Jill Collins's Reviews > Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture

Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy
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Jul 18, 2012

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Read on July 18, 2012

This book is definitely an interesting portrait of women who glamorize and perpetuate the very same stereotypes their mothers and grandmothers fought to shed. The author posits many of these women must feel empowered because they choose objectification, how can they be oppressed when they are in on the joke? At times the book became a difficult read because I found some of my own attitudes staring back at me, why am I so hesitant to think of myself as a feminist?

I found the section pertaining to school kids to be the most shocking. While the text is a little dated - nary a mention of "sexting" - it was still surprising to hear from the girls themselves. How they dress suggestively for popularity, the constant obsession with being perceived as sexy and worthy of male attention. The girls also spoke of their willingness to perform oral sex on the boys, while fearing judgement or thinking it's gross to have a boy's face in their own genitals. It was also disheartening to read about the women my own age, mirroring the very same actions and sexual attitudes of these girls, just on grander scales and in public venues.

I found the most evocative argument did not belong to the author but noted feminist Erica Jong:

"I would be happier if my daughter and her friends were crashing through the glass ceiling instead of the sexual ceiling. Being able to have an orgasm with a man you don't love or having Sex and the City on television, that is not liberation. If you start to think about women as if we're all Carrie on Sex and the City, well, the problem is: You're not going to elect Carrie to the Senate or to run your company. Let's see the Senate fifty percent female; let's see women in decision making positions - that's power. Sexual freedom can be the smokescreen for how far we haven't come."

It's definitely worth the read despite no solutions or real underlying causes on offer.
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