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A Little F'd Up: Why Feminism Is Not a Dirty Word
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A Little F'd Up: Why Feminism Is Not a Dirty Word

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Young women today have a bad reputation, and for good reason: They’re sexting their classmates, they spend more time on FaceBook than they do in class, and their appetite for material possessions and reality TV is matched only by their overwhelming apathy about important social and political issues. Right?


FBomb blog creator Julie Zeilinger debunks these (and other) m
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Seal Press (first published April 3rd 2012)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
I'm fairly new to the world of feminism, only recently really broaching the subject because I began dating a girl who identified as a feminist.

She immediately brought to mind my only encounter with a self declared feminist, years ago: The lady told me she was a feminist and her husband was too. I remember being explicitly shocked that she had a husband for one (apparently I assumed all Feminist ladies to be either gay or man-hating. Or both.) And my next trailing memory is thinking "That poor ma
Jan 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly can't recommend this. The author has a fresh style of writing that can be a great benefit to creative non-fiction, or creative fiction, but not here. This subject is a serious topic that is also extremely sensitive. The book is back to back opinion with no supporting evidence and nonstop contradiction. In one paragraph the author will make fun of, or scold female celebrities that have damaged the female image while in the next say that no one has a right to judge her for the clothes s ...more
I saw Julie Zeilinger on Melissa Harris-Perry's show a while back and was very impressed. And now that I have read her book I am even more impressed. She is well-versed and taught this old lady a thing or two.

I've always thought of myself as a feminist but until recently I felt I only vaguely knew what that was. Even with being a young adult during the last "wave," the arsonists. No, I never burned my bra but back then didn't feel I needed one either. But in the midst of all of that I went along
May 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
This book is the epitome of mainstream white feminism. I absolutely commend the author for being interested in feminism at a young age, but her immaturity shows both in her voice and her opinions. I appreciate what she was trying to do, but a book full of comparisons to "those other girls" made clear that she wants people to embrace feminism, but only certain people that she deems fit. I'll admit that I didn't read the entire book, but only because her tone was so simultaneously patronizing and ...more
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw this book as a recommendation on a website I was really excited to read a feminist book written by a girl around my age. I have yet to meet another girl my age who is a feminist. I was also really eager to read this because I saw Jessica Valenti wrote the introduction (Love myself some Jessica Valenti!). Honestly though, this book is TOO opinionated. There are hardly any facts to back up what Julie is saying. I feel like at times she goes a little too much off topic, and as another re ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I couldn't decide whether I loved or hated this book, mainly because it covers so much ground in so few pages. Also, her tone gets a little obnoxious after a while. But that's probably just because I'm old and boring.

In the end, I ended up really liking it, because 1) She was trying to write an introduction to feminism for teenagers. And she definitely succeeded at that. AND 2) Because she's a teenager, the whole tone of the book just ended up being really fitting. Who better than to wr
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Though it may be a breezy little primer for the budding feminist, Zeilinger's debut reads a little too hard as an advertisement for armchair feminists. The aroma of privilege wafts through each of the two hundred odd pages. The author, though repeatedly acknowledging her white middle class status, disserves those of lesser privilege in her lukewarm, nonchalant, kitschy voice. Condescending towards the more radical forms of feminism, too succinct to be respectful of feminist history, and too far ...more
Ryan Mishap
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
A breezy but serious tour of feminism that would be a great gift for the teenager in your life. She lays claim to the so-called "Third Wave" philosophy of feminism and presents the same things I have problems with when reading others in with that ilk, but the enthusiasm, humor, and right-on parts outweigh criticism.

I'd like to see the notion of "waves" either disappear, or, better, expand. After all, far more than three waves dampen the sand each day and what might be useful as a philosophical
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to the history of feminism and the issues women are currently facing as they fight for equality all over the world. The writing style in this book was so conversational and accessible; I could tell that more than anything, Zeilinger just wants to get the word out there about feminism and why it should not have the bad reputation that it does. I highly recommend this for both young women, young men, and anyone else who has never learned about what feminism is actually ab ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, a feminist book written by a teen! Zeilinger does a great job delving into the teen girl psyche. This should be required reading for all high school students.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-feminism
This book was so disappointing. It was full of cliches, narrow-minded, alienating, elitist, and privileged. I was hoping to find something for my younger sister to read, but I could not recommend this book to anyone, except perhaps as an example of what not to do.

From the book:

"But the reason so many of us fail to recognize the sexism that surrounds us is not that we're oblivious. (At least, most of us aren't. I won't speak for that one girl we've all been in class with - you know, the one who
Dana Abel
I am conflicted writing this review. I didn’t really enjoy my reading experience of this book, but I can appreciate it for what it is. I think, had I read this as a high school student it would have been more beneficial, but most of the topics covered in the book are ideas and information I came to in college. Perhaps someone my age with a less feminist-heavy college experience could also appreciate and take more away from this book than I did. But as it were, I was very involved in feminist cau ...more
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, feminism
This is a book written by a young woman while she was in high school and college. I am now seriously questioning some of my life choices. I wish I’d been that mature and driven in high school.

A Little F’ed Up is a great book to introduce young women to feminism. Zeilinger does a great job at relating feminist issues to what’s happening to high school and college women right now. As someone who’s a little closer to thirty than university, I didn’t get as much out of it as I would have liked.

I really wish I could recommend this book because it's great that young women (or at least this one) care so much about feminism, but I can't. It begins with some Wikipedia research re-worded as background on important feminists then moves into some opinionated, but unsubstantiated talk about feminism. I love opinions, that's great, but not when they're presented as fact without citation or evidence. I think she wrote this when she was 17, and I'm afraid that it shows.

Young women interested in f
This book started off strong, bit I can't really recommend it.

This book had a lot of moments where I agreed with the author, but with plenty of moments where my reaction was more along the lines of ew why would you say that. Some statements that implied far more a hivemind to feminism, and statements that created erasure for those in the queer community.

The author made some statements that were just not well thought out. I certainly don't think her intentions were bad or necessarily that she t
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great intro to feminism, especially for a teenage/young adult age range. It was a great comprehensive guide to the history of the movement, where it is now, and some major issues that feminism is combating. There section on global issues was through a bit of an ethnocentric lens and the overall perspective of the book was that of a straight, white, younger woman, but Zeilinger made a point to try to address that she knew her experience isn't that of everyone and did try to point t ...more
Elizabeth Field DiGiovanni
Sentences like "If I hear one more girl wonder aloud if Roe v. Wade was a boxing match that was recently televised by ESPN, I'm going to freakin' rip my hair out" characterizes the contrived nature of this 'feminist primer'.

The author, a teen, too often shows her immaturity and falls into the common trap of hypocritical arguments typical in current popular media -- i.e. women should be able to define themselves/dress themselves/display themselves however they like BUT in this section I shall sh
Grits Helme
Oct 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Hoo-boy, here's an indicator of quality: when addressing the possibility of a name-change for the feminist movement, the author suggests "intersectionalism" while complaining that every time she types it her computer underlines it in red. Yes. That's because the word is INTERSECTIONALITY. Who edited this?

Apart from "intersectionalism" being written REPEATEDLY, my biggest problem with this was that there's simply too much opinion and not enough reference. Fine for a blog post, not so great for a
Kathy (McDowell) Miller
This book felt like a total waste of time for me. I was looking for a book that would tell me how to get involved; this is not that book. Ms. Zeilinger spends the entire first half of the book giving us a history lesson and her opinion on what feminism means to her, like I give a flying __. The only part of the book I found interesting was the part on global misogyny, most of which I already knew.
If you're looking to make a difference in the lives of young women, this isn't the book that can h
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If only the package were a little more attractive..the content is pitch-perfect for modern, accessible feminism for all women, especially those in the "post-feminist" (sarcastic air-quotes) generations. ...more
Yaja Sa.
Received this book in a giveaway a year ago. A good book for anyone who wants to know what feminism is about. It's ideal for teens but also for anyone who wants to refresh their knowledge about feminism. ...more
Aspen Junge
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
A decent primer of feminist theory and history for junior high through college. It's based on the author's feminism blog and uses contemporary language to explain what feminism is, why it's still relevant today, and suggestions for activism. I didn't really learn anything, but it was a fun read. ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's horrible. I really tried to like this book, I did but he writing style and the things he writes annoy me. She has this whole thing with the "other girls" where she seems to think she is some kid of special feminist snowflake whereas every other teenage girl is an idiot. Yea not very feminist ...more
Sam Poole
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Good for what it is, but incomplete. This deleted my long review. Damn. This isn't perfect by any stretch but it is effective and concise where it lacks in evenhandedness and thoroughness. Julie- you rock. Can't wait for the next one. ...more
It wasn't bad. The beginning and history was really good but I just wasn't the target audience and so the further I got into it I just started loosing interest. ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Good overview of important concepts. Some parts could be revised to be more sensitive/understanding of social context.
I totes forgot to put the date that I finished this book. OOPS. ANYWAY. A good introduction to feminism in an interesting manner! I liked it. :)
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has been probably one of the best overviews of what feminism is in today's world. Written by a woman close to my age she is witty, smart, funny nd relatable. Every girl should read this book. ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great for the younger generations.
Emily Green
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone needs to read this. It is blunt, funny, and educational AF!
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Originally from Pepper Pike, Ohio, 19-year-old Julie Zeilinger is currently an undergraduate at Barnard College, Columbia University. Julie is the founder and editor of the FBomb (thefbomb.org) a feminist blog and community for teens and young adults who care about their rights and want to be heard.

Julie has been named one of the eight most influential bloggers under the age of 21 by Woman’s Day m

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“But somehow things took a sinister turn, and the division of labor came to be understood as the demarcation of a social hierarchy. Women kept busy with numerous domestic responsibilities while their male counterparts' sole duty was tending to the flocks. Men had time to think critically, form political infrastructures, and ultimately, network with other men. Meanwhile, women were kept too busy to notice that somewhere along the line, they had become inferior. This is approximately when shit hit the fan.” 6 likes
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