From breakout stand-up comedian Iliza Shlesinger comes a subversively funny collection of essays and observations on a confident woman’s approach to friendship, singlehood, and relationships.
‘Girl Logic’ is Iliza’s term for the way women obsess over details and situations that men don’t necessarily even notice. She describes is as a characteristically female way of thinking that appears to be contradictory and circuitous but is actually a complicated and highly evolved way of looking at the world. When confronted with critical decisions about dating, sex, work, even getting dressed in the morning, Iliza argues that women will by nature consider every repercussion of every option before making a move toward what they really want. And that kind of holistic thinking can actually give women an advantage in what is still a male world.
In Iliza’s own words: “Understanding Girl Logic is a way of embracing both our aspirations and our contradictions. GL is the desire to be strong and vulnerable. It’s wanting to be curvy, but rail thin at the same time. It’s striving to kick ass in a man’s world while still being loved by the women around you. This book is also for me, because apparently expounding on a stage for two hours a night wasn’t enough. (Trust me, if I could start a cult I would, but I hate the idea of deliberately dying in a group.)”
My first introduction to Iliza was her comedy special Confirmed Kills. I’d not long been dating my partner and he suggested I watched this comedian he loved. To be honest, I think I was too focused on gauging his reactions to her jokes, especially the ones with a feminist bent, to really take the show in. Basically all I remember was party goblins and designated search claw. But I was intrigued (by both the boy and Iliza). We’ve now watched it and Freezing Hot countless times and I knew he was a keeper when he pre-ordered Iliza’s debut book as a surprise. (Okay, I’d already decided he was pretty darn good before that, but you get my drift). He was delighted when I finished Girl Logic and declared it one of my all-time favourite books. Big statement, I know. It’s pretty special though.
Part memoir, part guide to life Girl Logic is a book I already feel like I need to re-read to fully appreciate and I know it’s one I can return to throughout my life. From the first page, I was hooked by Iliza’s conversational writing style and trademark humour, as well as the way she walked through things we all face as women: trusting ourselves and having confidence, body image, dating, sex and relationships, being single, friendships, careers, family, understanding text messages from boys (with a handy guide on how to reply based on what you want out of the relationship). Advice is contextualised with Iliza’s own experiences growing up and through early adulthood into her thirties.
One of the things I love most about this book is that Iliza makes it very clear her story, her journey is not at an end. As she says, it’s easy to offer platitudes when you’ve reached this successful pinnacle. But this was written while she was still riding the rollercoaster of her life, relationships and career. The emotions she shares are real and I’m sure most women would find them incredibly relatable. From dating horror and success stories, to how Iliza stood up for herself against horrific, relentless bullying by the male comedians who lost to her on Last Comic Standing, there is at least one story or bit of advice everyone will find helpful. I am of course saying women will find this helpful because the book is written by a woman and aimed at women, but Iliza jokes throughout that there’s plenty for the guys as well. And there is. It’s just written with a female audience (and everyday challenges) in mind. But guys, if you want to get an insight into some of the ways our Girl Logic works, pick up this book. In fact, I’m pretty sure my partner had a few sneaky reads before he gave it to me.
It’s hard to explain how affirming I found Girl Logic and how much it meant to me. I mean, I know that’s the point of the review, but really you just need to read and experience it for yourself. There is something for everyone in here. There are no pithy platitudes from someone who’s ‘made it’ and is showing it’s easy for anyone to get there. Girl Logic is all about acknowledging there will be failures and that life is a work in progress, but you can have a whole lot of fun along the way.
“You Girl Logic will prepare you for a million scenarios where things can go utterly wrong, and it will help you survive when everything falls apart. Rejection happens, but unless you’re dying, there’s no reason you can’t use your GL to help you create an even better opportunity. Anything good in this world was created by someone who cared enough to fail over and over.”
“Be kind. Work hard. Don’t take shit from anyone. And remain merciful.”