Crystal Starr Light's Reviews > The Beauty Myth

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
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A seminal feminist work, "The Beauty Myth" digs into the ways that the pursuit of beauty has hampered feminism. How many women rush to pursue the next makeup line instead of equal pay for equal work. How many women are in a Catch-22 at work - you must be pretty and feminine, but not TOO pretty and feminine, else it's your fault for sexual harassment! At a time when many are saying there is no need for feminism, Wolf shows that sexism is still alive and well and how trying to adhere to the Perfect Woman is holding women back.

As I dig more and more into feminism, particularly the portion where women take great pains to look the part that society tells them (sexual, but not TOO sexual, smart but not TOO smart), I kept seeing this book. Every current feminist work brings it up; therefore, it must be amazing right? Up there with Friedmam's "The Feminine Mystique" and Gloria Steinem? (OK, so I haven't read either, but I DO plan on rectifying that at one point!) So when a friend of mine recommended we buddy read this, I figured, "Why not!"

But - and you knew this was coming - I had a great many problems with this book, from writing style to over-generalizations to some of the messages to how dated it seems now. That is not to say this book has no good points or wasn't influential at the time. I'll bet back in the early 90's, there wasn't as much information about the push for women to be beautiful over their rights. Nowadays, practically every feminist work talks about how women are forced to adhere to a certain beauty stereotype - hence how I discovered this book in the first place!

But just because a book is a "classic", doesn't mean it's above criticism. I can appreciate what it meant to the feminist movement, while also A) not liking it and B) specifying how and why.

First off, the good. Let me allow Wolf's words to speak for herself:

"Whenever we dismiss or do not hear a woman on televisison or in print because our attention has been drawn to her size or makeup or clothing or hairstyle, the beauty myth is working with optimum efficiency."

"If a single standard were applied equally to men as to women in TV journalism, most of the men would be unemployed."

"The myth urges women to believe that it's every woman for herself."

"...to tell a woman she is ugly can make her feel ugly, act ugly, and, as far as her experience is concerned, be ugly, in the place where feeling beautiful keeps her whole."

"If the public woman is stigmatized as too 'pretty', she's a threat, a rival - or simply not serious; if derided as too 'ugly', one risks tarring oneself with the same brush by identifying oneself with her agenda."

"Few women have a strong sense of bodily identity, and the beauty myth urges us to see a 'beautiful' mask as preferable to our own faces and bodies."

"Women's bodies are portrayed as attractive packaging around an empty box...each woman has to learn for herself, from nowhere, how to feel sexual (though she learns constantly how to look sexual)."

"What women look like is considered important because what we say is not."

Young women now are being bombarded with a kind of radiation sickness brought on by overexposure to images of beauty pornography, the only source offered then of ways to imagine female sexuality."

"Men are visually aroused by women's bodies...because they are trained early into that response, while women are less visually aroused and more emotionally aroused because that is their training."


Each and every one of these, I can agree with a hearty, "YES!" How many of our newsanchors are old white guys? How many times must we hear about Katie Couric's hair, when we heard next to nothing about Dan Rather's or Tom Brokaw's? What about how critical we are of other women's appearances and the popularity of "What Were They Thinking?" (Almost exclusively populated with WOMEN BTW - and most as if the stars themselves picked out the garments instead of a publicist!). With quotes like these, how can this book be so bad?

How about ruining it with wild, baseless accusations, generalizations run amicably and the most confusing, rambling, never-ending narrative? For each time that Wolf says something great like this, we have to hear things like:

+ "Studies of a users show that violence, once begun, escalates. Cosmetic survey is the fastest-growing 'medical' speciality." -> This was NOT edited; this is how it appeared in the book.

+ Plastic surgery being compared to a violation of human rights, Nazism genocide, and female genital mutilation (no, I am not kidding). Last I checked, plastic surgery was a CHOICE, maybe a "poor choice" women feel like they need to make to keep a youthful appearance, but a choice nonetheless. NO ONE is making women do them - compare that to female genital mutilation, which is NOT a choice by any means!

+ The conspiracy theory that women don't have a choice (such as for plastic surgery or buying makeup). That is, until women DO have a choice and can choose to unite with other women. First off, who is at the head of this conspiracy? Those evul menzfolk? The government? Society in general? Secondly, while some women will cave to society's pressures, many do not. Most days, I don't wear any makeup or use any skincare products. I know tons of women who are likewise.

+ "Women are feeding their skins as a way to feed themselves the love of which many are deprived." Maybe they have acne???

+ No distinction between losing weight FOR HEALTH and to adhere to the skinny model. (In fact, in this day and age of obesity, this book overlooks eating disorders besides anorexia - which the author had as a teenager - and bulimia.)

+ Vilifying cancer patients for breast implants (even though these patients may have had mastectomies!!).

+ "...our portions testify to and reinforce our sense of social inferiority." Uh, no, I eat smaller meals to be healthy. If I ate everything I wanted until I was full, I'd look like a whale (especially with the way the food industry designs food so that we eat more!).

+ "The demonic characterizations of a simple body substance do not arise from it's physical properties but from old-fashioned misogyny, for above all fat is female..." Some fat is unhealthy too? And in this day and age, with obesity on the rise...

+ "Where are the woman activists of the new generation, the fresh blood to infuse energy into second-wave burnout and exhaustion?...up to a fifth of them are so quiet because they are starving to death." Jumping to conclusion much?

+ If you are woman of color or outside the upper-/middle-class bracket, well, I guess you don't suffer from The Beauty Myth, or not like "us poor middle-/upper-class white women". The book is so overwhelming biased towards the white middle-/upper-class woman, it's embarrassing.

And this goes on and on. Generalization followed by conspiracy theory followed by "Woe is me, poor over-privileged middle-class white woman" followed by dubious assertion, all told in the most challenging language possible! It just irritates me to no end to see these great ideas buried and undermined by such faulty sentiments.

There were so many times in my nearly 5 months of reading this that I was tempted to give up. I honestly was doubting I'd ever finish it. If you absolutely must read all feminist works, then you should pick this up, but there have GOT to be better non-fiction books on the subject than this - which is somewhat ironic, given its status as the "go-to manual" for women and beauty.
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Reading Progress

March 16, 2013 – Shelved
March 16, 2013 – Shelved as: non-fiction
March 16, 2013 – Shelved as: feminism
April 4, 2013 – Started Reading
April 4, 2013 –
page 9
2.45% "A classic feminist work. I can't wait to dig in!"
April 23, 2013 –
page 20
5.43% "Powerful stuff. Love how Wolf is so direct - no mincing words for her!!"
April 24, 2013 –
page 24
6.52% "Women work harder, both at their jobs and doing all the housework. And people wonder why I'm not running out to get married... (Actually, almost no one says that to me - I am blessed - but I had to say it.)"
April 25, 2013 –
page 28
7.61% ""For every feminist action there is an equal and opposite beauty myth reaction.""
April 25, 2013 –
page 34
9.24% ""It was not until women crowded the public realm that laws proliferated about appearance in the workplace." I'm glad this was put in, because Wolf kept saying it but didn't provide any proof."
April 25, 2013 –
page 34
9.24% ""If a single standard were applied equally to men as to women in TV journalism, most of the men would be unemployed." LOL, so true!!"
April 25, 2013 –
page 36
9.78% ""...to tell a woman she is ugly can make her feel ugly, act ugly, and, as far as her experience is concerned, be ugly, in the place where feeling beautiful keeps her whole." I can't tell you how many times I've seen this or experienced this first-hand. Sad how so much of our self-esteem can be based on whether or not we are beautiful."
April 25, 2013 –
page 42
11.41% "I'm reading about these hypocrisies and double standards and get ragey (not the same ragey BTW as I've felt for the Anita Blake books, but somewhat similar). How DARE men demand women to look pretty and then blame THEM for being "sexually suggestive"!! I am so blessed I've never experience quite that level of hypocrisy and sexism."
April 25, 2013 –
page 46
12.5% ""What about the common perception that women use their 'beauty' to get ahead. In fact, sociologist Barbara A. Gutek shows that there is little evidence that women even occasionally use their sexuality to get some organizational reward. It is men, she found, who use their sexuality to get ahead.""
April 25, 2013 –
page 52
14.13% "Good stuff, but it isn't light reading. Need to break for tonight."
April 30, 2013 –
page 54
14.67% ""All labor systems that depend on coercing a work force into accepting bad conditions and unfair compensation have recognized the effectiveness of keeping that workforce exhausted to keep it from making trouble.""
April 30, 2013 –
page 56
15.22% ""The myth urges women to believe that it's every woman for herself." Absolutely dreadful and a call for me to NOT be one of these women!!"
April 30, 2013 –
page 61
16.58% ""A girl learns that stories happen to 'beautiful' women, whether they are interesting or not. And, interesting or not, stories do not happen to women who are not 'beautiful'." A shameful tradition that continues TODAY in young adult books AND adult (Anita Blake anyone?)."
April 30, 2013 –
page 69
18.75% ""If the public woman is stigmatized as too 'pretty', she's a threat, a rival - or simply not serious; if derided as too 'ugly', one risks tarring oneself with the same brush by identifying oneself with her agenda." There is no winning."
April 30, 2013 –
page 70
19.02% "Women are deeply affected by what their magazines tell them...because they are all most women have as a window on their own mass sensibility...Newspapers relegate women's issues to the "women's page"...women's magazines are the only products of popular culture that...change with women's reality, are mostly written by women for women about women's issues, and take women's concerns seriously."
June 30, 2013 –
page 86
23.37% "While I hate a woman who is healthy dieting to achieve a certain size or weight, I do approve of women dieting (actually, adapting healthier eating habits) to be HEALTHY. THAT is completely different in my book, and yet most feminist books don't seem to make that distinction at all."
July 8, 2013 –
page 90
24.46% "This is gonna take forever to finish at this rate."
July 8, 2013 –
page 90
24.46% "This is gonna take forever to finish at this rate."
July 10, 2013 –
page 93
25.27% ""Of course, men don't age any better physically. They age better only in terms of social status." So very true!!!"
July 10, 2013 –
page 97
26.36% "7 pages today - woot!!"
July 14, 2013 –
page 103
27.99%
July 14, 2013 –
page 106
28.8% ""What women look like is considered important because what we say is not.""
July 15, 2013 –
page 114
30.98% "This religion section is a chore to get through."
July 21, 2013 –
page 118
32.07% ""Women are feeding their skins as a way to feed themselves the love of which many are deprived." OK OK OK. A lot of this is really good. And I do agree that 90% of skin products do nothing but drain women's pocketbooks. But...really? I think women are just duped into thinking they aren't young enough - all this conspiracy feels a bit much. This book is so dense with such crazy opinions...I'm tempted to DNF."
July 21, 2013 –
page 125
33.97% "Once again, no distinction made between losing weight FOR HEALTH (and YES, it DOES EXIST) and FOR TEH SEXAH. Makes me a bit mad honestly - yes, let's go from shaming fat women to shaming women who were tired of being unhealthy and decided to change that."
July 22, 2013 –
page 126
34.24% ""Few women have a strong sense of bodily identity, and the beauty myth urges us to see a 'beautiful' mask as preferable to our own faces and bodies." Now THAT I can get behind!! So true!"
July 22, 2013 –
page 131
35.6% "The Religion section nearly made me run for the hills, it was filled with such crazy ideas. Here's hoping the Sex Chapter (teeee heeee heeeee!) is better!"
July 25, 2013 –
page 137
37.23% ""According to a Screen Actors Guild study in 1989...a growing number of the roles for women cast them as rape victims or prostitutes." Perhaps LKH and her obsession with rape is just a sign of her times..."
July 25, 2013 –
page 140
38.04% "Nearly halfway through - whew!!"
July 28, 2013 –
page 140
38.04% ""So rare is it to see sexual explicitness in the context of love and intimacy on screen that it seems our culture treats tender sexuality as if it were deviant or depraved, while embracing violent or degrading sex as right and healthy." When a movie gets slapped with an "R" or "NR" for nipples while a man being impaled or otherwise brutally murdered slides by with a "PG-13", you can't help but wonder..."
July 28, 2013 –
page 143
38.86% ""Women who love themselves are threatening" Hell yeah!!!"
July 28, 2013 –
page 143
38.86% ""Women who have broken out of gender times have proved manageable: those few with power are being retrained as men." Like the sexist Anita Blake?"
July 28, 2013 –
page 145
39.4% ""If a woman loves her own body, she doesn't grudge what other women do with theirs; if she lives femaleness, she champions it's rights." Another way in which Anita Blake fails as a feminist. This chapter is much better than the previous - back on target!!"
July 29, 2013 –
page 148
40.22% ""Her silence itself comes from the myth: if women feel ugly, it is our fault, and we have no inalienable right to feel sexually beautiful.""
July 29, 2013 –
page 152
41.3% ""Men are visually aroused by women's bodies...because they are trained early into that response, while women are less visually aroused and more emotionally aroused because that is their training." Good stuff."
August 5, 2013 –
page 156
42.39% ""Women's bodies are portrayed as attractive packaging around an empty box...each woman has to learn for herself, from nowhere, how to feel sexual (though she learns constantly how to look sexual)." Amen to how most sexualized images cater to the male gaze - comics and my most recent encounter with a Facebook page."
August 5, 2013 –
page 157
42.66% ""The alien beauty of the bodies of men...is nowhere to be found in the culture meant for them." With Twilight and so many other series about girls googling over a boy's abs, is this still true??? Or have we chained ourselves in a different way?? Friends, if you have insight or thoughts, I'll take 'em!!!"
August 5, 2013 –
page 162
44.02% ""Today, perhaps more than ever before, when young women dress in a sexually provocative way they are made to feel that they are engaged in something dangerous.""
August 6, 2013 –
page 163
44.29% ""Young women now are being bombarded with a kind of radiation sickness brought on by overexposure to images of beauty pornography, the only source offered then of ways to imagine female sexuality." It's amazing: Wolf can go nuts with something sounding like a conspiracy theory (while not mass produced, there WERE nudie mags before the 60's) and then make completely rational statements like the above."
August 6, 2013 –
page 168
45.65% ""Cultural representation of glamorized degradation has created a situation among the young in which boys rape and girls get raped as a normal course of events." What a sad world we live in..."
August 7, 2013 –
page 171
46.47% ""The myth contrives to make women offend men by scrutinizing honest appreciation when they give it; it can make men offend women merely by giving them honest appreciation." I personally haven't had a problem (or much of one lately) accepting the "You're beautiful" compliment, but this is sooooo prevalent! Just open a YA book."
August 7, 2013 –
page 173
47.01% "Can barely stay awake. I really want this book off my nightstand so I'm prioritizing this one. To bad sleepy nights keep me from reading more."
August 8, 2013 –
page 179
48.64% ""Sexual beauty is an equal portion that belongs to both men and women, and the capacity to be dazzled is gender-blind...we are not as sexually incomprehensible to one another as we are meant right now to believe.""
August 11, 2013 –
page 180
48.91% "Some comments as I open the Hunger chapter: 1) yes, there's bulimia and anorexia, but what about just overeating? No it doesn't have the same affect on beauty, but it can stem from the despair of not looking like the models. 2) There is a rise of bulimia and anorexia in men and they almost get more ridicule for having "a woman problem". No race to solve the problem there."
August 15, 2013 –
page 186
50.54% "If you only need to lose 10 - 15 pounds, then, yes, you probably REALLY don't need to lose weight. But if you need to lose more than that, then changing your lifestyle isn't a bad thing."
August 17, 2013 –
page 188
51.09% "And women diet to be kept obedient and passive. Who the puppet master of all these machinations is has still not been revealed."
August 17, 2013 –
page 190
51.63% ""...our portions testify to and reinforce our sense of social inferiority." And now eating less food is seen as being a lesser, non-equal person. Because, again, ANY TIME a woman watches what she eats, it's because the Wizard of Oz is trying to prove she's a lesser person, not because she's unhealthy or anything like that. *rolls eyes*"
August 17, 2013 –
page 192
52.17% ""The demonic characterizations of a simple body substance do not arise from it's physical properties but from old-fashioned misogyny, for above all fat is female..." Maybe back in the early 90's, but almost 20 years later, being fat and demonizing fat is NOT exclusively female not misogynistic - though women DO get critiqued more for being fat."
August 17, 2013 –
page 196
53.26% ""Authoritative evidence is mounting that eating disorders are caused mainly by dieting." That citation does NOT convince me that eating disorders are MAINLY caused by DIETING. Poor body image MAYBE. Society pressures to be thin can be involved. But almost solely dieting?! More generalizations I see, Wolf!!"
August 18, 2013 –
page 199
54.08% "WHAT?! Are you REALLY saying that skinny/anorexic women do not suffer from sexual harassment because they have no tits or ass?! SERIOUSLY??!!??"
August 18, 2013 –
page 201
54.62% ""Sex, food, and flesh; it is only political ideology - not health, not men's desires, not any law of loveliness - that keeps women from believing we can have all three." Political?! This ephemeral Man pulling the puppet strings, trying to hold women down, is back!! And in as vague a form as possible!!"
August 18, 2013 –
page 202
54.89% "Now we get the REAL reason why Wolf says the things she does - she was a mute, blindly obedient anorexic as a teen. If she was this way, ALL WOMEN must be that way! D'oh!!!"
August 19, 2013 –
page 205
55.71% ""The larger world never gives girls the message that their bodies are valuable simply because they are inside them." And after almost five pages of Wolf whining about her anorexia, a nugget of truth. Par for the course in this book - whinging followed by a good point."
August 19, 2013 –
page 208
56.52% ""Where are the woman activists of the new generation, the fresh blood to infuse energy into second-wave burnout and exhaustion?...up to a fifth of them are so quiet because they are starving to death." Calm down, honey. They are alive and well, if loud-mouth Valenti is any indication. They just took a bit of time to gather up."
August 19, 2013 –
page 209
56.79% "Whoa, whiplash!! Talking about where them feminists at (a bit alarmist) to how people think feminists are basically masculine women (true but sad). And then about how older and younger women aren't encouraged to share (bad) promptly by some more anorexia stories. Wolf really has a vested interest in anorexia."
August 19, 2013 –
page 210
57.07% ""The pressure on [young women] is to conform themselves to the masculine atmosphere." Ugh, I need to read faster!!!"
August 19, 2013 –
page 214
58.15% "More rambling about Wolf's college days in which the tie to Hunger and the Beauty Myth seems even MORE tenuous and diffuse. Get to the point and move on!"
August 19, 2013 –
page 215
58.42% "I'm a girl of the 80's and my adolescence and adulthood were NOT marked by hunger - unfortunately, quite the opposite!! So "associating femaleness with deprivation"? Bit so much for me. And unfortunately, a lot of young women today actually ARE overweight, which makes this body image thing WORSE. It's weird that this book could be so...outdated!"
August 19, 2013 –
page 218
59.24% "Thank the maker, THAT chapter is over! Next up, Violence. I'll hope it's not as meandering and off-topic as Hunger got (nor as pandering to the author's obvious pet peeve), but honestly, expectations are low."
August 20, 2013 –
page 218
59.24% ""Studies of a users show that violence, once begun, escalates. Cosmetic survey is the fastest-growing 'medical' speciality." OMG!! I did NOT alter that - that is HOW IT WAS PRINTED. Absolutely NO transition, no explanation how cosmetic surgery is violence or anything. Just BOOM, this is a fact, accept it! Will I EVER finish these last 70 pages??? (The rest are notes...there is a God...)"
August 20, 2013 –
page 220
59.78% ""Resistance to the abortifacients pill RU-438 derives partly from it's relative painlessness." Seriously? Half of pro-lifers (at least) truly don't want what they consider the murder of "babies". The rest just want things back to the "good old days" when everyone was a virgin when they got married and a bunch of other urban myths. RU-428's painlessness is WAAAAAAAY down on the list of reasons to resist it."
August 21, 2013 –
page 227
61.68% "How does any of this talk about the beauty myth and cosmetic surgery have ANYTHING to do with violence? At least the previous chapters (including one of my least favs, Hunger) had SOME tie-in with the Beauty Myth (Work, Religion, etc.); this one just threw its hands up and gave up before it even got started."
August 22, 2013 –
page 232
63.04% "This is great stuff about aging, health vs beauty, accepting women's natural beauty, cosmetic surgery...But HOW THE HELL does it relate to "Violence"? You know, the CHAPTER TITLE??? Nothing???"
August 25, 2013 –
page 241
65.49% "Good stuff on cosmetic surgery, if extremely repetitious. The connection to the chapter title "Violence" is STILL unclear."
August 27, 2013 –
page 250
67.93% "Yes, let's vilify cancer patients who may very well have had breast surgery because THEY LOST THEIR OWN BREASTS and equate breast surgery with the forced female genitalia mutilation in Africa. Because that's not at all white privilege or anything."
September 6, 2013 –
page 258
70.11% "And now the pain of plastic surgery is compared to human rights abuse. I'm sorry but really, it's as bad as people starving from war and famine in Africa???"
September 6, 2013 –
page 265
72.01% "And now we've resorted to comparing cosmetic surgery to Nazi genocide. Because a surgery a woman CHOOSES (and doesn't result in all that many deaths) is COMPLETELY the same thing as a tyrannical regime mass murdering MILLIONS for NO GODDAMN REASON. THAT makes sense - NOT!! (What is that principle that states all arguments degenerate into calling someone as bad as Hitler???)"
September 6, 2013 –
page 271
73.64% ""I am not attacking anything that makes women feel good" Uh, yeah you are. I feel good about losing weight and wearing clothes I think look good on me and sometimes wearing makeup, and you said I shouldn't lose weight and shouldn't ascribe to the changing fashions and that pouring money into makeup was me needing love. So yeah, keep talking out both sides of your mouth."
September 6, 2013 –
page 272
73.91% ""The real problem is our lack of choice." Except, in many of the cases you described, women DO have the choice. No one is forcing them to be anorexic, buy skincare products, or get boob jobs. Yes, society INFLUENCES, but there IS NO FORCE going on. A lot frakking more choice than women in Third World countries, raped by their husbands and mutilated and damaged by acid. We privileged white women!! GAH!!"
September 6, 2013 –
page 274
74.46% ""Whenever we dismiss or do not hear a woman on televisison or in print because our attention has been drawn to her size or makeup or clothing or hairstyle, the beauty myth is working with optimum efficiency." And then Wolf says these things, which I 100% agree with. UGH. How can you be so wrong and so right???"
September 6, 2013 –
page 279
75.82% "Well, at least this conclusion isn't half bad. It's not wonderful (so it amounts to: don't be that way??), but at least it's SOMETHING."
September 6, 2013 –
page 282
76.63% ""The terrible truth is that though the marketplace promotes the myth, it would be powerless if women didn't enforce it against one another." Oh, so women DO have a choice. Convenient!!!"
September 6, 2013 –
page 284
77.17% ""This constant comparison, in which one woman's worth fluctuates through the presence of another, divides and conquers." ANOTHER point I love! UGH, I am so bipolar about this book."
September 7, 2013 –
page 290
78.8% ""So let's stop blaming ourselves and stop running and stop apologizing, and let's start to please ourselves once and for all." Wooohoooo, I can get behind this!"
September 7, 2013 – Shelved as: you-did-not-just-go-there
September 7, 2013 – Shelved as: read-at-your-own-risk
September 7, 2013 – Finished Reading
September 9, 2013 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
October 18, 2013 – Shelved as: massive-disappointment
April 4, 2014 – Shelved as: editor-wanted

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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Christine Just started this myself.


Crystal Starr Light I'm really exited; it seems like a lot of the more recent feminist books use this as a baseline, an "first step", if you will.


Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} I deleted this from my wishlist after reading Naomi Wolf's opinions on rape quoted in the very first paragraph of Rape is Rape:

'In the wake of rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, feminist Naomi Wolf publicly denied that if a man holds down and tries to sexually penetrate a woman who previously agreed to sex but changed her mind after he refused to wear a condom, he is a rapist. She also denied that penetrating a sleeping woman is rape. Wolf later went further, alleging that it is wrong to keep confidential the names of people who report that they've been raped. She reasoned it encourages false rape claims and that women should grow up and be treated as "moral adults" who stand by their allegations. When the two Assange accusers' names were released, they received death threats and experienced other forms of humiliation, the very reason names are publicly withheld now.'

*frowns*

However, if you feel her book is worth a look I might borrow it from the library because I don't think I want to put my pennies in her pocket.


Crystal Starr Light Amy or "Ames" wrote: "I deleted this from my wishlist after reading Naomi Wolf's opinions on rape quoted in the very first paragraph of Rape is Rape:

'In the wake of rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian A..."


Oh. My. Gawd! I thought we would be past this point! Just goes to show you feminists don't all agree on the same things - unfortunately.

I'll still read it because I own it (and I've read Orson Scott Card despite his homophobic statements), but I don't know that I'll be buying any of her other books!


Christine Amy, I read Rape is Rape too. And Wolf is an - well let's be polite - but considering how important and how much of an impact this work has had, it should be read. If only, to see how it affects other writers.

Then do what I did and mentally smack her.


Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Okay, I've put myself on the waiting list at the library.


Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} This is an incredibly difficult read. I want to DNF. What's your reading experience of this been, Crystal?


Crystal Starr Light Same here; does not have the readability of other feminist works I've read, although there has been a lot of good information. I can't seem to motivate myself to read more of this honestly (hence why the updates has stopped!!).


message 9: by Liz (new) - rated it 3 stars

Liz I had many of the same issues with this book. Mostly I wondered what would have happened if it were written today. Obviously a lot has changed since then, for better and for worse. It was hard to get through at times though, and I found myself skimming much of the "religion" section and randomly fuming at the "hunger" section.


Crystal Starr Light The one quote that still makes me stop and wonder WTF Wolf was thinking:

"...our portions testify to and reinforce our sense of social inferiority."

Because goddess forbid, eating smaller, healthier meals is because of patriarchy, not because of an overall desire to be healthy.

It's especially odd in this day and age when more and more children are being diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetic - a disease that previously only afflicted overweight adults or older adults. Eating disorders these days are more than just anorexia and bulimia - we are starting to see orthorexia, binging (no purging) and overeating as well as overall body image disorder too.

I firmly believe that we as feminists have to tread that line between not giving a crap about how our bodies look and giving enough crap to make sure we are healthy.


message 11: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy Mills Good review. I'm reading it, and struggling; not that it's difficult, it's just kind of boring to me. Yes, a lot of what she says is true. But somehow this book doesn't do it for me. Going to skim through the rest of it and return it to the library.


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