Laura Bates, author, journalist and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and former judge of the Women’s Prize for Fiction shared her thoughts and the research that she has undertaken for her new book Fix the System, Not the Women.

The research in Laura’s book ably demonstrates we still have a long way to go until gender equity is reached. This is an important part of our mission here at the Women’s Prize Trust, using books to platform women’s voices. Below Laura tells us a bit more about her new book.

Laura Bates:

Too often, we blame women. For walking home alone at night. For not demanding a seat at the table. For not overcoming the odds that are stacked against them. This distracts us from the real problem: the failings and biases of a society that was not built for women.

The more you think about it, the more absurd it is that people think you can usefully talk about something like sexual violence without discussing the criminal justice system; that a discussion about domestic abuse can be complete without recognising that the roots of power and control we are really talking about begin in childhood and are also plainly on display in the dynamics of our political system, that anyone thinks it is possible to have a conversation about rape that isn’t, also, about education and what is happening in schools.

Misogyny arises from a society in which the sexual objectification, harassment and oppression of women is commonplace and in which the superiority, privilege and entitlement of usually white, heterosexual, non-disabled men goes unchallenged.

We’ve all been thinking of our stories as individual problems – our own personal, coincidental lists. But they are not.

They are connected. And that means that the problem isn’t with us; it is with the system.

Fix the System, Not the Women

Fix the System, Not the Women

by Laura Bates

Find out more

In my book Fix the System, Not the Women, I expose the systemic prejudice at the heart of five of our key institutions.





Criminal justice

Fix the System, Not the Women is a blazing examination of sexual injustice and a rallying cry for reform.

It is time to stop. Time to let our girls learn they have nobody to apologise to and nothing to be ashamed of. Time to raise our boys to disrupt the system.

Isolated incidents. Shocking. Tragic. Unpreventable. But, when something happens once every three days, it isn’t an isolated incident. And that’s how often women are murdered by men in the UK. These are not isolated incidents. They are the opposite. And the opposite of an isolated incident is a pattern.

A big thank you to Laura for sharing her time with us, Fix the System, Not the Women is available at all good bookshops. Watch Laura’s TEDx talk on everyday sexism here.