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Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture Paperback – 19 Jun 2006

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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: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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

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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

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have thought for a long time that the way young girls are encouraged to conform to a standard of beauty and behaviour which is only a short distance from that of a female star of an adult movie is a retrograde step. Feminism was meant to get women away from the objectification of their bodies and on to more important issues. Instead things seem to have got worse. Ariel Levy makes the point that women appear to be choosing this way of dressing and behaving though the interviews she recounts show that there is something more at work here.

Even university and college educated women see pole dancing as liberating but the author recounts a conversation with a young woman who visits lap dancing clubs because she thinks the bored expressions on the performers' faces are hilarious. It seems that women who do things like visiting these formerly men-only clubs are trying to prove a point that nowhere is closed to them anymore. While the book is describing American culture similar situations are arising in the UK as described in Natasha Walter's 'Living Dolls' and Kat Banyard's 'The Equality Illusion'.

Levy comments on the clothes marketed to young girls which highlight their sexuality and asks if this is really what we want young girls to aspire to. She asks if looking like an escapee from an adult film set is really what feminism was aiming for. The majority of the women she speaks to say they think behaving like a slut is fun because it's all a big joke but to the reader there is an air of desperation in their so-called enjoyment.

Their relationships with men seem to lack depth and emotion and such events as `rainbow parties' (don't ask) show that the girls' behaviour is all about putting on a show or a demonstration rather than relating to men as people.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Cousins on 6 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "ollywass" on 21 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
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 By Ayesha on 26 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Scholastica on 13 July 2006
Format: Paperback
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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