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Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters Paperback – April 17, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Arresting, entertaining and serious."
The New York Times

"If feminism is enjoying a revival among young women, much of the credit should go to women such as Jessica Valenti."
The Guardian

"Full Frontal Feminism shows us feminism is alive and well and kicking all kinds of oppressive male ass."
Margaret Cho

"Full Frontal Feminism is an irreverent guide to why young women should embrace the F-word."
New York Magazine

"Full Frontal Feminism tackles serious feminist issues with a sense of humor and justified anger."
Bitch magazine

About the Author

Jessica Valenti--called one of the Top 100 Inspiring Women in the world by "The Guardian"--is the author of four books on feminism, politics, and culture. Jessica is also the founder of Feministing.com, which "Columbia Journalism Review" called "head and shoulders above almost any writing on women's issues in mainstream media." Her writing has appeared in "The Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian (UK), The American Prospect, Ms." magazine, "Salon," and "Bitch" magazine. Jessica received her Masters degree in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press; First Printing edition (April 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580052010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580052016
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So... I kinda hate this book. I am young, feminist, type and thought I'd give this book a shot for an easy read but I cannot finish it. The jist of it is the author stating a perceived slight to women and then saying, "wow, that is really sucky right? stupid anti-sex white men telling us what to do." There is no analysis, no measured reasoning. She also has a propensity for using the lazy technique of only stating the most extreme opposing viewpoint.

I actually agree with most of the tenets of this book but the way that the author presents them infuriated me. The book is supposed to be a primer for young women who would like to learn more about feminism but as a young woman, I was offended that Valenti didn't seem to think I was bright enough to read rationale behind the ideas and would blindly follow her. Big thumbs down.
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Format: Paperback
Jessica Valenti is a part of the feminist blogger elite, and for good reason. The blog that she was part of establishing, Feministing.com, gets a lot of traffic and is well-known among internet savvy, young, hip feminists. Full disclosure: I read Feministing on a somewhat regular basis. Having read Valenti's writing on the blog - which tends to be oversimplified and, quite frankly, bratty - I was hoping her analysis in book form would show at least a tad more depth. Unfortunately for Valenti, there's a downside to fame; it opens you up for public criticism.

If Full Frontal Feminism is supposed to be the spark that ignites young women to identify as feminists and hop on the movement train, then women are in deep trouble. Valenti writes like a feminist version of Ann Coulter, and let's face it, Ann Coulter is hardly known for her intelligence. Flamboyant and egotistical, much of Valenti's commentary is trite, at best. She makes sweeping generalizations ("When you're a feminist, day to day life is better. You make better decisions. You have better sex."), repeatedly calls her opponents juvenile names [...], confuses "truth" with "opinion," and has apparently done very little actual research to prove her claims, as there is little to no citation of her assertions. At times, she doesn't feel the need to make an assertion at all, responding to the opposition with a facile yet grandiose "Puke," a deliberately ironic "Yeah" or a pithy and useless "Terrifying", as though she has made her case. And despite hackneyed attempts every now and again to mention other marginalized groups, the truth is that this book overwhelmingly reflects the viewpoint of its white, middle class, (primarily, if not entirely) heterosexual, entitled, American, liberal feminist writer.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read this book several times, and I do think it is a good book. I am just the target audience Valenti seems to have in mind: young (I'm 25), female, white, single, liberal, and, yes, I do consider myself to be a feminist. This book, therefore, is perfect for a gal like me. I thought that it was relevant, thought-provoking, and actually quite entertaining to read. However, like other authors promoting political ideologies, Valenti's book fell short of perfect in more sense than one.

I'll start with the "strengths" of the book. Using wit, humor, and some nicely handled research, Valenti presents to the reader an array of reasons young women should care about feminism, discussing everything from sexuality, to sexism in the workplace and political arena, to reproductive rights, to body image, and she even dedicates a chapter to male feminism (a topic that has been shunned or minimized by other feminists). She also educates readers who might not be well-versed in feminist history about the three "waves" of feminism and the concept of "intersectionality" (thus putting her master's degree in women's and gender studies to good use). At the conclusions of each chapter (as well as at the conclusion of each book), she also suggests things that the reader could do to take action against certain issues that were raised in that chapter (e.g., boycott Abercrombie and Fitch for their sexist products and policies).

But. This book is definitely not without its flaws. Valenti may have done her homework, but there are things that she definitely could have done without. For one thing, she curses throughout the entire book-- so much that she even points out that she has a "potty-mouth" more than once.
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Format: Paperback
While Valenti does provide good information in this book. I feel at times she does cross the border into being discriminatory towards certain people. For example, she refers to the Quiverfull religious movement as "wacky." I am a young feminist. However, I do not feel that calling a religion "wacky" is going to earn you any points. That's offensive. Whether you agree with it or not, that is their religion and people do have a choice to have one, which one to have, or to not be religious at all. I truly feel that if you want people to be more open-minded, then, you have to be open-minded as well. I also agree with another reviewer who said that she confuses truth with opinion more than once in this book. She does have a tendency to be rather immature regarding people who disagree with her.

I also agree with the reviewer when they said, "Valenti doesn't give her readers credit that they can do the thing she most wants them to do: think, analyze, and be critical. This is apparent in the fallacious style by which she presents her perspectives. My personal favorite - taken straight from the right wing, talk radio instruction manual - is when Valenti uses the "straw man," a common misleading bait-and-switch tactic, to "prove" her point (e.g., contending that anti-abortion advocates simply hate sex)." I couldn't have said that better. That is exactly how I feel. Now, I am pro-choice. I do not entirely agree with abortion, but I do believe that every woman should be able to make that choice for themselves. Do I hate sex? Hell no. Do my opinions on abortion make me against same-sex marriages (which she also implies you will be against if you don't agree with abortion)? Again, a resounding, hell no.
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