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One Dimensional Woman

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  557 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Where have all the interesting women gone? If the contemporary portrayal of womankind were to be believed, contemporary female achievement would culminate in the ownership of expensive handbags, a vibrator, a job, a flat and a man. Of course, no one has to believe the TV shows, the magazines and adverts, and many don't. But how has it come to this? Did the desires of twent ...more
Paperback, 81 pages
Published November 27th 2009 by Zero Books (first published 2009)
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Nov 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
The problem with books that are centered around things the author doesn't like, is that you don't know what the author's idea of good is. This book was very negative, and I don't honestly know what Powers' idea of "good feminism" looks like, other than that it includes French porn from the early 1900s as well as... less consumerism?

A few things really bothered me about these short essays. The first was that the author really goes on about how today's mainstream feminists are all about "choice fe
Jan 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book is just a long rant, without a central point. It's also outdated in content & thought if you've been in American academia & dealing with gender/queer theory & cultural studies.

Dec 27, 2010 rated it liked it
This book contains quite a few gems, but is mired in academic jargon. I don't agree with some of what she said, but much more I never fully understood. I was often unclear on her position (is she making fun of this? lauding it?), and at other times I felt her irrelevant biases were all too clear. It's a quick read though, worth a shot.
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dirty hippies and other protesters
Shelves: nonfiction
Power covers a lot of ground in a very short space. Her criticism seeks to argue for a re-emergence of Marxist feminism and I believe she manages to make a strong case, by pinning some damning notes on a few transversals of feminist use values. For instance, marking a loci on Sarah Palin, Power is able to illustrate how simple "feminist" representations can be staged to lend credence to retrograde ideologies. Or how admittance into the work place has lead to a deepening of survelliance and a spr ...more
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theory, authors-women

This is a very short but definitely interesting book.
Now, personally I think Power did choose an easy target: "shiny feminism" (pink, shopping, dildos = empowerment & equality) is so shallow that one does not need to be the brightest bulb to see how it really has nothing to do with female empowerment, independence or equal rights. Now I say this should be very obvious - but the flocking crowds at "sex and the city " franchises prove me completely wrong.
But this is also why this book is ver
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Of all the markers of female faux-emancipation (fauxmancipation?) that Power bulldozes in this book, I was most glad to see her demolish chocolate. I do not care for chocolate that much. It is fine. I'd prefer shortbread any day of the year, which, in contemporary feminist-lite rhetoric about 'what women want,' makes me some kind of, I don't know, boy. Reading women writing cheekily about how really all they want is to eat chocolates and not get chubby has always filled me with a vague despair. ...more
Mar 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
$15.00 for a 70 page book is not what I would call a good investment. I don't mind reading all types of literature fiction or non, however this was beyond my comprehension. I felt that I had to have a dictionary at my side and for the life of me I cannot find out what 'CV' means. She placed it at random in her rantings and never gave it a meaning.

I had to read this book for my Women in History class and write a paper on it. To read it and understand it is an obstacle that I wish to never repeat
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
A sputtery, incoherent mess. As with Laurie Penny's Meat Market, the length isn't remotely long enough to sustain the topic. Power has the occasional interesting thought, but the writing obscures them. She doesn't give especially persuasive arguments in the few cases where she can provide an alternative, instead preferring to present them to the audience as a foregone conclusion. I, too, think that Jessica Valenti's feminism is superficial and cosmetic. However, if Power is the alternative, not ...more
Christine Benagh
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I object to the premise. As a thoughtful, politically-active feminist and lawyer who is in no way tied to consumerism, I find the portrayal offensive.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
สละเวลามาอานเลมนีเพลิน ๆ เพราะมันสันแค 70 หนา แตภาษาสวิงสวายตามประสา Zero Books มาก ๆ

หัวใจหลักมันคือวิพากษสตรีนิยมยุคปัจจุบันทีคนเขียนเหนวาความหมายมันเพียนไปเพราะดันไปรวมมือกับทุนนิยมและบริโภคนิยม สตรีนิยมและเฟมินิสตแบบกาละแมร หรือ working woman คนอืน ๆ (โอเค อาจมีคนเถียงวาพวกนีเปน female chauvinism แตลองนึกถึงเคสตางประเทศ พวก Sarah Palin ซึงคนเขียนกพูดถึงไวในบทนึงวาไดรับเสียงเชียรในฐานะเฟมินิสตคนนึงยังไง) มีลักษณะทีคนเขียนเรียกวา ผูหญิงมิติเดียว (แนนอนวายืมชือมาจากงานของ Marcuse) คือกลายเปนผูห
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism
In recent years, feminism, at least as it seems to be understood in popular perceptions, seems to have rediscovered politics. Nina Power's contribution to the excellent series of essays published by Zone Books (I say excellent on the basis of now having read two of them) rebuts feminism as self-help therapy and chocolate consumption justification in favour of an argument that reminds us that Condoleeza Rice, Sarah Palin and Ayaan Hirsi Ali may be women but they don't offer anything that might be ...more
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This little book is - I would suggest - one of the most important publications of recent years concerning the way feminism operates today. It asks some uncomfortable questions about how consumerism has taken such a hold on women to the extent that many are simply concerned with buying the current 'must have' designer handbag rather than trying to change the world for the better.

The author argues that feminism has lost the plot and the position of women is not improving. She highlights the way wo
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
این کتاب بسیار جالب خیلی از مفروضات ذهنی را به چالش میکشه.اونجایی که از فمنیست هایی میگه که در جهت خلاف اهداف فمنیسم که برابری باشه حرکت می کنند. مثلا سارا پولین را مثال میزنه که در کلاب فمنیست ها عضو بوده ولی در مورد سقط جنین تابع نظریات محافظه کارانه حزبش بوده. اونجایی که از کپیتالیسم میگه و اینکه چگونه زن یا مرد در جهت منافع اون وادار به حرکت میشیم.. تاریخ پورنوگرافی را خیلی قشنگ روایت میکنه و اینکه چطوری فمنیست های رادیکال در دهه 1970 با آن مخالفت کردند و الان دیدگاه فمنیسم نسبت به اون چی هس ...more
Bridget Symonds
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am absolutely loving this book, it is short and very easy to read....more on this when I am done!

Fantastic, easy to read, raises lots of questions and is the only recent text I have read that reasonably questions what being a feminist means for women in the 21st Century. It discusses sex work, domestic labour, the hijab and the continual use of capitalism as a demonstration of success and therefore, possibly, equality. This only touches on the depth of this book and for a 60 page book Power co
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A very engaging long-essay on the consumerization of modern feminism among other things. I found especially interesting the passages dealing with feminism as utilized as a tool of imperialism, the creation of the feminist as arch-capitalist and consumer, and finally the slanted portrayal of women in media (Sex and the City comes to mind). Very funny and well-written as well.
Apr 05, 2011 added it
A compelling, easy and well-written little book. A really good intro for students if they are not buying feminism.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Colin Cox
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
One Dimensional Woman is a compact and readable introduction to contemporary concerns within feminism. Power is endlessly quotable, but this is a short text that feels less like a book and more like an essay or M.A. thesis. As the title suggests, Power pivots from the deeply influential One Dimensional Man by Herbert Marcuse, and in doing so, she argues that feminism has transformed into a one-dimensional philosophy, overly determined by notions of self-fulfillment and consumerism. She argues, “ ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is the first I have formally read of Nina Power, although I am familiar with some of her journalistic and interview pieces. I gave the book four stars, only because the ideas were in no way new for me, but can act as a nice resource summarising some foundational contemporary feminist standpoints.
In this series of short essays, she delivers a much needed abashing to the contours of contemporary consumerist feminism. She assesses the 'material obstacles' facing contemporary feminism on it's p
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book is...not very brilliant. some instances power seems 2 be getting at something significant and then she loses the thread, throws in some anecdote / loose observation and that's it.
her assessment of relations between men and women condemns them, yet reinforces them at the same time. as a lesbian this book does not cover my experiences at all.. goes 2 show just how much womanhood and heterosexuality are inextricably linked. her account by virtue of its form and messiness cannot adequatel
This is another of a series of odd acquisitions I’ve made when choosing something to read from the limited English-language book selection of a bookshop I’ve visited on vacation.

The book’s cover asks: “Where have all the interesting women gone?” But the author isn’t saying. She’s also not saying what she thinks makes for an interesting woman, much less identifying any.

At least the book’s short! It’s also jargon-y, jumpy, and bitter. I also am not sure what the author was trying to say except th
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Super fun read which acts as a casual Bergerian primer bringing perspectives on contemporary feminism (or at least specific niche aspects of it) have been co-opted by consumerism and the spectacle. The book works well as a light commentary over some vestiges of publicity and spectacles engendered by capitalism but severely suffers from the lack of rigor and detail that the subject matter practically begs to be explored. Perhaps because the book's intention is not to rehash the same notions of th ...more
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Apart from this short book being jargon filled and its structure sometimes making me feel as though I was a fly on the wall listening to Power angrily talk to herself, this was an okay book.

The last chapter about communes in the 1970s having it right about child sexuality was a only a little bit mental but the chapters on the feminisation of labour and the how today's feminism is liberating capitalism more than actual women were the hidden gems in this book.

So, for those chapters, I'm very happ
WM Hall
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not sure why people are saying this is a complicated text. It's all quite straightforward with the exception, perhaps, of the sections on cutting and child sex, both of which seem parenthetical and a little too provocative...

Otherwise, it's a good read on liberal and capitalist feminism, but does lack a real proposed solution or alternative.

Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cultural-studies
My goodness what an angry person Nina Power is. Does she have a reason to be? Perhaps. Certainly she makes some good points about what the s0-called feminist perspective has become. I think her anger however, does more to perpetuate the negative stereotypes of feminists than it does to change thinking or provide thoughtful, meaningful discourse on the topic.
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was ready to rate his 3 stars, however the more it drifted from the title's concerns and explored a different analysis, the more interesting it became. Although quite under-formulated and drifting at times, it was certainly interesting.
Carlos Recamán
Dec 13, 2017 rated it did not like it

Señora, se lo ruego: antes de escribir un libro ¡al menos asegúrese de que tiene algo que decir!
Alesha Barnes
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful and though-provoking ideas, but too scholarly to be accessible for the average person.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sharp. Honest. Relevant
Michael Palkowski
Feb 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
The central premise of the book is twofold. The first is that consumerism has sutured itself with modern, individualistic feminism. The book laments that liberation is fixed within a materialist worldview, where being free is buying sex toys and chocolate. Ergo, the second premise is that individualistic feminism (or "choice feminism") is merely a justification for status quo capitalism (hence the "one dimensional woman" title, a term she takes from Herbert Marcuse's atrocious book "one dimensio ...more
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Dr Nina Power is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University. She is the co-editor of Alain Badiou's On Beckett (Clinamen), and the author of several articles on European Philosophy, atomism, pedagogy, art and politics.
“Organizing among agency workers is structurally impossible, and the enforced atomization of the agency worker is rephrased as ‘individual choice’, ‘your freedom’.” 0 likes
“At the very moment where some sort of collective response might be appropriate – for example, campaigning against discrimination of pregnant women at work – the language of choice is invoked: ‘it was her choice to get pregnant, why should we have to work more to cover her time off?” 0 likes
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