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The Jezebel Effect: Why the Slut Shaming of Famous Queens Still Matters

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Have you heard that Catherine the Great died having sex with her horse? Or perhaps you prefer the story that Anne Boleyn had six fingers and slept with her brother? Or that Katheryn Howard slept with so many members of the Tudor court that they couldn’t keep track of them all? As juicy and titillating as the tales might be, they are all, patently untrue.

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Kindle Edition, 412 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Ashwood Press
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4.06  · 
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 ·  50 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This book has just shot up onto my “Top 10 Essential Non-Fiction Reads”. Erudite, incisive, professional, and important, this is definitely a book that I would recommend to everyone. So what’s it about? Well, actually I found Kyra Kramer’s writing so good that for much of this review I intend to let it speak for itself.

“What is a slut, really? How do you know who is slutty and who isn’t? In this enlightened age, why does the word slut continue to stalk women like an overdone spectre in an overw
Ana Mardoll
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
The Jezebel Effect / 9781508666110

I feel guilty not finishing this book, because this is exactly the kind of book that I've been wishing for years that someone would write. I love popular history books about women: I've read pretty much everything Alison Weir has ever written, I've read about Marie Antoinette and Cleopatra and Hatchepsut, I've read Eleanor Herman's Sex with the Queen. I've read all these books about the lives of famous and powerful women, and I've been struck by how much slut-sh
Susan O
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-women-s
First, let me say that I enjoyed this book. I love history and the insight into these women and the way they have been portrayed was enlightening. She specifically looks at Jezebel, Cleopatra, Anne Boleyn, and Catherine the Great comparing their portrayal with their very real accomplishments, which are frequently overshadowed by talk of their sex lives. It is also well documented with a substantial bibliography at the end.

Second, and probably more importantly, Kramer connects the historical iss
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A revelation; Kyra Kramer redeems the patriarchal and misogynistic historical views of women who were leaders, who were abused and who have been wilfully misunderstood throughout history. Engagingly and wittily written, Ms Kramer details the lives of Anne Boleyn, Jezebel, Cleopatra, Catherine the Great and Katherine Howard, showing clearly how they have been misrepresented and used by subsequent generations of historians writing from their own societal perspectives. Both creating and perpetuatin ...more
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read: November 2015
Rating: 5/5 stars

What a powerful book. The Jezebel Effect investigates how the reputations of strong women from history have been tarnished, manipulated or otherwise destroyed in order to relay the message that women who speak out, dare the question the leadership or authority of men, or who even prove to be better leaders than men - are somehow tainted and shameful. Kramer shows us why restoring the reputations of these powerful female figures is important and relevant as she
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Actual Historical Facts vs the Usual Malicious Lies

Amazing look at what really happened with Jezebel, Cleopatra, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard and Catherine the Great. Most of what they did had nothing to do with sex yet that is what they were smeared by and remembered for. The most shocking was the true story of Jezebel who was the wife of the King of Israel and had several legitimate sons. She was a highly educated Phoenician Princess and considered a holy woman and priestess. The King's Gener
Gayle Noble
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fascinating look at how powerful women have been vilified in history: Jezebel, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Catherine the Great. Looking at the historical information available, there is a good case to be made that all of them have suffered 'slut shaming' for being powerful. I found the section on Jezebel to be the most interesting, for example the fact that the word 'harlot' changed from meaning 'a worshipper of foreign gods' to having sexual connotations due to Jezebel.

One major critic
An excellent study about five famous historical women who have been unjustly slandered, and an eye-opening reflection about how their bad reputations are still relevant today and are the cause for many misconceptions about women. The only defect of this book is that it needed more editing, since there are some typos. Still, it is such a fascinating, heartfelt and important read that the errors are secondary, at least to me.
Angie Pena
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. it's finely written, and fascinating.
Laetitia Tissard
Apr 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
So bad I just couldn't finish it...

One star only because I couldn't minus a thousand. The writing is atrocious. You find better in the Daily Mail. The arguments are ridiculous. The author tries to proves that women who sell sex to make up for their lack of talent or hard work are not sluts. It could have been an interesting argument if she had any and used a more academic writing. Instead she goes on and on about women trying to "get some finishing of their own with some patron " to establish th
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Probably more of a 2.5, given that it took me almost a year to finish. Some interesting ideas, but as often happens with a book where the author is on a soapbox - even if in large part I agreed with her points - I felt like she sometimes stretched to make them.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent examination of unfair histories of female rulers and how much better they were than we read now. Also, a good look at how women are still badly written.
Erin Sturdevant
Mar 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book doesn't even deserve one star. The same issues that many reviewed in her book Blood Will Tell arise in this book as well. Many pages consist solely of quoted text from sources, much of which could have been edited and is not relevant to the subject matter. This book read more like a low level, poor quality college paper. Her points are very repetitive and are filled more with opinionated hate rather than objective facts and evidence. Ultimately, I don't understand why this publisher th ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Good but ...

I like this book. I wanted to give it a great review, because the topic is well overdue and there was obviously a great deal of research. However, there are typographic errors that seriously detract from reading. It is distracting to have to stop and "translate" text from autocowreck to English.

Otherwise, job well done.
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May 27, 2015
Alexandra Devidal
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Aug 11, 2015
Anne Marie
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Jun 09, 2015
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Kay Robinett
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Mar 07, 2015
Carol Clifford
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Nov 24, 2015
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Apr 28, 2018
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Dec 06, 2018
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Mar 04, 2015
Mendi Cyr
rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2018
Rosey Waters
We at Robots Read enjoyed this book, were confused and uncomfortable about this book, and ultimately thought it was a useful and interesting thing to read.

Yes, even despite the typos.
Giovanna Locatelli
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2018
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Kyra Kramer is a medical anthropologist, historian, and devoted bibliophile who lives just outside Cardiff, Wales with her handsome husband and three wonderful young daughters. Ms. Kramer has authored several history books and academic essays, and has recently begun writing fictional as well. You can visit her website at to learn more about her life and work.
“Dogs were both feared, in their guise as tools of war and as guards, yet loathed as contemptible dung eaters. That is why so many insults, even today, link the word “dog” with someone who is being conveyed as both a threateningly evil and/or disgusting object. Note that the word “bitch” is still thrown like a verbal rock at women who seem to be usurping masculine traits, such as competiveness or aggression (Hazelton, 2009:173).” 3 likes
“As a result of deuteronomistic editing, the idea that God has both a male and a female aspect was not just removed from the orthodox belief system, the very concept of it was lost to believers because they decreed that it never existed in the first place. The veneration of Asherah was repackaged as having always been counter to the will of Yahweh and having never been an acceptable part of Yahwism.” 1 likes
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