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Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  291 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Modern culture is obsessed with controlling women's bodies. Our societies are saturated with images of unreal, idealised female beauty whilst real female bodies and the women who inhabit them are alienated from their own personal and political potential. Under modern capitalism, women are both consumers and consumed: Meat Market offers strategies for resisting this gory cy ...more
ebook, 79 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by John Hunt Publishing
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Emma Sea
Really a primer on feminist theory, but an exceptionally good one, with the empasis on the labor and capital involved in the successful performance of normative femininity. Also an excellent chapter on transrights.

This is now the book I'll be recommmending for students who request a place to start reading about feminism: short but packs a punch.
I quite enjoyed this short analysis of the role women's bodies play in capitalism. I haven't often encountered a feminist who writes with a clear class analysis in mind, although this book could have gone farther into the roles that racism and migration have with female bodies.

It was refreshing also to encounter a text which so eloquently integrates the role of trans bodies and sex workers under capitalist regimes, and which so overwhelmingly impresses the importance of these voices within the f
Laurie Penny is one of those writers who seems to evoke powerful (a synonym for hostile) emotions – at least if we rely too much on the responses sections of columns on newspaper websites, for instance where her Guardian columns regularly seem to bring out the misogynist element of that liberal paper’s readership. On the plus side, such vituperative anger must be a sign of speaking the truth to power. This small book (only 66 pages) is evidence of her impressive analytical ability, a daunting se ...more
On one side quite progressive ideas on feminist theory but on the other side also very short sided and severely missing class consciousness and global perspective.
For whatever rhetorical power Penny has at her command her writing is rife with overstatement and a determined ugliness of depiction. Her main metaphors are of slavery ("drudgery" "suffering" "oppression" "cruel machine"), filth, violence and unclean physicality ("butchery", "stink of my flesh" "cannibalistic", "brutal" "the ooze and tickle of real-time sex") but above all, POWER.

The final words of this collection are "we need to end our weary efforts to believe that our bodies are acceptable a
Dan Sharber
very short but i really liked this book. i am very much pleased to see a different, underrepresented brand of feminism get its due. this is a feminism that sees the role of capitalism, the intersections of class and the liberatory possibility of collectivity. it is a materialist or marxist type of dialectical feminism that is refreshing. while the theoretical underpinnings of that sort of feminism are not elaborated within this book (this was not the intention of the book), they are clear in the ...more
An interesting and enlightening read, even if I don't agree with everything. You can definitely notice that the author knows what she's talking about. I also love that there is a chapter about trans* rights and how feminism needs them because unfortunately too many otherwise influential and awesome feminists ignore or even deny them.

Hard-hitting and incredibly thought provoking. It is packed with well researched, forthright opinion. The text is unpatronising but easy to come to with no previous knowledge of feminist debate. The book is superbly referenced and so the opportunities to develop understanding on the debates concerned are easy to find.
Penny connects feminism to capitalism is a tangible way. The struggles against "necessary" austerity measures, sexist advertising, and the internalization of the class-entrenched anxieties of capitalism are made frighteningly clear in this new classing of the burgeoning 4th Wave.
Laurence Dubois
I don't agree with her anti-porn, anti-prostitutions view (she uses a lot of clichés and dosen't seems to know her subjet) but overall interesting.
Sivananthi T
Laurie writes powerfully about some of the key issues with regards women's rights and women's bodies. However suggesting directions, some which are known already, does not make for strategies. One of the key questions we must ask ourselves is how can we organise better? How can we mobilise more to the cause? And most importantly how can we transform society amidst these new challenges? Is our inclusivity and diversity our strength or our weakness? Does resistance need to be in the form of an Occ ...more
Thomas Hale
A short book, collecting four essays on different aspects of capitalist imposition and oppression of women's bodies. A lot of what Penny writes here, particularly the first two chapters (on the sex industry and eating disorders, respectively), is expanded on and refined in her excellent book Unspeakable Things, which came out last year. The last chapter, on housework and domestic labour, is uncomfortable reading, especially given that it's one of the areas in which feminist activism has stalled ...more
Laurie Penny writes with such an amazing precision that Meat Market really packs a punch. An excellent explanation and exploration of feminism relating to gender binaries, eating disorders and space, sex, and oppression. A wonderful, and short, book for those looking to further understand feminism in today's capitalistic society.
Daniel James
A scarily enticing read. Laurie Penny describes eloquently the destructive aspects of the female model in the modern world and promotes the real need for feminism, not just by politics but from personal experience and exposing the corrupt status quo that should worry us all.
A little bit scattered and missing some vital bits (mostly in the realm of intersectionality, where she alludes to class or race issues and then doesn't develop them or fully follow that path) but extremely thought provoking. It was great to read a seriously old school capitalist critique fully connected to gender issues.

It would be nice if such a powerful use of theory could be brought on a larger scale, to revitalize what has become a very shallow and scattered movement, but I'm not sure mains
Bookie Monster
Despite occasional hyperbole a good read zinging with ideas- an excellent introduction to some well trodden topics and some off the eaten track.
An awesome book. Penny's critique is well argued and well positioned. By focusing her thesis on the female body, Penny is able to articulate several levels of critique. The body of women becomes a factory for the sex industry, is exploited in the labor force, and marginalized in the relationship/domestic arena. The chapter on trans rights was very exciting to me. I have always felt aligned with the idea of challenging and breaking the gender binary at every level, Penny locates that struggle rig ...more
This is a very good little book. It's concise, punchy, and very eye-opening. But what did you expect? It's from Zer0 books!
Penny gives an account of how and why capitalism is responsible for, and keeps up the act of us all despising women's flesh. She beautifully stirs staggering thoughts and statistics with autobiographical accounts. It reads more like a contemporary feminist manifesto than a political history book.
The only thing that lets it down is the terrible job the proof-reader did on
Kurz, gehaltvoll, gut geschrieben, viele Infos, lebhafte Anregungen zum Denken. Für mich unter anderem eine vorzügliche Gelegenheit gewesen, größere Zusammenhänge zu überblicken, beim Wunsch zu verstehen, wie das Kriegsgebiet des Feminismus politisch, wirtschaftlich gesehen aussieht.

Wer z.B. als Gamer interessiert daran ist, vermittelt zu bekommen, daß die Bemühungen einer Feministin wie Anitka Sarkeesian mit ihrer »Tropes vs. Woman in Video Games«-Reihe nur die Spitze des Eisbergs feministische
Nadine Leseratte
Pflichtlektüre für alle! Öffnet die Augen für das Offensichtliche!
I thought that this book was very interesting and I was pleased to see controversial topics like transgender and sex worker debates discussed, and it was very well written. However, the book is very short so I would have preferred if the book was longer as it only took a couple of days to read, as most of it was very to the point rather than going into detail.
Articulates a lot I struggle with really well.

The chapter on housework nearly had me crying at how well it understood the contradictions women are placed with. I have never seen it written so well.

Other chapters are awesome too, but express my personal daily frustrations a little less.
Erin Pretorius
A difficult read, not because of the language, but because it opens up a world of horrors. The tone is unapologetic and up-front and places the struggles women face today in relation to the pervasive capitalistic mentality of the West.

A very important read, but a painful one.
good points and ideas, definitely a book from a feminist. but sometimes a bit "know-it-all"
Interesting view of looking at the body and feminist issues. Enjoyed the fact that transgender was included. I found the section about eating disorders to be most well thought and interesting.
Ivobert Vittenko
Keine Wertung, da ich mich in dieser Thematik nicht gut genug auskenne, um das Buch beurteilen zu können. Aufschluss- und lehrreich war's allemal.
Lest das. Und lasst euch nicht von den ersten zehn Seiten essayistischer Fachbegriffsammlung verschrecken. Es lohnt sich. Es macht Mut.
I wouldn't have minded if Penny had explored some trains of thought a little further. There was no good reason for this to be so short!
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Laurie Penny is a journalist, an author, a feminist and a net denizen. She is Contributing Editor at New Statesman magazine, and writes and speaks on social justice, pop culture, gender issues and digital politics for The Guardian, The Independent, Vice, Salon, The Nation, The New Inquiry and many more. She is the author of Cybersexism, Penny Red and Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism, as ...more
More about Laurie Penny...
Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet Discordia Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent Fight Back!

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“Only by remembering to say 'no' will the women of 21st century regain their voice and remember their power. 'No' is the most important word in a woman's dialectic arsenal, and it is the one word that our employers, our leaders, and quite often, the men in our lives would do anything to prevent us from saying. No, we will not serve. No, we will not settle for the dirty work, the low-paid work, the unpaid work. No, we will not stay late at the office, look after the kids, sort out the shopping. We refuse to fit the enormity of our passion, our creativity, and our potential into the rigid physical prison laid down for us since we were small children. No. We refuse. We will not buy your clothes and shoes and surgical solutions. No, we will not be beautiful; we will not be good. Most of all, we refuse to be beautiful and good.” 10 likes
“Femininity itself has become a brand, a narrow and shrinking formula of commoditised identity which can be sold back to women who have become alienated from their own power as living, loving, labouring beings.” 8 likes
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