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F 'em!: Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls Paperback – September 27, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580053602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580053600
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Baumgardner is a writer, activist, filmmaker, and lecturer whose work explores abortion, sex, bisexuality, rape, single parenthood, and women's power. She is the Executive Director/Publisher at The Feminist Press at CUNY.

After five years as an editor at the feminist magazine, Ms.(1993-1997), Jennifer began writing investigative pieces for Harper's and The Nation, commentaries for NPR's All Things Considered, and contributing to magazines such as Real Simple, Glamour, Redbook, Babble, Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle.

In 2005 she created and produced the award-winning documentary I Had an Abortion. In 2013, she released her second film, It Was Rape, which tells the story of eight diverse women.

Jennifer and her work have been featured in venues from Oprah to NPR, and BBC News Hour to Bitch Magazine. She has keynoted at more than 300 universities, organizations, and conferences, including the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, Amherst College, Take Back The Night UW-Madison, and the New Jersey Women and Gender Studies Consortium, to name a few. In 2008, she became Writer-in-Residence at The New School, where she taught non fiction workshops for four years.

Jennifer is the author of five books: Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics (FSG, 2007, a Lambda finalist), Abortion & Life (Akashic, 2008), and the essay collection F 'em! Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls (Seal, 2011), as well as two best-selling books about feminism written with Amy Richards--Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (FSG, 2000) and Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism (FSG, 2005). She is the co-editor, with Madeleine Kunin, of We Do!: American Leaders Who Believe in Marriage Equality. In 2002, Jennifer and Amy founded Soapbox, Inc., a speakers' bureau that also produces week-long Feminist Camps and Intensives. Soapbox and its projects connect people hungry for feminism with resources and with one another.

Among other honors, she is a Jezebel 25, a Feminist Press 40 Under 40, and a recipient of the Stand Up for Reproductive Justice Award from the Feminist Women's Health Center of Atlanta. The Commonwealth Club of California honored her in their centennial year as a "Visionary for the 21st Century," commenting that "in her role as author and activist, [Jennifer has] permanently changed the way people think about feminism...and will shape the next 100 years of politics and culture."

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Jennifer lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

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Format: Paperback
She may joke about being in her "elderly" 40s, be completely clueless about Twitter, and refer to to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" as "Born That Way," but prominent Third Wave feminist Jennifer Baumgardner has consistently shown a commitment to keeping up with the (feminist) times. In her years as an activist and writer, she has continued to acknowledged the feminists who came before her and honored the experiences of the next generation of feminists trying to carve their own path. Her latest book, cheekily titled F `em! Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls, continues her quest to build bridges between the feminist generations.

The book is composed of old and new material; about half of it consists of essays that have been printed elsewhere, while the other half consists of "epilogues" to the previously printed material and interviews with an array of feminists. Focusing on topics like motherhood, gender, sexual orientation, patriarchy, and the political and cultural legislation of female sexuality, Baumgardner explores the many contradictions within the feminist movement(s). Her willingness to explore these gray areas is the thing I loved most about this book.

There are a lot of valuable lessons to be gleaned from this book's pages; she frequently discusses the need for each feminist wave to learn from each other and properly build upon the previous generation's work. Baumgardner also writes openly about confronting her own privilege over the years; she is even willing to be honest about her transphobia in years past, analyzing the evolution of her behaviors and beliefs over the last couple of decades.
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Good book for everyone who is interested in feminism. Jennifer is a good writer and has always been analytical enough to demystify a lot of assumptions people make about feminists. With that said I will point out some of the things that bothered me in the book.

1. Why do we have to stick up for women who have 3-4 abortions? It is not something to be proud of and the emphasis should be on preventive care. I am pro choice, but this is ridiculous. Just because you have an abortion does not make you a feminist nor if you are against abortion makes you an automatic anti feminist!
2. Why is Kathleen(i married the rich dude from Beastie Boys)Hanna even interviewed in this book? Her ideas of feminism keep on changing and only are relevant in her head to the situation she is currently in. When she was young, poor and "gay" in Bikini Kill she was all about anti capitalism/ anti male politics and now that she married Adam Horowitz and was on a major label with her band Le Tigre her stance has completely changed.
3. Lastly, there is no fourth wave...Girls have killed it. If you read all the books by Wolf,Fauldi,Dworkin,Hooks,Brownmiller, Firestone, Friedan, Paglia, Steniem, Roiphe etc etc etc you will realize most of the issues discussed in their impressive books are of little interest to young girls today. Which is sad really.

I think we need to focus on women who are dealing with international issues and trying to get them the desperate help they need. That is where feminists should focus on. Lets stop over thinking American culture and how it sees women and focus on (especially for the rich feminists who have resources to help) on helping women in countries who don't have one third of the rights we have.
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