry if you don’t know who she is-I didn’t, however, she was the women who first questioned H&M of their use if a black child in the monkey top). Throughout the book she questions her own outrage and in her discussions encourages this of the reader too.
What others have said
“Funny, nuanced and wonderful“ — Jon Ronson, Journalist.
“A book that had me hollering, nodding and questioning at the same time” — Candice Carty-Williams, Author.
“A witty, ever-so-thoughtful guide to getting our outraged back on track” — Pandora Sykes, Journalist. What did I think?
I found this book as a result of Netgallery and as soon as I saw it I knew that it was one I should probably read it. I have been offered the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review and for this I am hugely grateful.
So why did I feel like I definitely had to read it. Whilst, I am naturally a happy go lucky type of person who can see the good in nearly everyone, I am someone who is quite prone to outrage and am quick to whip up an Instagram post about it, share a Facebook article or generally shout and scream about anything I feel is unjust or ‘bang out of order’. I love this part of my personality and would never want to change my desire to promote the rights of others or highlight discrimination or oppression. However, in the last few months, I have found it exhausting and have really been thinking about the impact my outrage actually has! Am I having any actual impact and creating change or am I just adding to the noise? My recent fear has been it has been the latter, hence the reason for the changes in my Instagram posts to focus upon education rather than just shouting.
This book was everything I wanted it to be and more!! I found it to be thought provoking, considered and insightful in its discussions. It is a non-fiction and therefore, it doesn’t have the story line or characters that encourage you to engage with the book but I found that throughout reading the book I was committed to what Dotty had to say and it really got me to consider my own positioning and those around me.
As a non-fiction book I felt that it was well-researched and all those that Dotty spoke to were well placed to highlight their views or research. It taught me a lot but in an approachable format that felt easy to read and consider. It’s broken down well so it does not become overwhelming.
One review by Bella Mackie (Author) has highlighted that everyone with a social media account should read this book and I am inclined to agree. This book highlights the ‘mob mentality’ of outrage on social media and how really the use of hashtags impact our own responses to events within the world as we can so easily post but aside from this don’t take action. Are we really now only #outrage rather than outraged enough to take any positive course of action? I am concerned that we are!!
It has certainly caused me to think about my own action and how I respond to my outrage. I will continue to be the same passionate advocate I have been but I has helped me to realise I can’t be cross about everything as I become exhausted and ineffective. It’s demonstrated that whilst it’s important to share the outrage actually I need to also think about the follow up action I am taking (that explains the information posts that are being shared on Instagram and this blog) to ensure that my outrage helps change narratives and opinions rather than just being extra noise in a subject. I am also reflecting on #takeactionwednesday and whilst I will continue to sign petitions and write to my MP I will also ensuring that I follow these up, I will ask for the updates on the petitions, I will be reading what has been said in the debates about them and I will be following up with my MP if I do not feel they have kept to what they have said to me.
Star rating: 4* (out of 5). It dropped one star just simply because at points it was a little hard going due to the wealth of information and this makes it slightly less accessible to all. Will I read it again? Yes definitely and I think I will probably get just as much from it. I will also be recommending it.