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Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist

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In this sharp, funny, and incredibly timely collection of personal essays, veteran video blogger and star of MTV's Decoded Franchesca Ramsey explores race, identity, online activism, and the downfall of real communication in the age of social media rants, trolls, and call-out wars. Franchesca Ramsey didn't set out to be an activist. Or a comedian. Or a commentator on ident In this sharp, funny, and incredibly timely collection of personal essays, veteran video blogger and star of MTV's Decoded Franchesca Ramsey explores race, identity, online activism, and the downfall of real communication in the age of social media rants, trolls, and call-out wars. Franchesca Ramsey didn't set out to be an activist. Or a comedian. Or a commentator on identity, race, and culture, really. But then her YouTube video "What White Girls Say. . . to Black Girls" went viral. Twelve million views viral. Faced with an avalanche of media requests, fan letters, and hate mail, she had two choices: Jump in and make her voice heard or step back and let others frame the conversation. After a crash course in social justice and more than a few foot-in-mouth moments, she realized she had a unique talent and passion for breaking down injustice in America in ways that could make people listen and engage. In her first book, Ramsey uses her own experiences as an accidental activist to explore the many ways we communicate with each other--from the highs of bridging gaps and making connections to the many pitfalls that accompany talking about race, power, sexuality, and gender in an unpredictable public space...the internet. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY includes Ramsey's advice on dealing with internet trolls and low-key racists, confessions about being a former online hater herself, and her personal hits and misses in activist debates with everyone from bigoted Facebook friends and misguided relatives to mainstream celebrities and YouTube influencers. With sharp humor and her trademark candor, Ramsey shows readers we can have tough conversations that move the dialogue forward, rather than backward, if we just approach them in the right way.


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In this sharp, funny, and incredibly timely collection of personal essays, veteran video blogger and star of MTV's Decoded Franchesca Ramsey explores race, identity, online activism, and the downfall of real communication in the age of social media rants, trolls, and call-out wars. Franchesca Ramsey didn't set out to be an activist. Or a comedian. Or a commentator on ident In this sharp, funny, and incredibly timely collection of personal essays, veteran video blogger and star of MTV's Decoded Franchesca Ramsey explores race, identity, online activism, and the downfall of real communication in the age of social media rants, trolls, and call-out wars. Franchesca Ramsey didn't set out to be an activist. Or a comedian. Or a commentator on identity, race, and culture, really. But then her YouTube video "What White Girls Say. . . to Black Girls" went viral. Twelve million views viral. Faced with an avalanche of media requests, fan letters, and hate mail, she had two choices: Jump in and make her voice heard or step back and let others frame the conversation. After a crash course in social justice and more than a few foot-in-mouth moments, she realized she had a unique talent and passion for breaking down injustice in America in ways that could make people listen and engage. In her first book, Ramsey uses her own experiences as an accidental activist to explore the many ways we communicate with each other--from the highs of bridging gaps and making connections to the many pitfalls that accompany talking about race, power, sexuality, and gender in an unpredictable public space...the internet. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY includes Ramsey's advice on dealing with internet trolls and low-key racists, confessions about being a former online hater herself, and her personal hits and misses in activist debates with everyone from bigoted Facebook friends and misguided relatives to mainstream celebrities and YouTube influencers. With sharp humor and her trademark candor, Ramsey shows readers we can have tough conversations that move the dialogue forward, rather than backward, if we just approach them in the right way.

30 review for Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist

  1. 5 out of 5

    da AL

    Engaging and likable -- with complete patience and lots of self-disclosure -- Ramsey teaches us how to be higher-minded while reassuring us that it's an ongoing process for her too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    HOLY SHIT. I WON MY FIRST GOODREADS BOOK. So excited to read this. *tear* Okay. So thank you goodreads for picking me - ME - to review this book (and the dozen of others who have read it, you get appraise too). But seriously, I am proud to finally be one of those people who can write a goodreads review for a book I got for free. Franchesca is a familiar name to me. Mainly because I hivemind on ONTD and that's how I found out about her. I watched her publicity rise and supported her through and thr HOLY SHIT. I WON MY FIRST GOODREADS BOOK. So excited to read this. *tear* Okay. So thank you goodreads for picking me - ME - to review this book (and the dozen of others who have read it, you get appraise too). But seriously, I am proud to finally be one of those people who can write a goodreads review for a book I got for free. Franchesca is a familiar name to me. Mainly because I hivemind on ONTD and that's how I found out about her. I watched her publicity rise and supported her through and through. All though he has made mistakes here and there, she is one of my favorite ladies to listen to when it comes to feminism and woc rights. I being a white girl can and will never understand what woc of face, but reading her book, I am allowed to see where I stand where I am needed. Her book is not only like a self-help book, it's a tale about a girl who was thrown into the world of activism without actually trying to be one in the beginning. She humbly admits her faults, her struggles, her fears and comes clean about a few things. Better yet, she takes her haters head on and allows me, the reader, to find better ways to get around those ugly conversations you have with friends who are not on the same mindset as you are regarding race and equality. I really recommend her book and will always look forward to anything else she releases. <3 Thank you goodreads for allowing my first book to be one I really wanted to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Megan (Best of Fates)

    This book is less memoir and more guide to how to critique and be critiqued, told through her own mistakes and experiences. I have somewhat followed Fran's career (i.e. I followed her on Snapchat and tried to remember to watch The Nightly Show) so was somewhat familiar with lots of the stories she shares but appreciated being reintroduced to them from her current perspective. A really fast, enjoyable read and a good reminder that we can all do better.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hanna

    Franchesca Ramsey has been an Internet personality I've enjoyed watching since she joined MTV's Decoded. She's smart, open, and willing to learn just as much as she's willing to guide & teach. This book was basically activism 101, and is absolutely something I would have enjoyed deeper if It had come up a few years ago. As I am further into my activism journey, this felt redundant. That being said, just because it wasn't applicable for me, doesn't mean it's not relevant. I think this is a fi Franchesca Ramsey has been an Internet personality I've enjoyed watching since she joined MTV's Decoded. She's smart, open, and willing to learn just as much as she's willing to guide & teach. This book was basically activism 101, and is absolutely something I would have enjoyed deeper if It had come up a few years ago. As I am further into my activism journey, this felt redundant. That being said, just because it wasn't applicable for me, doesn't mean it's not relevant. I think this is a fine book for folks just starting their journey, but can be passed up by folks a little more well-seasoned in the activism world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Naeemah Huggins

    I learned a whole lot. The internet is mean, people can be hateful and we live in the era of call out culture. I also learned that it's important to respect the culture and sensitivities of others, to stand solidly in my own truth while keeping an empathetic mindset and that it's useless to argue with internet trolls. Francesca moved my needle on a particular topic: interracial dating and marriage. It's already hard for them and their families to navigate and it's none of my business. To each his I learned a whole lot. The internet is mean, people can be hateful and we live in the era of call out culture. I also learned that it's important to respect the culture and sensitivities of others, to stand solidly in my own truth while keeping an empathetic mindset and that it's useless to argue with internet trolls. Francesca moved my needle on a particular topic: interracial dating and marriage. It's already hard for them and their families to navigate and it's none of my business. To each his own, love and respect to everyone. You can be woke and socially conscious and still be in an interracial relationship. I have a ways to go to be on the pro side of the argument but the needle has moved closer to the middle. The book delves into all the pitfalls of the social media era, call out culture, call-in culture, hash tags, and social justice. I'm more internet savvy for having read it and also considerably more woke than before. I finally get intersectionality. Thanks Francesca.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    *I received an advanced reader copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway* I've been a fan of Franchesca Ramsey for a while and have followed her success and evolution from YouTuber to panelist on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and host of MTV's Decoded.. Ramsey's book recounts this journey for those who may be unfamiliar with her work and provides important context surrounding it for those who are. Ramsey's book reads like an extended version of one of her videos in the sense that it pro *I received an advanced reader copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway* I've been a fan of Franchesca Ramsey for a while and have followed her success and evolution from YouTuber to panelist on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and host of MTV's Decoded.. Ramsey's book recounts this journey for those who may be unfamiliar with her work and provides important context surrounding it for those who are. Ramsey's book reads like an extended version of one of her videos in the sense that it provides readers with information about issues of race, gender, sexuality, and inequality, infusing humor and frankness whenever possible. What distinguishes the book from her videos, is Ramsey's openness about her stumbles and downright failures as a social media and television personality. She admits at multiple points in the book that sharing these failures is difficult but important to do. Alongside these reflections, Ramsey shares advice to readers about navigating social media and in-person interactions that are now so often grounded in "call-out culture." Readers should not worry about unfamiliarity with Ramsey or even the terms she uses to describe these phenomena: "call-out" versus "call-in"; "TERF"; "MRA"; etc. are defined for readers both in the text, through footnotes, and a useful glossary at the end of the text. Ever the teacher, Ramsey's writing reassures readers that not knowing something does not remove them from the conversation. Rather, it positions them as listeners who have a chance to learn more. There were sections of the book that I wanted more from. In one chapter, Ramsey describes the various television shows, movies, and songs that she has decided to boycott due to racist, sexist, cissexist, etc. content. While this list might be helpful for those who are curious about Ramsey's viewing or listening habits, it differs from other chapters in the sense that it does not provide a heuristic or method for reaching those conclusions about other media. Readers might be amused that despite her dislike, Ramsey still hate-watches Game of Thrones, but they might not have a clear idea of when or how to articulate why they want to stop watching, listening, or participating in any given show or fandom. Arguably the most useful sections of Ramsey's book are on call-out culture and how to best address a friend, family member, co-worker, or even rando that posts or says something racist, sexist, or homophobic. Ramsey's attention to how to avoid feeding trolls and alienating friends--while fully admitting she has been guilty of both--gives readers a place to start engaging meaningfully with people they care about on difficult subjects. There's even a flowchart on when to unfriend someone! Ramsey's book is a great tool for those unsure of how to navigate what seems like an ever more hostile social media (and in-person) climate. Whether you're engaging in larger scale activist activities or simply trying to confront your Uncle Ron about his fascination with racist memes, Ramsey's book is a guide worth picking up.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shana

    ***I won an ARC of this book through a GoodReads giveaway*** This book strikes a remarkable balance between Franchesca Ramsey's personal experiences (quirks, snafus, and all!) and reader education. Because she so deftly switches between the two, it never comes across as preachy or holier-than-thou, and that's hard to do! She is humble, and yet clearly experienced and knowledgeable about what and how she has come to learn all that she has as an activist. I appreciated her vulnerability, by which I ***I won an ARC of this book through a GoodReads giveaway*** This book strikes a remarkable balance between Franchesca Ramsey's personal experiences (quirks, snafus, and all!) and reader education. Because she so deftly switches between the two, it never comes across as preachy or holier-than-thou, and that's hard to do! She is humble, and yet clearly experienced and knowledgeable about what and how she has come to learn all that she has as an activist. I appreciated her vulnerability, by which I mean her courage in sharing the parts of her journey that aren't polished and neat. She allows the reader to sit in that discomfort with her, but also join her in growth. She models the kind of self-reflectiveness that we all could benefit from adopting (especially in this current political and social climate). I like to think of wokeness as a journey and not a destination, and I think it goes along well with what she has to say about activism being like long division in that you have to show your work. None of us start off as perfectly formed activists and if we ever feel as if we've arrived, it's probably a sign that we need to take a step back and reassess. Thank goodness for Ramsey's well-timed book and for her continued commitment to doing the work and allowing us to share in her successes and lessons learned!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

    I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. As always, an honest review. Well That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist tells the story of Francesca Ramsey’s journey into activism. She starts as a YouTuber with a moderate following and still works her normal daytime job. When her video, Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, goes viral her life changes. While it’s not immediate stardom, a lot of people have seen her videos and her voice reaches many more I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. As always, an honest review. Well That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist tells the story of Francesca Ramsey’s journey into activism. She starts as a YouTuber with a moderate following and still works her normal daytime job. When her video, Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, goes viral her life changes. While it’s not immediate stardom, a lot of people have seen her videos and her voice reaches many more people than before. While she didn’t set out to be an activist, she was calling out racism, sexism, and overall not so great behavior. The book takes us through her journey into activism including all the struggles along the way. I enjoyed the book for it’s serious yet light hearted approach to activism. Sometimes I was cringing along with the author’s stories. I would suggest this memoir to anyone who wants a, dare I say fun, easy approach to learning more about activism and social justice. There were very few aspects of this memoir that I didn’t enjoy. Some of Franchesca’s past behavior made me cringe. She admits that she was wrong and how she remedied the situations, but they weren’t my favorite parts to read. Also, some of the detail oriented aspects about a career online weren’t the most intriguing parts to me. If you’re interested in that career field, then you might feel differently. The biggest appeal for me was the honest way the author tells her story. She doesn’t sugar coat or dumb down things, nor does she try to make people feel ignorant. She’s inclusive. She wants to invite people to hear her story and learn along the way. I especially enjoyed the list of offensive words that people don’t realize they’re using and why they’re problematic. Such examples include spirit animal, spas, and lame. I also loved the eulogies for cringe worthy comments; a list of ignorant offensive things that people say and good intelligent comebacks to them. Franchesca also mentions the importance of self care for activists. I especially appreciated this. Well That Escalated Quickly is a serious informative but fun book that shows the author’s quirky personality. I definitely recommend this approachable memoir.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Beverly

    Conflict resolution for the social media age: FTW!!! This isn’t usually my type of book, but everyone who owns a social media account should be forced to read this book before using said account. There are lots of great concepts - calling in vs calling out, learning to live your natural self, criticizing without personal attacks, haters vs trolls, and fighting racism - and practical examples of how to use those concepts. I really hope there’s a young readers version of this book coming, because Conflict resolution for the social media age: FTW!!! This isn’t usually my type of book, but everyone who owns a social media account should be forced to read this book before using said account. There are lots of great concepts - calling in vs calling out, learning to live your natural self, criticizing without personal attacks, haters vs trolls, and fighting racism - and practical examples of how to use those concepts. I really hope there’s a young readers version of this book coming, because I feel like it contains really useful concepts for owning a social media account responsibly.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Stacy

    Published in 2018, the how-to-be-a-better-activist self-help memoir, "Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist," by Franchesca Ramsey, is a useful and funny book to read. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a crash course in modern social justice activism. It's a very quick read, something you can finish in a day or two. I'm glad that I read this book, but there were parts that made me really angry. I needed a few weeks to let my anger calm before I co Published in 2018, the how-to-be-a-better-activist self-help memoir, "Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist," by Franchesca Ramsey, is a useful and funny book to read. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a crash course in modern social justice activism. It's a very quick read, something you can finish in a day or two. I'm glad that I read this book, but there were parts that made me really angry. I needed a few weeks to let my anger calm before I could type up this review. When I picked up this book, I didn't know who Franchesca Ramsey was, so I had to go online and look up the YouTube video she filmed that made her a star. It's titled, "Shit White Girls Say... to Black Girls." The video is a remake of a misogynistic comedy video titled "Shit Girls Say" -- a video I did *not* watch, because I don't need the extra misogyny in my life. Franchesca Ramsey's remake video dealt with misogynoir: the combined racism and sexism that black women face. I will note that Franchesca Ramsey has never made a video titled, "Shit White Boys Say... to Black Girls." Or a video titled, "Shit White Boys Say... to Black Boys." Without the comedic engine of misogyny to run on, those videos would never be popular enough to go viral, of course, which certainly dampens the appeal. Don't mess with the Almighty Patriarchy, and all of that. White Boys are king, but go ahead and mock "dumb blondes" all you like, which is what Franchesca Ramsey does in "Shit White Girls Say... to Black Girls." She puts on a blonde wig and talks like a vapid sorority sister, or like those clueless rich women that people make fun of in movies like "Pretty Woman" (like those snooty sales ladies who won't let Julia Roberts shop in their store). You can certainly laugh at the video, because its real comedic heart is running on the "dumb blonde" jokes people can't ever seem to get enough of. (To the blonde-haired women of the world: I am truly, truly sorry. Please be warned about that blonde wig before you click on the video.) As to the misogynoir in the video, Franchesca Ramsey used comments people have said to her in real life for her script, and her video shed light on the fact that a lot of white women (and probably white men, too) treat black women like animals. (And I'm sure those women -- and men -- had hair of all different colors.) The video made Franchesca Ramsey internet famous, and she was interviewed on shows like Anderson Cooper 360 to talk about it. Her fame ended up launching her career in online and television media and social justice activism. I'm glad that she made this video and shed light on this problem. I just wish she had called out the white boys along with the white girls. I'm a white woman, and I've never asked a stranger if I could pet their hair like a goat, or spoken any of the lines used in the video. I have certainly cuddled up with black people in bed before, and have touched my share of black hair, but being in bed with someone is not the same as meeting someone at a cocktail party and immediately grabbing at them like they're a sweater on a sales rack. It's extremely sad and sh*tty to me that white people do this crap to black people. Franchesca Ramsey isn't the first writer or activist to shed light on this problem, but her video was a great step forward in educating white people to please knock this sh*t off. The first seven chapters of the book are focused on memoir material, and Franchesca Ramsey uses sentences with "I" to narrate this section in the first person. But starting with Chapter Eight (page 119), the book shifts into a second-person narrative, and Franchesca Ramsey begins to address the reader as "you." Her tone changes from a person struggling to learn about social justice activism into the voice of a teacher or expert, and this is where the book ran into problems for me. Once Franchesca Ramsey takes the stance of a teacher or activism guide/expert, then the content of her book suddenly becomes problematic. This is a woman who is trying to teach the reader about racism, ableism, misogynoir, and other forms of oppression -- she even includes an extensive glossary of terms at the end of this book -- and yet she wrote ableist language throughout the text of this book, and neither she nor her editor thought to remove it. It makes me sad and upset. If this had been solely a memoir, I would have taken the ableist slurs in the text the way I do most ableism I encounter in books: it's pretty much everywhere, and people are clueless, and it is what it is. But. This book is a teaching manual. And you shouldn't act like you're teaching someone about ableism and put ableist slurs in your social justice activism book. I just don't understand why this EVER passed as okay. For example, on page 62, Franchesca Ramsey is educating the reader about why the term "spirit animal" should not be used by anyone who is not Native American. Above that paragraph of text, she is describing the difference between calling in and calling out offensive behavior and speech: "The call-in voice is like the stupid airplane noises you make when you're feeding your nephew a spoonful of veggies." The word "stupid" is an ableist slur that appears again on page 98 and page 215. She also has this line on page 74: "I've often joked that 'The Relaxer' sounds like a crappy horror movie in which a maniacal killer tortures natural-haired women with scorching-hot chemical ooze and then forces them to pay money for it." Linguistic ableism like this is very common. I can understand why Franchesca Ramsey used terms like "stupid" and "maniacal" this way. But for an activism manual that addresses the reader as "you," and specifically talks about disability activism, these slurs should have been removed from the text. But the part of this book that actually hurt me arrived on page 150, when Franchesca Ramsey is teaching the reader why using the word "spaz" is not okay. Within this page of text is a story about how she and her theater friends in eighth grade used to go out in public together, and one friend would pretend to be "a mentally disabled character she called Sylvia." Sylvia would do obnoxious things in the store, while the other theater kids would all pretend to be her inept caretakers. Sylvia would ask ridiculous, embarrassing questions of the staff (such as holding up a box of feminine hygiene products and asking, "Can I try these on?") and then Sylvia would sometimes trash the store by knocking "a row of adult diapers off a shelf," before everyone in their group would run out of the store. This was, by far, the *sh*ttiest* thing that takes place in this whole book. A group of eighth graders who are out mocking people with mental disabilities and cerebral palsy by behaving obnoxiously and knocking over store product and damaging property is worse than any other behavior described in this book, including Franchesca Ramsey's transphobic sidewalk comedy routine that she discusses later. (A comedy routine she abandoned once she realized it was transphobic). Franchesca Ramsey also seems to believe that every able-bodied person goes through some kind of "phase" of hating on people like this when they're young. "If this sounds 'so high school,' that's because high school is where you learn this kind of behavior" (page 121/122). I'm sorry, but no. No, Franchesca Ramsey. You're wrong. Not everyone learns this behavior in high school. Franchesca Ramsey repeats in this book that she did not grow up "rich." And what she means by that is actually this: "I have a lot of class privilege that I refuse to acknowledge in the same way that I have a lot of able-bodied privilege that I refuse to acknowledge. But you should still listen to me because I am smarter and more #woke than you and here's my glossary of terms to prove how educated I am." Franchesca Ramsey is like a *lot* of people who grow up middle-class or upper-middle class: they get *very* upset when anyone calls them "rich" because they refuse to see how many people are a lot lower on the socioeconomic scale than they are. These people only want to consider those who are financially equal to them or people who they financially aspire to be, not any of the millions of people who are economically beneath them. I want to tell Franchesca Ramsey this: I grew up in poverty, and when you grow up in poverty, your friends are whoever will take you. You don't get to hate on people with disabilities, the way affluent, able-bodied kids can be ableist assholes like you and your friends were in eighth grade. You *did* grow up with class privilege, Franchesca Ramsey. And you can whine and whine all you want about how "not rich" you are, but I can tell you right now, you were a lot better off than me, and in my world, you DID qualify as "rich." I would have definitely used that word for you growing up. And if I'd seen you performing your ableist comedy show in a store with your friends, my friends and I would have definitely been disgusted by you and your rich friends. We would have certainly known you were assholes. Reading about Franchesca Ramsey's sh*tty behavior, coupled with all of her "I am *not* rich" commentary, plunged me into a dark night of the soul. Bad memories from my own years in high school and junior high resurfaced, and I thought of all my friends growing up who had physical and mental disabilities. Some had dyslexia so severe they never learned how to read; some friends had autism but we didn't know what it was at the time; my brother's best friend in high school was legally blind and impoverished, and he spent a lot of time at our house; my mother was mentally ill and had a number of mental breakdowns that required time spent in a psychiatric ward; my best friend in childhood couldn't even graduate high school because it was easier for the school to expel her than to give her the assistance she needed. She had suffered brain damage from a car accident when she was a small child, and her family lived in poverty, and some school systems just "get rid" of people like that, instead of helping them. And then here is Franchesca Ramsey. Assuming that all of us learn how to hate and mock people "beneath us" just because we're able-bodied and attending high school. No. No, we don't all learn this. Privilege allows for that bullshit. Privilege teaches this level of hatred. But grow up on the bottom, and there's no one beneath you to hate on. When you're on the bottom, you can't "avoid" people with disabilities because you're too busy mocking them in comedy routines with your theater friends. And you don't understand that, Franchesca Ramsey. You still haven't learned that lesson. Or you wouldn't write so much ableist class privilege into your book. Despite how angry and upset parts of this book made me, I would still recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about modern social justice activism. I would not give this book to anyone who grew up in poverty or has a physical or mental disability without first warning them that there are some ableist slurs on the page and a lot of unacknowledged class privilege. Reading this book helped me have an epiphany about how microaggressions are often erased in fiction (novels, short stories, Hollywood films) for the simple reason that microaggressions are how "good people" uphold oppression today. As a fiction writer, I frequently turn to nonfiction like this memoir to learn more about how people think and behave, and Franchesca Ramsey has a lot of great material to share about modern online activism and the dangers that lurk there. She also shares a lot of wonderful material about growing up with natural black hair and learning how to appreciate the beauty in her natural hair. There is a great deal of educational material in this book, and there is far more good in this book than the few parts that deeply upset me. Books written by the middle class for the middle class are the norm in publishing. It just hurt that I could see places in this book when the author basically says, "I'm not talking to you." Maybe she'll make a video titled, "Shit People Say... to Disabled People" as a public service for her activist causes. Or "Shit People Say... to Poor People." Which could also be useful. And she won't have the blonde wig anymore, because she'll be done with the "dumb blonde" jokes, having recognized that jokes that run on ableist misogyny are "punching down," and are therefore not helping. A girl can hope, anyway. 3.5 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Camryn

    I liked this a lot.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Destri

    I received an advanced copy of this book via Goodreads giveaway. I love this book! I agree with previous comments that it's not too heavy on the memoir but it does consist of a lot of honest self reflection about her activism and internet presence. As the internet and its content continues expanding I think these kind of self reflective looks at how we can use the internet more effectively will be important for keeping it an essential element of activism. I also think this book had a lot of good I received an advanced copy of this book via Goodreads giveaway. I love this book! I agree with previous comments that it's not too heavy on the memoir but it does consist of a lot of honest self reflection about her activism and internet presence. As the internet and its content continues expanding I think these kind of self reflective looks at how we can use the internet more effectively will be important for keeping it an essential element of activism. I also think this book had a lot of good insight for anyone trying to get into activism or maybe dig a little deeper into it. I also found that explanation of language and concepts made it a book accessable to those who aren't as familiar with social justice terminology. And all of the positive content is told through a narrative voice that is humerous and engaging. I basically couldn't put this book down! Definitely a recommended read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robin Graber

    Holy crap this book was good. Franchesca goes into the mistakes she made, times she messed up, and how she grew and learned as an activist. I loved her openness and honesty in this book, and hearing her read it was the best way to read this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Wyn

    Franchesca is such a smart, honest, and funny voice, and it was so much fun to read through her stories and learnings. In a world where discourse on important issues often lacks nuance, and the people most often claiming to bring nuance/qualifiers to a discussion are doing it in bad faith, it was super refreshing to read Franchesca's really sincere and insightful explanations and experiences. She never lessens the importance of systematic problems but also lets them have some complexity, and tha Franchesca is such a smart, honest, and funny voice, and it was so much fun to read through her stories and learnings. In a world where discourse on important issues often lacks nuance, and the people most often claiming to bring nuance/qualifiers to a discussion are doing it in bad faith, it was super refreshing to read Franchesca's really sincere and insightful explanations and experiences. She never lessens the importance of systematic problems but also lets them have some complexity, and that complexity gives her and others genuinely trying to make the world a better place some room to grow and learn in how to best do the work. Also, she's funny as hell, so please, do yourself a favor and read this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Social media memoir meets Franchesca's evolution in understanding and advocating for social justice, foibles and all. Handy guide on dealing with pervasive internet trolls. When to call in, when to call out. What that means. If you're a fan of her YouTube videos, you'll also love this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    I've been aware of Franchesca Ramsey since she posted her powerful video sharing her rape experience, and I have kept up with her Twitter via RT's that have made their way onto my timeline, but I have not watched Decoded, or Larry Wilmore or stayed on top of every social media scandal Ramsey has been involved in. But that didn't take away my enjoyment of this book at all. Ramsey has written a guide to activism in the online age, a witty, hilarious collection of memories and missteps about what n I've been aware of Franchesca Ramsey since she posted her powerful video sharing her rape experience, and I have kept up with her Twitter via RT's that have made their way onto my timeline, but I have not watched Decoded, or Larry Wilmore or stayed on top of every social media scandal Ramsey has been involved in. But that didn't take away my enjoyment of this book at all. Ramsey has written a guide to activism in the online age, a witty, hilarious collection of memories and missteps about what not to do from someone who is considered a "queen" of online social justice. If you're interested in any of the above, you'll find this book both entertaining and illuminating.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharlena

    **I received an advanced review copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways.** 3.5 stars. This was a quick, easy read. This wasn't so much a memoir as it was a how-to primer on social media and activism. Ms. Ramsey's writing style is conversational, accessible and funny which made this book enjoyable to read. Anyone who is familiar with social media or activism, in general, may not find a lot of new information here but should still be able to enjoy this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adeshola Obafemi

    I loved it This book exceeded my expectations (which were already high as a kite). So proud of Chesca's journey and can't wait to see what she does next. Quick and easy read, extremely funny. The do's and dont's of activism broken down in only a way Chesca's could!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Just Reading Everything

    Everything about this is so, so great and honest. There are certainly many people in my life who NEED to read it. Don't miss out on this one!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amaka

    I enjoyed reading about Franchesa’s unexpected rise to YouTube “stardom” and the steps (and equipment) needed to make that happen. The transitions were perfect and the stories were ridiculous, in a good way though. The only issue I had was her approach on some issues. She made it clear that there is a distinction between call-out culture and call-in and how it is necessary to do both when need be. Some of her interactions with her friends proved otherwise though; sometimes it seems like she was I enjoyed reading about Franchesa’s unexpected rise to YouTube “stardom” and the steps (and equipment) needed to make that happen. The transitions were perfect and the stories were ridiculous, in a good way though. The only issue I had was her approach on some issues. She made it clear that there is a distinction between call-out culture and call-in and how it is necessary to do both when need be. Some of her interactions with her friends proved otherwise though; sometimes it seems like she was scolding friends who may not have known or had little to no information about certain issues. I don’t really understand the accidental activist part; I didn’t get that from reading the book. Towards the middle and definitely in the end it felt less about her life and more about telling the reader how to combat racist trolls and pure ignorance. I love that she’s unapologetically her and that she rights her wrongs and doesn’t have a problem admitting that.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    A funny, informative and entertaining read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Latiffany

    This review contains spoilers!!! I first encountered Francheska Ramsey on YouTube. I was transitioning into natural hair and loved her loc tutorials. It feels almost as if I watched her career blossom from the bathroom loc tutorials, to the viral video, her appearance on Anderson Cooper, being a guest on some of my favorite podcasts, writing jokes for Tracee Ellis Ross among other fantastic opportunities. I was and still am happy to see her thrive and I hope her book makes the NY Times list. I bo This review contains spoilers!!! I first encountered Francheska Ramsey on YouTube. I was transitioning into natural hair and loved her loc tutorials. It feels almost as if I watched her career blossom from the bathroom loc tutorials, to the viral video, her appearance on Anderson Cooper, being a guest on some of my favorite podcasts, writing jokes for Tracee Ellis Ross among other fantastic opportunities. I was and still am happy to see her thrive and I hope her book makes the NY Times list. I bought it specifically for that reason. But... I had to unfollow many of Ramsey's social media platforms. It seemed to me that while she has every right to defend herself against trolls, she was always engaged in battle. It seemed exhausting. I was tired for her and of her. I have watched complete meltdowns on her snapchat and her screaming into her phone about missing packages. This links to her book because it is interesting that she points out times when she was not on her best social media behavior and it was during those times that I hit the unfollow button. I think I am following her on Twitter again. It is incredibly brave to own up to your mistakes. Ramsey uses this book to outline social media and in real life missteps and what she learned. She provides the reader with tips on how to avoid social media pitfalls and how to engage with your online followers and friends in a non offensive manner. Yet, even with all of that, Ramsey still comes off as a mean girl. I had hoped that maybe I was reading too much into her online personality, but no. I was not a fan of the tone of most of this book. There were portions that felt extremely condescending and judgmental. As I mentioned, she writes jokes, so maybe the humor was lost on me. There were also life moments that left me puzzled regarding her decision making. I cringed during the portions where she discussed hate watching Girls and making YouTube videos about the show, making peace with Lena Dunham and attempting to make peace with one of her trolls after being inspired by a This American Life episode. She goes into detail about her relationship with her fans and I raised an eyebrow when she mentioned paying hundreds of dollars to workout in private to avoid being asked to take sweaty photos. I do empathize with her on the crap that she gets for marrying a white man. The situations and comments that she has had to navigate in her personal and online life are downright ridiculous. This was not a great read. There were some wonderful sections and it is a great educational tool for those who spend a significant amount of time online. The end of the book offers a explanation of various terms and felt like filler. With that being said you may read this book and absolutely love Francheska Ramsey. I recommend that you give it a try and form your own opinion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I cannot remember how long I have been following Francesca’s career, but I can say for certain that her work has been influential to my understanding of numerous social justice concepts. Plus, as a social worker, whose profession is dedicated to social justice and discussing privilege, oppression, and the systems that keep those forces alive, I really appreciate her perspective and how she is able to explain these concepts for a wide range of folks. I was so excited to learn that she was release I cannot remember how long I have been following Francesca’s career, but I can say for certain that her work has been influential to my understanding of numerous social justice concepts. Plus, as a social worker, whose profession is dedicated to social justice and discussing privilege, oppression, and the systems that keep those forces alive, I really appreciate her perspective and how she is able to explain these concepts for a wide range of folks. I was so excited to learn that she was releases a book, and I immediately marked it as want to read as soon as I knew of its existence. I really appreciate Frachesca’s sense of humor, humility, and willingness to continue to grow as an individual both professionally and personally. I really admire her, and I found this memoir to be funny, refreshing, and so incredibly relatable. I appreciate how real she is about where she has stumbled, and I think she provides consistent and solid advice around how to have hard conversations and how to integrate new knowledge into action/practice. I love that she delineates so clearly the nuances of calling in vs. calling out, because I had not thought of it in those terms before. The index including definitions for individuals who may be newer to social justice, activism, and advocacy is very helpful. I think this memoir is great for anyone who is interested in social justice and activism, whether you’re new to it or not. It could be a very useful tool toward having more difficult conversations with friends, family, coworkers, etc. I appreciate that Franchesca also discussing self-care practices and where to place your energy. I have so often tried so hard to convince and use research to encourage folks to shift their perspectives, and sometimes, it just does not work, and I appreciate so much that Franchesca recognizes that that can be so draining. I am looking forward to practicing and trying out some of the suggestions Franchesca gives. Also, I have to shamelessly plug for Last Name Basis, which has a whole chapter dedicated to it in this book. If you aren’t listening to that podcast and you like podcasts, I would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed this memoir. Patrick and Francesca make me laugh so hard every single episode, and for me, listening to that podcast is one of my self-care practices! I definitely probably look somewhat odd to my fellow commuters on public transit, because I always end up smiling and laughing unabashedly as I listen.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Do yourself the service by listening to the audiobook. Franchesca Ramsey's narration of her half self-help, half memoir is every bit as delightful as her quipy writing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Overall I really enjoyed this book. Instances of where more person-first language could have been used (e.g., persons with disabilities vs disabled people), but not enough to detract from the overall message and utility.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dani(elle)

    One of those books that makes me want to be a better person by reminding me that I can be.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Constance Marie

    I devoured this book. The only reason I had to put it down was because it was 3 am and I seriously needed to go to sleep (with only three chapters left!!) *you don’t understand how hard that was for me* You also don’t understand how hard it was for me to wait for this book to be released. As soon as she announced she was working on a book I was PUMPED! Then when the release date was announced I felt like time was going by so slowly 😫 it was hard to wait, but it was worth it. Ramsey is funny af. I I devoured this book. The only reason I had to put it down was because it was 3 am and I seriously needed to go to sleep (with only three chapters left!!) *you don’t understand how hard that was for me* You also don’t understand how hard it was for me to wait for this book to be released. As soon as she announced she was working on a book I was PUMPED! Then when the release date was announced I felt like time was going by so slowly 😫 it was hard to wait, but it was worth it. Ramsey is funny af. I laughed so much while I read her book and had so many ‘mhm’ moments, especially during the ‘call out/call in’ chapters. I’ve had my fair share of calling out people and relate to the hours spent going back and forth with people online. It was so time consuming and at first I had convinced myself it was nothing, but slowly saw how much time I wasted on people who 1) never truly wanted to learn and 2) got off on being offensive. It can really drain you. While I have stepped away from doing that reading the book and having to think back to the time made me laugh and not be so hard on myself for it! There was a lot more going on with her emotionally than I knew (and I followed her on Snapchat and saw some of the breakdowns) it was really interesting to know more BTS feelings because I wouldn’t have guessed she was that drained (her talking about her breakdown to Larry) I was going back and forth with people on a much smaller scale than her and i had moments of breaking down that I didn’t understand, but the stuff she’s had to put up with? Lord! If you’re looking for a funny, enlightening and educational read I would definitely recommend this to you. I follow a lot of her work already, but if you’re interested to know more I would say READ THIS NOW! And then GO WATCH DECODED! And of course LISTEN TO LAST NAME BASIS (she and pat are HILARIOUS)! TL;DR 5 star book just read it already!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bayley

    Maybe a 4.5 but I believe strongly in rounding up. And the .5 off could be the headache I have. So maybe not her fault. If you are at all interested in activism on any front you should read this book. BUT I also low key think that anyone with an online presence should be required to read this book. And by online presence I think that expands from having a Facebook page to internet famous. This book is part memoir of internet notoriety and part a map to online activism, calling out, and how to be Maybe a 4.5 but I believe strongly in rounding up. And the .5 off could be the headache I have. So maybe not her fault. If you are at all interested in activism on any front you should read this book. BUT I also low key think that anyone with an online presence should be required to read this book. And by online presence I think that expands from having a Facebook page to internet famous. This book is part memoir of internet notoriety and part a map to online activism, calling out, and how to be conscious of others. I found a lot of this useful. And it made me reflect on online conversations I had in the past. I probably should not have yelled at people in YouTube comments when I was in middle school. Those were clearly trolls. But it also helped me have a clearer framework for calling people in that I wish I had in the past. Things would probably have been easier. Francesca is also just a funny refreshing person. I have loved her videos and Twitter (and Snapchat and insta and podcast) for years and was very excited to read her book. I would have liked a touch more personal stories but I also totally see how that was not in the framework of the book. Maybe I was not even more personal things I was looking for but a little more about offline interaction and activism. It does not completely revolve around the internet so maybe this isn’t totally correct either. Either way the book was great and I read it in two sittings. And I totally assume I will be reaching for it in the future. And recommending it to everyone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cat C

    I received a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway, and it has not affected my review. So, honestly, I'd never heard of this author before, and I'd never seen any of the YouTube videos she'd made, or even the original YouTube videos that inspired the parody she went viral for. However, the title grabbed me. "Well, that escalated quickly" is exactly what I've seen happen time and time again on various social media platforms whenever certain themes are in play (racism, sexism, identity, politics, et I received a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway, and it has not affected my review. So, honestly, I'd never heard of this author before, and I'd never seen any of the YouTube videos she'd made, or even the original YouTube videos that inspired the parody she went viral for. However, the title grabbed me. "Well, that escalated quickly" is exactly what I've seen happen time and time again on various social media platforms whenever certain themes are in play (racism, sexism, identity, politics, etc). And I did love reading about her experience, and the lessons she learned. I appreciated that she explored times that she was too hesitant to call out something as racist, but also some times that she felt that she was too quick to call out some random person who then got piled on by her Twitter followers -- basically, both sides of the extremes involved. And her story and her explanations of social justice themes are all very accessible, with a great dose of humor. So it's a very educational book, but one that's so delightful you hardly recognize you're learning things like the distinction between calling out and calling in, and advice on when to choose one or the other. Highly recommended for anyone who can sympathize with that title.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Grace Sanchez

    I’ve enjoyed this author since following her on the Nightly Show as the Twitter interpreter (something I’ve consciously chosen to avoid)and later on her Facebook postings of her Decoded shorts for MTV. She is honest and forthcoming about her own experiences navigating various social media platforms and of life in general.

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