Last week I was in Washington DC for the first time and spent an evening at Busboys and Poets, where I bought my first book on feminism at the grand age of 28… You could say I’m a little behind the curve on this one. Oh well!
“Fem-I-ism: Belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” –p.14
Jessica Valenti’s thoughtful and classic book ‘Full Frontal Feminism’ has made a covert of me, because, guess what? I do care about women’s issues. I don’t want to see a glass ceiling in the workplace and I do want equal pay. I don’t want a bunch of male politicians telling me what I can or can’t do with my own body either and, strangely enough, I want to be able to walk down a normal city street without fear (of rape). I don’t want to try to live small, be small, in an attempt to fit an antiquated, yet traditional, ‘female’ ideal… And I would like my marriage (one day) to be an equal partnership. I also want childcare costs to not be a factor as regards my being able to return to work after having a child. I could go on…
‘Full Frontal Feminism’ is no heavy academic tome. It’s accessible – blunt, practical and not a little witty. Although I don’t always agree with Valenti’s perspective, I found her book to be full of scary and illuminating facts – from enacted laws (in the US and abroad) and population statistics, case studies and personal anecdotes etc. So if you’re trying to decide whether or not you are in fact a feminist, this is the book for you! It will spark an understanding of modem injustices and inequalities and, yes, likely convince you that more needs to be done to combat these instances.
“When you’re getting abstinence-only education during the day and Girls Gone Wild commercials at night, if’s not exactly easy to develop a heathy sexuality.” pp.20-21
“Both harassment and rape are the results of a culture that teaches men that women exist solely for them, their desires.” –p.79
“The government wants happy housewives. More than they want financially secure women.” –p.131
“One of the main problems with feminism today is its inability to recruit younger women and keep them interested.” –p.173
“We should tell girls the truth; ‘Beautiful’ is bullshit, a standard created to make women into good consumers, too busy wallowing in self-loathing to notice that we’re second-class citizens.” –p.204
“Men have body standards to live up to as well…. But their[s] – big, strong, muscular – push them to be strong, to take up space. Ours – skinny, skeletal, weak – push us to be fragile, to take up less space, to disappear.” –p.217
“Perseverance and an ability to get shit done are generally thought of as good qualities in male politicians.But as a woman, you can’t win. ‘Cause if you’re not a “bitch”, you’re too “soft” for politics.” –p.224
“Value yourself for what the media doesn’t – your intelligence, your street smarts, your ability to play a kick-ass game of pool, whatever.” –p.246
Just So You Know:
– April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
– October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
– The American Psychiatric Association says that “government restrictions on abortion are more likely to cause women lasting harm than the procedure itself.”
– Women are 40% more likely to be poor.
– Statistics show that mothers earn less and less with each child they have – the Mummy Wage Gap.
– The REAL Hot 100 list features women who are hot for what they do, not how they look.
So it’s a list woman could actually vote for!