Era of Ignition is Amber Tamblyn’s feminist manifesto that is part memoir part call to arms for women, primarily American women, to stand up for themselves and their sisters against the patriarchy. Tamblyn, a child star most recognized for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Joan of Arcadia, became a force in the Me Too movement after she publish an op-ed in the New York Times. She also famously joined the Women’s March in January 2017 while she was 8 months pregnant, with a daughter.
“This world demands nothing short of perfection from women who aim high, and our need to see perfection in women has, until recently, far outweighed our need for their participation.”
Tamblyn is shockingly raw. She recounts the abortion she had months into her marriage because she was floundering and couldn’t see herself thriving as a mother at that time. Admittedly I struggled to take Tamblyn seriously in the wake of her husband’s scandal involving racist comments towards Charlyne Yi but she addresses David’s comments and does not absolve him. I’m sure this, along with his connection to Jeffrey Tambor, playing out in the public eye at the same time she was making a name for herself as a feminist force was not something Amber had anticipated but Era of Ignition is well constructed and I found her sincere. In print and in the media Amber is using her name recognition to bring more awareness to the causes she is most passionate about and it is hard to find fault with that. She is careful to check her privilege as a wealthy white woman and stresses the importance of championing minority women, particularly the egregious wage gap African American women have with white men.
While this is not a perfect book, and Tamblyn is far from the ideal protagonist, I was overall impressed by Era of Ignition and have a newfound respect for Tibby.