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Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism Paperback – 29 Apr 2011

2.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Zero Books (29 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846945216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846945212
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 0.6 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Laurie Penny hones her every phrase to a razor's edge. She is absolutely surgical in her anatomising of a mad world. MEAT MARKET is the kind of cut you learn from. --(Warren Ellis, author of TRANSMETROPOLITAN, CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, RED)

About the Author

Laurie Penny is a 23-year old journalist, blogger, feminist activist and reprobate from London with a deep loathing for unexamined orthodoxies. She writes the popular blog Penny Red http://pennyred.blogspot.com and lives in London UK.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Laurie Penny has been a near ubiquitous figure over the last year. Her status as the "voice of a generation" has seen her career blossom as she is consistently pulled in by the BBC and others to give opinion on everything from the situation in the Middle East to student politics; all this while others of her age group (she's in her mid 20s by the way) have been losing their jobs. Here she attempts to capitalize on her popular credentials by chancing her hand at some feminist theory on the DIY publishing imprint Zero Books.

In short, this is possibly the worst piece of attempted theory I have ever read, and its faults, contradictions, and sheer dilettantish gall are to such an extent that to cover it all would require a text the length of which would justify a book of its own. I will address only the main points which will help illustrate not only that Laurie Penny has no idea what she is writing about, but that her faults stem from the fact that she is ultimately a middle class opportunist flirting with the most superficial and bankrupt autonomist thought.

It's also worth noting that her trite blogger/journalist prose makes this a very painful read. Lines like "The ooze and tickle of realtime sex, which can neither be controlled nor mass-produced and sold back to us, threatens both capital and censorship"(pg16) might get Twitter buzzing, but in a monologue it just looks like nonsense. Her bizarre fixation on descriptives for bodily functions also offer up such pearls as "the eroto-capitalist horror of human flesh", "the panting border between dream and secretion", the "dirt and ooze of female power" and "the meat and stink of my body". Perhaps all this is meant to be arousing, but all she succeeds in doing is make sex appear like a scene from a Hammer horror film.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whilst I echo the sentiments within the book, and admire some of Laurie Perry's other musings, this book was not well-written (containing a myriad of grammatical errors and poorly structured sentences) and was tiny; more of a pamphlet than a book.
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Format: Paperback
I am a keen reader of feminist literature and when I spotted this book in a charity shop, I thought it would be worth a read. The link between exploitation of women and capitalism is a very interesting premise, but unfortunately much of the book suffered from a lack of depth of analysis. Too many straw men being set up, and a selective citing of facts that ignore the bigger picture caused this book to be essentially an exposition of the authors preexisting ideas and prejudices, without a willingness to acknowledge the complexities of situation. Disappointing at best, trite at its worst.
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I think the writer raised a few good points on women's issues (which are already discussed in many current feminist writings so nothing new in this one) I found that the views expressed were quite aggressively dealt out and sometimes statements were made without facts to back it up, also the writing was quite unclear in some cases, with some discussions not fully closed or followed through. I have no doubt that this individual is passionate about their take on feminist issues but I feel that in this case the passion they have for the subject has over spilled into the theme and has taken the spotlight.
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First things first. I'm a man who's at least somewhat sympathetic to the feminist cause. There are a few polemics in the genre which I think deserve attention and respect. This isn't one of them though.

I appreciate that this book isn't intended to be the final word on the subject. I'm fine with that. There are many modest little books that are effective precisely because of their focus and directness. With all of that having been said, there's still no getting around the fact that the rhetoric in this book is consistently sloppy. Sometimes this carelessness reaches the point where even sympathetic readers will have trouble taking the author seriously.

Things don't get off to a great start when the author declares, on the very first page, that:

"...one in five women in Britain and America is a victim of rape"
(Penny, Laurie (2011); Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism; Zero Books; Winchester, UK and Washington, USA; P1)

That's quite an astonishing statistic right there, and one that I personally find a little difficult to swallow. Unfortunately, Penny doesn't help matters here, seeing as she omits to include a source for her numbers. I would like to know how large the samples for this study/survey were and where they were found. I'm guessing that there's an interesting back-story to this shibboleth. Still, I will have to concede that in the absence of an actual source to look up my suspicions will have to remain precisely that. Suspicions, and nothing more.

This wouldn't be the last time that Penny set off my warning alarms though.
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to learn a bit more about modern feminism so bought several books on the subject. This was dire. The writer rants hysterically about 'patriarchal capitalism' but without any attempt to give any context or background - i want to know how did we get here, what are the issues, what can we seek to do, what research has been done and so on. The writer's points are entirely subjective and although she quotes several books that seems to be more of an attempt at validating her ravings than actually adding to or qualifying anything she is saying.

Reading this I could almost hear the writer spitting and frothing at the mouth and these kinds of writings do nothing to either encourage people to the cause or help create a wider understanding of what feminism really is.

I also bought Living Dolls by Natasha Walter and highly recommend this for a great overview of modern feminism, covering a range of subtopics.

My b/f suggested that in my review I add something about the author writing this at the wrong time of the month - I am not quite ashamed to admit that i giggled at this. That is exactly how this book comes across and how it can so easily be dismissed.

I think the writer is very young and it does come across as poorly informed but mostly very immature.

Dreadful.
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