Review: Full Frontal Feminism – Jessica Valenti

full frontal feminismFeminism isn’t dead. It just isn’t very cool anymore. Enter Full Frontal Feminism, a book that embodies the forward-looking messages that author Jessica Valenti propagated as founder of the popular website, Feministing.com.

This revised edition includes a new foreword by Valenti, reflecting upon what’s happened in the five years since Full Frontal Feminism was originally published. With new openers from Valenti in every chapter, the book covers a range of topics, including pop culture, health, reproductive rights, violence, education, relationships, and more.

Valenti knows better than anyone that young women need a smart-ass book that deals with real-life issues in a style they can relate to. No rehashing the same old issues or belaboring where today’s young women have gone wrong. Feminism should be something young women feel comfortable with. Full Frontal Feminism is sending out the message to readers—yeah, you’re feminists, and that’s actually pretty frigging cool.

Rating: 3/5

This is really more of a basic introduction to feminism, particularly aimed at those who don’t consider themselves feminists because it’s such a dirty word. /sarcasm

As I consider myself a tad more informed on feminist issues than someone new to the concept, the book didn’t really point out things that I didn’t know before. It’s also written in a super colloquial style, which got on my nerves.

She also includes some contentious opinions in the book, which other reviewers have pointed out so I won’t bother to rehash – such as name changing when you get married (I actually agree with her point, but suffice to say that a book introducing people to feminism should probably err on the side of not alienating people, specifically when you don’t have enough room to explain yourself properly.)

Finally, while she makes a point of emphasising intersectional feminism (i.e. race, class, orientation, etc), it’s fairly ironic that the cover depicts a slim white person – as you do.

Of course, reading this book also filled me with utter rage – this was a fairly surface level intro to feminism, and it already managed to point out the daily indignities, the deeper injustices, the shitty double standards that women face and that pervade our society. And we see these things again and again and again, and I end up so fatigued and hopeless, because progress seems to be made in teeny tiny increments. It’s 2015 and in the grand scheme of things, there seems to be so much further to go. Heaven forbid you dip into the comments section on any article dealing with women and/or feminism – it’s populated with the trolls, the slut shamers, the MRAs, the people who genuinely just. don’t. get. it.

And it’s frustrating as all hell.

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