The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates – How Empowering Women Changes the World was published last year. I borrowed it from the library, but kept postponing reading it. It is a good book, but it doesn’t deserve 5 stars, from my point of view, obviously.

The Moment of Lift is a memoir, which I didn’t expect, considering the title, but it is lovely written and interesting, so that was not the issue. The issue was that the book was too religious for my taste. The Gates are Catholic and Melinda mentions her faith countless times in the book. She is trying to square the circle of Catholicism and contraception a few times in the book. On top of that she mentions a couple of times (maybe even 3 or 4 times, I did not count) Mother Theresa and how amazing she was. That was shocking. For someone who is involved in charity work in Africa and actively supports contraception, to sing the praises of Mother Theresa is, at least, strange. I would suggest reading The Missionary Position. Mother Theresa in theory and in practice by Christopher Hitchens (I’ve recommended this book countless times, as it is a stark reminder that a charity might not be charitable or might do more harm than good due to their beliefs). That is why I gave the book 4 stars.

0245 The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

Now, I’m going to talk about the good things in the book, because I did enjoy it. Melinda talks about her own experience, which was illuminating for me. She was raised in a traditional family, with a working father and stay-at-home mother, who was raising the children. This shaped the way she thought and acted. It was interesting to read a passage in her book, when was working at Microsoft and a colleague asked why is ok for men to shout in meetings, but not for women to cry. It made me laugh, remembering my own experience at my last job, when I was having my fair share of shouting in meetings. But I was raised differently and I’m not easily intimidated. She went on to talk about how she and Bill changed their relationship, as she developed her confidence, to get to equal terms.

Most of the book is about Africa and India and some of the things she says are so hard to read. The stories of women going through female genital mutilation and child-marriages are heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time.

She makes a great point in contraception as a way to save lives, both of the mothers who can space out their pregnancies and recover, and of children, who are cared for better, who have more food and attention. Contraception is the only way children in very poor family can attend school, as they do not have to care for younger brothers or sisters. This is the way out of poverty.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Flatiron Books
Year it was published: 2019
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Memoir
Pages: 273

About the author: Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. She was born in Texas. She received a BA in computer science from Duke University and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work, as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Melinda is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States.
Website & Social Media Links: gatesfoundation

6 thoughts on “The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates”

  • This is interesting! I have seen and heard about this book from various sources but I didn’t expect it to be a memoir either. I will have to give it a go!

  • This seems like an amazing read! Going on my wishlist straight away and hopefully will get around to it soon!

  • Mother Theresa is a controversial figure, but so is Melinda’s husband. His latest involvement into the vaccine production against covid is also very suspicious.
    And yes, men shouting at the meetings is a widespread phenomenon.

  • This really surprised me because I thought Bill Gates was an atheist. (it had me off checking his Wiki page which does give some explanation) I’ve never really known much about her, but I’ve certainly admired their philanthropic work.

    For me, contraception is a no-brainer… for the reasons you listed and more.
    Kelly recently posted…Owlets In The MoonlightMy Profile

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