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The New Feminism [Paperback]

Natasha Walter
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Feb 1999

Where has British feminism gone? Has it retreated into the academy, did it burn out at Greenham Common, has it emigrated to the United States? Natasha Walter discovers that there is a new feminism right here and now in Britain. It is alive and kicking and speaking in the voices of young British women. In defining this new feminism, Natasha Walter celebrates women's growing power, casts aside the dogma of previous generations, and argues that the old adage 'The Personal is Political' does more harm than good. Because above all, this new feminism is frankly materialist. Who cares about how women dress, how they talk, how they make love? First, feminism must deliver political power and economic equality.

With tremendous wit, verve and intelligence, THE NEW FEMINISM marks out fresh ground in feminist debate.

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The New Feminism + Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism + The Equality Illusion: The Truth about Women and Men Today
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (11 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860496393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860496394
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 366,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Forceful and accessible . . . Here is a book with challenging arguments, provocative statements and clarion calls to action, written with passion, courage and good humour (Michele Roberts, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

It will inspire a new generation of women (Anna Murphy, OBSERVER)

At her spirited best, she is a symbol...of power and confidence, and a hopeful sign of new feminist stories in a more egalitarian future (Elaine Showalter, GUARDIAN)

Lively, intelligent and independent (Frances Spalding, THE SUNDAY TIMES)

The New Feminism is a happy, celebratory affair, and everyone is invited (Isobel Fonseca, INDEPENDENT)

Astute and impressive (ELLE)

Better than a dose of Paglia any day. Save it for your children to marvel over (MARIE CLAIRE)

Compelling re-evaluation of what feminism has achieved (Matthew de Abaitua, ESQUIRE)

Right on, say I, speaking as an old feminist (Val Hennessy, WOMAN'S JOURNAL (Book of the Month))

The New Feminism ricochets with dynamic ideas, boasting a breadth of vision and irresistible panache that is, quite simply, to die for (Deirdre Molloy, THE LIST)

Book Description

In the tradition of THE FEMALE EUNUCH, BACKLASH and THE BEAUTY MYTH - a major polemic on British feminism which sets the agenda for the 21st century. THE NEW FEMINISM is a breath of fresh air.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future of feminism? 8 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an interesting study of feminism as it was at the end of the 1990s. From the perspective of 2010 it seems to me the progress towards an equal society has slipped backwards since the book was published. I was particularly struck by the author's comments about women not worrying about what other people thought of the way they dressed, their faces or the their figures.

Currently it seems the media is obsessed with women's appearances and all magazines are filled with articles about how everyone can have the face and figure necessary to have a successful life. Surveys recently suggested girls as young as 5 worry about their weight and what they wear. Not the situation the author might have envisaged when she was writing this book. She has a new book about to be published entitled 'Living Dolls: the Return of Sexism' which looks at society today in which women's bodies are seen as their only passport to success and it will be interesting to compare society as depicted by both books - published 10 years apart.

Were the 1990s the lull before the backlash against independent courageous women really started? According to the author there was no longer an issue around women with children working outside the home; more and more men were playing an equal part in childcare and domestic chores. What has happened in the 10 years since this book was written?

The book is hopeful and enthusiastic about the prospect of equal opportunities and equal treatment for women in the workplace. She disagrees with the idea that women should portray themselves as victims in order to get what they want and advocates campaigning to right wrongs and supporting other women.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a good read for beginners 3 Jun 2011
There are other books, better than this one, but if you want a comforting read into the debates and issues current and relevant to feminists and feminism then it is a good read. Personally, I prefer a bit more bite and risk - Natasha Walter is the consumate feminist self-publicist - you can't detract from her immense ability to get noticed and read. Good for her but not as juicy as some of the feminist writers who preceded her and those who have since come forward with new and more dynamic research.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Explodes the stereotypes of feminism 1 July 2010
By sharon
I loved this book! I've passed it around to a number of people urging them to dip into it. For anyone who cringes when they hear the word 'feminism' - especially women - this book cuts through all the jokes and stereotypes and examines what feminism with a small 'f' means now and how it manifests in the everyday lives of women and men. Well written and whilst containing academic information, it isn't a heavy read.

I found this book inspiring and thought provoking even though it is a little out of date now. It has re-kindled my enthusiasm for examining the dynamic of women and yes - I've gone back to using the word feminist without being self conscious of any labels!

I heartily recommend this book to everyone!
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18 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Redressing the balance, but needs to go further 15 May 2001
By A Customer
This is an interesting review of what feminists see as the gains women have made (or the gains feminists believe they have made on behalf of women). Its tone is conversational and not an aggressive rant designed to make women 'more self-aware' of their own 'victimhood'. Lots of interesting stats and facts about employment, types of relationship, etc. However, the book is still in a long tradition of middle-class feminism that gives the impression that women in the late 20th century have won a battle against men. History tells a different story. 1)Yes, women did gain the vote after WW1. However, until the late 19th century, most men could not vote either. 2)Universal, compulsory education was brought in for both girls and boys by the 1870 education act. So strictly speaking, it's not true that all girls were always disadvantaged because of all boys. It will not do for radical feminists to treat men and women as political classes. The main reason men and women gained late access to universal suffrage and education was because of the class system which spans both sexes. 3)Working-class women and women in rural areas have always worked. Feminism is a middle-class movement. All well and good. The problem is post-1960s feminists who have tried to redefine educational and professional achievements and participated in a dumbing-down process which brings far too many people to universities and provides silly degrees like Women's Studies which perpetuate the myth of female victimhood. Walter's book may go some of the way to turning the tide against this pointless mentality, but it still rests on the assumption that once upon a time, all women were victims of all men. Not true.
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