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Sexy Feminism: A Girl's Guide to Love, Success, and Style

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Not your mother’s feminism! A humor-filled action plan for an accessible, cool, and, yes, even sexy brand of 21st-century feminism 

A Mariner Original Paperback

Feminism can still seem like an abstract idea that is difficult to incorporate into our hectic, media-saturated, modern lives, but Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudúlph show how the everyday things matt
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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 ·  167 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Crystal Starr Light
Feminism isn't as "clear cut" as it was back in the 1970's. Is marrying anti-feminist? What about carefree, casual sex? Or thongs? Or Brazilians? Or a career? Armstrong and Rudulph take a look at several issues which are big feminist topics - cosmetic surgery, waxes, dating, sex, contraceptives and more - and try to give a reasonable answer to "Is this feminist or not?"

NOTE: I received this through the Amazon Vine program.

I went into this book pretty cautious. I just finished a feminism book and
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those new to feminsm, women over 30
Sexy Feminism is the third feminist non-fiction I read in the first month of 2013, and I was hoping for something to fill in the gaps of my self-imposed feminist education. While it sort of fulfilled my requirements with quality advice and interesting points, I had some problems with the writing.

Style-wise, Sexy Feminism is blogger-friendly, and since the title is the name of the authors' blog, this is to be expected. A little informality can lead to funny, direct and personal dialogue with read
Mar 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Don't waste your time, grab a book by Jessica Valenti instead. This book claims it wants you to define feminism for yourself but then gives rules to follow. It's hypocritical and judgmental in its approach and it reeks of "white feminism". It use ableist language, never mentions racism or intersectionality and is blindingly heterosexist.
Julie Anne
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book but honestly, I couldn't even finish it. It has some good, basic feminist principles but I found the book extremely judgemental.

In one sentence it will advocate for everyone doing their own thing and living their lives freely and the next it would reprimand women for getting plastic surgery or specific women and their personal values etc.

I understand the critique they were trying to make on women's societal pressure to always look beautiful and young but this b
Allison L
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was intrigued when I came across the title of Sexy Feminism on Netgalley a couple of months ago. It seemed to almost be a perfect fit for me as I had been looking for something new and different but also something that would reflect the things that I had received an education in. According to the brief synopsis, this was “not your mother’s feminism”, and instead was an offering of a brand new feminism. One that was more accessible, cool, and sexy. I wasn’t exactly sure what was to be meant by ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
As someone who has engaged in the academic conversations surrounding feminism and followed them into digital iterations, my reaction to the book veers from harsh criticism to extremely positive resonance. Overall, I think the book would be a good transition for a young woman who has previously eschewed the feminist title, but is fed up with the image of femininity painted by media, advertising, and magazines.

For an extensive review, see my post:
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I've considered myself a feminist for probably about ten years now, since I was a teenager and started learning what feminism could mean. That commitment has never wavered through years of attacks on feminism, women, etc. But I haven't read many of the classic feminist texts (bell hooks being someone I keep meaning to try but I keep getting sidetracked by all the fantastic YA fiction out there!) so I do keep an eye out for
May 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm not actually certain what the purpose or audience is for this book. By the title, I felt like it would be a recruiting type book. It would fit a beginning college audience that were drawn in by the cover and possibly interesting in exploring feminism. This book doesn't actually do that. Each chapter gives a brief history of the chosen hot topic and attempts to take a feminist stance upon it. The feminist stance is a little unclear in some areas. It's like, it's a woman's choice if she does t ...more
G.G. Silverman
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
Ok, I admit it, when I first saw the title of this book, I laughed. Or maybe I cringed. Or maybe I did both, because I was afraid this book wasn't going to do feminism proper justice. The truth is, this book was serious enough—in an approachable, digestible, hey girlfriend kind of way. It starts by asserting that feminism is not an F-word, and being a feminist doesn’t mean you hate guys, or should wear disfiguring clothes and grow out your arm-pit hair (unless you want to). It does mean that you ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Well, it was about time for another nonfiction book, and unlike Adulting, I just didn’t hugely enjoy my time with it. I’m trying so hard to appreciate nonfiction, and while I’ve certainly finished more nonfiction books than ever this year, I still just have a hard time loving them. I do think it was better than A Little F’ed Up, just because it was less of a primer and really got into the material. I had a hard time reconciling feminism with the basic premise of “this is what you should do to be ...more
I'm not very good at reviewing non-fiction. Basically, the most important points I consider are A) is it readable and B) is the logic sound. So, yes, Sexy Feminism is both readable and logically sound--although on the other hand, the arguments it makes are so inclusive they could almost be called tautologies, which by definition are both logically sound and useless.

Not that I necessarily disagree with the premise. I mean, knowledge and freedom of choice are important when it comes to feminism, a
Amanda Haggerty
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Perhaps I just feel differently than the authors, but this book lacked substance. Sexy Feminism is just a thinly-veiled attempt to package Feminist ideas into little palatable sound-bites so that newcomers to the cause can claim that their actions are in the name of Feminism. Some chapters have very specific and contradictory instructions (changing your appearance via a Brazilian wax or makeup is feminist, but should you desire more permanent changes, such as plastic surgery, that is the patriar ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was actually a really fun read, and I got so many good quotes from it! I was always wary of reading feminist literature because I was afraid it would get too philosophical. This, however, was just fun, useful, realistic advice for the everyday-woman. There were no chastisements for not being the perfect feminist, just some helpful things to keep in mind for the future. The authors were honest about themselves from the beginning, and that helped me listen to what they had to say. I appreciat ...more
Laureen (Ms. Bibliophile)
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'll have to do a proper and full review later, but first impressions:

This book was informative without being condescending, and it was quite honest about the authors opinions and feelings. I think that it made feminism very approachable and easy to understand, though the tag of it being a girl's guide to love, success, and style seems to be a bit overreaching. I don't think I would hand this book to my pre-teen daughter because a lot of the concepts are a bit beyond her, but otherwise it was an
Kris Patrick
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I noticed people have posted some pretty bitter reviews on this book. Bummer! What I like is that the authors take an issue like plastic surgery and examine from multiple angles and then sort of leave it up to you to make up your mind where you fall on the spectrum. I enjoyed their voices of reason but probably because I share their definition of feminism - it's all about choices!!* :) It is no longer acceptable (not that it ever was) to say "I'm not a feminist but..." Being a feminist is sexy! ...more
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm not totally sure what to make of this child of "lipstick feminism." The book was passed along to me by a friend who was convinced it might not be a good fit for me, and she was mostly right. The writing and voice were fine, the doggedly hetero, white, conventional-culture outlook, less so. I appreciated the authors' take on dating and developing strong relationships with other women, even as these topics weren't unique, a person really can't hear them enough times. In the end, I reaffirmed ...more
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This bool was my first thorough taste of what feminism is. I enjoyed how this book covered not only the underlying theory & history of feminism, but it also gave practical solutions on how we can practice feminism politically, economically, verbally, etc. It also opened my own eyes to realize that I am 100% feminist & I had no idea. lol

I did find that there were moments where the writing seemed a bit judgmental or rigid about differing opinions but all in all, I felt it was worth the read.

The t
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 Stars
When I was in High School feminism was only for lesbians. Straight girls were either girly girls, sexpots, or bitches. Recently with all the election stuff and different political bodies trying to pass restrictions on women’s bodies and health there has been a resurgence of feminism. I like this book because it helps dispel the old myths and gives the new generation something to fight for. That being a woman is a powerful thing. And that you can take charge of who you are without changin
Oct 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
If you aren't familiar with feminism perhaps this is a place to start. They touched on the basics in the forward and first few chapters but spent way too long, and I mean way to long, talking about how feminism relates to waxing. I was surprised with every page I turned and the continuation on the modern history of waxing. I'm just not convinced this is relevant to the modern plight of women, a side note? Yes. Worth more than a page? No. I had to stop and began reading The Feminine Mystique inst ...more
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While by no mean's an in-depth treatise on Feminism, it is a an eminently readable discussion of Feminism in reflection to the lives many of us want to live. It definitely made me reflect on a few things about myself, such as why many of us, myself included, find the label feminist uncomfortable. We have a presentation of feminism with the core belief that women are the equals of men, so why should we be ashamed of wanting to be considered equal?
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Disclaimer: This ARC was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

This was interesting. Trying to find what is empowering and not internalized misogyny can be tricky. This might help some women strive to find their own balance between the two.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a really good book for women that are just beginning to delve into the intricacies of feminism. It goes over a lot of the basic tenet of 3rd wave feminism and has a lot of good resources for further research. It doesn't have as much analysis as other focused feminist books though.
Hien Nguyen
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book uses simple language and practical advice to build up feminism. I expected to see more indeed analysis and description on the symptoms calling feminism and non-feminism. Anyways, it is good quick read to introduce an aspect of defining feminism.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, feminist, 2013
My review can be found here. ...more
Are Brazilians anti-feminist? And what's a progressive girl to do if she likes being hairless (and wearing makeup and feeling hot)? This book lays it all out.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Made its point. Feminism etiquette for the 20 somethings.
S. K. Pentecost
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice update on where some of feminism is going. Wish the authors had a more rigorous scholarship ethic, but that is maybe not the crowd they are writing to.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Quite a few people have already commented on the title of this book, and I agree that it was misguided. It was what made me pick it up in the first place, but for the wrong reasons: I started it expecting to hate-read a mommy-blogger style treatise debating the merits of boob jobs, and while there’s was a little more nuance to it than that, I wasn’t far off the mark.

It was just so grating, though, to be told over and over again that feminism is worthy because it’s sexy and fun, and not because
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book. Easy read. Recommend for fun.
Nadia Nathania
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, I didn't actually finish the whole book. I borrowed it from my university's library and before I could finish it, someone else had requested it.

The book consists of several chapters and each of them touch on different topics in 20th and 21st century feminism. Lots of good things pointed out in the book. Useful for students studying media/journalism. Otherwise, it's a good read for anybody. Catchy language, too.
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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is the New York Times bestselling author of Seinfeldia; Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted; Pop Star Goddesses; and Sex and the City and Us. She spent a decade on staff at Entertainment Weekly and has since written for many publications, including BBC Culture, The New York Times Book Review, Vice, New York magazine, and Billboard.

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