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F 'em!: Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
From Jennifer Baumgardner, one of the leading voices of Third Wave feminism, comes this provocative, thoughtful, often funny collection of essays and interviews that offers a state of the union on contemporary feminist issues.

F 'em! is a mix of old and new essays by Baumgardner, ranging in tone from laugh-out-loud confessional to sobering analysis. She investigates topics
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Seal Press (first published September 6th 2011)
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Emily Dahl
Oct 07, 2011 Emily Dahl rated it liked it
I got completely sucked into the world of this book. There were sections that really resonated with me-- and just as many that alienated or fell flat with me. The author fluctuated wildly between "I'm old! I'm 40! I don't understand Twitter and that makes me obsolete-- so I will just listen and repeat what I hear about you young feminists..." and "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!! I WROTE TOMES ABOUT FEMINISM BEFORE YOU HAD EVEN BEEN BORN! KISS MY RING AND THEN YOU MAY SPEAK!"
Even with this crisis of ide
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Feminists
A great feminist book that covers a lot of topics. The waves of feminism, women's music, how and why feminists disagree with each other, why feminism didn't fail, how to avoid feminist burnout, patriarchy, chastity balls, illegitimate children, single motherhood, cross-nursing, abortion, multiple abortions, bisexuality, trans-gender, being a lesbian after marriage, what happens when a bisexual gets married, if Take Back the Night is still relevant, and Hilary Clinton. Very informative, and it ...more
Sep 04, 2011 Katie rated it liked it
i'm reviewing this book for the winter issue of "bitch" magazine- keep a lookout for it in a couple months!
Susannah Perkins
Mar 05, 2012 Susannah Perkins rated it liked it
Shelves: feminist
This collection of essays and interviews, while generally interesting and while it contains a few really stellar pieces, suffers from a serious lack of organization. The essays contained within all have to do with feminism, but very few of them have anything to do with each other. There is no overarching premise to the book, no reason for all these essays to be bound together. The advertising and packaging of the book could have played into that - it could have been marketed as a collection of ...more
Aug 11, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
F’em is an anthology of short essays by Jennifer Baumgardner about feminism, music, family, and politics. Baumgardner writes in such a personal style that the book reads like a memoir, even though not all of the writing is autobiographical.

Interview subjects include rock stars like Bjork, Kathleen Hanna, Ani DiFranco and Amy Ray, whom Baumgardner previously dated. The book covers issues like abortion, feminist critiques of popular culture, transfeminism, anti-rape activism and female sexuality.
Elizabeth Phelps
Dec 05, 2011 Elizabeth Phelps rated it liked it
Shelves: feminism
I enjoyed this book. A collection of essays--some new, some from Baumgardner's archives--about the current state of feminism. The few interviews she has are pretty interesting: one with Shelby Knox (teenage feminist who advocated for comprehensive sex ed), one with Amy Ray (of the Indigo Girls and Baumgardner's ex-girlfriend), and a few others.

The "Gaga" in the title references the murky water of trying to define feminism and who can call themselves a feminist (Is Lady Gaga a feminist? Is Sarah
Jan 03, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
Great book!

A series of essays and articles written for various magazines from a feminist writer and activist. Interspersed with the essays, are interviews with some wonderful feminist authors, musicians, and activists. OKay, okay, I was totally starstruck by the fact that Jennifer had a five year relationship with Amy Ray. I also had no idea that Ani DiFranco wrote the introduction to Birth Matters and is deeply involved with the home birth movement.

Jennifer's feminism is so honest, personal an
May 11, 2012 Ocean rated it liked it
i really enjoy feminist gossip; which this book has plenty of. otherwise, i'd only give it two stars. i could have used far fewer outfit descriptions & proclamations of the author's relevance--i feel like we, the readers, should not have to listen to that. if you really are as relevant as you claim, we'd already know it! also, i was shocked at what she left in the interviews--like when she clearly gets into a fight with debbie stoller mid-interview. or when she asked kathleen hanna if she's ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Baumgardner includes previously published essays, articles, and interviews in this collection that together tell a wonderfully written story of feminism. She does this through pop culture, journalistic research, and personal experience. I learned a lot from this book about the history of feminism, what it means to be a feminist, and that the feelings I have felt about myself and the world are not unique to me. I am not alone.
Jan 09, 2013 Marissa rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Had it not been for book club, I probably wouldn't have finished this book. I liked it just fine, but it didn't feel like a ton of new info. The book is a compilation of previously published essays, mixed in with interviews. I understand the focus of the book is on the waves of feminism and theory, however I would have liked some more stats to add some weight to the topics.
Tatiana Jimenez
Sep 26, 2012 Tatiana Jimenez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
This is hands down the BEST book about feminism I've read. I highly recommend it. The book is a great mix of essays and interviews with movers and shakers. She name drops a lot of people who have made "waves" and it makes me want to read more about all of them. The book is accessible, gets a little academic every now and then, but overall it was a really enjoyable, smart read.
Mar 30, 2012 Cherie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
B+ Really interesting but at times, JB is a little too much on her soapbox. She has become obsessed with her children and while those essays entertained me less (and even were annoying), but the end I was glad I read this interesting yet rather disconnected book of feminist essays.
Jayne Lamb
Or the third wave turns 40...a lot of these essays have been printed before, but that's okay because they're all worth reading. I would love to know if Bjork's feelings have changed in the years in-between. Read this book if you were, are or ever loved a riot grrrl.
Apr 25, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
Some sections/interviews I found very interesting,but a few didn't catch my attention. Not a bad book, but definitely not my favorite as far as fem lit goes. That would definitely go to Cunt and Yes Means Yes.
Angela Noto
Sep 20, 2012 Angela Noto rated it liked it
Went to pick up Letters to a Young Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke and look what I ended up with. Jennifer Baumgardner!! Great book, hard to review when you know people in book(which was unaware of when buying) just liked title and read other articles of Jennifer's.
Jun 06, 2013 Maggie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gender
I am glad I bought this and took notes. It's a great intro to feminism and has a lot of reading and viewing material references.

Kate LuckDragon
Jul 01, 2013 Kate LuckDragon rated it it was amazing
I loved this collection. The interview with Kathleen Hanna was particularly enjoyable. A must for any self-identified feminist or grrrl.
Jan 08, 2012 JulieK rated it really liked it
Thoughtful essays on feminism and life, as well as interviews with the likes of Kathleen Hanna and Debbie Stoller, all collected under what just might be the worst title ever.
Apr 02, 2012 Amber rated it liked it
Pretty interesting. Gave me a few new things to think about. It's kinda fluff, if that's what you are looking for.
Nov 15, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
A collection of essays that puts into practice the ideas explored in Manifesta. Very really, very appreciated. :-)
Jul 28, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: feminist, otr-2012
Worst title ever, amirite? But there are some very fine essays in here, and a couple of excellent interviews. (In the 1996 interview with bjork, she keeps bringing up ghostbusters! Who knew!)
Connie rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2012
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