Pretty Bitches

On Being Called Crazy, Angry, Bossy, Frumpy, Feisty, and All the Other Words That Are Used to Undermine Women
Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

These empowering essays from leading women writers examine the power of the gendered language that is used to diminish women - and imagine a more liberated world.

Words matter. They wound, they inflate, they define, they demean. They have nuance and power. "Effortless", "Sassy", "Ambitious", "Aggressive": What subtle digs and sneaky implications are conveyed when women are described with words like these? Words are made into weapons, warnings, praise, and blame, bearing an outsized influence on women's lives - to say nothing of our moods.

No one knows this better than Lizzie Skurnick, writer of the New York Times' column "That Should Be a Word" and a veritable queen of cultural coinage. And in Pretty Bitches, Skurnick has rounded up a group of powerhouse women writers to take on the hidden meanings of these words, and how they can limit our worlds - or liberate them. 

From Laura Lipmann and Meg Wolizer to Jennifer Weiner and Rebecca Traister, each writer uses her word as a vehicle for memoir, cultural commentary, critique, or all three. Spanning the street, the bedroom, the voting booth, and the workplace, these simple words have huge stories behind them - stories it's time to examine, re-imagine, and change. 

Read by Kasey Lee Huizinga, Erica Wides, Judith Pasko, Galena White, Maybe Burke, Andrea Lopez, Shana Small, and Carolyne Leys.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Lizzie Skurnick (P)2020 Seal Press

Critic Reviews

"This uplifting collection serves as a good first step toward highlighting what's wrong with how women are talked about.... A galvanizing, sharp compendium." (Kirkus)

"Clever and potent.... The book's smart premise and the incisive essays themselves are immensely relatable and should provide a great catalyst for personal introspection and thoughtful and productive discussion." (Booklist, starred review)

"Note to men: When you describe an ex-girlfriend or wife 'crazy', all it tells me is that you're an emotional idiot. Note to women: This great new book by Lizzie Skurnick recasts the various insults directed at us for decades and centuries, breathing confident life into what it means to be an unabashed, bossy, crazy-ass bitch." (Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel and editor of The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things and Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters from the End of the Affair)

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