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We Were Feminists Once (2016)

af Andi Zeisler

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2661275,199 (4.04)12
"A critical assessment of feminism today by the founding editor and creative director of Bitch magazine draws on the stories of institutions and everyday women to illuminate how feminism has been compromised by market forces, subversive politics and popular culture, sharing strategic recommendations for how to reverse marginalizing trends,"--NoveList.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
(4.5/5) I have long been frustrated with what Zeisler calls marketplace feminism, but never had the words to identify it. Touching on a range of topics across pop culture and consumer culture, this book is an in depth exploration of the capitalist exploitation of feminism and feminist ideals. While there were parts throughout I wished were more fleshed out, the author includes a section of notes and works cited at the end. I appreciated the straightforward and frank tone, and the accessibility of the writing. ( )
  kferaco | Jul 19, 2020 |
Not bad. I love Andi Zeisler (subscribed to her magazine for years) and she writes beautifully; she makes consistently good points that are well-substantiated. My only quibble is that many of her points aren't exactly groundbreaking--I mean, of course Dove Real Beauty is talking out of both sides of its mouth--but given the zeitgeist she can be forgiven for making them regardless. Highly recommend as an accessible read on the pluses and minuses of modern-day popular feminism. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
This was mostly great.

The book covers a lot of the ways feminism has played out in the public eye, media and marketing over the last couple decades. Sometimes the narrative wanders and could stand to be more concise, but for the most part it's on point and often funny.

A couple of the things covered :

* It challenges notions of feminism that focus purely on an individual and their own choices in without seeing how their lives and decisions fit into a larger context of inequality. This includes pointing out that not everyone has the access to make those choices or lead those lifestyles, because there is oppression and inequality. It also calls out and debunks the idea that women can supposedly liberate themselves if they would just be more powerful and better self advocates, plus the implied opposite, that if they aren't liberated maybe it's because they're too busy being victims or not trying hard enough to take advantage of opportunities.

* Representing women as liberated within the media and in roles of power is important, but that doesn't instantly change the reality of what's actually going on in society (and who is in power) for everyone else. Further, it documents how the companies and people producing media are still largely a boys-only club behind the scenes.

* It addresses the commercialization of feminism. That is, how feminism is used as a brand to sell and market products by companies without any real commitment (and often, actually, hostility) to social change and equality. The real marketing strategies behind those campaigns still play on the same fears, social roles and stereotypes that feminism has been trying to challenge and overthrow.

There is lots more, and now I'm wishing I would have taken better notes. :)


There is some narrative and critique overlap with : Alexandra Chasin's book "Selling Out: The Gay and Lesbian Movement Goes to Market"

( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
I admit I'm biased, but I think this is a great analysis of how feminism has grown into an arm of capitalism, which while it is fun to have feminist stuff to buy, isn't the point of feminism.
  roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
Zeisler's analysis of "marketplace feminism" is very interesting but so contemporary that I wonder if I would understand it as well if I hadn't lived through the same pop culture moments as she has. I also will never look at the word "empower" in the same way again. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
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"A critical assessment of feminism today by the founding editor and creative director of Bitch magazine draws on the stories of institutions and everyday women to illuminate how feminism has been compromised by market forces, subversive politics and popular culture, sharing strategic recommendations for how to reverse marginalizing trends,"--NoveList.

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