Recently I have read a book called Vox by Christina Dalcher. This books was not the sort of book I would usually gravitate towards, and yet somehow, one day when I was in a bookshop, I picked it up and never put it back down. Low and behold, I read it…
Vox is unlike anything I have read before, set in a version of America far different from a land we know today, Vox is a story of a woman who tries to fight back against the system. In place is a system in which women are limited strictly to 100 words a day, any more and they will face repercussions in the form of electrocution from a band they must keep on their wrists. And so the situation only gets worse for women. Soon they can no longer hold jobs and girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice in any shape or form. Before this, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard. This is the story of Jean, and her battle to reclaim her voice for the sake of every silenced women.
I should add, if you are interested in reading this book, there are a few triggers I should make you aware of:
This book is a highly uncomfortable read, it is sexist towards females displaying gendered violence. The book also touches on homophobia, mentions of conversion therapy, electrocution, self-harm, attempted suicide, it also has mention of rape statistics but no rape scenes.
With that being said, I mentioned I found this an incredibly uncomfortable book to read and infuriating from the first page. I found the ending to be the most ridiculous book ending of which I have read. Vox is truly the latest novel to give us a fully inflated misogynist nightmare. I did not get on with this book, not only because it was uncomfortable and it normalised adultery on the basis the love interest was more handsome, an ex lover and and also a work college, but the ending just really took the biscuit.
* SPOILER AHEAD READ WITH CAUTION *
Aside from the adultery and the fact this book made me feel uncomfortable to read, the ending really just missed the mark for me. This book is highly feminist touching on sensitive topics and highlighting how important the power of speech is. So naturally, one may assume that the hero would be the female character as she fights back, and reclaims her voice. You would be assuming wrong. The hero of this book, is a man. I feel like that takes away from the whole premise of the book being pro feminist and fighting back. This wasn’t all I disliked about the book, just one of the larger things that annoyed me. I felt as if nothing else the book focused on was worthwhile, and the author herself had missed the point of the book.
I just didn’t enjoy this book to say the least. However, it certainly did it’s job in making me think further and it also provoked people to talk. Whilst the book itself I find issues with, the premise that women and people who identify as gay are oppressed is one that resonates and mirrors society of today. This is one old tune we ‘minorities’ can still hum. By this I mean, though things are getting better, they are still by no means good. Yet in today’s society, there are still race barriers, and identity issues, sexism, and homophobia and the list could honestly go on and on. These gaps in society are silent and it is time, in the modern age we live, to address this and make everyone equal. These spaces not yet filled create silences that are deafening. It is time we speak out.
It is 2019, it is time for people to be accepted no matter who they are, how they identify, what their background is, who they love.