Female Chauvinist Pigs : Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture

by ariel levy | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0743249895 Global Overview for this book
Registered by dittybopper of Hammond, Louisiana USA on 10/26/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Bol.com
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by dittybopper from Hammond, Louisiana USA on Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Good food for thought book that addresses the reasons behind the rise in raunch culture and why it is a step back for women. I gained some good insight into how today's teenagers see their world in chapter 5 which is entitled "Pigs in Training." Quick, interesting read and recommended to women of all ages and schools of thought.

Journal Entry 2 by dittybopper from Hammond, Louisiana USA on Monday, October 31, 2005
Controlled release. Mailed to lolamarie on 11-01-05. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by lolamarie from Bozeman, Montana USA on Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Received today. Thanks for the trade dittybopper!

Journal Entry 4 by lolamarie from Bozeman, Montana USA on Thursday, November 24, 2005
I enjoyed this book. As dittybopper said, it is great food for thought.

I'm planning on releasing this as a bookray.

From Publishers Weekly
What does sexy mean today? Levy, smartly expanding on reporting for an article in New York magazine, argues that the term is defined by a pervasive raunch culture wherein women make sex objects of other women and of ourselves. The voracious search for what's sexy, she writes, has reincarnated a day when Playboy Bunnies (and airbrushed and surgically altered nudity) epitomized female beauty. It has elevated porn above sexual pleasure. Most insidiously, it has usurped the keywords of the women's movement (liberation, empowerment) to serve as buzzwords for a female sexuality that denies passion (in all its forms) and embraces consumerism. To understand how this happened, Levy examines the women's movement, identifying the residue of divisive, unresolved issues about women's relationship to men and sex. The resulting raunch feminism, she writes, is a garbled attempt at continuing the work of the women's movement and asks, how is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavored to banish good for women? Why is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering? Levy's insightful reporting and analysis chill the hype of what's hot. It will create many aha! moments for readers who have been wondering how porn got to be pop and why feminism is such a dirty word.

Journal Entry 5 by lolamarie from Bozeman, Montana USA on Tuesday, December 06, 2005
The usual bookray "rules" apply. Please make a journal entry when you receive the book and then again before you send it on. Please PM me if you run into any problems (such as finishing the book in a timely manner, which means 4-6 weeks). Check back here before sending the book on, as the shipping order may have changed since this ray will remain open. If you are the last person in line for this ray, feel free to continue the ray or release the book how you see fit. Enjoy!

Karenlea - California, USA (done)
bookreadera - Pennsylvania, USA (done)
Erishkigal - Utah, USA (done)
lmn60 - Australia (done)
hunnyb - Australia (done)
okyrhoe - Greece (done)
hshah - India <=== here!

Journal Entry 6 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I really enjoyed this book and found a lot of truth in it. When I first started dating my husband, he worked for an internet porn company. I could relate much of this book back to his job and my experiences visiting him there- especially the women in the business. I also think that my enjoyment of this book was enhanced, because I have taken many women's History classes.

Journal Entry 7 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Monday, December 19, 2005
I will be mailing this book off to the next reader in the morning.

Journal Entry 8 by bookreadera from Pottstown, Pennsylvania USA on Sunday, January 01, 2006
rec'd in mail on Friday. I've already started. I can't read it in the evenings anymore as it tends to get me pretty riled up. Already making notes for the journal entry.

Journal Entry 9 by bookreadera from Pottstown, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, February 01, 2006
It's a shame that so much of society cannot see women as sexual beings without seeing them as sexual objects. Objectifying anyone, for any reason, dehumanizes them. What's worse is that so many of our daughters embrace the objectification not realizing that it devalues them. I wrote a few pages of notes in my book journal to use as starting points for conversations with my teenage daughter.

A very interesting book. This is another book that I would never have read if not for bookcrossing. Thanks so much for sharing it.

posted out on o2/02/06.

Journal Entry 10 by wingerishkigalwing from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Monday, February 06, 2006
Yes! arrived in this morning's mail. I may take a lesson from bookreadera and not read at night....having come of age during the women's movement of the 70's, I expect to get pretty riled too. So maybe in the morning's, to get some kick-butt energy before headin' out the door!

Journal Entry 11 by wingerishkigalwing from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Sunday, February 26, 2006
As someone ahead of me said this is a quick and easy read. Or would be, if I didn't have to stop and think about, or digest, or just get over being angry and/or horrified. Easy in terms of Levy's style, not easy in terms of assimilating the content.

For example, as Americans, and women, we have sought to end the genital mutilation still happening in parts of Africa. Have fought for asylum for women seeking to escape this. And then to read early on in Levy's book, "...page after page of ads for surgeons who specialize in 'vaginoplasty' or 'vaginal rejuvenation'...cosmetic operations to alter the labia and vula...The surgeries are not intended to enhance sexual pleasure. They are designed exclusively to render a vagina 'attractive.' .....vaginoplasties can cause painful scarring and nerve damage that impede sexual function....demand for these procedures is increasing...." I was absolutely astounded and horrified that women actually CHOOSE to do this to themselves

That was but the first time I had to stop and think about the material before I could continue

There is so much to think about here. From my own ‘Women’s Movement’ experiences to my grand daughter;s’s choice in clothes. I recall how during the 70's and 80's we argued back and forth about porn and the sex industry. Which has precedence? The First Amendment (right of free speech) or the right of women to not be objectified. There was no consensus as to what extent pornography influenced the way society sees women, but, according to Levy, we are now seeing the cost of that indecision.

In my work, I work alongside men and women who are comfortable with both genders skillfully handling power tools. Our TD is a women, and the men respect her knowledge and abilities. Even in the theatrical fields, this wasn't true 30 years ago. So at work, it seems as if women in this country have made great strides. But in many ways we have gone backwards.
Certainly, as Levy points out, wayyyyyyyy backward if young women today consider pole dancing empowering. And while there are numerous female celebrities, there are still damn few women with any real power. (and Isis help us! those are more likely the ilk of Condoleeza Rice!)

If you couldn’t tell this book has rekindled some feminist fire (ire?)...which is good... I have become too complacent. But I apologize for going on so, I hope I haven’t bored you all. So I shall shut up now, and post this off to imn60 posthaste. I’ll send it out priority, so you should have it within the fortnight.

Journal Entry 12 by winglmn60wing from Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Arrived safely in my letter box. I have a few books ahead of it, but will get to it ASAP.

Journal Entry 13 by winglmn60wing from Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Like the previous readers, I found this a really thought-provoking book.

As a 14-year-old I was evicted from my English class for reading 'The Female Eunuch' during a free reading session (I think the teacher had more trouble coping with the naked female torso on the cover than any of the content!), and have proudly labelled myself a feminist ever since. This book arrived in a timely fashion as I have been having many conversations with female friends about the 'sluttification' of the young women I see and know, and, even more disturbing, the 'tweenies' of my acquaintance. Ariel Levy has articulated well, and more cogently than I ever could, the dangers of labelling the 'skanky ho' look, the admiration of 'celebrity sluts' like Paris Hilton, those damn Bratz dolls (I can't believe how much they look like prostitutes)and the acceptance of pole-dancing etc. as retrograde steps.

Thanks so much for sharing this book, lolamarie. It's left me with lots of food for thought - and more determination to speak up about the problems this 'raunch culture' creates for women of all ages.

I have hunnyb's address and will post it off this week.

Journal Entry 14 by hunnyb from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Received today - will get started straight away :)

Journal Entry 15 by hunnyb from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, April 08, 2006
A very thought provoking read indeed. It's so easy to believe that the fight for equality is over, with the images presented by Sex and the City, Cleo centrefolds and Carmen Electra pole dance aerobics tapes. This book is a wake up call to us all. Thanks for sharing this lolamarie, I've PM'ed okyrhoe for an address.

Journal Entry 16 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Arrived in my p.o. box today. Thanks hunnyb (for posting the book to me) lolamarie (for starting the ray)!

Journal Entry 17 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Wednesday, May 03, 2006
One cannot deny that the situation Ariel Levy documents in Female Chauvinist Pigs is apparently the norm in today's mainstream society. As she and others remark in the book, it is a highly commercialized and artificial phenomenon. Deplorable as this may be, I found myself wanting (almost perversely) to disagree with the author in certain instances. It's not that I think she is wrong in her critique. It's just that I sensed her writing lacks the determination and scope to fully document the issue, or to suggest means to counteract the trend.

Time and time again I found myself thinking, "Yes, but she can say it better" or "She can say lots more about this." This book doesn't seem, to me, to be thoroughly researched, and some of the points she makes are superficially argued. I disagree with the book's cover blurb, which calls it "irresistibly witty and wickedly intelligent." These are qualities I will gladly ascribe to the writings of non-theoretical, non-scholarly feminists such as Erica Jong or Nancy Friday, both of whom Levy interviews and quotes first-hand in Female Chauvinist Pigs. Maybe the weakness of Female Chauvinist Pigs lies in its genesis; it is, from what I read above, a fleshed out version (excuse the pun) of an article Levy originally wrote for a magazine, and it is her first full-length book.

Incidentally, the next BookCrossing ray book I received happens to be Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women. The author, Elizabeth Wurtzel (like Levy, also a magazine writer before turning to full-length books), covers exactly the same issues regarding the mis-direction of female sexual empowerment in contemporary Western society. Wurtzel, to my mind, makes a far more succint and incisive critique of the absurdity of the post-feminist situation, and she covers this in her introduction, while for Levy it comprises the full scope of the latter's book. In fact, Wurtzel's references to current events, films, books, quotes, etc. are so dense it is a challenge to keep up with her supporting facts (and her sharp wit).

Again, I don't want to counter what Levy says. And I have to respect her honesty in explicitly stating that she is not in favor of a deep 'academic' approach to the feminist question. I am not trying to compare her to the obtuse theoretical post-feminist texts that are the staple of gender studies curricula. Still, I find that Levy's tone lacks a certain bite, while the quantity of back-up references are scant (in comparison to Bitch, for example), so that in the end her writing doesn't meet the level of discourse of other contemporary critiques, eg. >Jane Sexes It Up & Carol Queen's Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture - texts by women who (unlike Jenna Jameson or even Candida Royalle) meaningfully argue for the values in the commodification of the female body.

* * *
On its way to hshah.

Journal Entry 18 by hshah from Mumbai, Maharashtra India on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Arrived today! Thanks okyrhoe for sending the book & lolamarie for starting the ray. Have loads on the TBR list before i start on this one.

Journal Entry 19 by hshah at Charity in Mumbai in Mumbai, Maharashtra India on Thursday, September 06, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (9/6/2007 UTC) at Charity in Mumbai in Mumbai, Maharashtra India



Along with a few books, this one is going to a children's charity in mumbai.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.