Buy Jessica’s Book

Jessica Valenti of Feministing has a book out: Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide To Why Feminism Matters. Check it out!

Jessica’s assault on the media continues as she’s interviewed by a weirdly-obsessed-with-boob-flashing Rebecca Traister in Salon, as well as Laura Barcella in Alternet, and has a feature in the Guardian summing up her book.

The comments at Salon are just as you’d expect, even after they instituted a registration process. Cut down on the ad hominems, perhaps, but not the antifeminism. If ever there were an argument that feminism is still necessary…


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25 comments for “Buy Jessica’s Book

  1. April 24, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Bought it. And Amazon said “only one left, more on the way”. Sweet!

  2. AJ
    April 25, 2007 at 4:52 am

    Off topic (sort of) but wasn’t there a post a while back about a Library Thing group with a whole bunch of recommended feminist reading? I thought I had bookmarked it but can’t find it now, and would love to check out a bunch of books.

  3. CTD
    April 25, 2007 at 10:49 am

    I think what Valenti is calling a “rape schedule” is the high-dollar version of what my old sensei used to call “situational awareness.” It’s something that he stressed that everyone (of any sex) should have, and indeed, have at all time. Women, being physically weaker than men, doubly so.

    That the setting you find yourself in seems mundane at the time matters not a bit. Even when you are around “people you know and trust and let your guard down with.” Our world is a dangerous one, and things can go from mundane to life-threatening in the blink of an eye. It may be, as Ms. Valenti complains, that this a “disturbing message.” That doesn’t make it any less true, or any less irresponsible to ignore.

  4. April 25, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    I do wish, thinking about it, the book had a different cover. It reminds me of the cover of Brumberg’s Body Project: an idealized young woman’s torso, unconnected to a full human person. Fortunately, you can’t judge a book…

  5. zuzu
    April 25, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Jessica didn’t have any control over the cover or even the title.

  6. Eve
    April 25, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Jessica did have control over the cover, according to her own words. If you go to feministing archives you’ll find several threads where this came up (each and every thread that has to do with the book). In the very first thread, she explains why she chose that cover.

  7. zuzu
    April 25, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    I stand corrected. However, she does say she had limited options available and chose this one. And she’s been getting shit for it ever since.

  8. Lorelei
    April 25, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    I AM SO HAPPY THAT THE RAPE VICTIM BLAMING HAS ALREADY BEGUN ON AN UNRELATED POST!

    :D

    Anyway, don’t like the cover either, but I imagine that god knows her publishing company couldn’t give her a non-sexualized cover that wasn’t ugly as sin (not sarcastic, here).

  9. CTD
    April 25, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    If she really thinks that cover is “ironic”, she should have taken a few less women’s studies courses and picked up a few more credit hours in rhetoric.

  10. April 25, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    I think that the cover issue has been discussed to death in about 15 different threads around the feminist blogosphere, so there’s no need to do a repeat here.

    I’m in the middle of reading Jessica’s book, and it’s excellent. I’d highly recommend everyone read it — and then perhaps we can discuss its content instead of what we think about the cover.

  11. April 25, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Jill, I’m sorry, I didn’t see any of the cover discussions, and I didn’t mean to bring up an old topic. I await the arrival of the book, and promise to only focus on the content then. Mea culpa.

  12. April 25, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    That the setting you find yourself in seems mundane at the time matters not a bit.

    Alas, she was talking about how women are conditioned to consider stranger rape scenarios as more dangerous than the infinitely more likely acquaintence rape which occurs in scenarios when women are told they are safe from rape – hence all that macho bullshit about men protecting thier women, rarr guns! etc…etc…

    But thanks for playing anyway.

    (double check for me here: she does mean that right? I haven’t read it but what else could she actually mean RE: Rape priorities?)

  13. mothworm
    April 25, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Just put in an order for it for my library!

  14. Laurie
    April 25, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    I think what Valenti is calling a “rape schedule” is the high-dollar version of what my old sensei used to call “situational awareness.” It’s something that he stressed that everyone (of any sex) should have, and indeed, have at all time. Women, being physically weaker than men, doubly so.

    That the setting you find yourself in seems mundane at the time matters not a bit. Even when you are around “people you know and trust and let your guard down with.” Our world is a dangerous one, and things can go from mundane to life-threatening in the blink of an eye. It may be, as Ms. Valenti complains, that this a “disturbing message.” That doesn’t make it any less true, or any less irresponsible to ignore.

    CDC:
    It disturbs me greatly that you think I should have to be on high alert, higher even than men! because I’m a woman! and weaker! every single moment of my life, even with people I know and should be able to trust, because, well, sh*t can happen in the blink of an eye.

    That’s no way to live. Seriously. That is the short road to stress related breakdowns, physical and mental/emotional. And I don’t doubt that your sensei simply meant that you need to be aware of your surroundings*, but I’m also guessing that doing that without driving yourself insane from the stress takes a lot – A LOT – of training. Who’s going to train us? (And what makes you think we AREN’T hyper-aware most of the time? What with all the “Do these 7 (or 9, or 12, or whatever the magic number is this week) things and you won’t get yourself raped!!!” advice we get since we’re old enough to understand the concept. Irresponsible to ignore? Sheesh! It’s not like we CAN ignore it! It just doesn’t always *work*.)

    How about we focus on the fact that women are overwhelmingly assaulted by people they really, in a *civilised* society, should be able to trust? How about we focus on telling men – blatantly, if necessary – that they need to stop and think about the woman they are with, and not assume that their advances are welcomed? Because when it comes right down to it, rape isn’t *really* anything that women do or don’t do. It’s something that men do. THEY are responsible for their actions, and it is irresponsible to ever ignore that. “But she didn’t say no…” just ain’t good enough any more.

    /rant My life is disturbing and stressful enough, thanks.

  15. April 25, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Jill, I’m sorry, I didn’t see any of the cover discussions, and I didn’t mean to bring up an old topic. I await the arrival of the book, and promise to only focus on the content then. Mea culpa.

    No worries, Hugo — my comment was far less directed at you than at what I sensed was going to be a conversation that turned into attacking Jessica. If you go back and read the Feministing thread that Zuzu links to, you’ll see what I’m talking about. She got called a sell-out whore (in those words and others) too many times for my comfort, and I wanted to nip it in the bud before it started here. You brought it up very respectfully, and it’s a fair concern, so I’m sorry if it seemed like I was biting your head off!

  16. SC
    April 25, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    I agree with R. Mildred, if we are both understanding Jessica’s comments on the “rape schedule.” I grew up hearing (and still hear) horror stories and urban legends that taught me to beware of the “stranger rapist”. From being told to check under my car for a man who will slit my Achilles tendon to rape me, to being told to put my keys between my fingers and make a fist to fend off a rapist in a parking lot, I was conditioned to be aware of my surroundings in these traditionally “vulnerable” situations.
    Now that I know that the majority of rapes are committed by people known to the victim, I wonder why I was so scared of the above stories! Those stories taught me to modify my behavior in the hopes that I could minimize my risk of rape. I definitely see that as a “rape schedule.”
    Of course people should be aware of their surroundings. But my experience has been that these urban legends, chain emails, and scary stories are mostly aimed at women who are expected to modify their behaviors in public. Do men have the same types of cautionary tales told to them??

  17. Cortney
    April 25, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Jill,
    While I agree with you that personal attacks are completely uncalled for, unnecessary and not terribly intelligent. I do think that this is an issue that MUST be addressed. The cover of this book perpetuates so many of the ideologies that blogs like this one and feministing seek to dismantle. See Jean Kilbourne’s Can’t Buy My Love if you do not understand why using an image of a young, slender, white, dismembered, female body is a very serious issue with major social implications. The problem is not just this book cover it is that this book cover looks just like so many of the advertisements that sell women the idea that they must look just like that to be valuable. And like so many people here pointed out, the cover should not take away from the content of the text but unfortunately it really does. I cannot in good conscience sit in public reading a book that looks like this or have it on my book shelf, because whether we like it or not, people do (and I would argue should) judge books by their covers just like we judge magazines and advertisements for their ‘covers.’ This seems to me to be Women’s Studies 101 and I simply cannot fathom why Jessica Valenti chose to use this cover.

  18. April 25, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Cortney, I agree that there are valid issues to be raised with the cover. I just think that they have already been raised many times, in Jessica’s own space, and she has responded. It’s not that I don’t think it should be addressed — I just think that it has, and that it has inevitably devolved into attacks on Jessica. Being that Jessica is someone I really respect (not to mention a friend), I don’t want to see that happen here.

  19. Cortney
    April 25, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Agreed.
    I think Jessica is totally awesome and I check feministing multiple times a day.
    I am just sad that a book that I am sure is excellent, that I looked so forward to, is being marketed this way.

  20. mythago
    April 25, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Authors have about zero control over the book cover, so it’s kind of a dead issue.

    I really doubt that CTD’s sensei meant “situational awareness” to mean “be on alert all the time, lest you be blamed for the attacks against you.”

  21. Laurie
    April 25, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Mythago:
    I agree that was probably not what the *sensei* meant, but that was how it came across to me filtered through CDC. And I’m tired of that. Really, just *tired*. It’s not like we aren’t already watching out for ourselves — see SC’s post above for exactly what I meant (I heard more or less the exact same crap). It’s just that being “on alert” around people you should be able to trust is *stressful*. It’s stupid, and it’s wearing, and it encourages the whining about women being too uptight and we should *truuuust* the menfolks. And if we don’t we’re frigid bitches who deserve to be called such. (Feh! Not that it would bother ME much — I’m old enough and cranky enough to take that argument on, chew it into little bits, and spit it back out. Thanks mainly to really, really good ammo I’ve gotten from places like, oh, HERE. :) But really, when you are young and not quite sure of yourself on your own yet, that stuff can be a lot to handle. Especially if you haven’t seen/heard/experienced enough to call “bullshit”. And dammit! We SHOULD be able to trust our friend’s boyfriends, our brother’s friends, our boyfriend’s friends, and our male *relatives*, fer Pete’s sake! That we can’t necessarily is ridiculous at this point in history.)

    Most importantly, I’d still like to know where all of us female types are supposed to get that kind of awareness training so that we can do that without having to think about it all. the. time. And not go crazy maintaining it, or alienate our friends, acquaintances/family/etc with that habit of always being hyper aware.

    I’m tired today — fighting multiple deadlines on little sleep and less motivation — so I’m just gonna step back now. I haven’t read Jessica’s book yet, although I’d like to. I’ll have to see if I can make my local library get a copy in. :) But since I haven’t read it yet, I’m gonna stop commenting now. The whole “women especially since they are weaker, etc.” got under my skin today, and actually, I’m NOT going to apologize for it. I’m not sure how those of you who maintain blogs put up with hearing the same damn crap all of the time. (Hmmmmmm, now I know why the Bingo cards were such a big hit….)

    (/rant)2 Maybe I’ll be less ranty tomorrow…

  22. mythago
    April 25, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Laurie, to be clear, I wasn’t disagreeing with you; I was disagreeing with CTD’s interpretation. “Situational awareness” doesn’t mean being on full alert all the time for possible attacks; it means being aware of your surroundings.

    CTD would like to pretend this just means that women, being smaller, have to be slightly more aware of when there are pickpockets about. It must be hard to acknowledge that women are expected to live in fear constantly, and the only measure of how reasonable their fear was is whether they were attacked.

  23. Laurie
    April 25, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    mythago:
    *grin* I told you I was tired — on re-reading your earlier post I see we are indeed on the same page. I apologize for the misunderstanding. (And about turning CTD into the Center for Disease Control. *sigh*) I AM glad to see I wasn’t the only one getting that reading from CTD’s post, though.

    Your second paragraph above makes my point MUCH more succinctly. I think I’ll stop now and go to bed. :)

  24. April 27, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Our review is up of Full Frontal Feminism Check it.

  25. Kristina
    April 27, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    [S]he’s interviewed by a weirdly-obsessed-with-boob-flashing Rebecca Traister

    You are not kidding. Can I ask you about boobs? I have another question about boobs. Yeah, that’s interesting, but I want to redirect to boobs.

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