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15 Reviews
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nails media sexism
I bought this after reading a review by Germaine Greer, who was rudely dismissive of it. Her views didn’t tally with my own experience of the Vagenda blog so I bought it myself to find out. It’s biting, witty and really calls out women’s magazines for the infantilised and mean-spirited trash they are. To me its strength lies in discussing very eloquently...
Published 4 months ago by Sonsiekat

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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is 4th wave?
The extensive coverage of 4th wave feminism in the press and of the authors of this book would suggest this is going to be the banner publication for the movement. Which makes it doubly disappointing.

I have liked the blog in the past but that relies on a sizable roster of diverse writers whose talents were not on show here, only the writing of the two...
Published 7 months ago by Sophie_M


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nails media sexism, 19 Aug 2014
I bought this after reading a review by Germaine Greer, who was rudely dismissive of it. Her views didn’t tally with my own experience of the Vagenda blog so I bought it myself to find out. It’s biting, witty and really calls out women’s magazines for the infantilised and mean-spirited trash they are. To me its strength lies in discussing very eloquently how the unequal portrayal of men and women in the media actually impacts women’s lives. With humour. I’m slightly older than the authors, but I found such relief in reading that I’m not alone in my bewildered rage at the crap mags and the portrayal of women in the media in general.

I think this book has attracted unfair criticism. Some readers seem to expect it to be a trailblazing, leading publication of fourth wave feminism. But as the front cover says, it’s a ‘Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media” – it doesn’t claim to be a modern day feminist’s bible. It’s the experiences and insights of these two young women. A couple of negative reviews have also cited the authors’ age. Surely the fact they grew up with the very media they are discussing gives them an informed viewpoint from which to write? Everyone has the right of criticism, but the irony of shouting down these women for speaking out against sexism and the lack of female voices in the media seems to be lost on some feminists.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is 4th wave?, 4 May 2014
The extensive coverage of 4th wave feminism in the press and of the authors of this book would suggest this is going to be the banner publication for the movement. Which makes it doubly disappointing.

I have liked the blog in the past but that relies on a sizable roster of diverse writers whose talents were not on show here, only the writing of the two founders. Unfortunately as both are under 25 and come from average middle class white homes, they have very little new to report, only the same discomfort with so-called women's media that everyone has experienced and has been commented on elsewhere in great detail, complete with waxing anecdotes. Yawn.

The parts that dive into statistics are very sloppy and would have benefited from input by someone who knows about the uses and misuses of statistics. Too often the writers fall into the very same lazy traps they claim they are sending up.

There is a great book to be written by young women about feminism today. This is not it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!! A must read!! Really opened ..., 14 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media (Kindle Edition)
Fab!! A must read!! Really opened my eyes to the media manipulation that invades women's lives. Was aware of it before but now I can see it everywhere!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written and incoherent., 4 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media (Kindle Edition)
I am as feminist as they come, and I totally agree that the media of today, especially women's, is very damaging, and that's putting it simply. And so in theory I agree with the content of this book and am totally behind the message. However, I wasn't even able to finish it.
The writing style was offputting: there was loads of slang, which is fine in moderation, but I felt they were making up new words every two sentences that I, a 21 year old, hadn't even heard of. I couldn't see the point of constantly using nonsensical, juvenile words especially when they didn't make the topics at hand any more accessible, but rather the complete opposite. Its intent was obviously to get laughs, but while a few of the lines made me smile, I never once laughed. I'm bemused that so many of the reviews I've read say it's laugh a minute/laugh out loud. I really didn't find it funny at all.
The structure was poor: I understand that a lot of the topics covered naturally overlap, and so there would be common ground in a lot of the chapters. However, even within the specific chapters/topics, there was no strong line of argument and it was very hard to follow the point they were trying to make. Often it read just like a load of individual paragraphs taken from different conversations lumped together, which does nothing to make for a coherent read. There is SO much to say on this topic, and so many vitally important, salient points to be made. I think for a feminist book that has reached the mainstream, it's so important that it manages to state its arguments clearly and convincingly, because so many readers will come at it with a sceptical and cynical viewpoint. I don't think it's hard to make a convincing case for feminism and the damaging nature of our media, especially if you have a whole book to do it, but this one just doesn't achieve that.
In the sense of it being one of the most accepted-by-the-mainstream books of its kind, I don't think it's so significant then that none of the content is particularly new or groundbreaking, and has all been covered before in books like The Beauty Myth, as other reviews have complained. However, it has to then reproduce the arguments clearly and conclusively, and simply dropping in loads of slang words for vagina and sex doesn't automatically make it more accessible to the wider public.
The book also drastically fails to encompass anyone other than the straight, white consumer. Mere token sentences are thrown in to allude to the different and more complicated ways the media insults the non-straight, non-white reader, but they read as literal after-thoughts, put in after a final read-through, as the following sentences will revert right back to the heteronormative narrative.
This had so much potential and it just seems like such a waste of an opportunity.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Topical, funny, inspiring read, 1 May 2014
I am a fan of the Vagenda blog and loved this book. It challenges the way you think about women's magazines, makes you laugh, makes you angry and makes you want to change things for the better.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Stuff, 6 May 2014
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This review is from: The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media (Kindle Edition)
Fascinating read. Loved it. Brilliant keystone text for 4th wave feminism. If you've been part of #everydaysexism, #shoutingback or Project Unbreakable, this is a must for your reading list. It is an excellent jumping off point for getting into today's feminist debates. Pitched with plenty of anger and feminist bile this is not a text for academics (although there are enough of those already on the market) but a book for any modern woman who has been made to feel 'inadequate' by marketing, advertising and the western media. It's not the whole story and there is more that needs to be said on this topic (especially by non-cis, non-straight and non-white women) but that does not lessen the power of this book's observations about the roles women are cast into in the current western world, even those with straight/white/cis privilege.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sad, angry, 27 Sep 2014
By 
Ms. R. Graham "Rachy rach" (Newcastle) - See all my reviews
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A sad, angry, funny, shocking polemic. A must have for women feeling the pressures of modern life. Makes me feel vindicated and not alone when I feel angry about this bs too
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!, 7 Aug 2014
Awesome!!!
This is everything I've ever thought about womens mags and media all in one place.
Best read so far this year.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Oct 2014
By 
Mairi Hubbard (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Every woman should read this. And every man should read it too.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and thought-provoking, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media (Kindle Edition)
I wasn't expecting this book to make me laugh so much! It's a brilliant look at the nonsense of women and girls magazines, from the cliches and contradictions to the blatant sexism and impact of advertising. A great read - highly recommended.
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