Feminism can still seem like an abstract idea that is difficult to incorporate into our hectic, media-saturated, modern lives, but Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudúlph show how the everyday things matter. In an age when “concern-trolling,” “slut-shaming,” and “body-snarking” are blogosphere bywords, when reproductive rights are back under political attack, and when women are still pressured to “have it all,” feminism is more relevant than ever. For many young women the radicalism of the Second Wave is unappealing, and the “do me” and “lipstick” feminism of the Third Wave feels out of date. Enter Sexy Feminism. It’s an inclusive, approachable kind of feminism—miniskirts, lip gloss, and waxing permitted. Covering a range of topics from body issues and workplace gender politics to fashion, dating, and sex, Sexy Feminism is full of advice, resources, and pop culture references that will help shape what being a feminist can look like for you.
I absolutely adored this book. I was reading it while on a road trip with a friend and kept annoying her by going, "oh hey! listen to this!" and reading out passages. I just couldn't get over how interesting and well written it was.
What I love about the book is that it takes issues that spring up for modern feminists, like plastic surgery and relationships, and explores how to deal with issues that come up trying to reconcile your life with your ideals.
One section I thought was particularly well done was the section on plastic surgery. They took some of the top plastic surgeries performed for purely cosmetic reasons and explained exactly what the doctor did in each operation. Just by taking off the easy name and describing the act, it really shows what kind of awful things women do in the name of beauty.
I also liked that it was a healthy mix between ideals and compromise. One chapter, on relationships, points out that a real feminist sometimes puts her partner first. This has nothing to do with feeling that men are somehow better than women but that, in a partnership, sometimes you have to put your partner's needs before your own and that's the way it should be. As long as your partner reciprocates this respect, then you are doing it correctly. I thought this was a very important chapter and very well written.
This is a great book that every woman in her late teens and twenties should read. It lays down the facts and gives you some ideas on how to interpret them in your own life. It's fun, smart and witty. A must read.
Sexy Feminism comes out tomorrow(!!), March 12 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt .