I’m Judging You | Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Summary of: I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
By: Luvvie Ajayi Jones


In ‘I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual,’ Luvvie Ajayi Jones shares her refreshingly candid perspective on various aspects of modern life, from friendship and social media to important social issues like racism and sexism. Combining humor and wit, Ajayi Jones discusses the struggles she faces and people she encounters, reflecting her call for everyone to ‘do better.’ This book summary provides insights into some of the key themes explored in the book, highlighting Ajayi Jones’ thoughts on dinner scrooges, bad friends, problematic beauty standards, racism, and gender inequality.

The 3 Types of Dinner Scrooges

The author confesses to her habit of being chronically late as an imperfection. Although, there are other people that should also feel bad about their behavior; meet the dinner scrooges. The dinner scrooges are people who follow certain habits during dinner gatherings that can ruin the experience for everybody else. These habits come in three varieties. Firstly, some people will eat a massive amount of food and then suggest splitting the check equally. In some cases, they will even order more food to take home and make others subsidize their meals. Secondly, there are those that will scrutinize the bill, calculating exactly how much they owe. They will try to pay less by stressing how little they ate compared to the others or by being stingy when tipping. Lastly, there are the ones that will suddenly leave early, but “forget” to pay for their share. The author suggests having prix fixe menus and paying cash to avoid future encounters with dinner scrooges.

The Nine Types of Friends You Need to Ditch

We’ve all encountered them, friends who drain our energy, test our patience, and make us question why we’re still hanging out with them. The book lists nine types of friends that you need to let go, from the competitor to the holy roller. The competitor is always trying to outdo you, the SOS Pal reaches out to you only when they’re in trouble, and the adventurer might get you into trouble. The Lannister is the one you can’t trust, the surface friend reveals little about themselves, and the frenemy spends more time throwing shade than being supportive. The enabler never challenges you, the flake is always unreliable, and the holy roller brings disapproving attitude to every conversation.

The Ugly Side of Beauty Standards

Skin-lightening procedures and cosmetic surgeries have become increasingly popular in society. However, they are often tied to our messed-up standards of beauty and are generally a bad idea. Luvvie Ajayi urges people to reconsider before going under the knife and emphasizes the negative impact of succumbing to societal pressures. She reminds readers that physical appearances do not define a person’s character, and that beauty standards are constantly changing over time.

Unpacking Racism in the US

Racism in the US is not limited to tiki torch-carrying individuals but also present in subtle ways. The US was built on the backs of black and brown people, and racism is still woven into its systems. White and Christian people enjoy privileges that others do not. Casual racist acts, committed even by those who consider themselves liberal, harm marginalized groups. Denying differences doesn’t equate to equal treatment. Race matters and needs to be acknowledged. The US needs to create a system that does not automatically treat young black boys like criminals.

Men’s Responsibility to End Sexual Violence

Sexual violence against women in the US is a pervasive problem, and men must take responsibility to change the system. The political system is dominated by men who want to regulate what women can and cannot do with their bodies, perpetuating the sense of oppression and objectification of women. Young men must be taught how to treat women with respect, and it is not the responsibility of women to prevent rape. Feminism is not about hating men, and anyone who believes in equality can be a feminist. It’s time to drop the gatekeeper attitudes and work towards true gender equality.

Religion as a Tool of Oppression

Luvvie Ajayi, a devoted Christian, examines the use of organized religion as a tool of oppression. She points out that while deadly wars were waged in the past in the name of religion, hypocrisy still exists today in the form of oppression against the gay community and racist ideals. Ajayi highlights the cherry-picking of certain rules from Leviticus, including the condemnation of homosexuality while ignoring other forbidden acts like wearing certain types of clothing or eating pork. Furthermore, she discusses the problematic portrayal of Jesus as a white man with blue eyes and highlights the promotion of polygamy and ownership of women in the Bible. Ajayi acknowledges the comfort her faith brings her while also grappling with its flaws – it was written by men. Ultimately, she calls for respect towards those who find peace in their beliefs, while acknowledging the flaws present within organized religion.

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