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Customer Review

on 13 March 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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4.2 out of 5 stars