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Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture [Paperback]

Ariel Levy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Jun 2006
Today's young women seem to be outdoing the male chauvinist pigs of yesteryear, applauding the 'pornification' of other women, and themselves. This is a world where simulating sex for baying crowds of men on shows like Girls Gone Wild and going to lapdancing clubs - as patrons - is seen as a short cut to cool. Ariel Levy says the joke's on the women if they think this is progress. She tears apart the myth of this new brand of 'empowered woman' and refuses a culture-wide obligation for women to act and look like porn stars. This terrifically witty and wickedly intelligent book makes the case that the rise of raunch does not represent how far women have come - it proves only how far women have left to go.

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Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture + Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism + The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (19 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416526382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416526384
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Female Chauvinist Pigs could not have been an easy book to write… Still, Ariel Levy pulls it off' -- Natasha Walter, The Guardian

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Late on a balmy Friday night in March 2004, a crew from Girls Gone Wild sat on the porch of the Chestfield Hotel on Collins Avenue in Miami, preparing for the night of filming ahead of them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and readable 16 July 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Does it concern you that vacuous it-girls are held up as role models for young women? If the answer is yes, then this is the book for you.

Levy, like a lot of women, seems perplexed by the way that intelligent straight women are going to pole dancing clubs for kicks and that women who essentially feign desire for a living are used as a symbol of female sexual liberation.

The book primarily explores American culture, but don't be put off by this, many of the points she makes are relevant to all women. There are chapters about 'Sex in the City', CAKE parties, the lesbian phenomenon 'bois' (the 'bois' interviewed seem particualrly scathing about other women), Playboy and teaching abstinence to American school kids. There is also a handy and very readable chapter about the feminist movement in New York over the past 40 years.

Levy's arguments always seem balanced and reasonable (although she gets her point across), so don't expect a 200 page feminist rant.

The book does contain a high sexual content so might be one to avoid if you are easily offended.

Provocative, challenging, accessible. I'm so gald that someone has had the courage to write this book. Highly recommended.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grrrrr! 6 Jan 2007
I want to send a letter of thanks to Ms Levy for finally giving some academic weight to a subject I have long ranted about. Now I can tell people to go read this when I get tired of trying to explain why nine year old girls in playboy t-shirts freaks me out.

It is such a shame that girls of my generation and younger (I'm 23) are being taught that sexy comes in a one-size-fits-all (blonde hair, big tits, short skirts, willingness to bend over or make out with your girl friend for attention). The media has well and truly hit on the lowest common denominator here and is running with it.

Several of my male friends have flipped through this and agree that blow up doll girls are not sexy if you've got half a brain and neither, might I add, are the sorts of guy who go for them.

I think there is a bit too much focus on lesbian culture in the book, though I understand how it adds to Levy's argument.

The most important statement for me was the idea that as long as women believe they need to 'have balls' and 'be like men' to succeed in our culture, then being a woman is still not seen as good enough. Too true and also completely wrong...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 21 Jan 2006
This is truly a good book - I recommend it - it was all I hoped it would be. Let’s face it there are aspects of this world that are a mess and one such section - feminism, sex, dating, media portrayals of women and sex, pornography, teenage pregnancy, - is openly analysed by the author. The book is a good smooth read as well as being very informative. Well done.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading 1 Feb 2012
This is an easy to read book which ought to be compulsory reading for all girls aged over fourteen. Though much of the content relates to American culture, it is equally relevant in the UK. Any woman who has a daughter who thinks pole-dancing is 'empowering' should also read it - it's horrifying.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A piece of genius 26 Sep 2010
By Ayesha
The brevity of this book does not diminish it's impact. It's fantastically funny but brings HUGE relief to me to read that there ARE women out there who see this "pornification" of our culture for what it is.

It isn't empowerment and the reasons WHY it isn't are explained so intelligently in this book. Ariel Levy is genius.

This book will not only make you laugh, but it will equip you with responses to those women who SUPPORT the pornification of our culture and want to be like "one of the boys." Thank you Ariel Levy!
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last! 13 July 2006
It's about time somebody wrote a book like this...for a while it's been becoming more and more obvious of the cultural shift in how many women (particularly young women) are portraying themselves - as the author herself puts it, "Only thirty years ago our mothers were `burning their bras' and picketing Playboy, and suddenly we were getting implants and wearing the bunny logo as supposed symbols of our liberation."

The author identifies this trend throughout western culture (with particular emphasis on the USA), and has a pop at "Girls Gone Wild" (a particular bugbear), Hugh Hefner and his "playmates" and the increasing social acceptance of the porn industry. The author's argument (broadly speaking) is that living and acting like a "porn star" is not "liberating" women, but is in fact a huge step backwards - whilst giving the male of the species plenty of free entertainment at the same time.

The author is very good at identifying the problem, but I would have liked to have seen more proposals towards a solution (or an alternative) -it does raise many questions that it doesn't answer, but hopefully this author (or others) will carry forward the debate in the future.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely book - hopefully only the beginning 13 Mar 2006
This book is - or should be - a wakeup call for modern women and men. As Levy says in one of the books most revealing passages "Why does the new liberation look so much like the old objectification?".

It's a question which has bothered me a lot: why were many of my intelligent, supposedly liberated friends saying they wanted to become strippers, or have a boob job or wear Playboy t-shirts? Before reading this book I thought I was the only one who felt that we'd been hoodwinked. Many people say that Levy is a prude or that she is demonising women who do these things by calling them 'female chauvenist pigs'.

This is not the objective of the book at all - of women who genuinely enjoy and feel fulfilled by these things Levy actually says herself that she wishes them well.

Her question is why can't we come up with some new ideas about sex and gender - surely becoming a stripper or a porn star isn't the apex of feminine sexual fulfillment or achievement, is it? Is this the best we can do?

We've come round in a circle from trying to free ourselves from restrictive gender stereotypes to embracing them in the name of liberation, when in fact they are just as restrictive as ever. A vast swathe of the media (including both men's and women's magazines, who are some of the worst offenders)are selling us the idea that women have to look hot and be up for it all the time. They're feeding us the line and we're falling for it. When actually it's all about marketing - this hyper-sexualised, porno ideal can only be achieved by consuming more. More plastic surgery, more clothes, shoes, makeup, hair-extensions, more waxing and beauty treatments.

These people do not have our best interests at heart.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
interesting read
Published 1 month ago by Jane Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Alisonlouise
1.0 out of 5 stars Jewry is destroying families
Oh look, a Jewish feminist. Surprise surprise. Good goy. Lop another foreskin off. Wimminz. Feelz. Oppression.

The ideology of hurdurherpderpism in a book.
Published 1 month ago by MichaelSavageFan
4.0 out of 5 stars female chauvinist pigs
very thought provoking. interesting book detailing the post feminist pornification of our modern day society. ariel levy writes well and keeps you hooked.
Published 4 months ago by wendy roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I found it interesting and easy to read, would recommend it to all.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have noticed what she is talking about, it has totally seeped into... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rebecca Lili
5.0 out of 5 stars There is an unfortunate, and popular, support of patriarchy by young...
This book is fantastic. It really helps to come to terms with some of the thoughts I've been having over the last two years as to why women are willingly submitting to their... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Zoe
4.0 out of 5 stars Not without its issues, but a valuable read
This was one of my first feminist books and I preferred it to the "sex positive" feminist books that don't look at cultural reasons, religious, or even personal reasons for... Read more
Published 14 months ago by boots-2000
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be taught in schools
This book, should be mandatory for both genders at a young age. After you read it, it's so easy to figure out what's happening around you, and why. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars read the book cover to cover in a few days
I would really recommend this book to anyone interested in feminist topics, or any student that is studying media studies, literature, gender studies, politics etc. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rachael
3.0 out of 5 stars Some excellent points but lacking in places
In Female Chauvinist Pigs, Ariel Levy discusses the growing trend of young women's appropriation of stereotypically masculine behaviour. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ocellar
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