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The Yes Woman

By: Grace Jennings-Edquist
Narrated by: Grace Jennings-Edquist
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Publisher's Summary

In a world that teaches girls to become yes women, learning to say ‘no’ is a radical feat.

For most of her life, Australian journalist Grace Jennings-Edquist had been keen to please. From school to career, in her appearance, friendships and even everyday interactions, she was always anxious not to disappoint. Becoming a mother finally tipped her over the edge and she wound up in a psych ward. Grace could no longer avoid the truth: she was chronically addicted to saying yes. And she was not alone.

Grace discovered that, in a phenomenon that crosses class, culture and sexuality, yes women are everywhere, and there’s a bit of yes woman in just about everyone. Interviewing scores of people in Australia and overseas, both ordinary women and experts, Grace gained a deeper understanding of the patriarchal origins of the yes woman, and developed a plan to seize control of her own life.

The Yes Woman is a practical guide to recognising your own yes-woman tendencies, measuring their cost on your health, and resisting that need to please. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

©2021 Grace Jennings-Edquist (P)2021 W F Howes

Critic Reviews

"Brilliant...what every career-oriented woman needs on her bookshelf." (Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald, Shameless podcast)

"A brilliantly written, empathetic plea to women, to reclaim their time, energy, power, agency and lust for life, by learning to say no." (Lil Ahenkan)

What listeners say about The Yes Woman

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A great read for any woman!

some of the chapters weren't necessarily relevant to me, but on the whole I think every woman would find some great takeaways from this book.

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Required reading for Women 🔥

This book will make you so much more aware of your value. Made me sit up and take note & I’ve implemented several of the suggested strategies. Feel a stack happier and less inclined to go into auto Yes mode 💪

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Overall it’s a great book.

I think this book really helped to identify the problem most of us “Yes women” have, it is insightful and educational. I loved that the author always acknowledged that women are all different and it’s not always easy to say no depending on where you come from.

I didn’t quite like the comparing of men and women (because men don’t often speak up as much as women when it comes to deep feelings), or slightly ridiculing a celebrity over their body choices (because they too have a hard time living up to societies expectations, they are still human).
When people make negative comments about women trying to be “perfect” on instagram, it feels like hate towards them, like we are just expected to show all our flaws to everyone, to humble ourselves and show that we are “normal”.

The author did however, make note at the end, it’s not a one size fits all solution, it’s a collective movement to start saying NO! I think it was a great book overall.

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Learnt a lot

Great book, learnt a lot and have already implemented some of the learnings into my day to day! Have recommended to a lot of friends as I know we all relate to these struggles.

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Great powerful book

Loved listening to this. So empowering and spoke right to my soul. The book was easy to listen to and so powerful

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  • 23-09-2022

Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

This is a book that I want my granddaughters to read.
The only quibble that I had was around women who co-sleep with their children and breastfeed their 2yo's. The co-sleeping part is actually very easy, and the children sleep better which means that the mother gets more sleep, if you don't buy into the Western way of putting your baby/very young child in a separate room and if you put your mattress/ bedding on the floor. No risk of falling off/out of a bed then. It actually removes that risk, gives small children some autonomy and it's cheaper than buying fancy beds/cots, monitors..... I did it with my daughter and she's been doing that with her children. And, yes, I was working full time when co-sleeping.
Thank you to the author for her notes at the end about the fact that the book is written from a western perspective. We need to keep in mind that much of what we consider is "normal" actually isn't - it's actually the USUAL for us because of the society in which we live.

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Mocking and blaming of women … even though it insists it isn’t

I found the tone of this book very irritating. Despite saying it wasn’t blaming women, it frequently labels them for being traumatised, having neurorsis, being perfectionist, not getting assertiveness right blah blah blah. I would like to see a summary of the practical strategies in this book so I can try them without all the extra anecdotes and critical language. It blames women for the anxieties that are foisted on them from birth and minimises the intense social pressures on women to be nice, say no nicely etc. I tried dipping into a few different chapters but felt it was just creating a new perfectionist if pressure - to get ‘no’ right. I would have liked to have returned it for a credit but couldn’t. I’d skip this book and look for a summary of the strategies so you can try them out. But basically, if there’s someone in your life who doesn’t like you saying no to them, finds ways to ask you to do things that are really hard to say no to and isn’t attuned to the fact that you keep saying yes to them out of guilt … that tells you a lot!

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5 people found this helpful

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