Guardian review of Difficult Women by Helen Lewis review – a history of feminism in 11 fights

Pioneering women have often been unlikable, argues this witty account. But being difficult is a vital element of feminism

When the former chancellor Ken Clarke described Theresa May as a “bloody difficult woman” in 2016, the subtext was that life would be easier were she more acquiescent, more feminine. But what was delivered as an insult, May decided to take as a compliment; the Fawcett Society liked it so much they put it on a T-shirt. As feminism has moved into the mainstream, and cases of misogyny have made headlines, the world is gradually getting used to women who resist, obstruct or are badly behaved in order to get things done.

Review of the book