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Full Frontal Feminism

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,778 ratings  ·  729 reviews
Feminism isn't dead. It just isn't very cool anymore. Enter Full Frontal Feminism, a book that embodies the forward-looking messages that author Jessica Valenti propagated as founder of the popular website, Feministing.com.

This revised edition includes a new foreword by Valenti, reflecting upon what’s happened in the five years since Full Frontal Feminism was originally
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Paperback, 271 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Seal Press
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  7,778 ratings  ·  729 reviews


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Rhi
I'm still baffled as to why there is a flat stomached, white female body on the front cover. Especially considering some of Valenti's points were insistant on the new age of feminism; open to men and women of all colour and creeds.

Other than that, this was an interesting book from a British point of view.
Who knew Mississippi banned vibrators but allowed people to buy guns with a background check? Not me!
Or that abstinance only education is incrediably wide spread? Not me! Or that pharmacists
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Crystal Starr Light
Reading more feminist blogs and meeting and talking to feminists has made me more and more interested in learning about feminism. I had read Valenti's The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women and found it particularly interesting, so I figured I'd check out her first book, "Full Frontal Feminism".

You know, I haven't been a feminist long, but this book is extremely Feminism 101. Pretty much everything I read I had heard many times before and in more depth
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Whitney Atkinson
3.5 Stars

This was one of my most highly anticipated feminist reads, but since I bought it several years ago, I think I waited too long in reading it and got my expectations up too high. I guess I neglected to understand that this is a guide literally for "why feminism matters," so it feels like the intended audience is skeptics or uninformed people, which isn't me. Therefore, I thought it was fun to listen to this and get a refresher on women's issues, but it really didn't tell me anything I
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Ciara
Sep 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: pretty much no one ecept jessica valenti's mom
i didn't read this book expecting to like it. i read it out of curiosity & because i think it's important to be informed about the things you are critiquing. i was already not such a fan of jessica valenti's blog writing, mainly because i found her ideas pretty unoriginal & mainly of interest to young privileged white women. this book was more of the same. she claims that it's a kind of feminist 101 primer for young women who are new to feminism. her goal seems to be to get these young ...more
Elevate Difference
May 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
Jessica Valenti is a part of the feminist blogger elite, and for good reason. The blog she helped to establish, Feministing.com, receives a significant amount of web traffic and is well-known among young, internet savvy, hip feminists. Full disclosure: I read Feministing every now and then. Having read Valenti’s writing on the blog – which tends to be oversimplified and, quite frankly, bratty – I was hoping her analysis in book form would show a tad more depth. Unfortunately for Valenti, there’s ...more
Glenn
Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: journalism
Jessica Valenti writes as a friend--a close friend--would speak to another: Without airs, without condescension, communicating directly and colloquially with someone they care about. She writes with wit and humor, never taking herself too seriously, even when communicating deadly serious information. She defuses one of the slurs regarding feminists: the clichéd humorless harridan. She ably destroys that stereotype throughout, to the joy, often the rude joy, of the reader.

Both in style and
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Amy P.
Feb 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
Me, me, me...and great sex if you're a self-proclaimed feminist. Get over yourself Jessica! Yeah, you illuminated some points of feminism, but managed to make it all completely about you (or you the reader). I think there is something that could be said about feminism still being a group movement, and not an individual movement. Another thing, "Pshaw's" and cursing might be cute to a high schooler, but it really ruins some of your academic and wide spread credibility. I think you could have ...more
Morgane
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
(2.5 stars)

This is a decent introductory book for young women/teenagers who know little to nothing about feminism. If you're looking for a more thoughtful, nuanced, or eloquent explanation of feminism and women's issues, this book is not for you.

I didn't learn anything from it, so it wasn't worthwhile for me, and I can't stand how she writes. I don't think feminism needs to be dumbed down. It's a simple concept. But again, I'm not her target audience, and maybe a teenage girl would respond well
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Steph
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
So here's why I couldn't rate this book higher. These are all quotes from this book.

"While at the end of the day I'm not going to fault someone for wanting a ring, there are certain things (and maybe because they don't have to do with jewelry) I can't get over. For the life of me, I will never understand why a woman today would change her last name. It makes no sense whatsoever. You want future kids to have the same last name as you and your hubby? Hypenate, bitch! Or do something, anything, but
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Amberly
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
Sigh. This is a swell intro to feminism and all, and reiterates the point that everyone should consider themselves feminists because its cool and not necessarily anti-man or anti-sex or anti-shaving, but if you've done any critical thinking, it's all well-covered territory; what starts out fresh ends up redundant and flat. How many people would really want *equal* rights if it meant that women could be drafted to the battlefield just like men? Valenti glosses over some hardcore points in favor ...more
Jenylin
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: society
I think this book is a great introduction for young women who want to know about feminism. The style is interesting because it is a fun read, and has tons of humor, yet you still learn. She offers some good statistics and sure she doesn't go in depth (which is something a lot of reviewers here are complaining about) but it's called an introduction for a reason, the real learning actually comes from activism, researching the organizations she mentions and introduces you to, and having a keen eye ...more
Annie
Jul 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dads and teenagers
Get on your galoshes and your profanity-proof vest before you sit down to read this book. If you can endure wading through endless swear words and a constant, forced semblance of teen-speak, then you just might be able to get through it. The author of FFF is the founder of fabulous feminist blog Feministing. While her blog is awesome, I do wonder if she is only able to communicate in informal, blog-style, written-as-speech language. A self-professed and incorrigible "potty-mouth," Valenti spews ...more
Jess
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am a feminist, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I feel that this book is a must read for anyone who identifies as female, or knows someone who identifies as female. It's a perfect beginner's guide to feminism.

Full Frontal Feminism is very informative, and is written in an informal way that makes it fun to read and understand. Valenti's voice is really strong and you can tell she's passionate about what she does.
Most of the stuff in this book isn't new to me; I've come across a lot of the info
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Julie Ehlers
I follow Jessica Valenti on Twitter, where she comes in for some of the most insane abuse from internet trolls that I have ever seen--which is baffling, because her views, in my opinion, are quite moderate, not radical at all. Both curious and wanting to support her mission, I decided to catch up on her books and this, her first, seemed the logical place to start. Of course, at this point I am neither new to feminism nor a "young woman," but the completist in me always feels the need to begin at ...more
Ari
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminism
I think this is good as an intro book, as it's full of Feminism 101 in that peppy, third-wave kind of way. It may help some people (mostly woman-identified I think) find more reasons to identify with feminism, and definitely has it's place I think for younger generations who have been unwittingly influenced more by the anti-feminist backlash and conservative vitriol regarding who feminists actually are.

But, I was generally disappointed with it, because I didn't need yet another Feminism 101
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george
This was pretty good. I didn't really learn anything from it, but then again, I didn't really expect to. Valenti does a good job of explaining why feminism needs to matter to young women (and men). I read feministing pretty much every day and this book is very much like the blog, so much of it was quite familiar. She has included a good resource guide at the end to find more information and get involved. She covers body issues, pop culture, politics, working vs. stay-at-home moms, issues of ...more
Katie Boyer
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
I wish I could give this book a higher rating but Valenti's voice is just too harsh and narrow minded - she seems to think her feminist views are the only right ones. Even though I agree with most of her views, I don't like the way she presents them - people are never going to listen to your ideas and learn from if you're telling them how "fucking dumb" they are for believing in the cultural norms they were brought up with. She also seems to dumb-down or over-simplify her writing and opinions ...more
Lizzie
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
A pretty general introduction to the important facets of third wave feminism. Definitely targeted towards a younger audience than me. I think Valenti's tone was too aggressively friendly; she underestimates her target audience in my opinion. I wish she'd used some more academic language and that intersectionality was discussed in the very beginning. All in all, a good albeit basic guide to third wave feminism for someone who hasn't encountered too much of that before.
Cathy Chow
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars

- Jessica Valenti is not going to convince anybody who doesn't already have the same narrow viewpoints she does.

- It's an easy read because it's informal, but she loses most of her cred with all her fucking swearing.

- Her book is a good summary of the main points of feminism. She's a good example of a modern feminist and it's nice that she's passionate about it.

- Although she briefly mentions certain counterarguments, she does not develop a counterargument at all and instead she just
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finn
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminism
this is very much an introduction to feminism and nothing more. as someone who's identified as a feminist for years, i found it rather boring and even a tad annoying (lots of cursing and teen-speak and the cover is um... a naked white hip). but it's pretty good for what it is. it covers a wide range of issues, gives a lot of examples meant to incite rage over sexism, and is written in a way that would be accessible to someone not used to academic writing. unfortunately its wide scope stretched ...more
Sarah
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who aren't sure about feminism.
Shelves: youngadult
This is an important book because it reminds us that feminism means nothing more than "women are people too and should be treated as such." She then deconstructs the slurs against "feminists" which I thought was really interesting.

This book is not written in an academic tone. But, it's not supposed to. It's not a book that is supposed to gather dust on shelves but to be passed around friends.

I'm going to bring it into my classroom for my students to read. I'm hoping students are attracted by
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COME_TO_THE_DARK_SIDE
Flaws aside, I do think that this book at least deserves consideration. It is a funny approach to feminism written for teens. It covers a very wide range of topics, from sex to pop culture. Unfortunately, it never digs in any deeper, Valenti does not develop her arguments. I feel at times she crosses the border into being discriminatory towards certain people and is very judgmental of some choices that women make, for example, changing their surname after marriage.
Selene
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is about new aged feminism. It should be more so aimed toward young women who are just learning about feminism. Every topic Jessica Valenti describes throughout this book is pretty common knowledge, but it's a start for some young women to become interested in feminism.
Hanna Berry
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you want to learn about feminism in a funny way with real examples and stories than this is the book for you. This book is not a "story", this book is full of facts and tips that flow in a way that make you want to keep reading. This isn't just about "feminism" in the way we traditionally think about it. This book explains what people (male/female/gay/lesbian/straight/transgender/etc..) should and shouldn't be doing to ensure equality for themselves and their bodies. While it may be funny it ...more
Gwen
May 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who might say "I'm not a feminist, but..."
Shelves: gender-studies
Okay, love this book. But I don't think it'll work for everyone, depending on how many WS classes you've had. If you're a self-identified hardcore feminist then you won't really find anything new. However, I still think it's worth a read for the simple affirmation of "Thank god someone else agrees with me!" And her writing is pretty humorous, if sometimes forced into psuedo-hip, nonchalant cursing commentary. And the phrase "par for the course" is overused, but that might just be because I've ...more
Sarah
Jul 19, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm as much of a feminist as the next girl (ok, so probably more...), so I enjoyed this little rant. Not particularly literary, just a easy to read rant about truths that shouldn't be so.
Tara
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This is a very conversational book, definitely aimed at younger readers. I did not realize when I picked it up that I was no longer a young woman! Still, Valenti discusses the front-running issues of 'fourth wave' feminism in a sister-friend tone with plenty of academic references and footnotes to give further fuel for girls who want to learn more. Hell, the chapter on Masculinity and growing up male in America had me scribbling titles and authors on my bedside notepad. I appreciated the new ...more
Cheryl
I wanted to hear what young feminists are saying these days. She writes in an irreverent “potty mouth” urban style that seems real and will appeal to younger women, and what she writes is smart and true, and does tackle some of the newer issues, like girl on girl for male titillation, lipstick and mascara and fashion and how it is okay, emergency contraception. I am still trying to get over how many times she used shit in the book, as in “shit, they are crazy” or “shit, I can’t believe I…” I did ...more
Andrea
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Jessica Valenti is the rock star feminist of our generation. She makes feminism cool, relevant, and universally acceptable. I am more of an advanced feminist and frequent feministing.com reader, so many of the topics covered by Jessica weren't new to me, but I gave a copy to my friend who just graduated high school as a primer on feminism. Most important, Jessica makes the personal political and imbues her own experiences throughout the broader themes of the book. Her approach is inclusive; she ...more
S
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Wow, this book was just, wow. I was a woman who cringed at the word feminist, but I wanted equal pay, reproductive rights, and power over my own body. I like to look nice and shave my legs, so I didn't identify with the stereotypical feminist. Now, I'm proud to say I'm a feminist. No matter what people, usually men, would have you believe, we women do have less and it's time for that to change.

Read this book, give it to your daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers as well as your spouses,
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Jessica Valenti is a columnist for the Guardian US and the author of four books on feminism, politics and culture. Her third book, The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women, won the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award and was made into a documentary by the Media Education Foundation. She is also editor of the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual ...more
“What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.
You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.
Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”
Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”
1976 likes
“As different as we all are, there’s one thing most young women have in common: We’re all brought up to feel like there’s something wrong with us. We’re too fat. We’re dumb. We’re too smart. We’re not ladylike enough - ‘stop cursing, chewing with your mouth open, speaking your mind’. We’re too slutty. We’re not slutty enough.
Fuck that.
You’re not too fat. You’re not too loud. You’re not too smart. You’re not unladylike. There is nothing wrong with you.”
169 likes
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