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

Ariel Levy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 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: 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,432 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

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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and readable 16 July 2006
By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grrrrr! 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading 1 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
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
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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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last! 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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Styes in Their Eyes 3 Nov 2009
By Neutral VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Sex sells and Ariel Levy reckons it has sold the women's liberation movement out to the consumer ethos of patriarchy. Identifying pornography as integral to popular American culture, Levy suggests it has deprived women of the things they deserve, "freedom and power." She is not against some aspects of the new sexuality but argues that sexual freedom is only one specific kind of power. It is not the most important and - in believing that it is - women "are selling themselves unbelievably short".

Her scorn is reserved for those Female Chauvinist Pigs who have bought into the system as actors, producers, entrepreneurs and have self identified as part of a culture she despises. She notes, for example, that Playboy is a company run largely by women. She points to the crucial role of Sheila Nevins at HBO whose attitude was expressed in her comment, "Why is it that women will still go after women taking their clothes off and not after all the injustices in the workplace?". If unity is strength the feminist movement is undeniably weak.

Levy suggests that women, like porn star Jenna Jameson, who regularly removes her clothing, are "not sexually uninhibited (but) sexually damaged." Jameson herself admits she can't watch her own sex scenes. There are plenty of people who do, including more and more females. Jameson defends herself by saying "it's one of the few jobs for women where you can get to a certain level, look around and feel so powerful, not just in the work environment but as a sexual being."

That's the problem. Are feminine values properly encapsulated in their ability to have unfettered sex in the way in which, historically so it has been alleged, men have been able? Is that the kind of model which feminists should admire, condemn, or observe without comment?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 7 days 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 5 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 7 months ago by Zoe
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 10 months ago by ephee
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 14 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 14 months ago by Ocellar
5.0 out of 5 stars All teenage girls and women in their 20s need to read this
My mum bought me this book when I was 16 and I really think it's something all teenage girls should read. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Greasy_Heart
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Ideas, Badly Expressed
In the preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', Oscar Wilde suggests that "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Eileen Furze
5.0 out of 5 stars The Raunch Culture - yet another of 2nd Wave Feminism's sorry side...
I remember when I was younger, the chief complaint by many feminist-minded women was that women were forced to wear less and less clothing by those darn perverted men. Read more
Published on 22 Feb 2012 by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for every modern woman
Great book, which deconstructs what is actually happening with our culture. The pornification of women and the passive aggressive debate, which basically prevents women from... Read more
Published on 9 Dec 2010 by Klara
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