Our ReviewsThe Visibility Trap by Mary McGill

The Visibility Trap by Mary McGill


Essential reading. The truth is I read this months ago but I struggled to distil my feelings into a caption. For my immediate reaction swipe to see my crazed email to the author. Many books later it still reverberates. It reset my brain. It felt like a jolt, suddenly I could see The Matrix, understand myself & the world better. I laughed, cried & raged.

This book means even more because the author sent us a copy. Feminist non fiction is a passion I have shared online which she had seen. This wasn’t a request to review or post, Dr McGill is a scholar & when I inhaled her book I felt really emotional that a woman of her intellect & erudition would reach out to me. I have purchased copies for friends & it is one of my favourite books of all time. I wish I could have discussed it with my professors & used it in my feminism thesis.

The Visibility Trap is an exceptionally readable, propulsive look at social media, how technology can be a form of misogynist surveillance & the way this affects our lives incessantly. Every page is a hit of self esteem. Dr McGill picks apart the addictive algorithms, the insidious normalised culture of comparison & body shaming having a catastrophic affect on mental health. What are the downfalls of being visible online? Who chooses who gets to be seen? 

Blending her research with anecdotal testimonies & an excoriating look at everything from the Kardashians to the rise & violence of revenge porn, she brings so many strands together to form a fascinating, powerful analysis & guide.

The truth is I needed this book. I am by nature a competitive, hyper focused, over thinker & I found myself comparing our perceived success which drained the enjoyment of just connecting with people about books. I am always vigilant about what I post online, but it changed how I engage with so much around me. 

The truth is it woke me up & gave me back some boundaries. This is feminist non fiction for everyone at its very best. This is why I am a reader. Because books can sometimes reach into the depths of your mind & soul & help you. Buy this book. Mary, you have my undying loyalty. I will read everything you write. C

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