Kate Reads

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters - Jessica Valenti

While I really enjoyed Full Frontal Feminism, mainly because of the accessible way it laid out feminist issues and why all women should be feminist (which, since I agree with this, is obviously going to make me pre-disposed to agree with and like the book) it annoyed me that Valenti twice got very insistent that women should not change their name when they get married. While I personally made the decision to keep my name when I got married, I feel like it's reasonable to let women choose- it is hard to separate any choice we make nowadays from "is it society making me feel this way or do I feel this way because I made an informed decision" but giving women shit for changing their name when they get married is not the way to make people come over to your cause. I'm sure there are plenty of women who are feminists who changed their names, and alienating the 81% of women (the statistic she quoted) that either changed or will change their name when they get married is not the way to be convincing. Don't write a book about how we need to stand up for women (all women) and the decisions they make, and then hate on women who make the decision to change their name.


Other than that large pet peeve, I think this is a book everybody should read. I wish I had read this book about 8 years ago. Not only does it cover feminism, and why women should be feminist and what amazing women have done for women in the past, and why young women need to stop being apathetic and fight for their rights. And why men should be feminist! All of this is fascinating to me, since I've had a hard time articulating my views in terms of the word "feminism" since there is a negative connotation frequently associated with the word, but I realize that I am a feminist- I want equality for women and that should be nothing negative. Valenti does a very good job of breaking down the book into cohesive sections about the attacks against women, and women's rights, along with the more subtle ways society has of trying to keep women in a certain place, or pitting women against each other (the mommy wars) and she even manages to cover racism in the feminist movement as well. We've got a while to go before we reach a point where many young women feel confident identifying themselves as feminist, and I think books like this- very accessible, easy to read, and chock full of actual statistics to back up her points, are one of the ways we're going to get there.