The Disruptors: Women’s Resistance to Injustice from Across the Globe

Upcoming Book

In recent years, there has been an explosion in reporting about the ways in which women are oppressed. Outcry for kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls nearly broke the Internet. Bill Cosby is dethroned as the king of comedy by a rape scandal. Blogs burst at their seams, debating “77 cents to the dollar,” and “leaning in.” Even The New Republic recently declared that, “Feminism has Conquered Culture.”

Most of the reporting has focused on victimization. Journalists dissect, document, and analyze every angle of gender bias, creating a narrative that presents women as—above all else—victims. Bringing oppression to the forefront is necessary, but it’s only part of the story.

The rest of the story is that of resistance and change—and rarely does journalism explore how women fight back. My book, The Disruptors: Women’s Resistance to Injustice Across the Globe, tells eight powerful stories of groups of women and girls who fought injustice and, in doing so, challenged our preconceived notions of feminism, advancement and equality. They include sex workers in Thailand who want to decriminalize the sex trade and former girl soldiers in Sierra Leone who rebuild the villages around them. They are battered wives in Iraq and anti-femicide activists in Mexico, former prisoners in the U.S., and Tanzanian pastoralists. Each chapter offers a compelling tale of resistance based on embedded reporting spanning more than six years.

The Disruptors pushes the frontiers of journalistic representation of women by focusing on how groups of women fight together towards self-defined goals. Each chapter tells a story that, if only seen through the lens of a hero or a savior, would not have been appreciated for its full depth or potential. This book will encourage readers to judge my characters’ achievements on their own terms.