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5.0 out of 5 starsA great educational and interesting read from many great authors
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2015
A great educational and interesting read from many great authors. A must read for college students and anyone with an interest in feminism from many different perspectives. Very entertaining life stories as well. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 starsSubtopics for everyone to ponder
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2013
The essays I found most engaging were those that examined how rape culture was derived using historical examples, that examined how it persists using present examples, and that pointed to intersections I hadn't thought of (or heard of) before, such as "When Pregnancy Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Pregnant" by Tiloma Jayasinghe in which Jayasinghe drills down into a specific issue to demonstrate just one of the many ways in which our culture tries to control women's bodies. Another essay examined BDSM, female sexual submissives and how the elements of BDSM are misappropriated by mainstream pornography: "The Fantasy of Acceptable 'Non-Consent': Why the Female Sexual Submissive Scares Us (and Why She Shouldn't)" by Stacey May Fowles.
Some reviewers found other essays more engaging than I did, which I believe is the strength of this book: that it has something to say to everyone who reads it, even if that "something" is different for every reader.
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2010
"Yes Means Yes" is quite a radical take on the idea of sexual consent - getting past the valuable, but very limited, concept of "No Means No" to a broader idea that sex should always involve the enthusiastic consent of all the parties involved.
It's shocking that this is a radical idea - but, in a world where sexuality is far too often conceived of as "men as relentless pursuers and women as desireless gatekeepers" it is quite remarkable to see a vision of women as equal partners and independent actors in the context of their own sexuality.
The book itself is composed of 28 essays by 30 contributors - two by coeditors Jessica Valenti and Jacklyn Friedman, with the other 26 by a variety of authors from all walks of life (the most prominent among the contributors being comedian Margaret Cho, who wrote the book's foreword).
Each author wrote in his/her own voice, with extremely light, almost invisible, editing by Valenti and Freedman, which gave an interesting collaborative flavor to the book (while also making it somewhat hit or miss).
By far, the strongest contributions were "What it feels like when it finally comes: surviving incest in real life" by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, "When sexual autonomy isn't enough: sexual violence against immigrant women in the United States" by Miriam Zoila Perez, "Trial by media: Black female lasciviousness and the question of consent" by Samhita Mukhopadhyay, "Why nice guys finish last" by Julia Serrano and "Who're you calling a whore?: a conversation with three sex workers on sexuality, empowerment and The Industry" by Susan Lopez, Mariko Passion and Saundra.
The rest of the essays - while not rising to the level of those five contributions, were good pieces that got their points across.
The book had only one weak and poorly written essay "Towards a performance model of sex" by Thomas Macaulay Millar, by far the weakest and most poorly written and thought out essay in an otherwise excellent book.
On the whole, this is an outstanding work and I would recommend this book to anybody - especially to women - and it gives a new and unique perspective on sexuality.
This book is such a must have for any feminist. It is always my go-to source for information about sexual assault prevention, and I appreciated the fact that it discusses other topics like domestic violence, emotional abuse, and even STIs resulting from assault. A modern feminist classic. I'm just mad at myself I didn't order it and read it sooner.
4.0 out of 5 starsI bought it because the new articles on the website are amazing and I wanted them in paper form
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2016
This is a collection of feminist articles. I bought it because the new articles on the website are amazing and I wanted them in paper form, but sadly the most recent ones are missing from this.It's a really good concept: that no one should assume consent without an 'enthusiastic yes'. I'm glad I bought the book, but reading the website would be just as good, and that way you'd get to read the articles about how most rapes are committed by a tiny proportion of men who serially predate on women who have drunk too much. (Gives an interesting insight on current rape cases in the press.) And the one about how it's a convention that in our society people rarely say a firm 'no' to anything, instead coming out with a polite refusal like 'I'm so sorry but I can't' to an invitation. And rapists know this perfectly well. So the whole defence of 'she never actually said no' is irrelevant.
True revelation ! I did not read all the articles in it since I study it for a precise analysis of modern romance and how it brings women to politically and socially regress within heterosexual relationship. I encourage people to read and critic the New Adult fiction and to see how it diminishes woman's power. Yes Means Yes truly highlights the main issue I encountered while studying Fifty Shades of Grey.