Blunt. Funny. Awkward. Honest. Important. Eye-opening. And definitely not sugar-coating how men treat women in our society.
A series of essay by one of the US's prominent feminist voices. It's an uncomfortable read that reminds me just how lucky I am to either have not been exposed to or not noticed what a lot of women do experience daily. The things there that I have experienced or relate a bit more directly to make me angry and this is probably the first book of this type that allows the reader to feel hate and resignation. It's certainly not as upbeat as other works but that's okay and just as necessary.
There are several powerful essays here. The final third perhaps having the most. The book's end inclusion of a sample of Valenti's emails and twitter mentions is also horrifying and rage inducing. It's hard out there being a woman, on the internet or not, and no one deserves that kind of vitriol thrown at them.
Five fat stars for honesty. Her experiences as an adolescent in New York City makes me ever so grateful for my small-town childhood. New York - you can take your culture and energy and fantastic food and all of it along with the disgusting subway experiences and street harassment. I'll stroll down main street in my little village of 1000 people and read all about you at my public library.
What unites all women though are our experiences with men who think women exist for their convenience and pleasure. I was reminded of things in my youth - the inappropriate comments from that one creepy dad, the much older, equally creepy dud that asks you out the month after you turn 18.... but what separates me from Valenti is the intentional relationships with deplorable men or at the very least uninteresting men. Was this because of her struggles with mental illness? Is there some parallel between substance abuse and these pitiful relationships? It made me very sad. And after reading Sweetbitter and Love Me Back, two memoirish novels, Valenti isn't the only young woman deserving of so much more than they themselves allow.
"All women live in objectification the way fish live in water."-Catherine A. MacKinnon
I hesitate to review this because as a white, straight male, my collective voice is too often drowning out conversations on race, gender, sexuality, and just about everything else. So please take this review with a grain of salt. I had decidedly mixed feelings about "Sex Object." Jessica Valenti wrote "Full Frontal Feminism," is a columnist for "The Guardian" and founded the website Feministing.com. Her new book joins a growing number of feminist memoirs/essays, which also includes "Shrill," "Bad Feminist," "Men Explain Things to Me," and "The Argonauts." Of those, Valenti's is the most autobiographical (It is billed as a memoir) and also the most flawed. As someone who is not really a fan of the memoir, perhaps I'm not the right audience. I appreciated her insights about gender and the constant and noxious sexism she's dealt with, but I was less interested in some of the graphic details of her sex life and drug addiction. Despite its flaws, an important read for anyone concerned about these issues.
A must read for every woman or girl. I loved her humor as she discussed growing up as a teen in the wilds of NYC. It tackles big subjects like harassment, objectification, and motherhood with humor, candor, and originality.
Reading it but found nothing remarkable so far; sex is sex, not particularly rewarding when used as a bargaining chip later on. Use of the "F" word makes me think the author's angry about something, could it be sex while still a child? Would love to read her memoirs when in her 70s especially.
Though parts of this book are clearly copy/pasted essays (a lot of chapters just end without any real resolution), most women will find this too relatable. Expect to see this on many must read lists.
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