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on 20 October 2017
When I first started this I loved it - witty and yet powerful, fact-filled yet an easy read. It made me think once more about the power the media hold over us, and how women are portrayed in magazines, adverts and on TV. However, the further I got into this book the less I enjoyed it - I don't know if that was because the same ground was being covered or if it was because the tone changed in later chapters, becoming more subjective. Still, a thought-provoking feminist read with a touch of humour.
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on 19 October 2017
Dreadful. Badly written, inconsistent, clearly trying to follow an agenda without letting the facts get in the way. And, quite unpleasant and vicious in places - unecessarily so. In my opinion feminism isn't about being horrible to everyone else, but in theirs, it seems it is. Don't waste your time reading it.
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on 2 March 2017
Awful. How on earth did this get published? Just lots of half-baked ideas/rants. Avoid
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on 1 January 2016
Wonderful. The humour is very well- crafted and there is so much that is serious here. By the way, I am male.My contempt for celebrity obsession, fashion and magazines is already at the temperature of a supernova but this took it even further.How do we fight the deluge of trivial and damaging dross out there? Absolutely essential we find a way.The whole idea of inventing pseudo- problems and then selling a pseudo-solution: just like religion really.I wish them both huge luck and a life of comfy knickers.
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on 4 September 2014
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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on 4 March 2016
very poorly written - expected a lot better. would not recommend - far more concise books available.
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on 23 August 2016
I love this book. Read it and then lend it to everyone you know. A funny but very accurate look at the media and it's not-so-feminist practices. Easy to read but so interesting. You don't have to 'be a feminist' to really enjoy this book.
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on 19 August 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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on 1 September 2015
I went into this with an open mind having seen both very good and very bad reviews. I was delighted! This is a funny look ('a muff is a muff') at feminism and the media's portrayal of women, and can be well enjoyed by those new to feminism, as well as those like me, lifelong feminists. It doesn't contain anything new to me - I'm familiar with all of the techniques mentioned within - but it was interesting to read about the rise of the nasty, judgmental attitude towards women in the media. This does focus rather a lot on white female issues and not on POC female issues.
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on 25 January 2017
I'm a feminist and this just a rambling of slogans and half truths.
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