By: Mike Nisiak
Megan Amram is a writer on Parks and Recreation who got started in comedy through Twitter, with gems such as “Dolls teach girls very unrealistic body standards. A Russian doesn’t have to have many tiny Russians inside her to be beautiful” and “our scariest president was probably Rushmore, because he has four heads.”
Now, she has released her first book, Science… for HER!
Science… for HER! is a satirical science textbook in the style of Cosmopolitan that helps women learn many (not many) scientific facts. Amram marketed the book to women with the selling points that women’s brains aren’t biologically constructed to understand scientific concepts, and women’s tiny hands aren’t biologically constructed to turn the large heavy covers of most science textbooks.
Just for full disclosure: I am not a “HER!” Fortunately, my lack of X chromosomes didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book. I thought it was incredibly funny. The jokes are very absurd, but always carry with them a strand of intelligence. It quickly becomes apparent that Amram crafted the book with extreme precision.
Beyond being funny, Science… for HER! acts as a clever social commentary. In the same vein as Stephen Colbert’s conservative character, Amram taking on the perspective of a Cosmopolitan writer emphasizes the absurdity of how our society views women. Reading this book has shown me more ways that sexism is present in our society than any feminist literature ever has.
These feminist ideas come in articles such as “Women with Jobs?!” in which she ponders whether women should work or not, pointing out that this question remains one of history’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Her opinion is that women should not work outside the home, stating “it’s Steve Jobs, not Eve Jobs.”
At one point, Amram shows what women scientists like Marie Curie and Elizabeth Blackwell look like without makeup. It feels so demeaning of these women and begs the question of why I didn’t get this feeling when I’ve seen comparisons like this about celebrities?
Overall, this book is very entertaining. But more importantly, it made me question my innermost assumptions about gender. I feel like this book has made me a better person.
I would’ve given this book an even higher rating, but I felt uncomfortable purchasing this book at the bookstore because of its “girly” cover. Perhaps Amram should consider releasing a version with a black sleeve over the cover, maybe with some flames or skulls or something.