“She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy” by Jill Soloway— A Memoir of Personal Transformation

Soloway, Jill. “She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy”,  Crowne Archetype, 2018.

A Memoir of Personal Transformation

Amos Lassen

Jill Soloway’s memoir takes us on an emotional journey of patriarchy that began when Jill’s parent came out as transgender and pushed Jill to break through male-dominated Hollywood to create the groundbreaking and award-winning Amazon TV series “Transparent”The series explores identity, love, sexuality, and the blurring of boundaries through “the dynamics of a complicated and profoundly resonant American family” and it has brought about a new cultural consciousness. As she worked on the show and defied mainstream ideas about gender, Soloway began to erase the lines on their own map and found a new voice as a director, show creator, and activist. 

This is a candid look at Soloway’s evolution from straight, married mother of two to identifying as queer and nonbinary. It is a change and metamorphosis that reflects shifting power dynamics that continue to shape the worldview. We gain a look at the inside workings of the #metoo movement and what followed and it is a look at the generation that has new ideas about gender, inclusion, desire, and consent. Not only do we get a look at Soloway’s life but we also get a portrait of the larger human struggle in which the creation of a revolutionary TV show influenced a revolution in our culture. We learn what it means to be a woman and what it takes to be a creator. We are very aware of the passion, the vulnerability and the fierceness that is Soloway as we read the story of changing worlds. Soloway’s life has become something of a revolution that is both cultural and personal. What began as a memoir becomes something of a manifesto. If you did not realize how much “Transparent” has brought this country toward acceptance, you will see that here. Indeed entertainment can change us and the culture we live in and as we are entertained, we learn.

Soloway writes with brutal honesty. Compassion and courage. We read true stories here and they share the difficult painful revelations, triumphs, and failures of life. We also get wonderful gossip, revelation and we are called upon to act.

Of course, we also read of Soloway’s self-doubt, self-discovery, and self-actualization. As we read we get a better understanding of what it means to be Other and what it means to discover who we are and understand that each of us deserves happiness. “Soloway’s perspective on sexuality and family is both candid and timely “and urges us to question society’s view of gender and define it for themselves.”

Now Soloway has embarked on a grand mission and is determined to see it through.Today, we live in a world where gender doesn’t mean what it used to and if you really want to understand that, this is a book for you.

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