I enjoyed reading Valenti’s persuasive argument in favor of feminism, but I don’t think I would use it to convince anyone who is on the fence. Valenti is brash, paranoid, and sensationalistic. Since I align myself with feminism, I can forgive her these faults and understand where she’s coming from. But if someone were new to the movement, I think they might be more put off than intrigued.
The sections I enjoyed most were her discussions of media, body image, victim blaming and violence toward women. Her brashness can lend an air of humor sometimes. But I lost touch with her in the chapter on abortion, which she sees as one of our primary rights to defend. I can understand a woman fighting for control of her body, but the lack of empathy on her part for people who consider fetuses to be babies (this is a “ridiculous” thought that she spends no time exploring) was disconcerting. Perhaps because this was the issue upon which we disagreed, I sensed more than before her “all or nothing” mentality that alienates rather than intrigues.
Valenti’s book is empowering and informative. I’m glad it exists. But it’s not quite my feminist manifesto.
You’re a feminist. I swear.
Feminism isn’t dead. It just isn’t very cool anymore. Jessica Valenti, founder of the popular blog Feministing.com, is out to change all that.
Release Date: April 2007