I picked up this book because I was intrigued by Samhita Mukhopadhyay's Occupy V-Day project and thought it would be interesting to hear a more thorouI picked up this book because I was intrigued by Samhita Mukhopadhyay's Occupy V-Day project and thought it would be interesting to hear a more thorough critique of "the romantic industrial complex" from her. The book ended up taking me weeks to slog through. The majority of her critiques -- of pick-up artists, dating manuals, and familial pressures -- are important but not new. As other reviewers have pointed out, if you're immersed in the feminist blogosphere or were, at some point, a gender studies minor, you're likely to end up frustrated by her refusal to go past a "101" level analysis.
For that very reason, I *would* recommend this book to new feminists or other young people, who are just beginning to think about what society expects from them as daters. Provided those people are girls who like boys. That point brings me to the most personally frustrating element of Mukhopadhyay's text: it is almost exclusively unpacking how these ideas affect straight women (or -- possibly -- women attracted to men). While her rhetoric is largely inclusive, there's little discussion of the effect these narratives have on queers that could not have been included as a footnote. The result is an (unintentional) recreation of the erasure of queer desire present in the narrative she's opposing. And, for me, it resulted in a book that (up until the final chapters) was either boring, frustrating, or both.
It's always easier to tell an author how they should have written than it is to write, so I'm hesitant to take such issue with what Mukhopadhyay does not include. But like the reviewers who were frustrated to find the book more social critique than personal advice, I think it could have been more forthcoming with what it *was* doing and for whom, specifically. I have nothing wrong with books that are essentially just for straight people, provided they don't claim to be otherwise....more
Phenomenal prose (unsurprisingly) but a little heavy-handed thematically. In some ways, this book would be more impressive if it weren't from MorrisonPhenomenal prose (unsurprisingly) but a little heavy-handed thematically. In some ways, this book would be more impressive if it weren't from Morrison; its power is eclipsed -- somewhat -- by her other, better works. Still, an important read for anyone invested in (or invested in dismantling) the beauty ideal....more
To be perfectly honest (and still sound overly-enthusiastic), I don't know that I've ever read a better collection of essays on *any* topic than ChoicTo be perfectly honest (and still sound overly-enthusiastic), I don't know that I've ever read a better collection of essays on *any* topic than Choice. These stories take a topic intently assigned to the intellect and bring it back to the heart, reminding the reader that the personal, while political, is also simply personal. "Reproductive rights" is no euphemism in this book; it covers the gambit (as the subtitle explains) of reproductive issues, and does so with amazingly consistent, compelling narratives. The stories are a reminder of the vast amount of gray in this black/ white issue, a reminder that those of us firmly planted in our position still don't have all the answers, and that the best solution to an incredibly complex problem remains one a woman has the freedom to choose herself. I recommend this book so highly (and so often) I sound nutty and a bit obsessed....more
Although a lot of this book reads as Feminism 101 ("really? there were WAVES?"), it's an incredibly thorough, incredibly current guide to feminism, anAlthough a lot of this book reads as Feminism 101 ("really? there were WAVES?"), it's an incredibly thorough, incredibly current guide to feminism, and more importantly -- for me, anyway -- to activism on any front. It is absolutely packed with resources: organizations, projects, and companies every active feminist should know. as well as guides on everything from writing a press release, to giving a decent interview, to hosting a successful event (and more!). The idea that a book so packed with information is such a quick read thoroughly astounds me. Now, I just have to go back and follow up on the million bits of information I noted for further investigation. Well done, Megan Seely....more