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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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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Along with Amy Richards, Jennifer Baumgardner authored "Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future" (FSG, 2000) and "Grassroots" (FSG, 2005) and founded the progressive speakers' bureau Soapbox. Baumgardner is also the author of "Look Both Ways" (FSG, 2007), among other books.
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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: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.1 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: #937,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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