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The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy,…
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The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability (edition 2006)

by Laura Kipnis

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189391,576 (3.66)13
Member:LaLaLucy
Title:The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability
Authors:Laura Kipnis
Info:Pantheon (2006), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:gender studies, transgressive,

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The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability by Laura Kipnis

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Kipnis examines women and modern American society's relationships with dirt, sex, envy and vulnerability. It's a huge subject, and she does not do it justice. Kipnis focuses all too often on pithy cheap-shots and sarcastic responses to other feminist thinkers. I liked some of her analysis, but she overstated her case and made terrible comparisons (women shouldn't worry so much about rape because "violent things happen to men too: they're maimed or die in pointless wars, for instance." What? The link between the two is nonexistent.) Kipnis does have a good point that the people who are the least statistically likely to be raped are the most worried about it. Unfortunately, her insights are overshadowed (in my mind) by her pettiness and "loledgy" writing. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I bought this book thinking I might learn something, and though it was a fairly interesting read, I didn't feel much better afterward. I was going through a difficult relationship situation, and though it still continues, I'm not quite as stressed as I was about it. The book was good, but not too helpful. ( )
  cinesnail88 | Dec 3, 2008 |
Witty and daring, these essays are more interested in provoking debate than pronouncing upon the state of contemporary feminism. Still worth a read. ( )
  adzebill | Feb 17, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375424172, Hardcover)

In the female psyche nowadays, “contradictions speckle the landscape, like ingrown hairs after a bad bikini wax.” So writes Laura Kipnis, author of the widely acclaimed polemic Against Love. With “the gleeful viperish wit of Dorothy Parker” (Slate), Kipnis now offers a fresh and provocative assessment of the female condition in the post-post-feminist world of the twenty-first century. For every advance toward sexual equality on the part of women in recent years, she argues, some new impediment just “seems” to appear. Ironically, feminism ran up against an unanticipated opponent: the inner woman.

An ambitious and original reassessment of feminism and women’s ambivalence about it, The Female Thing brims with bracing and funny social observations informed by psychological acuity. For all the upbeat “You go, girl” slogans, women remain caught between feminism and femininity, between self-affirmation and an endless quest for self-improvement, between playing the injured party and claiming independence. Feminism is bedeviled by the same impasses and contradictions it seeks to rectify. But rather than blaming the usual suspects–men, the media–Kipnis takes a hard look at culprits closer to home, namely women themselves and their complicity in upholding male privilege, even as they resent men deeply for it. Which makes relations between the sexes rather thorny at the moment, and Kipnis serves up the gory details of the mutual displeasure between men and women in painfully hilarious detail.

In the tradition of The Feminine Mystique and The Female Eunuch, this is a pathbreaking work. As audacious as it is historically and socially grounded, The Female Thing explores age-old quandaries: the war between the sexes, what women “really” want, and to what extent anatomy is destiny after all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Laura Kipnis offers a fresh and provocative look at the female condition in the post-post-feminist world of the 21st century. For every advance towards sexual equality on the part of women in recent years, she argues, some new impediment just 'seems' to appear.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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