Control of women through gendered forms of victimization is well documented. Susan Faludi’s 1992 book, Backlash, is perhaps the best known contemporary text addressing many of these topics. Blaming women for social ills because of their perceived violations of traditional social mores is nothing new, but connotations of such in the Internet age, where messages about young women’s corruptibility spread quickly, have the power to be tremendously damaging. Such victimization, in the end, is often intended to reshape women’s vision of themselves as fully informed and functioning participants in civil society.
The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women painfully illustrates how the dirty wars against women are robustly fought around matters of female sexuality. Women’s activism in reclaiming their humanity, and efforts by other women to derail feminist actions rather the actions of a sexist society, are also on display here. Author Jessica Valenti’s contributions in deconstructing the advent of online media are also noteworthy; though there is a good criticism online of “men’s” websites (including at Valenti’s own Feministing blog), seeing it in print is valuable. Readers of works like Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch or Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique will find Valenti’s findings to be tragically familiar, though incredibly relevant for new generations to comprehend.
- New Zine Out
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- Review: The Unfinished Revolution: Voices From the Global Fight for Women’s Rights [#Feminist Friday]
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- Defining Black Feminist Thought, Part Two [#Feminist Friday]