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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has feminism achieved its aims?
This little book is - I would suggest - one of the most important publications of recent years concerning the way feminism operates today. It asks some uncomfortable questions about how consumerism has taken such a hold on women to the extent that many are simply concerned with buying the current 'must have' designer handbag rather than trying to change the world for the...
Published on 6 Dec. 2009 by Damaskcat

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good start, disappointing end
This was suggested to me by my supervisor (I'm a PhD student). I consider myself a feminist and am always keen to read new literature. This book started well - Power has a passionate but acerbic style and I felt quite galvanised by a lot of what she'd said. I liked the way she reflects back on the feminist movement and mourns the loss of a more collectivist politics and I...
Published on 3 Nov. 2010 by morenita


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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has feminism achieved its aims?, 6 Dec. 2009
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
This little book is - I would suggest - one of the most important publications of recent years concerning the way feminism operates today. It asks some uncomfortable questions about how consumerism has taken such a hold on women to the extent that many are simply concerned with buying the current 'must have' designer handbag rather than trying to change the world for the better.

The author argues that feminism has lost the plot and the position of women is not improving. She highlights the way women's bodies are objectified - even by women themselves, and deplores the prevailing fashion which decrees women must imitate porn stars. 'Sex and the City' shows women obsessed with their appearance, buying the latest consumer desirable and obsessing over whether their latest man is 'The One'. Feminism seems to have lost the plot when appearance is the only thing that matters in every sphere of life.

Feminism has been subsumed into the idea of feeling better about oneself whatever one does and recent books about feminism aimed at young women are all about self esteem rather than about the politics of women's position in the world. I urge anyone interested in these issues to read this book - especially if you feel feminism has lost the battle or even the war.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (At Least) Three-Dimensional Analysis, 25 April 2010
This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
A pugnacious and necessary pamphlet which makes a compelling case for the reclamation of a class dimension in contemporary feminism and a rejection of the superficial promises of liberation dangled by those who would confuse commodification with freedom. Nina Power is one of a generation of thinkers who have established themselves as exciting theorists and analysts by blogging (in this case over at infinite thought) while maintaining commitments both to serious intellectual enquiry the traditional way (PhDs in philosophy, lectureships and academic publishing) and to political activism (as in the recent attempt to articulate a feminist manifesto for the 21st century).

Some reviewers here seem to have read a different book. Although certainly tightly and passionately argued, 'One Dimensional Women' is also frequently subtle and even generous. The discussion of pornography is particularly free of dogmatism, and MacKinnon and Dworkin are dealt with fairly as well as critically. Moreover, Power eschews easy condemnation and plenty of effort is made to understand how and why the co-option of feminist thematics has taken such problematic forms. Yes, potential reader, it is true that some feminists are specifically named-and-shamed for their embracing of personal expression over collective struggle, but this is hardly enough to suggest some naive assault on the entirety of previously-existing feminist thought. On the contrary, the links established with currently under-represented strands of feminist thought suggests fidelity much more than a rebellious acting-out.

Which is not to say that this is entirely perfect - there are moments where repetition or over-description somewhat disrupt the flow. But this is more than balanced out by the immediacy of the tone and the urgency of the issues at stake. Where else could you cover the role of pleasure in feminism, the necessity of an account of economic exploitation for liberatory thought and Sarah Palin as ideological symptom in an afternoon's reading? Angry, but also surprising in its wit and its occasional flashes of hope, this is well worth your time and the money that will end up with The Fistula Foundation if you buy it. Which I suppose is a kind of consumerist feminism, but one that I can live with for now.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything it promises, 23 April 2010
This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
Don't believe the haters: Nina Power's 'One Dimensional Woman' is an lucid, incisive, punchy and highly readable investigation of the problems with 'lifestyle feminism' and the compromised settlement that the women's movement has forced out of the patriarchal establishment. A suitable comparison for the book would be Susan Faludi's 'Backlash' - it far outstrips the efforts of third-wavers like Jessica Valenti or Ariel Levy at critiquing the current situation, at least in part because Power is an excellent writer: witty and cutting, steely and angry, drilling a topic for all it's worth or pinwheeling deftly on a thought. Power is expertly conversant with theory - she is a senior lecturer at Roehampton University - but never too in love with it, always using it as a critical tool for analysing real conditions and real lives, and not squashing the reader with jargon. As a male feminist, I found it extremely helpful in understanding what the structural problems are for women under neo-liberal capitalism, and the possible exit-routes. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply effective, 16 Sept. 2013
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A great way into true feminist theory, doing away with many of the specious forms of feminism and establishing a coherent, simple yet complete form of critique.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good start, disappointing end, 3 Nov. 2010
This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
This was suggested to me by my supervisor (I'm a PhD student). I consider myself a feminist and am always keen to read new literature. This book started well - Power has a passionate but acerbic style and I felt quite galvanised by a lot of what she'd said. I liked the way she reflects back on the feminist movement and mourns the loss of a more collectivist politics and I was also with her on revisiting pornography - there could be another way of doing pornography that was less dehumanising. However, towards the end I lost the thread of what she was saying. I don't think it was particularly clear what she was advocating nor how it necessarily followed from the rest of her tract. Still worth reading for the first two thirds (it's a very slim volume) even if it goes a bit haywire at the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars engaging, 28 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
this book is cleary written and is very insightful, really easy read and gets the point across quickly. For only 100 pages long there is alot crammed in
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas that need expanding on, 30 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
Besides the author having an appropriate name for women's studies (Ms Power) she also has some very interesting ideas. For example, the chapters on what Sarah Palin means to feminism, the US Republican use of feminist rhetoric to support their military strategies and how capitalism drives objectification. The second half focuses on setting porn and sexuality in context.

However, I was often left unsure about what her view was and would have liked more elaboration on the validity of the ideas. I agree with other reviewers that the book lacks a satisfactory (and readable) conclusion.

I look forward to her next book (which I hope is longer) but would suggest the style is made more accessible in order to attract a wider audience. I struggled to understand the text in some places due to the academic language used and this is despite being a masters level graduate.
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6 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One Dimensional Woman, 21 April 2010
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This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
I bought this book on the basis of a review in The Guardian newspaper and have been rather disappointed. I found it somewhat disjointed and rambling. It attempted to be an academic book and was, I think, well researched but lacked a vital tool essential for all academic books - a good index.
Nina Power has some strong opinions and I found I disagreed with her on several issues; just under three weeks ago I wrote to her via her publisher and am still waiting for a reply.
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11 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money, 8 Feb. 2010
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R. Kendall (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) (Paperback)
The blurb on the back said this book was witty and angry. The extract on the back was indeed witty and angry in tone, but get past the intro (where the extract is taken from) and this book was just one narrow-minded rant at any expression of feminism which doesn't correspond to Ms Power's narrow and ill-defined understanding of the term. Don't waste your time or your money: read the back cover but don't be tempted to buy it!!
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One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books)
One Dimensional Woman (Zero Books) by Nina Power (Paperback - 30 Nov. 2009)
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