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Anything She Can Do I Can Do Better By Rachael Oakes-Ash Random House $22.95 Have you coveted, envied, admired another woman’s hair, shoes, bag, job, husband, figure or weight this morning? Chances are, if you are like the rest of us, you’re competitive. Not that you’ll admit it. The truth about women and competition is a taboo subject, something previously swept under the carpet with other no-go zones like menstruation and masturbation. In Anything she can do I can do better Rachel Oakes-Ash discusses this topic with the honesty of your best friend and the humour of a stand-up comedian, all mixed into one hilarious yet very thought provoking read. If you only one read book this year that makes you think twice about how you conduct yourself (OK, a self help book for bitches!) then this is the one for you. “Friendships between females are the most passionate of love affairs.” Oakes-Ash attempts to prove that competitiveness need not be a negative trait that we should neither hide nor deny its existence. The problem as she sees it lies more in “the way in which competition manifests between women that can cause the destruction of female relationships. Women have yet to realise that they can have conflict between each other without losing their friendship and they have yet to discover how to do that successfully without guilt, without silence, and without gossiping behind each other’s backs”. As Molly Meldrum is so famous for saying “Do yourself a favour” and go out and buy a copy of this book and read it! You will want to give it to all your best girly mates in an attempt to discourage your favourite sport “back stabbing and belittling other chicks”. You may even want to give it to that girl at work who is never happy with what she has, and constantly covets what every other woman in the office has! But be prepared to face some cold hard truths. Oakes-Ash doesn’t hold back on her observations of how malicious, cruel and down right dastardly women can be to each other and themselves.” And the sad thing is – she’s right! We are our own worst enemy! Oakes-Ash aims to get us to examine our own competitiveness and try to discover why we compete with other women and what can we do about it. But the good news is “Competition plus oestrogen need not equal cold-hearted bitch.” In writing this essential book, Rachael Oakes-Ash interviewed prominent women including formidable US gossip columnist Liz Smith, Anita Roddick, Julie Burchill, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Nancy Friday, Cynthia Heimel, Tara Moss, Wendy McCarthy, Ann Sherry, Maggie Alderson, Fiona Horne, Deborah Lee Furness and Miss Australia. And in her inimitable style, she shares their experiences, and her own, as well as theories on female competition. A percentage of profits from this book will be donated to the International Women’s Development Agency (an Australian based charity). Buy this title from the SheSaid bookshop and SAVE 10%