I recently found a quasi-local feminist book store that was starting a book club and Full Frontal Feminism
by Jessica Valenti was their first selection. Since the book store is in a college town, this book must have been a good choice because it seems to be aimed at college age women. I am not part of the target crowd and wasn’t terribly impressed.
Valenti breaks feminism down to its core elements and explains it well enough. She even uses a dialog that is conversational and makes no apologies for her use of profanity. I actually found the tone enjoyable and very easy to read. Most of the major misunderstandings about feminism are addressed and she admits where more work is needed. So, what didn’t I like: if you are a conservative Christian you can just fuck off. Yes, we need to come together and fight the good fight but don’t you dare be, date, or fuck a Republican. Way to bring all sides together. Good job. I also found it irritating that she would argue against calling women names on one page and then turn around on the very next page and call a senator a jackass. Good job proving that feminist aren’t man haters. Let’s all respect each other and have a dialog except for that jackass. Hypocritical much?
I found the entire notion of feminism making me better at sex just silly. Self-confidence and knowing what I want from my partners makes me better at sex. The idea that feminism is responsible for that seems like a notion that only an academic would dream up. Like I said, I’m not the target audience for this book. Maybe college students need to hear that feminism makes them better at sex, I just don’t buy it.
So, who is this book for? I would say that anybody knows absolutely nothing to very little about feminism could start here. It does address a great many topics and stereotypes about feminism and it is a very quick and easy read.
I should add that I read an older edition of the book. While looking for a copy of the book for the book club meeting I noticed that an updated edition was about to be released. My book club was meeting before that edition was released (why would you pick a book that was about to be updated) so I read the earlier edition. I ended up missing the book club meeting due to a family medical emergency and it seems going to that meeting was the only way to find out the next book or anything else about the club. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.