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Sexy Feminism: A Girl's Guide to Love, Success, and Style Paperback – March 12, 2013

3.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fun and enlightening guide...Though the tone is light and playful, there is plenty of information packed into each chapter. A sexy heads up for young women who may not grasp how culture and media continually manipulate women into thinking that what they have and how they look are never quite good enough."
-Kirkus Reviews

Genius! Sexy Feminism is a delicious primer for budding feminists (and the feminist-curious), as well as a sigh of relief for long-term third-wave feminists who long to be understood and are tired of explaining our beliefs. Jennifer and Heather do an outrageously good service to us all by bringing feminism into its sexy, confident maturity.”
-Katie Goodman, feminist comedian and author of Improvisation of the Spirit

“We live in a society where sex is used against  women as much as it's used by women. Sexy Feminism calls foul on that (and other) double standards—and makes manifest my frequent observation that feminists are almost always the sexiest people in the room.”
-Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Feminista and F'em!

From the Back Cover

Feminism can still seem like an abstract idea that is hard to incorporate into our hectic, modern lives, but Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudulph show how the everyday things really matter. In an age when concern-trolling, slut-shaming, and body-snarking are blogosphere bywords, when reproductive rights are back under political attack, and when women are constantly pressured to "have it all," feminism is more relevant than ever. For many young woman, the radicalism of the Third Wave feels out of date. Enter Sexy Feminism. It's an inclusive, approachable kind of feminism--miniskirts, lip gloss, and waxing permitted. Covering a range of topics from body issues and workplace gender politics to fashion, dating, and sex, Sexy Feminism is full of advice, resources, and pop culture references that will help shape what it means to be a feminist today.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547738307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547738307
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paige VINE VOICE on March 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten!

Strike one came when it tried twice to market feminism as sexy and fun. Strike two came when it called Lady Gaga a feminist icon. Strike three was the inappropriate use of a word I despise as a feminist: slut/slutty. Beyond all that, this book is a bit boring to someone like me, a young women who has been reading feminist lit and experimenting with her feminist ideology for years.

Before I dig into its more fundamental problems, I need to get its positives out of the way. Sexy Feminism makes sure to give you the background of many practices women now consider normal, such as waxing, plastic surgery, and makeup. If one will leave this book with anything, it will be the history of some of the services and objects still relevant to women and their intent when founded (feminist-minded or not). Most chapters have very clear points they stick to while explaining the intricacies of what does/doesn't make it feminist.

Still, my answer to a lot of their chapters is this: "Yeah, and...?"

Their talk of how feminists are allowed to diet and wear miniskirts is nothing new. I felt limited in what I could wear and do when I first started to identify as feminist, but I found my own style and definition of sexy that lives in harmony with my constantly-evolving ideology. Each woman will do roughly the same thing on their own, really. It's like a pair of new shoes, really: you're uncomfortable at first, but the more time you spend with it, the more you adjust to it and the more comfortable you get until you forget you ever had trouble with it to begin with.

One chapter is rather muddled, though: the chapter on waxing.
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Format: Paperback
I will admit I'm clearly not the target audience for this book. I have been identifying as a feminist since I was a child, and am relatively well-read with regards to current feminist social issues and classic feminist texts. I'll break down a few of the massive problems with this book.

1. The cover. Have the authors never seen Jean Kilbourne's "Killing Us Softly"? They have done exactly what the media does to women every day. Reducing women to one single body part. And of course, it is the mouth, in a highly sexualized manner akin to many restaurant marketing campaigns that are aimed at straight men.

2. An overall lack of theme. Much of the book seems to exist simply so that the authors can give excuses as to why they diet and wear makeup and change their last names after marriage. It reads as a 200-some page long justification of their actions. Perhaps the authors are not as stupid as they make themselves out to be, but this book is atrociously written.

3. One of the main reasons that no one should buy this book is that there is no new information contained in it at all. The authors, when not vigorously defending their right to get a bikini wax, name-drop and quote better writers. Naomi Wolf is a favorite, as is Gloria Steinem. Even if the authors did not mention in the beginning that they are white, it is glaringly obvious since they only mention three women of color in the entire book.

4. There is a depressing lack of diversity in this book. The authors never mention bell hooks nor Audre Lorde. Before I read this book, I had no idea that someone could write a feminist text without including those two authors. It is a travesty. Even in the back of the book, where they have placed a reading list, they neglect to include books by women of color.

There are multitudes of problems in this book, and I fervently believe that it is better that you don't waste several hours of your life reading it.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I teach a class on feminism and I'm always trying to incorporate fresh, relatable views on feminism and I don't really care for this book. I feel like there is too much focus on "sex" and making things "sexy." This is evidenced just from the cover. On the cover, woman has been reduced to a pair of sensuously painted lips. Really? That's like saying: "Ladies...you can use society's objectification to your benefit." But, guess what? It is still objectification. It's like choosing apples when your only choice is apples or apples. It's not an authentic choice. While I feel like this book may appeal to some young woman (i.e. get them to pick it up, buy it, and read it) I don't think it sends the right message. It sends the status quo message. There are better books, much better books than this one. On second thought, I think I'll use this in my next class...starting with having the class analyze the image on the cover...in order to demonstrate what feminism is not.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What in tarnation has happened to feminism? Has it gone backwards? I'm a girl who likes to wear heels to make me taller. I like makeup and dresses, but I also like guns and work in a field dominated by men. I don't worry about my weight, shaving all the hair off my body and most of the other points in this book. I'd never pay someone to wax hair off my body. There is a chapter on plastic surgery too. At that point, it is just laughable. If you have something a doctor has to reconstruct from a car accident fine, but why would a feminist get plastic surgery? It's like saying pop culture wins. Where's the individuality? I thought this would be a book about how feminism is sexy, not a book written by worrywarts that seem to be upper class, that have the money and time to think about vaginas and the surgery to make them tighter. Ugh. I don't diet either. Why can't women just love themselves? I mean I love a good pair of high heeled calf boots and looking sexy, but the time I spend on this isn't a whole lot of time. I read, write and think about ideas and concepts more than how I look. Crazy, I know. There seems to be some confusion too about sex...how a little bit too rough can be misogynistic, yet bodice ripping fantasies are ok. I guess. I don't know. I lost track by that chapter. I am sure it's a well meaning book and maybe I am not the typical woman who counts calories and hates herself when she looks in the mirror...I don't have the time or cash to worry about it. I feel not worrying about it is sexy and true feminism, more so than this book. It is a hilarious read, but in the wrong ways for a woman like me.
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