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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and readable
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...
Published on 16 July 2006 by Sarah Durston

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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. In this case, she means women who have bought into raunch culture: women who go to strip clubs and who are obsessed with porn. The argument is tricky, because so many women and men claim that this appropriation is actually empowering to...
Published 19 months ago by Ocellar


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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and readable, 16 July 2006
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (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
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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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last!, 13 July 2006
This review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (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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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. They don't care if we feel good about ourselves or whether we're fulfilled or happy, they just want to make money and they've discovered that sex with everything is the best way to do that.

Why are we chasing an idea of sex that is so joyless (and ultimately sexless)? Why should women have to change themselves to enjoy sex - can't we just be ourselves, why do we have to be a pornstar or a stripper or a glamour model or whatever?

Hopefully Levy's book will only be the start of the debate, we need to re-evaluate our position on sex, on gender. Levy asks some good questions and we shoudl all be looking for the answers. The current polarisation that is happening between the sexes and the pernicious attituides to sex (and to women) pervading our society are having a corrosive effect on us all.
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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 review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (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
This review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (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 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sisters are doing it to themselves, 10 Mar 2008
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This review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (Paperback)
Few things in life bug me more than twentysomething women sneering at feminism. Because they're usually doing it over a glass of wine in the pub, on their way home from work, and looking forward to a bit of strings-free 'how's your father' at the weekend. We ought to run some kind of boot camp where they can all go live as fifties housewives for a fortnight, and THEN decide if feminists were all dungaree-wearing, moustachioed lesbians who did nothing but sit about braiding their leg hair. Hello, girls? That job you've got, that pub you're sitting in, the university you went to, the contraception in your purse... in a world where feminism never happened, you'd be home every night baking apple pie and starching your husband's underpants.

But even more galling are the 'new feminists', or female chauvinist pigs as Ariel Levy calls them. Under the magic umbrella of feminism, any kind of behaviour (yes, really, ANY kind) can become 'empowering', that catch-all word that's somehow come to mean you can make shedloads of money out of it. This is the 'new' feminism, and anyone who doesn't actually think it's that cool for women to sell their bodies needs to get with the programme, grandma. Yes, that's right, it's actually 'feminism' in action on those 'music' videos and late-night TV 'programmes' that your boyfriend is probably sorta partial to. That's funny because it used to be degradation, but the adult industry has got one mother of a marketing programme going on. As Levy points out in this well-paced readable book, young women today are afflicted with Uncle Tom syndrome, joining their male friends in the strip clubs and sex shops, and idolising adult stars like Jenna Jameson. Levy reminds us that women like Jameson, glamorous as they might be, are actually prostitutes. No girl in a million years would want to emulate a crack-addled backstreet whore, but plenty of them want to live as brainless blow-up dolls for some reason. Men have once again sold us an image of ourselves, and we women are falling over each other (and maybe pushing and shoving a bit) to buy it.

Levy writes smoothly and well in a poppy, fairly lightweight style with some useful statistics (most sobering of all the high percentage of childhood abuse victims working in the adult industry, including Jameson herself). Your blood may boil at some points on reading this, but she's always level-headed and measured in her assessment of the situation. Levy herself is strikingly attractive (although admittedly not blonde, nor sporting mammary glands the size of basketballs) so the naysayers arguing that it's all sour grapes need to wake up and smell the... KY, or whatever. I have an 8 year old daughter and this is not the world I want her to grow up in. Buy this, read it, pass it around to your friends (male and female) and maybe get a bit of consciousness-raising going on like it's 1970 again. I hope Levy's working on a sequel though, because oops she somehow forgot to present a single, solitary idea about how to actually change any of this. So just read it as a straightforward, entertaining 'state of the nation' style book... and then maybe cancel that brazilian after all, if it's actually really painful and you're only doing it for your boyfriend's sake. One small step for womankind...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Provocative polemic, 31 Oct 2006
By 
G. L. Haggett "glynlhaggett" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (Paperback)
A heartfelt, original and well-researched polemic on women's liberation, examining the growing urge among women to adopt an overtly aggressive, traditionally masculine approach to their sexuality, often in response to the stereotypes provided by the media.

Ariel Levy is earnest in her research, but the book is eminently readable for the humanity she shows towards her interviewees and the opinions they express. As a fortysomething male, I am sure I was not the first reader she had in mind, but this book is not a lofty, academic treatise and lends itself to a very wide readership.

Her conclusion is powerful, as she argues that, far from liberating women, the adoption of a traditionally masculine approach to sex and sexuality has actually had the opposite effect to that intended, since women are still objectified, albeit in a different sense. Her contrast between the growing "liberation" of sex with the restrictions imposed upon sex education and attempts to ban gay marriages in the US says it all.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff, 19 Jan 2008
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shpadoinkle - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture (Paperback)
Ever felt there was something slightly 'off' with the way female sexual bravado, and even promiscuity, is held up as empowering, and even 'feminist'?

This book is brilliantly argued and hugely important for all women to read. Not only that but it is so entertaining and snappy, it can be read in a couple of sittings. If you are interested in modern feminism, but are put off by the hundreds of scary academic looking books, then this is the book for you. And this is meant as a compliment to the author.

I think if every women and girl read this, we would all be alot closer to TRUE empowerment and liberation (not just sexual), and therefor real happiness.
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