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Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

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From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an "acceptable" woman.

You know the type: the woman who won't shut up, who's too brazen, too opinionated--too much. It's not that she's an outcast (she might even be your friend or your wife, or your mother) so much as she's a social variable. Sometimes, she's the life of the party; others, she's the center of gossip. She's the unruly woman, and she's one of the most provocative, powerful forms of womanhood today.

There have been unruly women for as long as there have been boundaries of what constitutes acceptable "feminine" behavior, but there's evidence that she's on the rise--more visible and less easily dismissed--than ever before. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of "unruliness" to explore the ascension of eleven contemporary powerhouses: Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, Caitlyn Jenner, Jennifer Weiner, and Lena Dunham.

Petersen explores why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures, each of whom has been conceived as "too" something: too queer, too strong, too honest, too old, too pregnant, too shrill, too much. With its brisk, incisive analysis, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud will be a conversation-starting book on what makes and breaks celebrity today.

234 pages, Hardcover

First published June 20, 2017

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About the author

Anne Helen Petersen

8 books650 followers
Anne Helen Petersen has an actual Ph.D. in celebrity gossip and writes longform pieces for BuzzFeed.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,184 reviews
February 21, 2023

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Whoa, you know a book is **edgy** when you lose a few friends every time you post a status update for it.

TOO FAT, TOO SLUTTY, TOO LOUD; THE RISE AND REIGN OF THE UNRULY WOMAN is written by a BuzzFeed writer who also published another work of nonfiction about the scandals of Golden Age Hollywood. TOO FAT also focuses on Hollywood, but Hollywood in the present day: in particular, it is a rather scathing and critical look at how various women are treated by the media when they choose to openly defy various gender roles, and what that means for us, as a society.

I really liked the structure of this book. TOO FAT is divided into segments, with each chapter focusing on a typical gender norm and a famous woman who does not follow it. There are ten chapters, plus an opening and a conclusion.

Chapter One: Too Strong // Serena Williams

This was one of my favorite chapters in the collection because I thought Serena Williams was so cool when I was a young girl. In the 90s, most "cool" female celebrities were very girly, like the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, and while I loved those ladies, too, and happily played their music for hours, I was a tomboy, so it was very cool to see a woman - a young woman - being praised for being strong and athletic and basically the antithesis of the pink bows and sparkly flowers that were being crammed down the throats of girls at the time.

But all was not as rosy as it seemed in my various issues of Preteen Monthly. TOO FAT talks about how Serena had to work every step of the way to become recognized in a sport that was rife with double standards regarding not just her gender but also her ethnicity. Her critics frequently wrote about her with coded language mocking her beaded hair and her temper tantrums, focusing on her with an intensity that simply did not happen for her male (white) colleagues. I thought this was a very thoughtful piece and it reminded me why I admired the Williams sisters so much growing up.

Chapter Two: Too Fat // Melissa McCarthy

This was another favorite chapter of mine, because I love Melissa McCarthy and live for her Sean Spicer sketches on SNL. This was also a very well-written essay that discusses how overweight and plus-sized women are treated by the media (read: mocked) and how the accomplishments of women are recognized differently than the accomplishments of men (read: they aren't - at least not as effusively, nor to the same extent). Women are supposed to deflect and be demure - they aren't supposed to openly acknowledge their accomplishments; it is really amazing to me how quick people are to tear women down when it seems like they're "too confident." I also thought it was interesting how McCarthy's persona on stage is apparently so different from her real-life persona. As someone who's also quite shy in real life, I thought it was kind of sweet that McCarthy sounds like she's soft-spoken and actually super girly off-stage.

Chapter Three: Too Gross // Abbi Jacbson & Ilana Glazer

To be honest, I have no idea who these people are. They're from a show called Broad City, which I don't watch (I don't watch a lot of TV). But the point the essay makes is clear: society has definitive ideas about what women are permitted to joke about, and women are often mocked for or excluded from participating in raunch humor or slacker humor. There was one quote in this book that summed up this idea really nicely: According to this logic, men's bodily functions are funny - but women's bodies are fundamentally obscene (86)

It actually reminded me of the Eat, Pray, Queef episode from South Park, which does a great job of poking fun at the double standards when it comes to bodily humor and gender.

Chapter Four: Too Slutty // Nicki Minaj

This was another good chapter that talks about the catch-22 situation that many women find themselves in when deciding whether or not to show skin: is having a "sexy" image in the public eye merely catering to the male gaze, or is it owning one's sexuality? Can it be both?

Like the "Too Strong" chapter with Serena Williams, Too Slutty also talks about how women of color, specifically black women of color, are hypersexualized and held to different standards than white women when it comes to beauty and sexuality (read: the shortest short end of the stick). This is a topic I've seen mentioned a lot lately, and I was pleased to see the author mention it, and defining why this double standard is so problematic in such clear and precise terms.

Chapter Five: Too Old // Madonna

"Too Old" is one of the weaker chapters in this book, in my opinion. It's about age discrimination with regards to sexuality specifically, and how older women are expected to give up basically all sexual agency and just become celibate, demure, and matronly as they grow older. Using Madonna as an example, Petersen shows how women are shamed and portrayed as pathetic and desperate when still attempting to convey a sexual and youthful image post-middle age.

Chapter Six: Too Pregnant // Kim Kardashian

This was one of my favorite chapters, which surprised me because I'm really not a fan of Kim Kardashian. But this chapter surprised me, and it actually made me like Kim a little more. In this chapter, Petersen talks about Kim's pregnancy with North and how Kim totally went against the "cute pregnancy" standards set by people like Reese Witherspoon or Kate Middleton by wearing tight, unflattering clothes and complaining publicly about her discomfort and ambivalence of being pregnant instead of yapping about how great(!) and amazing(!) pregnancy is.

I liked this chapter because, like the Too Gross chapter, it shows that women can't always be neat and cute and clean all the time. Maintaining such a pristine image is hard work and not everyone has the resources or the will to manage such a time-consuming illusion. Kim Kardashian chose not to buy into that and showed us that even famous people have bad moments - and that's OK.

Chapter Seven: Too Shrill // Hillary Clinton

I think this might have been one of the chapter updates that caused me to lose some friends, because I said that I thought Hillary Clinton should be president instead of certain **other people** and that it was a shame she wasn't given a chance. Well, I stand by that. And Petersen did a great job talking about some of the obstacles female politicians face, being mocked for wanting power and accused of being bitchy, aggressive, and shrill for the same attributes that their male colleagues are praised for.

Chapter Eight: Too Queer // Caitlyn Jenner

"Too Queer" was an interesting chapter. Most of the other chapters have a tone of "praise" or at least "admiration" but in "Too Queer" I felt the tone was more critical. Here, Petersen talks about the subject of heteronormativity (or having heterosexual norms being the de facto standard for a society) and how coming from a position of privilege can color or shape the perception of inequality for someone who is within the marginalized group in question (in this case, not realizing how bad things are for other trans people if you are a rich, gender role-conforming trans person who "passes" easily).

Chapter Nine: Too Loud // Jennifer Weiner 


Jennifer Weiner novels were the staple of my young adolescence and after Bridge Jones, were basically what got me into the whole "chick lit" genre. I related to everything in this essay so hard. As a reader and writer of romance, I cannot tell you how often I have been denigrated because of my choices of reading and writing material. (One phrase that sticks out is "articulate" - I feel that is the go-to code word for people who want to find a way to tell you that they think you are an idiot if you write intelligently. Like, "Oh, you're articulate, but everything you think and feel is trash.")

I do not think it is a coincidence that the genre that primarily caters to women receives the most criticism from both within and without the industry - especially (although not always by) men.

Honestly, I would read an entire book about this topic (need a future book idea, Ms. Petersen?).

Chapter Ten: Too Naked // Lena Dunham

Ugh, my least favorite chapter. I just don't like Lena Dunham and I don't like Girls and have little interest in seeing Girls (which is a feat in and of itself, given my mad Adam Driver obsession). I thought about skipping this chapter but I wanted to read it anyway just so I could write a well-rounded review of the book...and it wasn't that bad. Basically, Lena Dunham asserts herself by flaunting a body that most people don't find attractive or "worthy." ...Okay? I think this was the least effective chapter because it was basically a combination of the "Too Fat" and "Too Gross" chapters from the beginning of the book, so I didn't really feel like we were covering any new ideas. I think a "Too Confident" or "Too Smart" chapter would have been better, because my God, have you ever noticed how quick people are to tear women down for daring to feel...good about themselves?

Overall, I really enjoyed TOO FAT, TOO SLUTTY, TOO LOUD. It helped that I already liked most of the people the author chose to write about, but the writing stands on its own. This book covers some very important topics about how women are treated by society. Even though we are moving towards true equality, there are still many areas that need improvement, and I would suggest this book to people who insist that society is equal or smugly call themselves "equalists" because TOO FAT does a great job highlighting not just where the last bastions of inequality exist, but also why they exist, and why it's important not to null these groups out.

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!

4 stars!
Profile Image for Nat.
546 reviews3,172 followers
August 2, 2018
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud is divided into ten chapters, each examining unruly female celebrities “who occupy all different corners of the mainstream, from the literary world to Hollywood, from HBO to the tennis court. It includes several women of color, but the prevalence of straight white women serves to highlight an ugly truth: that the difference between cute, acceptable unruliness and unruliness that results in ire is often as simple as the color of a woman’s skin, whom she prefers to sleep with, and her proximity to traditional femininity.”

As you can read in the above quote, The author's self-awareness was the first thing I noticed and immediately cherished in her writing. There's no topic Petersen shied away from and this passion of radical honesty and transparency settled into my core. I took a lot away from it.

Though it took me a minute to settle into the frame of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, the essay that secured my interest most was on Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. It won me over in a beat with this single line: “In their world, men are as secondary as female friends are in the traditional rom-com. ”

This is what happy feels like. Oh, and this:

“Both Abbi and Ilana are deeply weird, but within the vividly rendered world of Broad City, their actions make some sort of sense, always in relation to each other. Of course Abbi would pose as Ilana for a six-hour shift at the co-op, or Ilana would devote an entire day to caring for Abbi after oral surgery—they’re each other’s first and foremost. Which is why there are no “bottle episodes” that focus uniquely on one character or the other: not because they’re not individuals, but because they’re always in each other’s orbit.”

Unlike my first impression regarding this book, it came to provide varying perspectives and radically de-center the story from the celebrity; rather focus on the messages and ideas they represent: Serena Williams (too strong), Kim Kardashian West (too pregnant), Hillary Clinton (too shrill), Jennifer Weiner (Too loud), Melissa McCarthy (too fat), and more.

“My hope is that this book unites the enthralling, infuriating, and exhilarating conversations that swirl around these women, but also incites new and more expansive ones. ”

I most certainly enjoyed reading and learning more about these unruly women and the notions they stood for. Feminist works like Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud are something I'll never tire of seeing either on screen or on paper.

Plus, I'd definitely recommend giving this book a go if you enjoy looking up reviews of celebrities, TV shows, and books... Because this is a comprehensive, yet in-depth pool of knowledge of history, celebrity culture, double standards, LGBTQIA+ representation, feminism and challenging the norms of femininity. And there are of course a myriad other small things scattered throughout to keep you entertained from start to finish. I would say that the only thing I wasn't too happy about was the fact that Lena Dunham was included in this mix. Thankfully, she was the last essay in here, so I just went ahead and skipped that altogether because I simply cannot support her character.


Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!

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February 20, 2022
"Women can consider themselves free, feminist, and liberated in so many ways-yet still be controlled by the notion of an ideal body of which their own continually falls short"

That quote is my favourite within this book, and I completely agree with it. Many women do still feel like they have to change how they look to maybe feel like they fit in, and this is usually due to pressure from others, and the media. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been at both ends of the spectrum. I deliberately altered the amount of food I ate to achieve that body. Of course, I was thin, but I was unhealthy, and mostly, I was desperately unhappy. It took time for me to accept myself, and take not a blind bit of notice the daily pressures to do with our bodies that seem to be plastered in every nook and cranny.

The idea behind this book is great. I mean, who doesn't like an unruly woman? The issue I had was the layout of this book, and the style in which it was written. It was confusing, and I felt like on one page Peterson was praising the celebrity in question, then, on the next page she was telling us the issues with that celebrity, but she obviously struggled with information to back that.

The level of analysis in this book was poor. I honestly feel like that most of the things discussed within this book I've actually read before elsewhere, and, in a better quality of writing. Such important topics need more in depth discussion. This seriously only scratched the surface.

This book has disappointed me, and I expected much more, but what I do know is, women are still having to fight, work and play harder than the average male, in order to be taken seriously.
Profile Image for Julie Ehlers.
1,112 reviews1,384 followers
August 20, 2017
Buzzfeed, to me, has always been a crappy website dominated by dumb gif-filled listicles. When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately interested in the topic; when I saw it was written by a Buzzfeed "culture writer," I became less interested. But I had the opportunity to be first on the library holds list for Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, so I decided to take a chance on it and I'm glad I did. What with gossip sites, social networking, and endless cable "reality" shows, celebrity is woven through our lives more than ever before, whether we like it or not, so it makes sense to examine it—but only if you're really willing to be thoughtful and thorough. After all, pop culture is a product of our larger culture; it both reflects it and influences it. If you're not taking that seriously, then why even look at these issues at all?

Fortunately, Anne Helen Petersen takes it seriously. She's got a PhD in "media studies," which, presumably along with her stint at Buzzfeed, has resulted in a book that's both exceedingly smart and exceedingly readable. Each chapter looks at a different female celebrity and the ways she is unique, outspoken, and "unruly," and the way the culture pushes back at her for that—by calling her "too shrill," "too fat," etc.—and then further connects these women's dilemmas to larger issues in our society. You might think being reminded over and over again of the ways U.S. culture tries to limit women would be depressing, but for me it wasn't. It's these women's massive popularity, after all, that has resulted in backlash against them. They clearly speak for or represent something important to a lot of people, and none of them show any signs of allowing criticism to slow them down. That's inspiring, and often fascinating to read about.

I'm emphatically not a fan of a couple of women in this book. Jennifer Weiner, for example, really annoys me, and I have a lot of (sometimes contradictory) opinions about sexism and gender divisions in the world of literature and publishing. I spent a lot of this chapter pacing around my apartment and muttering to myself, but eventually acknowledged that the fact that the book was provoking such a strong reaction was a good thing. Some of my differences of opinion with Petersen were probably age-based; I'm about 10 years older than she is. I was therefore skeptical of her talk about Kim Kardashian's "power," and as someone who remembers firsthand the days when Madonna was genuinely influential, I thought Petersen was a little hard on her. Even so, I learned something from every chapter, and I think that says good things about Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud—even if (or especially if) you're skeptical of its thesis, or not a fan of any of these women, this book will definitely give you some new things to think about. What more can we ask of a book about our culture?

As my Buzzfeed remark above might imply, I consider myself a limited consumer of popular culture: I don't watch much TV, I think gossip sites and reality shows are harmful (at least to my own well-being, if not to our entire society), and I certainly don't worship any stars, even the ones whose talent I admire. But there's really no denying that pop culture and celebrity affect us all—for the ultimate depressing example of that effect, just look at who's currently the U.S. president. Even if you don't consider yourself particularly starstruck, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud is a fun and interesting way to learn more about both the state of our entertainment and, correspondingly, the state of our world.
Profile Image for Erin .
1,214 reviews1,122 followers
July 11, 2017
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen Culture Writer at Buzzfeed is an examination and celebration of woman who refuse to stay in their place. While I didn't agree with all of her picks or her opinions of them. Madonna isn't picked apart because she's as the author thinks Too Old, in my opinion its because she's trying to hard to be cool. Trying too hard is pathetic at any age just ask Katy Perry. I didn't feel bad for Kim Kardashian-West being fat shamed while pregnant because she's built her career around being sexy and in shape. She even hawked a diet product that turned out to be dangerous not to mention her use of painful and unhealthy waist trainers(I still love you Kim KW!). Caitlyn Jenner isn't Too Queer, infact in the opinion of many she isn't queer enough. Caitlyn expressed support for Senator Ted Cruz during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Cruz is a man who views trans people like Jenner as dangerous predators, men in dresses who only want to use the women's room so they can rape your young daughter ( that's real y'all, look it up). She thinks trans people should conform so as she puts it "Normal People" feel more comfortable. Lena Dunham isn't Too Naked, she's Too Privileged and Out of Touch. People don't hate her because she shows off her average looking naked body. She's hated because she's self-centered, uninformed, and in denial about her white privilege. Serena Williams isn't Too Strong, she's Too Black and Too Great at a white sport.

After all that you must be thinking, Why did she rate this 4 Stars, she seems to disagree with it?

That's true I didn't agree with the majority of her opinions, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good book. It doesn't mean it isn't an important book. The chapters on Melissa McCarthy and Hillary Clinton are crucial and fascinating. I think this book is a crisp thought provoking analysis of how rough the media and regular people are on Woman who dare to live their own lives, their own way.
Profile Image for Caroline .
411 reviews560 followers
March 24, 2021

I have to wonder whether the person who wrote this book’s summary actually read the book. Yes, each chapter revolves around a different celebrity, but in essence this book isn’t about celebrities or celebrity culture. It’s about specific kinds of feminist rebellion (“unruliness,” as Petersen dubbed it) in modern culture. Famous figures, by virtue of being in the public eye, can be pioneers, and this is why Anne Helen Petersen highlighted different celebrities.

Petersen scrutinized what it means for a woman to be “too” something and how exactly that’s rebellious. The chapter titles are provocative and a little puzzling; “Too Fat,” “Too Strong,” “Too Old,” and “Too Pregnant,” are just some examples. For each chapter, she spotlighted a celebrity who best represents that particular “too,” using it as a springboard to discuss the theme as it applies on the larger level. As Petersen adeptly proved, society has it all wrong. Women and men alike have internalized the negativity of “too.” Being “too” is precisely what all women should strive for.

I found the book improved as it went along because Petersen became more direct and stopped over-intellectualizing. (At the beginning I kept wondering whether she felt she had to compensate for the fact that she writes for unsophisticated Buzzfeed.) I was especially impressed that each chapter had something totally fresh and genuinely eye-opening to say.

Also good--and important--is that it’s not necessary to be familiar with the celebrities (or like them). I’d never heard of Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson or their show “Broad City” but understood that chapter just fine. I know who Lena Dunham is but have never watched “Girls” or read Dunham’s memoir. That didn’t matter.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud has many strengths, but the way Petersen grounded it solidly in popular culture is one of its best features. There’s nothing abstract about what she says; it’s all familiar and readily observable, and that makes this especially accessible reading. I only wish the publisher, in addition to printing a better summary, had just said no to the cover design. This insightful book deserves better than black scribble on bubblegum pink.

UPDATE, June 1, 2019: How little has changed since decades ago:

"Liberated Women's Pet Peeves"

In particular, let's think carefully before speaking; use of "girl" for females 18 and older needs to disappear.
Profile Image for Kelli.
844 reviews392 followers
June 5, 2018
I’m just going to go ahead and name Anne Helen Petersen as an unruly woman. Her tenacity and ability to collect and assemble the data needed to make her point is pretty impressive. And her point she does make (over and over) in a way that makes her seem like she’d be hard to argue with at a party. Regardless of how you feel about the women she has has chosen to spotlight, there is something to be taken from each superlative essay and I’d guess that everyone’s takeaway is a little different. I’m glad she wrote this unexpectedly insightful collective.

I must admit I grew weary of it after a while because it begins to feel repetitive by its very nature and I definitely never need to hear the word unruly again. Also, I am at a complete loss that this book refers to Kim Kardashian as “the most important and influential celebrity of the 21st century.” Speechless.

3.75 stars
Profile Image for Michelle.
589 reviews159 followers
June 30, 2017
The stunning backlash against powerful outspoken women was clearly apparent with the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the November 8th 2016 Presidential Election. The unpopularity of Clinton echoed at rallies with Trump supporters chanting “lock her up!” and others wore colorful shirts reading: “Monica Sucks, Hillary Swallows.” In: “Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman” NYC journalist Anne Helen Petersen explores widespread negative American cultural attitudes against the unruly women that decline to follow acceptable societal norms, rules, and expectations that define traditional feminine conduct and behavior.

Too Strong: Women’s Tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams were coached by their father, who actually hired hecklers on the court to build the powerhouse strength the sisters are known for. “Tennis has always been a game defined by Whiteness” (Essence Magazine-1998). The Williams’s would “reset” professional tennis with their dominance, “pure delighted swagger” and confidence that they approached and took over the game. In addition, the sisters changed the traditional dress code, gone were the “tennis whites” and replaced various outfits that heavily accented (black) female form including a “catsuit” and “dominatrix style” outfit. The media had a field day with commentary, as the sisters “paraded” on the courts various fashions and designs that set them apart from others.
Too Fat: Melissa McCarthy is the “living proof that self- acceptance and self-perseverance can make a dream come true.” Fat jokes have been a part of comedy on film and TV for decades. McCarthy challenges the Hollywood stereotypes of women teetering around in high heels, and declines to discuss negativity regarding her weight. As with Ellen DeGeneres, a little love, kindness and extreme politeness can go a long way.

Too Slutty: Hip Hop was created to express the hard edge masculinity of black American men, largely affiliated with racism, drug, gang violence and police brutality. Women in Hip Hop videos are typically shaped sexually by the desire of the male artist, their personality and character minimized with the focus on their visual ability to provide viewers with sexual gratification. Nicki Minaj was among the first female rappers to dominate Hip Hop, in addition to her successful music career; she found empowerment in promoting herself and exercised full control of that presentation. Queen Latiifa won roles in mainstream TV and films when she exceeded the Hip Hop norms and promoted positive imagery in the portrayal of black women.
Too Old: Madonna! Did anyone actually think one day the Queen of Pop would retire from the spotlight and give tea parties? With her 2015 World Tour grossing over $300 million USD, and approaching her 60th birthday, Madonna refuses to hide or fade away in a culture that expects her to do so. Petersen highlights the shame of female ageing with the inability to maintain youthful appeal. Older men are viewed differently as they age—Cary Grant, George Clooney, Sean Connery with their silver hair, lined faces were celebrated as “the world’s sexiest men.”

Too Gross: The zany stars of Broad City (2014-) Abbi Johnson and Ilana Glazer embrace their lifestyle with the confidence of a man, fueled by their consumption of lots of weed. In no hurry to attend college, marry, or raise a family-- the pair forges their way towards enlightenment discussing all bodily functions from poop to periods. Naturally, not all women act the way they do, they claim that many do. The focus of the show is their friendship, their bold “boundary pushing” behaviors, and refusal to play nice.
Too Naked: Lena Dunham is easily regarded as an artistic genius, with her HBO series Girls (2012-2017) and her NYT bestselling confessional memoir “Not That Kind of Girl” (2014) she has already had a career of epic proportions. Not everyone agrees with her artistic vision from appearing on her show in weird outfits or in the other extreme of not wearing clothes at all. Dunham’s nudity isn’t presented in a manner that appeals to male interest, and has invited intense criticism. With a huge following of internet trolls that comment on her every move, Dunham is one of the most powerful women in her generation.

The unruly independent woman, that dominates popular culture, “inflames popular consciousness” according to Petersen. A New York Post headline screeched: “Could someone please tell Kim Kardashian she’s pregnant?” – At the same time, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s pregnancy was “feminine and classy”. Despite the feeling of liberation among the unruly woman, Petersen also noted how difficult, disheartening, and exhausting it is to be a public figure, and how quickly criticism can ignite into a backlash of scorn and cruelty, that directly magnifies and impacts our humanity and culture. ~ Many thanks to Penguin Random House via NetGalley for the direct e-copy for the purpose of review.
Profile Image for Taylor Reid.
Author 22 books136k followers
July 7, 2017
I've been a fan of AHP for a long time so I will admit I went into this book ready to love it. But it really exceeded my expectations. Every chapter offered me an insight into the way we scrutinize women that went deeper than my previous understanding.

(It also made me realize just how in love with Serena Williams I've always been but never knew.)

If you're a fan of Jennifer Weiner or a female author yourself, I highly recommend this book if only for the chapter about JW. What Weiner has done to shed light on the misogyny of the book community is truly outstanding. She can be a polarizing figure but I walked away from the "Too Loud" chapter with a newfound appreciation for the position Weiner has been put in and how she has responded to it.

The conclusion to this book decimated me. I'm still thinking about it, still smarting from it. And I'm that much more committed to my inner unruliness.
Profile Image for emma.
152 reviews570 followers
July 12, 2017
Fat. Slutty. Loud. Old. Gross. These are just a few of the labels that are often slapped on to women who live unconventional lives in the public eye, who dare to act or speak or dress in ways that push the limits of societal standards of femininity.

This book calls out the ways in which ten different women’s careers and industries have been influenced by sexist prejudices, giving an interesting and informative analysis of deeply ingrained biases that often go unnoticed.

Peterson’s writing is compelling and honest. I don’t generally follow the lives of actors and other celebrities, so I was really fascinated by a lot of their stories, and the obstacles they’ve struggled with. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading the chapters about Madonna (“Too Old”) and Kim Kardashian (“Too Pregnant”). In some of the chapters, the women themselves are more of a starting point to talk about larger issues, but these made for equally, or perhaps even more interesting chapters. This was mostly the case in the chapter on Caitlyn Jenner. That one was also the most overtly critical: rather than offering support for what Jenner represents, Petersen explains the way her experience remains incredibly privileged in comparison to the experiences of most trans people.

I think my favorite chapter was Jennifer Weiner’s (“Too Loud”), which dealt with the way women’s writing has historically been—and continues to be—discredited and viewed as less valuable than men’s. It discusses the hierarchy of literary prestige that praises “serious books” written by men while disparaging books from genres that are mainly read and written by women. This chapter discusses in detail the clear sexism of the literary community, and the ways in which female writers are forced to struggle against it.

Another aspect of the book that was addressed quite well: the fact that the majority of the women profiled in this book are straight and white. While several of the chapters are dedicated to women of color or queer women, Petersen takes this opportunity to point out just how much more hostile our society can be towards women who dare to be unruly despite already facing bias and discrimination based on their skin color or sexuality:

The difference between cute, acceptable unruliness and unruliness that results in ire is often as simple as the color of a woman’s skin, whom she prefers to sleep with, and her proximity to traditional femininity.

Petersen makes it clear that while unruly women may be on the rise, there’s quite a lot more work left to be done, and intersectionality is crucial to future progress.

My only real complaint is that the writing did feel a bit repetitive at times, as though the author was overemphasizing her points. Some chapters were a little disorganized and seemed to stray off topic, but they were usually interesting so it wasn’t a major issue.

This is super interesting and informative, so I’d absolutely recommend it! (It’s still on NetGalley, so go request it while you can!) Also, thanks to Nenia for the recommendation :)

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kelly.
878 reviews3,978 followers
February 7, 2020
Another commute listen this month. Basically about how exhausting it is to be a woman, especially one who has put herself up for public judgment in any way (...which is all of us the second we step out of the house, really). And ESPECIALLY for one who breaks old fashioned rules that are supposed to be over and no one can say out loud anymore.... but they really really want to because the systems that create those biases are still in place, and we absorb a lot of the implied things from them and they’re in our skin and trying to push out our mouths before we even know why. I will admit there were a few chapters where I had to re-examine my own biases because I found myself agreeing with some of the criticisms that Peterson outlined had been thrown at some of these women. I found the chapters on Kim Kardashian and Lena Dunham particularly rewarding to sit with for these reasons. I loved the Nicki Minaj chapter too. However, are some flaws here. One, if you have been Extremely Online, as they say these days, over the last several years, you will have already lived through the cycle of criticism and reassessment she’s described (Hillary, Serena Williams). And sometimes it does read like she’s just recounting it for the people who missed it, with more academic crit lit thrown on top. I also didn’t care to even listen to her Caitlyn Jenner chapter, so that aged fast and badly. But it was totally worth it to listen all the way through otherwise- just living the cycle of “be bold, but not too bold, speak up but not too loudly, love your body but not so you’re fat... be this not too much that,” over and over again makes you really feel it’s truth. As society detangles what it says it believes from prejudices and preferences that cling on in other language or enough of us say things that convince the next generation that the positive rhetoric about freedom is BS and the safe bet is to stay with the old standards... it’s gonna be weird for awhile. And that’s the space public women have to weirdly negotiate every day, where the goalposts move and the people moving them claim that’s where they always were or you should have known those other goalposts were the fake ones. Where meeting expectations means you’ve already lost. Where you’ve gotta be weird to stand out and then get criticized for the weird thing that made people like you to begin with. It was pretty cathartic at times, it was good for me at others. More than worth the occasionally repetitive bits, a good brain warm up in the morning on the way to work. Recommend!
Profile Image for Book Riot Community.
953 reviews109k followers
June 21, 2017
An in-depth discussion on women in pop culture who are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an “acceptable” woman, like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, and why society loves to hate them (and love them) (and hate them again). A great look at feminism and empowerment in the 21st century, told with wit and a sharp eye.

Backlist bump: Shrill by Lindy West

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books: http://bookriot.com/listen/shows/allt...
Profile Image for Jess | thegreeneyedreader.
175 reviews70 followers
November 27, 2018
My rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟. I finally picked up this book again and finished it. I love the overall pro-feminist message. I’m not a huge fan of all of the celebrities covered by the various chapters, but I do understand why they were chosen for the particular chapters. I enjoyed this book a lot, and I wholeheartedly share Petersen’s “hope that someday, the only rules a woman will have to abide by are those she sets for herself.” #JPBookReview
Profile Image for Clementine.
521 reviews13 followers
April 25, 2020
I like the idea of this book: an exploration of the ways in which women step out of bounds and are sanctioned for it. But unfortunately the best I can say about it is that it's a perfect illustration of why the rise of feminism in the public consciousness doesn't actually equate to meaningful activism. I mean, do we actually a need a white woman telling us about how revolutionary Hillary Clinton, Lena Dunham, Kim Kardashian, and Caitlyn Jenner are?

Petersen's writing is competent: clear, smart, well-articulated. It's also unmistakably the writing of someone who has spent time in media studies academia. Take, for example, this description of Kim K: "no makeup, her hair tied up in a truly messy, not performatively messy, bun." A performatively messy bun, you guys! Ahh!

But the biggest issue I have with this book is its politics. Petersen takes great pains in the introduction to explain why the majority of the women she writes about are straight and white: because unruliness is accessible, with fewer consequences, to straight white women. This is undoubtedly true. It's also a major fucking copout. The women she writes about are merely completing the work of so many who came before them, many of them women of colour, or trans women, or lesbians. Petersen tries to contextualize each essay, but what's missing is acknowledgment of the labour of the subaltern that white women capitalize on.

Petersen also tries to acknowledge the "problematic" (barf I hate that word) nature of some of the women she profiles, but ultimately fails as she continues to uphold these women as revolutionary. She successfully works through the issue of Serena Williams' anger (and this is the strongest essay in the book by far, a defense of a woman who has spent her entire career dealing with coded and not-so-coded racism and misogyny, scrutinized because it is unbelievable to the white majority that she could be so dominant). But she just misses the mark with her other essays. No mention, for example, of any of the legitimate grievances people might make against Hillary Clinton. No doubt much of the rhetoric around her is frustratingly sexist; no doubt she is perceived as shrill because she is a woman; no doubt misogyny played a large role in her loss. But, come on. She's an establishment politician; she failed to adequately address the concerns of many minority populations; she made major missteps in her campaign.

The chapter on Lena Dunham was obviously an eyeroll. Petersen vaguely references to "a lack of diversity on her show" and "her privilege" but does not expand upon that at all. Again, yes, Lena Dunham is the recipient of misogynistic bullshit, and yes, some of that is because she puts her size 12 naked body on television. But, hello, she has huge issues with race (and acknowledging it as "a blind spot" as she did in a recent profile does nothing to alleviate that), and she LITERALLY accused an actress on her show of lying about being raped by one of her friends. (OH BY THE WAY, the actress was a biracial woman, just to add another layer to that lovely story.) She outed her sibling to their parents. COME ON. She is the worst. She is not a woman who deserves to be hailed as some boundary-breaking feminist hero. The people I know don't hate her because she's naked on HBO, they hate her because she is a truly godawful, unbearable, immoral person.

And Caitlyn Jenner! Oh my god! I Am Cait is worthy of analysis and exploration, and Jenner's celebrity image is absolutely fascinating. But for Jenner to be used as a poster child for trans women, for her chapter to be labelled "too queer", is a slap in the face to the entire LGBTQ community and to trans women specifically. Jenner has done almost no meaningful activism while trans women of colour do work that is never acknowledged. Jenner is a Republican voter and opposes same-sex marriage; choosing her as the representative of "too queer" is truly offensive to all the LGBTQ women who are actually unruly, revolutionary, whose hard work makes a difference, who put up with abuse and assault and social sanctioning that Jenner has insulated herself from. Caitlyn Jenner does not and will not ever represent me or other LGBTQ women. She is an enemy of the community except for when it serves her personally. Of all the trans women and bi women and lesbians whose work is transformative and necessary, for Jenner to be selected instead - it's just insulting. It really is.

Anyway, this book had one good essay (the one on Serena Williams), a few essays that had good points spoiled by generally shallow analyses and dumb academic jargon, and a bunch of REALLY bad ones.
Profile Image for Laura Noggle.
671 reviews384 followers
May 7, 2019
~Famous women and how they rebel against the patriarchy: Bold & Buzzy~

“In the end, matriarchy isn’t the fear. Rather, it’s the idea that women will define their own value, and their own futures, on their own terms instead of by terms men have laid out—put differently, that each gender, and each individual, will have the power to determine their own destiny.”

The chapters in order:

Too Strong: Serena Williams
Too Fat: Melissa McCarthy
Too Gross: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer
Too Slutty: Nikki Minaj
Too Old: Madonna
Too Pregnant: Kim Kardashian
Too Shrill: Hillary Clinton
Too Queer: Caitlyn Jenner
Too Loud: Jennifer Weiner
Too Naked: Lena Dunham

"Of course, there have been unruly women for as long as there have been boundaries of what constitutes acceptable 'feminine' behavior: women who, in some way, step outside the boundaries of good womanhood, who end up being labeled too fat, too loud, too slutty, too whatever characteristic women are supposed to keep under control."

Petersen addresses how each woman is perceived and covered in the public eye, identifying and dismantling the underlying stigmas.

"Unruliness isn't just calling attention to arbitrary expectations of how a woman should behave. It's also a willingness to expect better for all other women—and better of oneself."

Mary Beard's Women & Power: A Manifesto also discusses the tone of a woman's voice, as Petersen discussed the tightrope performance expected of Hillary Clinton.

"'Shrillness' is just a word to describe what happens when a woman, with her higher-toned voice, attempts to speak loudly. A pejorative, in other words, developed specifically to shame half the population when they attempt to command attention in the same manner as men."

On the social control of the ideal, toned body:

"Women can consider themselves free, feminist, and liberated in so many ways—yet still be controlled by the notion of an ideal body of which their own continually falls short."

You are enough:

“To be an unruly woman today is to oscillate between the postures of fearlessness and self-doubt, between listening to the voices that tell a woman she is too much, and one’s own, whispering and yelling: I am already enough, and always have been.'”

[Especially loved the chapter on the Broad City creators, Abbi and Ilana. #YasQueen(s) 🙌🏽👑💛]
Profile Image for Jessie.
245 reviews25 followers
June 1, 2017
NetGalley ARC

While the idea behind this book is interesting, it reads more like a college thesis than a serious book. Petersen uses contemporary celebrities as examples of how women are judged by society. Serena Williams is too strong, Lena Dunham is too naked, Hillary Clinton is too shrill. For the most part she picks good examples. I wasn't a fan of the Caitlyn Jenner chapter, I think she could have picked a better trans/queer person. I think the Jennifer Weiner and Lena Dunham chapters illustrated their points the best.

I found the writing repetitive. She describes her subjects as unruly multiple times per chapter. She refers to Kim Kardashian's pregnancy as "abject" multiple times. It comes across as awkward. I think Peterson has some good ideas, but the execution was off.
Profile Image for disco.
560 reviews221 followers
September 23, 2017
Anne Helen Petersen has proved herself to be informative, well researched, well spoken and thorough - yet this book fell short for me. Sometimes I couldn't tell when the statistical facts had stopped and her opinion started.

I understand that this book was very specifically focused on celebrities and their unruliness, but some of the chosen women didn't make sense to me. Celebrities like Kim K, Nikki M, and Caitlyn J, have made waves for women in their time of stardom, but do not identify themselves as feminists. So why give them the most credit for a feminist revolution? I wish that other celebrities that have truly said "fuck you" to society and celebrate intersectional feminism could have been given some credit in this book.
Profile Image for Carlene Inspired.
918 reviews239 followers
June 28, 2017
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Women have grown up with an expectation that they must be a certain way, but as they age they challenge those societal norms, embracing who they are loudly and proudly. Anne Helen Petersen challenges the preconceived notion of how women must be with ten analytical essays that breakdown how women are perceived, specifically in the media. The celebrities featured in each essay come from different background, their careers vary, and their type of unruly behavior is not the same, but the message from AHP is clear; society's perception of women is an issue that needs to be challenged.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman is written by Anne Helen Petersen, an author with Buzzfeed. The Buzzfeed part will either scare off readers or bring more to the table. AHP examines ten female celebrities and the media's perception of them; Serena Williams is too strong, Nicki Minaj is too slutty, and Jennifer Weiner is too loud. The short essays, though about different celebrities, read very similarly to one another and I found that they were better when read over a lengthy period of time. The unruly behaviors became repetitive, but I still found myself challenging my own preconceived notion of myself, of other women, and of celebrities. You'd think it might be hard to connect yourself to Nicki Minaj, a female rapper who makes money in higher quantities than I could ever imagine having, but AHP writes in a way that has you nodding your head and putting yourself in their shoes. In fact, that was my favorite essay of all and I am not a fan of her music at all. The essay broke down her struggles to get respect, to embrace who she was, and how she continues to challenge the world to embrace her as well. I don't have to be a fan of her music to respect her drive, her continued reign in the music industry, and her smoking hot body that if I had I'd probably show off too.

I didn't agree with the entire book, because AHP calls out some celebrities by name who have embraced the societal norm. There's no study to why they may have chosen that route, but rather harsh judgement and critique, which I felt really took away from the message of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud. The book challenges the reader to look at specific celebrities' hurdles and how they overcome them publicly, yet puts down those that embrace their feminism in a different way. It comes across as telling the reader we should applaud and celebrate those that are truly unruly (we should), but condemn those that are happy as housewives with lifestyle brands (we definitely should not). If I rate this on a personal level, I think it's a novel that can challenge readers to accept unruly behavior, that shows the positives, but I also think it does nothing to challenge the judgement we inflict on one another every day. In fact, it reads as though AHP encourages readers to judge those blonde, thin celebrities that are classic in their aging, as though that is a negative when it is in fact not. I think it was appropriate of AHP to compare women to one another, in several essays the comparison is complimentary, but in others I think it was a step backwards. I would've been happier had the message been more about accepting every type of size, age, look, attitude, etc. If we are to truly reach a point where we are equal women too need to embrace both the "standard definition" of femininity and the unruly femininity featured in this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and Anne Helen Petersen does an excellent job of taking a massive topic, Women's Studies, and making it easy to read and very accessible. The book is branded in a way that will bring in more readers and I think that's an incredibly positive step forward. In a world where many people rely on the gossip of celebrities' lives in order to make any decisions, AHP breaks down the media critique and how it impacts their personal lives and how it changes our humanity. I think the subject matter is excellent for reaching a broad customer base and will encourage discussions with its thought-provoking exam of feminism and pop culture. I may not have agreed with the entire book, but I agree with its goal and I think more women need to be challenging the norm and turning their judgement into acceptance.
Profile Image for Lorilin.
756 reviews242 followers
July 15, 2017
In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Petersen profiles ten celebrity women in order to highlight certain hardships women face. Each chapter features one celebrity whose life or work has been criticized for a specific reason. So, for example, Melissa McCarthy is often told she's too fat, and her chapter discusses the impossible physical standards placed on women. Kim Kardashian was told she was an ugly pregnant woman, so her chapter discusses society's obsession with sweet and neat pregnancies and thin post-baby bodies. The full list of celebrities profiled are:

Serena Williams: too strong
Melissa McCarthy: too fat
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer: too gross
Nicki Minaj: too slutty
Madonna: too old
Kim Kardashian: too pregnant
Hillary Clinton: too shrill
Caitlyn Jenner: too queer
Jennfier Weiner: too loud
Lena Dunham: too naked

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I did end up enjoying it. The first three chapters (on Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, and Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer) were the best--though I also appreciated Madonna's chapter on aging. The other chapters were just okay, in my opinion. I found that Anderson's arguments became repetitive and a little less compelling as the book went on. But I also started getting bored with the premise and began caring less around the halfway point, which obviously didn't help...  

At the end of the day, it's hard for me to look to these celebrities for life lessons. I understand the arguments Andersen is making about the hard road we females have to travel just to be taken seriously. And I agree with them. I'm also appreciative that there is such a diverse group of women in the world working hard to do their own thing on their own terms. But I couldn't help thinking that this book is still a form of weird celebrity worship (a topic that, ironically, is never discussed) and doesn't have as much application to my everyday life as it could have.

See more of my reviews at www.BugBugBooks.com!

ARC provided through Net Galley.
Profile Image for Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}.
475 reviews170 followers
July 17, 2017

I first found Anne Helen Petersen through her Buzzfeed articles. Then I followed her on Facebook and she always shared such interesting and insightful things. When I saw she had a book out and then what it was about I knew I needed it.

This book was so well done and so interesting. I loved that each chapter focused on a different celebrity and their "unruliness" - like Serena Williams is Too Strong or Kim Kardashian was Too Pregnant. But she also talks how these unrulinesses are found in the every woman not just celebrities. They are just easier to show how society treats women in these circumstances.

This was a fast, interesting and thought provoking book totally worth checking out. This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Profile Image for Rachel.
579 reviews67 followers
August 16, 2022
I'm not someone who cares about celebrities so I didn't really even know much about some of the women profiled her. Despite my ignorance I really enjoyed this book. It is a smart look at women who don't conform to societal expectations. Petersen's analysis is thoughtful, razor sharp, and refreshing. A good solid feminist read.
Profile Image for Aoife.
1,260 reviews553 followers
July 7, 2017
4.5 stars.

I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman is a non-fiction, feminist book based around women in the public eye and the status quos they have kicked down and made their own.

This was a really great read and I think it’s one that everyone will be able to identify with, young or old, gay or straight, black or white etc. It covers sports stars like Serena Williams to reality TV celebrities like Kim Kardashian and discusses young celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Lena Dunham as well as older women in the public eye like Hilary Clinton and Madonna. The chapters all focus on one celebrity and a social norm they have either kicked apart or not stood up such as Kim Kardashian and her pregnancy and how she was treated during it, how Hilary Clinton is regarded as a woman in politics and how Lena Dunham flaunts her nakedness despite her body not being the perfect silhouette that’s most often seen on TV and in Hollywood.

I just loved the points that were brought up in this book and I think it’s readable for those who might not read a lot of non-fiction or feminist texts and that’s great. It’s also very appealing to a young, female audience due to the type of celebrities it deals with but it references a lot of women from the 80s and 90s that older women would identify with and recognise as well (and, of course, the chapters about Clinton and Madonna).

Here’s to being an unruly woman and proud of it.
Profile Image for Quirkyreader.
1,505 reviews43 followers
May 15, 2017
I received this as an ARC from Penguin. Thank You.

I didn't give this book a ranking because I am not familiar with many of the woman profiled in this book. I am not a big TV watcher and I don't follow that much pop culture.

Aside from that it was well written, and would greatly appeal to people who are interested in learning a bit about the women profiled.
Profile Image for Allie.
140 reviews45 followers
February 2, 2018
Ugh. This is another hard one to rate. There were some things I liked, some things I didn't, and some things were thoroughly discussed that I thought were very important.
I thought this book had a pretty strong beginning; there were many aspects of her argument that I agreed with, and Petersen seemed to grab my attention outright. There were many times where I was thinking "yasss! Women are badass!" like with her chapters on Melissa McCarthy and Nikki Minaj.
However, halfway through, I felt that it sounded a bit like a university Women's Studies essay; she repeated A LOT of intelligent-sounding words which I felt she was only doing to beef up her chapters, and some of her arguments for these women didn't feel completely fleshed out and seemed a bit... harsh in my opinion.
Overall, informative in some respects, so not a bad read.
Profile Image for Erica Scoville.
91 reviews3 followers
January 7, 2020
This book has an amazing concept but unfortunately very poor execution. It pains me to give this book such a low rating but the essays are extremely redundant and each chapter could easily be twenty pages shorter. I love and respect the women analyzed throughout this book but the writing just wasn’t for me.
Profile Image for Julie Harding.
401 reviews12 followers
July 16, 2017
3.5-4 stars.
Petersen's premise is spot on: women in the media are held to a different and higher standard than men, and it is sometimes those very women who stand in their own judgment. These "unruly" women, whether they like it or not, threaten the dominance of the male gaze and male power in the media, a predictable and reliable repository of masculine norms and feminine otherness.

I don't agree with everything Petersen has to say. I didn't particularly embrace her chapters on Lena Dunham or Caitlyn Jenner, as I don't find them particularly palatable. But I think that speaks to the power of her premise: that these women - and those of us in their broad audiences - resist their redefinition of the narrative of women. Despite the fact that I have never turned on either of these women's shows, they are in the media at large and they are making me uncomfortable, which is putting me into a transaction with them. I, like them, have been brought into this transaction by the overall unwillingness of the media to embrace a broader, wider definition of women, their bodies and their agency.

The chapter jennifer weiner ("too loud") was one of my favorites. I read her first book and loved it, but haven't read another since. Why? Literally, literary snobbery. The dominance of the male pen is widely known among any woman who has studied literature. I, myself, ignored that until I embraced it. I fully devoted myself to male and male-mimesis writers until I woke up to exactly what Weiner and Petersen point out: by limiting what women read, you also limit what women write and therefore the parts of women's experiences that are considered valuable by society. And like it or not, a woman author cannot exist outside that narrative in society. Weiner's attempt to redefine it has gotten her the moniker "too loud."

But my favorite chapter and, not surprisingly, the emotional center of the book, is the chapter on Hillary - "Too Shrill." For years, i rejected Hillary on the basis of all of the arguments presented here - until this last presidential campaign. I had already consigned myself to her probable (and preferable) presidency when I noticed how the media - along with her misogynistic opponent - was railroading her. I didn't think it would cost her the presidency - until it did. Now, in retrospect, I admire her unruliness and the way that it paved the way for me. I wish I were strong enough to pick up the mantle of her leadership.

I am not, myself, an unruly woman. But I wish I were. I wish I had been encouraged and directed towards my own unruliness. I also wish that I had been a greater participant in steering the narrative and perhaps giving Hillary the support she needed. While I am not unruly in the powerful, beautiful, abject and dangerous way that these women are, I know I am given to my own moments. I would be happy to have my own chapter - "Too Angry" - enshrined here, and with Petersen's inspiration, I'm happy to start writing it myself. Today.
Profile Image for Ang.
1,713 reviews39 followers
April 5, 2017
This was really good. I don't know what I was expecting from it, but I was pleased with what I ended up getting. I think the author did an especially good job with the Nicki Minaj chapter; I think I got the most from it. That's not to take away from most of the other chapters, though, because I got a lot out of the book in general. (Take this review with a grain of salt, though, because I too am an unruly woman! That may be why I liked it so much.)

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
Profile Image for Brynn.
65 reviews4 followers
July 9, 2017
Although Petersen would most likely call me a woman-basher for this review, it was so, so boring and repetitive. The concepts were on point (and for the most part rang true), but her examples were just off. Two members of the Kardashian family as "victims" of a misogynistic world? Don't think so.

The only chapter I fully agreed with was on Clinton.
Also, any negativity attributed to Nathaniel Hawthorne is tough for me.
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