Publisher: Seal Press
Publication Date: 2014
Genre: Nonfiction – Gender Studies
Interest Age: 14 and up
Annotation: A smart, relatable guide exploring issues and ideas that matter to young girls today by Feministing blog creator, Jessica Valenti.
Plot Summary: Do you wonder what feminism is? How does it relate to our everyday life? Look no further than Full Frontal Feminism then. Already on it’s second edition, the book provides a primer for those interested in exploring what feminism is and the issues that matter today from pop culture, health care, education, relationships and more giving readers a strong starting point to participate and learn about concepts and problems face not only by girls and women, but society as a whole.
Critical Evaluation: Ever had that friend that told you “I’m not a feminist, but…” because this is the book for them. It’s also a great book for people who are starting to explore feminism. In Full Frontal Feminism, Valenti jumps from pop culture to sex education to violence against women and other numerous topics, providing a foundation on the issues that feminists address today. Scattered in the book are also fun facts relating to the chapter topic like “The United States is one of the two industrialized nations (the other being Australia) that doesn’t provide paid leave for new mothers.” or “Men outnumber women six to one in top corporate jobs.” What makes this book good is not just the information provided within the pages, but the style Valenti presents it.
Full Frontal Feminism is written a way that engages readers. She writes with a wit and sarcasm that shines through as she discusses purity balls, plastic surgery, child care, etc. The prose flows and conversational, like talking to a good friend. Valenti is also frank and doesn’t dumb down the information or hold things back. While this style is not for everyone, I believe that this will appeal to the younger generation. It definitely is a good book to give to teens about feminism and what being a feminist means. I would have definitely appreciated this book in high school. It would have definitely given me new perspectives on how to see the world then.
Author Bio: Jessica Valenti is the author of three previous books, including The Purity Myth: How America s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. She is also the founder of Feministing.com, which the Columbia Journalism Review called head and shoulders above almost any writing on women s issues in mainstream media. Jessica called one of the top 100 inspiring women in the world by the Guardian speaks at universities and organizations in the U.S. and abroad about feminism, activism, and media. She lives with her family in Boston, but remains a New Yorker at heart. (via Ingram)
Tie to Curriculum Units: Feminism, Modern Society
Booktalking Ideas: Feminism – from everything to pop culture to history, Witty and fill with stories and examples, easy to pick up and put down – does not need to be read at once.
Challenge Issues: If this were being challenged, I would offer to listen and state that the library is a place for all different perspectives. If they would like to suggest a title that they believe is more appropriate, I would be happy to take that suggestion to our collection buying department. Additionally, I would point to this interview with the author and the blog she founded which went on to inspire others.