Friday, February 18, 2011

Full Frontal Feminism - Jessica Valenti

Publisher: Seal Press

Indiebound Summary:
Feminism isn't dead. It just isn't very cool anymore. Enter Full Frontal Feminism, a book that embodies the forward-looking messages that author Jessica Valenti propagates on her popular website, Covering a range of topics, including pop culture, health, reproductive rights, violence, education, and relationships, Valenti provides young women a primer on why feminism matters. Valenti knows better than anyone that young women need a smart-ass book that deals with real-life issues in a style they can relate to. No rehashing the same old issues. No belaboring where today's young women have gone wrong. Feminism should be something young women feel comfortable with, something they can own. Full Frontal Feminism is sending out a message to readers: Yeah, you're feminists, and that's actually pretty frigging cool.

Ever had that friend that told you "I'm not a feminist, but..." because this is the book for them. It's also a great book for people who are starting to explore feminism. In Full Frontal Feminism, Valenti jumps from pop culture to sex education to violence against women and other numerous topics, providing a foundation on the issues that feminists address today. Scattered in the book are also fun facts relating to the chapter topic like "The United States is one of the two industrialized nations (the other being Australia) that doesn't provide paid leave for new mothers." or "Men outnumber women six to one in top corporate jobs." What makes this book good is not just the information provided within the pages, but the style Valenti presents it.

Full Frontal Feminism is written a way that engages readers. She writes with a wit and sarcasm shines through as she discusses purity balls, plastic surgery, child care, etc. It flows and is very conversational. When I was reading it, Valenti writes like she was simply having a casual conversation with me. Valenti is also frank and doesn't dumb down the information or hold things back. While this style is not for everyone, I believe that this will appeal to the younger generation. It definitely is a good book to give to teens about feminism and what being a feminist means. I would have definitely appreciated this book in high school. It would have definitely given me new perspectives on how to see the world then.

However, if you are already engaged in reading about women's issues and are looking for something more academic, this might not be the book for you. Due to the many topics that this book covers, it is hard to dive into depth about sex education or the influence of pop culture on girls. This book is meant as a primer for young girls who know nothing or just starting to get involved in feminism and women's issues. I can see this book sparking many a young girl's journey to becoming a feminist. My conclusion: A must for every young girl's bookshelf.

By the way, if you want to explore more on feminism, check out Feministing, a blog and community for feminists and their allies started by Jessica Valenti.

Book Source: own copy that I brought

Author Website | Indiebound | Goodreads


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