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Fifty Shades of Feminism

Fifty Shades of Feminism [Kindle Edition]

Lisa Appignanesi , Susie Orbach , Rachel Holmes
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
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Product Description


Every contributor could silence a Twitter brigade of #IDontNeedFeminism in her sleep . . . insightful, broad and engaging (Drafted)

Book Description

The antidote to the idea that being a woman is all about submitting to desire. There are many more shades than that and here are fifty women to explore them.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 813 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (28 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A7YZ30G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,751 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully curated collection of essays 24 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what I expected to read when I picked up the book, but let me assure you: this is a treat.

The book features short-form essays (the longest are only three or four pages long) from a variety of women across society, from novelists and journalists to comedians to politicians to barristers to doctors. All of them bring a fresh perspective and a fresh pair of eyes to the question of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be feminist: it really is the fifty shades of feminism promised by the front cover.

The topics covered range from domestic abuse, sexual violence and pay differences, down to women's football, the easy accessibility of violent pornography (which makes 50 Shades of Grey look tame) and the enduring power of motherhood.

The contributors are generous with their praise for others, elegantly angry when appropriate and relentless in their effort to establish the truth.

The essays are stunningly written (I suspect the hand of the editors in establishing a clear, elegant style that runs throughout the contributions) and the stories from women of today are generously interwoven with quotes from feminists and liberation activists from years gone by. Reading through, one is moved from tears to anger to laughter to deep reflection.

This book is well worth getting and reading through time and time again. Share it with friends and talk about the perspectives offered - then walk out from the book determined to do something about it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a range of writers. 4 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First truly feminist book I have chosen to read - at age 67! I really enjoyed the huge range of writers and view points. It has made me realise that 'feminist' writing doesn't have to be hard going. Now I must go back and read everything I ought to have read years ago.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put this down 31 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a collection of essays on feminism from 50 women who are prominent in their fields. The contributors give very personal views based on their own experiences and impressions. This isn't a piece of hard hitting feminist theory; that's not its purpose. However I think there would be few women who would not find their own experiences reflected in these essays: perhaps even women who wouldn't self-define as feminist.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, read it, and enjoy 9 July 2013
Of course I just had to buy Fifty Shades of Feminism although I have managed to resist the `allure' of it's ashy coloured namesake (definitely not appealing to me).

I'm glad I did. The book has been edited by Lisa Appignanesi, Rachel Holmes and Susie Orbach who put it together pretty quickly in a riposte to the `other' grey book. (Presumably the grey cover of this edition is a bit of tongue in cheek homage?) In a slightly anarchic way it has more than fifty contributions but as it doesn't number them when they pass fifty it doesn't really count...just think of it as added value.

I have been dipping in and out of it over the last few weeks; it's that kind of book. On the one occasion I did sit down and read several at a time I found it a tad jarring. Feminism is a very broad church and the contributions are varied; some don't feel as coherent when read in one sitting.

That said, I have been loving it and it has been reigniting my enthusiasm for all things feminist (OK, I didn't really need any reigniting, that's just a literary device...) My favourite to date purely for entertainment, is Sandi Toksvig's contribution:

"...I attended a degree ceremony at the University of Surrey. The academic folk there had kindly allowed me a doctorate without all the annoyance of having to study something first. Afterwards I stood on the steps of Guildford Cathedral, where the ceremony had taken place, and marvelled at the youthful beauty of the genuine graduates. A young woman dressed in her academic gown and mortarboard was being helped down the steps by her parents. In addition to being bedecked in educational success she was also wearing high heels; such high heels that she was unable to manage the stone steps on her own.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fifty Shades of Feminism 8 April 2013
I was a bit disappointed with the brevity of the chapters. They didn't give the writers time to get stuck into a subject. The result was unfortunately a very forgettable book, like a Greatest Hits album that you've already heard. Shame. Read The Equality Illusion if you haven't already, that's great!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking book! 16 Dec 2014
By julesd
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great easy inspiring read
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 3 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's definitely time for a new survey of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. This is a historical snapshot, an immediate classic, the 21st century "Female Eunuch" or "Feminine Mystique". Rather than a whole book from one voice, this compilation of short essays by fifty women, of a variety of cultures, orientations and roles, discusses a plethora of issues, making feminism relevant and palatable for everyone. If you aren't sure how feminism affects you, or if you still think feminists are angry women in dungarees, this book will convince you otherwise.

Camila Batmanghelidji reflects on the work she does through her children's charities, and idea of "excellence", achieved by a combination of 'feminine' care-giving and 'masculine' protectiveness which transcend gender.

Shami Chakrabarti talks about mothers who have changed the world.

Jeanette Winterson takes an amusing look at internet porn which "destroys love".

Sandi Toksvig points out the comedy of women wearing shoes so painful and heels to high that they can't walk in them.

The essays are interspersed with sketches, quotations and Laura Dockrill saying she wants to feel like Helena Bonham Carter's hair.

I've picked out a few chapters of particular interest to me.

Jane Czyzselska looks at her "transgression" of being a heterosexual-looking lesbian, and how this alienates her from other lesbians. Being straight-looking, people make assumptions that she is conservative, which is odd because straight people look straight and aren't therefore conservative. She feels lesbians are 'watched as if performing in public.' Her comments about how women who don't want children are often viewed with pity really resonated with me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars don't judge a book by its title
Excellent read. I did not think I was a feminist until I read this, and realise now feminism comes, like women, in all shafes, sizes, shapes & strenghts. Brilliant
Published 9 months ago by Sharon turner
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I bought this book to raise awareness of feminism after a lengthy three night debate with my teenage children about whether or not Beyonce was a feminist icon. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sm Cresswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great present
I bought this for my mum for her birthday and she's actually in love, theres a poem sort of thing at the start and she keeps quoting it. Great gift, Would recommend :D
Published 9 months ago by Freddie bodman
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
I gave this as a christmas prestent to my 25 year old daughter and she has sid how much she is enjoying reading it some of the people she has heard off as is very impressed
Published 11 months ago by adrienne
3.0 out of 5 stars Fifty Faking Feminists
When John Knox wrote 'The first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women' he had a point. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Neutral
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
A range of differerent feminist perspectives in bite sized chunks. Excellent to introduce the subject to young women who missed the first wave of feminist ideas.
Published 16 months ago by Mrs Marion P Fitzhugh
4.0 out of 5 stars At last!
A refreshing and inspiring book that is a fine riposte to the book that inspired it. I hope it receives a wide audience.
Published 17 months ago by Barbara Bond
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not in depth enough
A good collection of reflections on Feminism - but not deep enough. We read in our reading group- and it was well received
Published 18 months ago by Jane Wiffin
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read and short chapters which are easy to read through!...
You must read this :)
Very interesting book and touches on issues that we all ponder over at some point. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Hannah_223
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this - not the other one!
Refreshing, inspiring, interesting! This is a well-informed book with short chapters by well-known women writers with diverse opinions and angles on this topic.
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. A. Gardner
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