From Sabotage to Support: A New Vision for Feminist Solidarity in the Workplace, co-authored by Joy Wiggins and Kami Anderson, is a comprehensive examination of and quasi-treatise on women’s status in the workplace and provides a blueprint for overcoming the many obstacles still impeding their progress. They illustrate the comprehensive nature of the book in more than a few ways. Substantial early sections of the work document the various waves of feminism that have defined women’s continuing struggle for across the board equality over the last 100+ years. It is obvious reading these specific pages alone that Wiggins and Anderson alike have researched and considered the matter and understand the context of those aforementioned struggles. We’ve made a lot of progress, but much more remains.
JOY WIGGINS: https://joywiggins.com/who-i-am
Many non-fictional works of this nature gain a great deal from personalizing the experience of the author or authors and From Sabotage to Support is no exception. Wiggins identifies as a white queer woman and the volume shares many of her experiences of judgment, often times by other women, for her body type and features rather than her character and individual talents. The book discusses the influence men exert over such behavior and how its roots extend all the way back into childhood and teenage years. Second author Kami Anderson identifies herself as an African American woman who approached her experiences as a female through the prism of having been born in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement and coming of age during the peak of the women’s independence movement.
The book goes on to discuss issues of privilege and how those with that particular advantage can benefit those who do not and how the manner through which women from different walks of life experience socialization can set off particular manifestations of micro aggression and bias. It goes on to pinpoint how such behavior can undercut women’s efforts to support one another. Wiggins and Anderson push their message with clear, intelligent prose shorn of any sideshows and focused from the outset. Co-authored books often take many forms – some demarcate when one writer is behind the wheel, but From Sabotage to Support has seamlessness and readers will be hard pressed to identify when one writer begins and the other author ends.
Men come in for some heavy scorn in this book. There is a time when I would have bristled about such treatment, but I recognized as I grew older that no man, at least in American society, escapes in full from the ingrained societal attitudes part and parcel of the male experience. I find the book to be another step in my ongoing illumination of what I have left to overcome and how I can better interact with the female counterparts in my own life. Self reflection is one of the author’s goals, perhaps aimed more at women, but nonetheless there is a great deal men can gain from reading this work.
The conclusion of the book delves into delineating the tools women can use to dispense with the destructive and harmful behaviors discussed earlier in the book. It provides a roadmap for achieving true authenticity, dropping masks, and how women can learn to serve other women as women. Wiggins and Anderson do not expect this book to be a transformative experience – instead, they hope it provides food for thought and things for its readers to consider as they move forward in their lives. By this measure, among others, From Sabotage to Support is an unmitigated success.