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Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture - Ariel Levy

There are things I liked about this book and things I did not like.

Overall, it was a quick and easy read. The reason for this is that the majority of the text is comprised of cultural/media examples and ancecdotes/interviews of female chauvinist pigs. While these were interesting, they showed limited viewpoints as Levy only included stories that supported her claim. Also, ironically Levy felt the need to describe the interviewees' looks as an introduction to their answers, usually including descriptors of attractiveness. This did not seem to mesh with Levy's overall point and often made her seem judgemental in the overt slut-shaming language that often comes up in the book.

Another drawback to this book was Levy's misunderstood and often offensive views of trans and queer culture. At one point she states, "The confusing thing, of course, is why somebody would need serious surgery and testosterone to modify their gender if gender is supposed to be so fluid in the first place" (127). Here Levy seems to have misunderstood the distinction between sex and gender, but such remarks undermine the issues people in the trans community face. Levy appears dismissive of such issues.

While I agreed with Levy's overall message that women should focus more on their own sexuality and sexual pleasure rather than their sexual performance for men, nowhere in the text is an example of healthy female sexuality provided. By giving a one-sided account of FCP, Levy's own goal seems unattainable as at no point is a good role model given.

This sounds like a pretty negative review, but there really were some very good points in the book. The analysis was strong and often very interesting such as her critique of Sex and the City. I think this is an important book, especially for people just getting into gender studies. The message was a very important one that should be taken seriously. I also enjoyed the mix of media and history throughout the text. Overall, this was a good read.