Meet the Female Chauvinist Pig - the new brand of "empowered woman" who wears the Playboy bunny as a talisman, bares all for Girls Gone Wild, pursues casual sex as if it were a sport, and embraces "raunch culture" wherever she finds it. If male chauvinist pigs of years past thought of women as pieces of meat, Female Chauvinist Pigs of today are doing them one better, making sex objects of other women - and of themselves. They think they're being brave, they think they're being funny, but in Female Chauvinist Pigs, New York magazine writer Ariel Levy asks if the joke is on them.
In her quest to uncover why this is happening, Levy interviews college women who flash for the cameras on spring break and teens raised on Paris Hilton and breast implants. She examines a culture in which every music video seems to feature a stripper on a pole, the memoirs of porn stars are climbing the best-seller lists, Olympic athletes parade their Brazilian bikini waxes in the pages of Playboy, and thongs are marketed to prepubescent girls. Levy meets the high-powered women who create raunch culture - the new oinking women warriors of the corporate and entertainment worlds who eagerly defend their efforts to be "one of the guys". And she traces the history of this trend back to conflicts between the women's movement and the sexual revolution long left unresolved.
In the tradition of Susan Faludi's Backlash and Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth, Levy pulls apart the myth of the Female Chauvinist Pig and argues that what has come to pass for liberating rebellion is actually a kind of limiting conformity. Irresistibly witty and wickedly intelligent, Female Chauvinist Pigs makes the case that the rise of raunch does not represent how far women have come, it only proves how far they have left to go.
©2006 Ariel Levy (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
Ariel Levy, staff writer for "The New Yorker," and wicked and witty feminist, took the establishment by storm with this classic, and its unforgettable name: Female Chauvinist Pigs.
Levy takes her investigation from places like Playboy auditions and Girls Gone Wild sets to lesbian first dates and high school students.
Levy's book is a piercing examination of how women are treated and perceived by 21st century American society— how sexual representation is ubiquitous, but sexual empowerment and fulfillment are as undervalued as ever.
I only have the audio version
The compelling look into the thoughts and mindsets of so many "female chauvinist pigs"; women who further the objectification of their own bodies (and by extension other women's bodies) and contribute to the patriarchy and overall misogynistic society.
The whole shebang
My only complaint about this book is that at times it teeters on being sex-negative. Levy does a good job at addressing both sides of many of the arguments she discusses but at times I found myself thinking that she over-generalized. One example is that of sex-work and pornography. Yes much sex-work and pornography use and abuse women in particular but there are also sex-workers who enjoy their job, do it in a safe and non-coerced manner. As always it's a good idea to practice critical thinking with anything you read, hear or see.
This is a very fun book to read!
Ugh, the narrator...she didn't do a bad job but there are tons of quotes from club goers, female pigs and male pigs and the narrator was unable to capture the spirit of the dialogue.
First off, I am a dyed in the wool feminist who would probably also be labeled as "pro-sex". Having said that I have grown increasingly worried for our youth (both girls and boys) with the current mainstreaming of "porn culture" in our society. Ariel Levy did a fine job of voicing what I think many forward thinking women are witnessing and maybe too afraid to address fearing to be labeled "uptight" or "prudish". I loved the mixing in of the background of the American feminist movement coupled with the current climate of today. This subject is so crucial to the future of ourselves and especially to girls coming of age. I would love to see a follow up to this book with some ideas from progressive thinking women about how they see us being able to reclaim our female sexual revolution from people such as the Girls Gone Wild bunch. Did that make sense?
I had mixed feelings about this book. She made some good points, but parts of it felt slut shamey and transphobic. I feel like a lot of what she was complaining about was a blip in the world of fashion, and pretty dated already. But I think it's still worth a read for the good points she made.
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