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Bitch Hardcover – April 1, 1998

2.9 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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How to Win at Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some! by Reductress
"How to Win at Feminism" by Reductress
The new book from the writers of Reductress, the subversive, satirical women’s magazine. Learn more | See related books
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385484003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385484008
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Wurtzel treats other people like poo, and calls it empowerment. It's okay, though, because as she reminds the reader ad nauseum, she's extremely well-connected and attended Harvard. Anyway she's good-looking, and the most consistent message in this otherwise self-contradictory mess is that "Beauty = Virtue."

Read between the lines and Wurtzel's idea of feminism is a hot chick who dresses like a prostitute, mistreats others, throws tantrums like a child and otherwise embodies the darkest misogynist fantasies of men. Even Wurtzel acknowledges that this attracts men at their worst, leading to loveless, mutually destructive relationships - but it makes you cool, tragic and popular!! Be warned that her advice isn't for everyone, however: Nicole Simpson rates higher on Wurtzel's "Flattering Projection of Myself" scale than Gertrude Stein or Eleanor Roosevelt, for instance, because she was inherently superior. I mean, duh! Nicole was *way* hotter than Stein!! I think we all agree that the ability to inspire a man to camouflage his lap topology with a strategically-placed briefcase is the sole measure of a woman's worth, right? File me under Feminism!

Wurtzel borrowed her book's title from an essay by Ron Rosenbaum. The cover photo was her publisher's idea, and she just went along with it. She uses the word "youthquaker" an average of four times per chapter. But perhaps the best summary of this book comes from an excerpt from her interview on National Public Radio shortly after publication:

Random Caller: Hello. I just want to say that I find it deeply offensive that your publisher and this radio network are presenting you as the voice of feminism, apparently on the merits of your appearance and connections.
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Format: Hardcover
I did not like:
*that the book did not follow any sort of train of thought. Even though it was broken up into five or six essays, she would go from one person to the next so quickly, you don't even know she was talking about a different person. I skipped most of the stuff on Delilah, the character showed up on occasion throughout 2-3 of the essays, and sometimes stayed for pages. I wasn't interested in it, and the author probably should have just written a whole essay on her. Apparently, this book was written on some kind of speed, which makes sense, but couldn't it have been cut down a little? Or, at least, molded into something readable? Maybe its supposed to fit with the running theme: "Bad girls: young, beautiful, and on drugs." Which leads me to the next thought...
*What is her obsession with beauty? It seems like every woman she mentions is somehow tragically beautiful.. and these are the women who are bi#$%#s, the "difficult" women... how she says: "I am still pretty. I still have time to work out my marital status." <---What is that about? As if the only people who are married are good looking? Since when is marriage about "looks" anyway? or she also says.."even worse, it seems inevitable that there will come a time when I won't look good, when men will stop flirting with me, when this freedom sh#$ will start to feel more like free-falling. Will I know? Will I become pathetic?" No, you will just have to win people over by personality for a change! I just don't understand the superficial attitude for someone who is supposed to be a feminist. I have known women who are not great beauties, but everywhere they go, men fall in love with them. Once again, love is not about outside beauty.
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Format: Paperback
Alix Kates Shulman wrote it better years ago in "Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen." The beautiful women drink booze, swallow pills, and die young, usually by their own hand. Ms. Wurtzel claims to be interested in "bad" or "bitchy" women, but she's really interested in beauty. Nearly all of her bitches are beautiful, and in most of her examples, got famous, got reputations, got attention, got everything based on their looks. She dwells lovingly and endlessly on the beauty of Edie Sedgwick, a Warhol babe, who died of an overdose at age 27. Nowhere is there any information about what Ms. Sedgwick did to merit "bitch" or "bad" or to serve as any kind of example of women attempting to realize themselves and their potential through the vehicle of "badness" or rebellion against the stifling good girl image. Ms. Sedgwick was just Sixties fashion, another photogenic, thin girl in front of a lens, looking strung-out beautiful instead of Jean Shrimpton beautiful. One can trace the heroin high fashion look in today's magazines straight back to Edie.The problem with this book is that Ms. Wurtzel's Harvard credentials, facility with words, and manic energy, can lull the reader into thinking there's actually something being said here. That this might actually be a serious work of some sort of scholarship. In the end, the message is that only beautiful girls can be bad and bitchy, just like only beautiful girls can be models and actresses or marry a prince. Most of them wind up dead way before their time. There's a book out there, somewhere, about the value of standing up for yourself and rebelling against the rules that choke women from birth, but this isn't it.
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