Saturday, December 27, 2008

3. "Full Frontal Feminism" by Jessica Valenti

Valenti, Jessica. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters. Berkeley: Seal Press, 2007.

Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love

In Full Frontal Feminism, Jessica Valenti wants us to believe that feminism is one of the greatest things to ever happen, and I believe her. Valenti outlines how women of the twenty first century are faced with many obstacles and the important role that feminism will play in overcoming these obstacles. In chapters like “If These Uterine Walls Could Talk” and “You’re a Hardcore Feminist, I Swear” Valenti exposes the dangers of misogynist attitudes and encourages women to find their own form of feminism. Valenti writes, “Besides, at the end of the day, feminism is really something you define for yourself” (14).

The title suggests that the book is for “young” women but Valenti fails to define exactly who these “young women” are. It seems, based on some deductions I’ve made on the amount of time she spends writing towards a particular type of woman, that the young woman she is writing to is attractive, white (ahem, the cover of the book is a skinny, naked white woman), heterosexual, and between the age of 18 and 25 years old. This choice limits the scope of the book putting Valenti in danger of contradicting herself.

Valenti has, nonetheless done decent research and the writing, although gritty and full of f-bombs, keeps a steady pace. The book, despite its faults, is a good starting point for newbies to feminist theory. It is loaded with awesome resources and great bibliographic info. The language is accessible and the message is clear and well-supported: feminism effing rocks.

3 darts out of 5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had similar thoughts about this book--especially the cover!