2 Feb 2011

Review: "Female Chauvinist Pig" - Miss Piggy

No doubt you have seen them, the ladettes, the chav girls - if not in real life, then at least the pictures. They are the girls that give the rest of us a bad name as they stagger around the centre of the city, drunk and clad in the smallest garments possible with too much make-up and to little dignity. They are the women who want to be one of the men and there is nothing wrong with that but in the process they seem to lose their dignity.

These are some of the girls that Ariel Levy write about in her brilliant and entertaining book "Female Chauvinist Pig: The Rise of Raunch". "Female Chauvinist Pig" is a short but very well put together book about the tendency of some women to want to be one of the men. It features chapters about Playboy and Hugh Hefner, about Girls Gone Wild (never heard of it before but what a nasty concept), Paris Hilton, CAKE parties and many many more phenomenons that seem to have sprung out of the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s.

Levy wants to confront the raunch culture and questions if it really is - as many of its participants say - a part of the liberation of women. Levy seems to think not, she finds it degrading and chauvinist - and she somewhat berates us women for misusing the privileges our mothers won for us.

Personally I found this book a bit too judgmental. I consider myself one of the boys but I don't think I am part of a raunch culture and I would never dress like Paris Hilton on a night out. Ever. However, I liked the book because it introduced me to new concepts and phenomenons and made me think about feminism and ask myself questions. A really great book and one that would make a great present for any girl or woman in the ages 17 to 35.


  1. It sounds super intriguing though! I don't consider myself a raunchy person, but I know plenty of people that flaunt their sexuality in a way that can be negative and demeaning for others.

  2. I absolutely loved this book and so did my fiance. I think there was a lot of truth in it, especially in the idea that women can be their own worst enemies sometimes.

  3. I read this when it first came out and initially enjoyed it. But it left me with a few doubts that have only intensified since then, and now it makes me kind of angry and annoyed when I look back on it. Women (and all members of marginalized populations) do sometimes participate in their own marginalization and this is certainly an intriquing and important problem. However, like you, I found Levy's approach to be way too judgmental and restrictive--not helpful at all, in my opinion. I also disagree with her assertion that raunch culture is somehow the result of third wave feminism. Perhaps there are connections to me made there, but I still consider it to be mostly the result of patriarchy and patriarchal re-appropriation of "feminism". If that makes sense.

  4. @BookGeek: it is worth a read as it is quite interesting.

    @Sam: agree, women really can be their own worst enemy. I especially thought about that when I read about the Girls Gone Wild thing.

    @BookedAllWeek: I agree with you to some extent. I also found the book judgmental and narrow in its views. However, it's was also inspiring and forced me to think about my views on some of these subjects and about the fact that not everyone agrees with me in my interpretation of the free woman.

  5. That sounds like an interesting if possibly controversial book. I think stumbling badly (hardly) dressed around n a drunken stupor is never very dignified, for no gender :)