I started hunting for books on feminism after going through a few bad dinner date experiences. I can’t explain how I linked the two together. “Hm, that was a terrible date.. let me read on becoming a feminist.” Yea, that was not my train of thought. But, I can only say that I started searching after the experiences. During a lunch break at my NYC internship, I walked down Prince Street to this book store called McNally Jackson. Focused on finding my topic, but lost in a sea of books, I went to the desk attendant with my tail in between my legs, “This may sound weird, but where is your feminist section?” The attendant told me the question wasn’t weird, and that he got that question a lot more than one would think. Phew. Nevertheless, there was no “feminist section” so I still did a little bit of hunting after being pointed in the right direction. After reading a few covers, I deemed Jessica Valenti’s book, Full Frontal Feminism, as a great place to start. Here’s my simple review.
The book is amazing. I think I liked it most because she cursed on every other page— it is very personal, like you’re talking to your best friend, rather than a professor or know-it-all. The book is filled with facts and information and stories that I’ve never even heard of before. Some of the topics she touched on made me realize that I’ve been a feminist all along. I’ve always had some idea of the criticism that women face around the world. But the information that I learned about laws, legislation, organizations, and political figures against the equality of woman astonished me. There was so much that I didn’t know. I was ignorant. The book made me angry for the fact that there are so many things that I was not aware of, that I should have been aware of (I need to take a women’s studies course). I was angry at how ignorant I was to the people, both women AND men, who have been slaving away, trying to defeat issues like lack of access to birth control, the wage gap, and laws impeding on our (women) reproductive rights. I enjoyed the book, cover to cover, because Jessica smoothly inserted her opinions, without seeming like she was telling me how to think, even when there were things I didn’t agree with. I most enjoyed that the book ended with tips on how to get involved. I think I’m going to start by volunteering at rape crisis centers. Let’s hope I can find one near my school!