Book list

andrea dworkin (woman hating, our blood, pornography, ice and fire, intercourse, letters from a warzone, mercy, life and death, scapegoat, right wing women, etc.)

sheila jeffreys (anticlimax, unpacking queer politics, beauty and misogyny, the idea of prostitution)

catharine mackinnon (toward a feminist theory of the state, only words, in harm’s way (with dworkin), women’s lives, men’s laws, are women human?)

john stoltenberg (refusing to be a man, the end of manhood, what makes pornography “sexy”?)

francesca lia block (weetzie bat series, girl goddess #9, echo, i was a teenage fairy, the rose and the beast, violet & claire, etc.)

anne jones (next time she’ll be dead, women who kill)

laura lederer (take back the night: women on pornography (ed.))

diana russell (rape in marriage, the politics of rape, the secret trauma, making violence sexy (ed.), etc.)

melissa farley (prostitution, trafficking, and traumatic stress (ed.))

rebecca whisnant and christine stark (not for sale (eds.)

robin ruth linden, et al. (against sadomasochism (eds.))

robert munsch (paper bag princess, love you forever, etc.)

margaret atwood (alias grace, bodily harm, good bones, good bones and simple murders, murder in the dark, the edible woman, power politics, etc)

joyce carol oates (zombie, foxfire: confessions of a girl gang, blonde, starr bright will be with you soon (as rosalind smith, i think), first love, etc)

alice walker (the color purple, possessing the secret of joy, warrior marks, by the light of my father’s smile, etc)

jean genet (the thief’s journal)

evelyn lau (runaway: diary of a street kid, inside out: reflections on a life so far, you are not who you claim)

patrick roscoe (birthmarks, the truth about love)

anne sexton (the complete poetry of anne sexton)

walt whitman (leaves of grass)

arthur rimbaud (a season in hell)

tori amos (piece by piece with anne powers)

traci lords (underneath it all)

jean kilbourne (deadly persuasion, aka can’t buy my love)

pamela paul (pornified)

ariel levy (female chauvinist pigs)

merilee strong (a bright red scream)

christopher kendall (gay male pornography, gendered outcasts and sexual outlaws)

susan bordo (unbearable weight)

michelle wallace (black macho and the myth of superwoman)

naomi wolf (beauty myth)

janice raymond (women as wombs)

joan smith (misogynies, different for girls)

kate millett (sexual politics, the basement, prostitution papers)

frederick douglass (my bondage and my freedom, narrative in the life of a slave)

diane bell and renate klein (radically speaking: feminism reclaimed)

audre lorde (sister outsider, coal)

rus ervin funk (stopping rape)

jane caputi (goddesses and monsters, the age of sex crime)

germaine greer (whole woman, madwoman’s underclothes)

carol anne douglas (love and politics)

deborah l. tolman (dilemmas of desire)

leora tanenbaum (slut!, catfight)

lal coveney, et al. (sexuality papers)

susan cole (pornography and the sex crisis, power surge)

robert jensen (getting off: pornography and the end of masculinity)

Misconceptions : the social construction of choice and the new reproductive and genetic technologies / editors, Gwynne Basen, Margrit Eichler, Abby Lippman

Enloe, Cynthia (Bananas, beaches & bases : making feminist sense of international politics, The Morning After: Sexual Politics After the Cold War

Macho paradox : why some men hurt women and and how all men can help / Jackson Katz.

Pure lust : elemental feminist philosophy / Mary Daly

Bent / Martin Sherman

Neither man nor beast : feminism and the defense of animals / Carol J. Adams

Published in: on November 26, 2008 at 2:28 pm  Comments (16)  

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  1. I’m interested in what you get out of reading boooks by men on feminism? i mean I do read books by men but I find the Idea of listening to men tell me about feminism realy strange.

    Also I see you have a bright red scream on your list. What did you think of it? and are you a self harmer yourself?

  2. can i ask why “pornified’ was included hesitantly? Even *I* thought that was a good and thought provoking book.

  3. I’m reading Not For Sale at the moment. It’s absolutely amazing, such powerful work.

  4. only about a half dozen of the authors are men writing on feminism. and they aren’t analysing women and interrogating feminism, they are looking at men and society through the lens of feminism. I think male allies of radical feminism can be wonderful 🙂 It’s a way to see positive male views on feminism, what men are doing to end men’s violence, their histories and how they came to radical feminism, etc. They aren’t telling us about feminism; they are using feminism to analyse and change men, including themselves.

    Yes, Bright Red Scream is on my list. And is the only book there that’s obviously about self-harm, so why do you ask if I do self-harm? I mean, it’s a small number to base a question on? Pornograghy is a far mroe common one–so questions to me on that make a lot more sense. (Patrick Roscoe also writes about self-harm, but of mostly male characters, and he does as well.) To answer your question: I do sometimes, yes, in very minor forms (eg digging nails into my scalp)

    RenEv, hmmm…good question. I don’t like how she shies away from radical feminism, and a couple of her views on sex (eg that women are slow to arousal–we aren’t usually, it’s just that the stimulation offered isn’t what really gets us going ;), foreplay–even the word, unless used to critique it, and intercourse–intercourse as “real sex”)

    Not for Sale is fantastic, Laurelin! 🙂

  5. Demonista- have you read ‘The Penelopeiad’ (I think that’s what it’s called) by Margaret Atwood? I don’t know how familiar you are with the Odyssey, but it’s pretty much a version of that from Penelope’s point of view. It’s a very moving read. I read it in one sitting, despite the unwritten thesis beckoning me from my laptop 🙂

  6. ‘Penelopiad’, that should have been. I’d spell it with an ‘e’ but that’s coz I’m a pedantic graduate student…

  7. I realise that there arnt many men on your list I was just wondering is all.

    The self harm question wasn’t a criticism or a judgement. the book just jumped out at me because It was really useful to me when I was doing the bulk of my healing. also very few people are educated about self harm and it tends to be the ones who are are/were either self harmers themselves or are supporing someone who is.

  8. OK. *guard down* it is a fantastic book. one of the best on the topic. yes, people who haven’t been there tend to not understand. i don’t know what it’s specifically been, but i’ve done it since i was 9, and have actually scaled it back, once i got out of junior high, then again the past couple years.

  9. D- Paula did do some “sex is DIRTY” moralizing, which i found….odd… and I gotta say, I HATED Ariel’s FCPigs. GAH! I know we’re not exactly friendly, but I am curious to know what you think of..well, some book reviews: (nudity in graphic)

    and this one is Looooong, but…odd, and about, eventually, Levy’s book

  10. woo forgot link…

  11. Hey RenEv, I largely agree with your assessment of Pornified. There was a bit of “nice middle class people don’t do that!” I thought it was good that she focused on the consumption side, because HOW porn is consumed, by whom, etc often is forgotten. re: the questions you asked, i feel that my body issues did come from porn. i didn’t consume much in the way of teen fashion mags, etc growing up–i first saw (het) porn at 8-9, had positive reactions to it, continued to consume it. I was never abused by someone using porn as a manual that I know of (although, at 4-5, a 10 year old boy sexually abused me–he learned it somewhere–abused himself and/or porn). But I wanted to look like the women in it. I was taught by porn that to be a “bad sexy girl”–which I wanted to be–I had to look and behave like that. My sexual fantasies from 9-12 were very different from what they are now–they were built around fellatio, intercourse, submission, rape, etc.; at 12, I had disordered eating, etc.

    And herein lies a problem with porn that shows it to be different from other things “not suitable for children.” To start, I’ll say there are 14A or 18A (Cdn) and R (US) movies that I would let a child–like 8-10 years old–watch, like Foxfire, Jeremy Podeswa’s work (The Five Senses, Eclipse), Dolores Claiborne, Dirty (an indie Cdn film that’s sexually graphic, fairly feminist-friendly), The Hanging Garden, etc. There are also films I wouldn’t have available, but if a child wanted to watch, I’d say “Ok, but you’re going to have a talk with me before, during, and after the film” to help them interpret, handle, etc what they were seeing.

    Even quite frightening things are allowed to be seen by young children. Most fantasy and sci fi for kids is actually quite violent–like Labyrinth, Mirrormask, even Pokemon. Disney is full of murder, racism, sexism, etc. And some worry about the violence in them, but people always say porn is just fantasy, yet kids shouldn’t see it. We let them watch dragons, vampires, witches, fairies, ghosts, demons, etc.–and they are just fantasy. We don’t worry children will think they are dragons or vampires–even if they do, it’s usually fun. But if I child acted out porn, we’d probably have a child committing sexual assault on our hands.

    In respect to Levy, I skipped ahead to your Levy review, so if I missed something, apologies. I thought that her describing people the way she did was from her writing style–pop journalism (she writes for the New Yorker), and her book reflected that. re: trashy: some of the sex industry intentionally calls itself that, eg “eurotrash” is this soft porn show that was (is?) on in britain. A lot of teenage girls, I think more in the nineties and 00s than in the 80s, and even preteen girls are being sexually objectified. I actually think there is a paucity of the sexuality of girls–there is an objectification of girls’ bodies, sexuality, etc. Girls aren’t oversexualised–we’re put on the marketplace for men and boys to project their desires onto us. I thought some of what she had to say was VERY important, re: the above and the whole view that for girls and women, sexuality isn’t sexuality, but “looking sexually available.”

  12. It’s such a great booklist you have here, Demonista! 🙂

    arthur rimbaud (a season in hell)

    No shit! You read Rimbaud? I like his poetry. Have you read “The Sleeper in the Valley”.

  13. 🙂 Thanks. I’ll be adding moar soons 😛

    Indeedy, I have. Me too, he’s really lyrical. I’ve not read that. *adds to my to read list*

  14. D: I guess in the US, as far as women to look up to, we had everything from Madonna to Flo Jo (my own personal idol), Mary lou Retton (I’m older) the whole thing…and…super models. I just thought for a woman talking about objectification, levy did a damn right lot of it herself, and with her writing style, well….trashy…all around. I guess she’s not as feminist as she thinks she is.

    It was a long entry, so I understand skipping…but if you ever wanna know why I have some annomocity towards feminism, give it a read. Hell, I am as human as the next woman, and some shit just cannot be forgiven.

  15. Eh, I’m Canadian, so there are a lot of similarities to our cultures, although I was born in 87. I actually didn’t turn to even mainstream positive role models when I was a preteen. It was the women in porn who I emulated : / I obviously don’t remember all my thought process of that now, but… I don’t remember really admiring women outside of porn aside from books, and I didn’t know what they looked like, what there personal lives were, etc. Tamora Pierce, Patricia Wrede and LJ Smith are three of the few women I looked up to, and as far as I knew, they had no sexuality. Another fave author was VC Andrews. The ghostwriter for her has her head screwed on decently, but Virginia Cleo didn’t. She eroticised innocence in girls and women, demonised sexual women (eg girls who masturbated), eroticised rape, played into the whole “he rapes her because he loves her and can’t control his passion and love for her” trope, etc.

    re: Madonna. I really think in the early nineties, her sexuality went from playful, sovereign, joyful, etc. to disconnected, sensationalist, etc. I really like what Tori Amos says about her. Needless to say, I didn’t discover Tori till I was 15, but had heard of Madonna’s antics while a preteen.

    from an interview:
    I: When you take the difference to popular music, you and Madonna are both raisin girls, whereas you both have not much in common. I mean, I would imagine your coffee table book about sex would be more original and subtle than hers…
    T: (laughs) You know what I thought of that book? Madonna never seemed to enjoy herself much on any page of that book. Good sex would give you a big happy smile on the face, wouldn’t you think? But it was all so serious with her, so cold, so calculated. Okay, there were some daring pictures in it, when you define daring as something with handcuffs and pierced nipples…(laughs). But I think daring would be: photo’s on which you would see lust or enjoyment, on which you can read from someone’s face a just-had-an-orgasm-and-already-craving-for-the-next-one expression. Madonna doesn’t understand the dripping mango concept.
    I: The what?
    T: The dripping mango concept. (She takes an orange – a mango can’t be found easily – and bites in it repeatedly, until the juice drips over her chin and throat.) Madonna is like the shadow side of the Virgin Maria, and as such I appreciate her. Christian bred girls still get that totally a-sexual picture of Maria. Okay, Maria had a child with Joseph, but it’s never mentioned that she enjoyed the deed, or if she had pleasure from whatever form of sex. No dripping mango’s in the bible. (laughs) The importance of Madonna is that she used her energy to sexualize it, that she showed her fans they could also see themselves like that – like sexual beings. I only fear that Madonna has gotten so addicted to the commotion she caused in the outside world, that she has been scandalized her inner self, and has no more pleasure out of it anymore. Only pride and power and a sort of sense of superiority, but no pleasure. She should eat more mango’s…Gee, now I want one myself…
    — Tori; Nieuwe Revu, Feb 1994

    I just looked up Flo Jo. Wow! I’d never heard of her.

    I’ll have to take another look at Levy’s book. I remember a couple instances where I thought that she was engaging in what she was accusing others of (eg in her discriptions of women), but she may have done that purposely? I dunno.

  16. Tori is pretty cool, seen her a few times over the years.

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