"Moxie girls fight back! Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules. Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution."
In my opinion Moxie is a book that all young adults should read. This book is full of girls learning more of what it means to be a feminist, and why it is important to stand with each other and build each other up. Moxie will fill your feminist heart with joy, all the “Moxie” activities going on like tackling unfair dress codes, bake sales and art sales to raise funds for girls sports made me want to join in and join the mini revolution that Viv starts.
I really loved Viv as a main character. I think she’s a very realistic and grounded character. She’s passionate, she always stands her ground on a topic she has feelings on, but she also deals with the insecurities of having friends who don’t necessarily understand her, but she still sticks up for herself and isn’t afraid to carry on. She is definitely a prominent figure that many readers can look up to.
"This is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It's not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that's always finding ways to tell them they're not.
Moxie adresses the important issue of rape culture. It affects our day to day lives, and I was so happy when I realised Vivian not only came to realise this issue also, but she then started to fight back against it. The novel even touches on the fact that men, regardless whether or not they seem to support feminism and be a feminist, they cannot fully comprehend what women go through on a day to day basis. I am so glad that finally an author had the guts and the sheer willpower and willingness to actually write what most feminists think.
One criticism is in the character of Seth. He is the “not all men” example. Viv and Seth’s relationship is there to demonstrate how you can have a romantic relationship and still identify as a feminist. At first when he drew the stars and hearts on his hands and he supported Viv and her magazine. I think I actually said something out loud when I realised Seth turned up to school supporting Moxie. I was so happy that we finally got a YA male character who actively supports feminism and seemed open-minded. However, Seth then started to almost annoy me? which I think is definitely the point that the author is trying to make. Vivienne has to explain to Seth that he needs to try to understand, but he definitely can’t fully comprehend what it is like to be a women. And in Seth we have the typical knee-jerk reaction supplied by most men when confronted about feminism…”but not all men”. Seth also kept trying to justify and say things like ‘but not me, right?’. However, ultimately I did think Seth was just a normal boy, trying to understand and even learn about feminism and women’s everyday experiences. I also wish Moxie had a more intersectionality because it was discussed and made obvious, but I wish it was more prevalent throughout the novel.
"...it occurs to me that this is what it means to be a feminist. It's not a bad word. After today, it might be my favourite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that's always finding ways to tell them they're not.”
Overall, Moxie is a brilliantly fun example of what feminism is intended to be! Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, everyone could learn something from reading Moxie. Some of the quotes hit hard and hit home and Moxie is a great, shining example of how feminism can and should be even more mainstream, especially important in YA literature.