ISBN is

9780375424175 / 0375424172

The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability

by

Publisher:Pantheon

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

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 womens 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 suspectsmen, the mediaKipnis 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.

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