Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto MOBI ó

Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto MOBI ó
  • Paperback
  • 151 pages
  • Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto
  • Jessa Crispin
  • English
  • 23 September 2019
  • 1612196012

Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto[Ebook] ➣ Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto By Jessa Crispin – Essayreview.co.uk Are you a feminist Do you believe women are human beings and that they deserve to be treated as such That women deserve all the same rights and liberties bestowed upon men If so, then you are a femini Are you a feminist Am Not Epub Þ Do you believe women are human beings and that they deserve to be treated as such That women deserve all the same rights and liberties bestowed upon men If so, then you are a feminist or so the feminists keep insisting But somewhere along the way, the movement for female liberation Why I MOBI :Á sacrificed meaning for acceptance, and left us with a banal, polite, ineffectual pose that barely challenges the status quo In this bracing, fiercely intelligent manifesto, Jessa Crispin demands Why I Am Not A Feminist is a radical, fearless call for revolution It accuses the feminist movement of obliviousness, irrelevance, and cowardice and demands nothing less than I Am Not eBook ✓ the total dismantling of a system of oppression.


About the Author: Jessa Crispin

Jessa Crispin is the Am Not Epub Þ editor and founder of Bookslut Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun Times, The Guardian and The Toronto Globe and Mail, among other publications.


10 thoughts on “Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto

  1. says:

    Condescending, hypocritical, and bizarrely naive I barely know where to start with this I only started taking notes halfway through and I may come back later withthorough annotations, but for now, let s begin where Crispin ends with her own final summation of her basic thesis.If you re not up for this, if you just want your life to be comfortable, if you just want to make your money and watch your shows and do as well as you can in this lifetime, then admit it to yourself You are not Condescending, hypocritical, and bizarrely naive I barely know where to start with this I only started taking notes halfway through and I may come back later withthorough annotations, but for now, let s begin where Crispin ends with her own final summation of her basic thesis.If you re not up for this, if you just want your life to be comfortable, if you just want to make your money and watch your shows and do as well as you can in this lifetime, then admit it to yourself You are not a feminist Just stand in your truth and get it over with.By this, of course, she means Feminism the Jessa Crispin Way a movement which apparently holds no room for people with mental or physical health issues, poor people despite all the author s mentions of support , or anyone who isn t strong enough to instantly dump all aspects of our patriarchal and capitalist gosh you guys, I m not providing any alternatives but isn t capitalism the worst society out of our lives Like, right now Oh sorry, you still like your shows I guess that means you can t sit at Jessa Crispin s non feminist feminism table.Crispin s main targets here seem to be basicbitches and the internet There s a definite get off my lawn quality to this book, and in Crispin s lavish defense of Second Wave Feminism, to the point that she twice bends over backward to defend the transphobic and racist comments of Second Wavers who just don t understand relatively new terms like intersectionalitybefore paragraphs later, decrying white feminists who don t understand intersectionality I also really enjoyed the chapter that began, I just want to be clear that I don t give a fuck about your men s response to this book Do not email me, do not get in touch, and ended, Men can and must participate in this project feminism Look on some level, we are all hypocrites There is conflict and imperfection within all of us Some of us, for example, might try to fight for feminism however we can with how we relate to others, with how we relate to ourselves, with our money hissyes, even evil money , with our vote And then, when we get tired, because this fight hell, just existing in this broken society is fucking exhausting, those selfsame some of us might want to watch Netflix for a little while So sue us.Crispin, while being a human person and thus subject to human weakness, seems to have no sympathy or room in her movement for weakness in others Personally, I would rather have billions of imperfect feminists who are trying to unpack their own shit, to fight in any way they can than an elite crew of irreproachable feminists who never succumb to leg shaving or online shopping or other tools of the patriarchy But then, that s just me a woman who could never be considered a feminist by Crispin s unimpeachable standardsThis is snotty, but Crispin s attack on people who want to make their money smacks to me of the rhetoric of someone who has never been poor She brought it up.

  2. says:

    Jessa Crispin sets out to discomfit us She is so antagonistic to begin I almost put the audiobook aside The author reads the Penguin Random House edition, and there is a sarcasm and spite to her voice that I long ago decided I would rather avoid Yes, she s angry But she made me curious How and why could she push my buttons and why was she bothering I started again the next day and her arguments sounded different the second time around I agreed with her.Essentially Crispin is saying that t Jessa Crispin sets out to discomfit us She is so antagonistic to begin I almost put the audiobook aside The author reads the Penguin Random House edition, and there is a sarcasm and spite to her voice that I long ago decided I would rather avoid Yes, she s angry But she made me curious How and why could she push my buttons and why was she bothering I started again the next day and her arguments sounded different the second time around I agreed with her.Essentially Crispin is saying that the feminist movement has been popularized, co opted, and dumbed down to the point that folks have forgotten that feminism is nothing less than tearing down patriarchy, and any paternalistic system that grants rights to a certain segment of society while denying those same rights to others Feminism means upending expected and accepted ways of exploitation of any group, race, religion, class Feminism is not measured by how many female CEOs are making 70, 80, 90, or 100 percent of what males do in similarly structured companies where the top 1 percent is making over 1000 times what the lowest paid worker is making Feminism exposes structures which make such disparities and discrimination possible Now do you see why it should make you uncomfortable Feminism overthrows current methods and modes of interaction, in our financial, social, and relational interactions Men and women, Crispin suggests, will struggle to understand and honor feminism s new goals and intentions and how they work, and therefore should not be criticized if they question, stumble or misinterpret on the way to building new social structures It is important to listen and think about and answer disagreement within a movement.Here Crispin sounds Maoist and we know how that turned out , but at base I think she is saying something important feminism is the original inclusive movement because everyone s roles and interactions change for the better except those who have been advantaged by exploitation of groups not their own to achieve outsized power and influence which they wield to keep their position at the top of some figurative heap That will be over, as far as feminists have anything to say about it Most appreciated is the way Crispin draws a line from inclusiveness to saving our planet we are going to need the talents and skills of every dispossessed group to add to the general creativity As long as people are encouraged and advantaged when they exploit others for personal gain and at the expense of the general welfare of the entire society, we are not going to succeed in the challenges that are coming Jessa Crispin is one of the original online unaffiliated book reviewers she called her site Bookslut There always was some aggression in her presentation, and I found her reading and writing difficult to understand, for the most part Since then I recognize that she was reading and writing to learn, rather than merely for pleasure, and I have begun to do the same I understand her better now I recently reviewed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie s We Should All Be Feminists which I liked very much Adichie s manner is so friendly, at first I thought she was saying that one does not have to be angry to be a feminist But in fact, Adichie is angry feminists should be angry, because we are not there yet Some women have progressed the world lags behind.Crispin tells us that some of us have not bothered to look at the second wave of the feminist goals because some of us have gotten some personal gain and we have chosen what we want out of feminism s goals Crispin reminds us that white female empowerment in the United States can actually be shown to be oppressive to less advantaged women overseas, by reason of feminists not completing the revolution, as it were, but stopping when they have attained some measure of gain First world women might be said to have bought into an oppressive, exploitative patriarchal system when it began to include them.Just hearing the chapter heading How Feminism Ended Up Doing Patriarchy s Work sounds exactly right If one has enough money, one can avoid the worst effects of patriarchal control, andandwomen are stopping when we get to this point But if we stopped and took a breath at this stage, we have to buckle on a breastplate and dive back into the fight It is not men we are fighting It is power and money which allows us to avoid the most pernicious effects of patriarchy and capitalism Money and power feels good When we get it, we don t want to carry on fighting.So, Crispin wants to insert herself into everyone s discussion about What Feminism Is Feminism does not argue about who shaves and who is on top during sex The powerless cannot, and the powerful will not, break the system People, not just women, with both understanding and an unwillingness to buy into the system are the ones who can crush an oppressive system She is broadening the limits of the term Women should think of themselves as humans first In the end, Crispin s persistence in explaining why she is no longer a feminist is a serious and much needed look in the mirror and not merely caustic and dismissive It s a call to arms She s tough she has broadened and expanded and exploded definitions and reminded us of earlier radical feminists who are now dismissed or discredited We might need a new word Feminism is now old hat, and she has moved on I get it, and I m with her.I ended up really appreciating the PRH audio production read by the author, her intense and pointed criticisms aimed at feminists and power mongers and unconscious beneficiaries of the current patriarchal capitalist system which has been severely skewed to benefit a group not trying hard enough to dismantle the system keeping them comfortable at the expense of others To write a response to the manifesto, it would be useful to have a written copy She brings up a lot of complex ideas and I guarantee you will not be completely comfortable with her critical eye and tongue But she wades in where every man fears to tread Bravo Couple of interviews with Jessa Crispin Constance Grady in Vox with Crispin May 3, 2016Michelle Dean in The Guardian with Crispin May 9, 2016

  3. says:

    Heterosexuality is a fucking hellscape for women note from talk by author, February 2017, NYC I wondered what percentage of the largely White, female NYU undergraduate students crammed into the Strand Bookstoreseriously considered lesbianism at that moment Also reminded me of a story about a mix of straight and gay academic couples in a feminist t group in the 70s where the claim was that feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice where does that leave straight men, in p Heterosexuality is a fucking hellscape for women note from talk by author, February 2017, NYC I wondered what percentage of the largely White, female NYU undergraduate students crammed into the Strand Bookstoreseriously considered lesbianism at that moment Also reminded me of a story about a mix of straight and gay academic couples in a feminist t group in the 70s where the claim was that feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice where does that leave straight men, in particular Where are all the feminists that aren t also anti racist anti classist activists, Jesse I am still confused about that Are there a bunch of women s studies professors that don t include in their gendered analyses issues of economic inequality and racism Sure, there are a few, but not many I don t think that social equity issues have slipped off feminist radar In this way, I find Crispins somewhat of a Strawfeminist argument Still, Crispin is right about so many issues Maybe we feminists are caught with our pants down I approached this book wondering what is Crispin s anxiety over the state of feminism, anyway, when only 60% of women identify as such, and feminism is obviously as she notes watered down, Disneyfied , co opted, sanitized including by race and class, disability and sexuality So, how it is a threat, something to burn to the ground , to totally reject and make anew I get the systems change and can t change anything from within theses, though, but almost wish this was called Why I am not a Capitalist , as it seemsabout social power overall, about class and economic inequality,than about gender and women Feminism didn t cut us off from traditions and rituals, family and intergenerational connections , but capitalism did Privilege breeds complacency as she repeated notes that women who have made it aren t motivated to help others and consumption culture hollows us out likelythan the patriarchy Still, like only a radical class consciousness can make a revolution, Crispin teaches that mainstream feminism is no feminism at all.Who is she criticizing, anyway I m on her team if it s against the lean in role model the power hungry, selfish, narcissistic, upper middle aspirational to upper class lean in corporate women It is those with an ambitious drive for sky high salaries and to outman the men in horribleness, along with their Next Gen upwardly mobile Ivy League ish femmes in training in schools like NYU Surely she writes for that thin slice, I finally decided, and not the majority of gals working through middle class women including most Women of Color She writes for White women millennials, particularly those in college heading for professional careers, and the lean in chick brigade who are tiger mom superwomen on the side with nannies, it goes without saying I would argue lean in feminism was rejected by the large bulk of feminists already and isn t feminism except in the superficial self help aisle or packaged as much in advertising boardrooms Crispin keeps referring to middle class, and that kept annoying me, until I understood her to mean upper middle to upper class females including token POC and lower class but all high academic achieving females Most middle to lower class women, including most multicultural women, have neither power nor money, but there are some of us you know if you re part of the club who managed to buy their way out of the patriarchy Ouch It is hard to fight against the patriarchy when is does the dishes, the laundry, and brings you that first cup of coffee in the morning I wish she would have added that poor women have always worked outside the home, but she made me focus on how upper middle and upper class jobs are what feminism has fought and won, but only for some women, and at what cost She believes and with good reason successful and successful in training women are not fighting nearly hard enough for the rest, that the only action to take is to throw feminism onto the pyre literally, she says, in both book and in her talk she must like fire to end the capitalist elements in the modern world that hurtwomen and people than it has helped.I love the contradictions she pointed out in women who are feminists only nominally, looking for a body wash that breaks the glass ceiling , wondering if they retain their feminism with Brazilian waxes, and giving blowjobs like it s missionary work The hyper individualism in late capitalism is setting back any notion of family and community cohesion, and women are worrying about their individual life choices as feminist, instead of changing the world Change from within is a delusion and it s silly to think that hiring ambitious women into male dominated fields was somehow going to flatten the bureaucracies for management egalitarianism Having women infused in corporate ranks doesn t automatically flatten the bureaucracy or stop doing business with child labor producers of junk we import and convince ourselves to buy After Crispin s talk last month, where she was interviewed by NYT Sunday Book editor Rachel Dry, I finished the book on the bus coming back to Maine thinking of gender and my students, my daughter, and my own slow road to feminism The NYU undergrad audience asked Crispin about their own individual issues with feminism, mostly around dealing with non feminist relatives This was funny and a bit sad as it s that kind of individualistic, self serving, self improvement feminism she criticizes It was surprising that in the book, and not just during the talk well after the US election, she says that we will not have a true feminist change in the world in our lifetimes , and it s futile to believe it s possible The interviewer asked her about the f word my term for feminism itself, and Crispin said she did define herself as a feminist for about a decade, and that labels are useful when we re young and developing a political consciousness She discussed her own history that she was raised in a tiny town of about 1200 in Kansas in a highly religious and Conservative family, she knew today women who won t vote to cancel out their man s vote , so I wondered if she wasn t reacting so strongly to that anti female standard In her early 20s she worked in Planned Parenthood in Austin and was a volunteer abortion counselor Who in fields of feminist theory and feminist activism do not take Dworkin seriously, even if she s a polemicist Even the sex positive feminist movement agrees Dworkin didn t automatically equate all heterosexual sex with rape, but that we learn and practice sex in a context of too often accepted male domination and violence And no one rejects MacKinnon, either, even if women s studies professors disagree with her She is still King er Queen in any field that applies feminist theory and philosophy and particular in the legal arena Still, I agree that different facets of feminism reject or accept pro sex and anti sex views, in contradictory ways at times I remember the disappointment in the eyes of a noted philosopher of education, a lesbian activist, who was mentoring me when I disagreed with her when she arguing that, following MacKinnon, pornography is the central means by which men subjugate women I said it was economic, and I wasn t anti pornography, but was against people coerced or portrayed in disrespectful ways She looked at me like my IQ dropped 50 points In any case, I don t see that the Second Wave of feminism is so vilified as Crispin laments, and when she says this campaign to erase radicals from feminist history is regrettable I m not so sure this campaign is so large or significant.During the talk, Crispin repeated her claim from the book that the falsehood that women are naturallyemphatic and compassionate is what men have told women to keep them workingat home, disproportionally keeping the kids and men happy Women, also, buy into the lie and tell it to ourselves, too, for our comfort and convenience Crispin was asked about the recent Women s March, and said that she did support it She was asked about the pink Pussy Hats I was confused and thought the little ears were fallopian tubes, so wondered where the other parts were and Crispin said she glad that women were asked to sacrifice and make something like the hats she said, make the hats, bitches , to a nervous twittering from the undergrads in the audience Crispin then admitted she d cried watching the Women s March in her home state of Kansas, noting it was a place where abortion doctors like Tiller were killed in Witchita for their service She mentioned that her worry is about transferring energy from the Women s March to enact real social change, and mentioned that just the day before when Trump had issued a gag rule on abortions that is was all male politicians in the room men legislating women s bodies essentially communicating fuck you this is what we think of you from male politicians to women She also mentioned that Trump is the logical end to our culture Crispin said that while women have full access to male roles and occupations, no equal effort to make space for men in the feminine pursuits has occurred, really While traditional sex role stereotypes persist for too many, men cook, clean, split the weight of household and childcare responsibilities like never before I have noticed some roll back, such as young women taking their husband s surnames again, and assuming they ll be responsible for all meals and most cleaning and childcare, even if almost all are working outside the home Also, what about feminism and the kids I ve noticed teachers criticize parents who don t spend enough time with their children and hire out childcare and have latch key children unsupervised yet they, in order to acquire many of their teaching degrees, also had to have their own children tended by others It s easy to blame the other.I loved how she described how the yearning for romantic love is disproportionate in our culture yes, sex sells and love sells Maybe both bikinis and Islamic coverings are insulting to women, but only in different ways Universal feminism is co opted and soft and white feminism is only consciousness raising and about a conversion Actually, it s what I d call education we can unlearn sex role stereotyping that helps both females and males live in a world with each other It was good of her to call for an end of choice feminism or the arguing that a choice is feminist if you say it is I imagine this could include even traditional marriage as a feminist act if, say, you make it body positive and perhaps vegan Crispin is right that true change for women s and human rights is likely revolutionary and not evolutionary or that feminism could achieve incremental change and she says we need a cleansing fire burn it all down It is true that Civil Rights laws didn t fix the problems, but treated the consequences or symptoms of the problems, and outlawing sex discrimination merely normalized it on some level Marx said everything eventually becomes a commodity under capitalism, so of course feminism is a commodity something to be bought and sold, popularized Crispin says feminism is trending , yet almost half of women don t take the label, so the trending is in that high brow, White elite culture she is discussing, that rendered feminism as meaningless and counter productive, in fact, to many social concerns I ve never met beauty standards, so always culled my own version of attractiveness that was somewhat freeing Do men still determine if women are worthy of love We wait for love to redeem us , but I think this illusion of love is as true for men as women She does give an excellent critique of romantic love for women and how it s ascendency in our culture has undermined familial and cross generational love and relationships It is true that feminism has offered women few alternatives for how to live a meaningful life, especially heterosexual women with likewise men I loved where she noted the common script where a female character has value by having all of the male characters fall in love with her , and we rarely have feminist stories of creating aequal, human society but rather those that promote individual improvement, romantic love, and career material consumer success She is correct that there are no great choices for women outside of monogamy sequential or otherwise except for a solitary and too often a lonely existence, as we don t value communal living I ve always though the smart model was CP Gilman s Herland I asked a question of Crispin close to the end about political correctness, and how her criticism of it from the Left masks how it s used by the Right to silence those speaking out against social injustices I mentioned unsubstantial claims in research on PC ness that wished to believe secret language was now required on college campuses, whereby instead of simply fat I d be called waistline challenged , and how that doesn t appear to exist in any organized or substantial way She agreed with me and said that PC is a tool of the right , but we have gone deranged on the Left, too In the book, she argues that PC ness is an over correction from the Left whereby a contrary opinion is an attack She did agree that words wound , and that some analysis is good to note that language that you use does cause me harm, that gives us some control over how we re addressed However, she buys into the stereotype and caricature of the politically correct feminist that has a method of shaming and silencing anyone who disagrees with them, and where disagreement or conflict is abuse This describes no serious, adult, feminist female that I know The inhumanity and futility of revenge was a theme women taking revenge on men, but also as a society taking revenge on individuals but she sees a huge amount of outrage against men by women as an automatic cultivation of a feminist mindset, and I think most of us are well beyond that if this ever existed but it s one way she blames women for their psychology where I m not sure it s justified Still, after I asked my question about PC and the talk ended, a middle aged woman I d watched earlier just interesting looking, I guess stopped and leaned down by my chair at the edge of the back row, and quietly said You asked a really important question, but she Crispin didn t have the intellectual capability to deal with it She was kindly looking and smiling, and I laughed in acknowledgment back at her as she walked on by I loved that woman, but was also shocked, as I surely hadn t decided Crispin was mentally deficient Now that I can reflect, perhaps that woman attacking Crispin was what Crispin was talking about we attack individuals for acts deemed anti feminist including dumping on feminism, instead of focusing on a complete demolition and rebuilding of feminism that focuses on human rights I m concerned that Crispin using a poorly chosen example of lying about sexual assault was inexcusable I understand the social dysfunction of how peace not safety is valued, but to imply that feminist trained female victims can be mean and vindictive and want revenge against bad men to badly as to lie happens so rarely it s irresponsible to bring up its occurrence Most all state human rights agencies as well as the federal EEO office that have years of backlog and rigorous processes so that virtually all lies are born out, or dismissed due to lack of evidence One human rights specialist with decades of work fielding sexual harassment claims quickly said three, maybe four of her thousands of cases did she think might have been a lie Of course it happens, but clear research shows a huge number of cases are not reported at all, while only an extremely small number of untrue claims make it to, much less through, full investigations.If this was my manifesto, I d include muchon the damage of sex role stereotyping and how that may be overcome rather than worry about political correctness from the Left Crispin repeats often that all obstacles are removed for women in today s society in terms of achievement power, money, sex but, frankly, she misses the sex role stereotypes that limit access to education look at statistics for gender and STEM even if self imposed, and certainly sexism keeps women denied from many opportunities outside of the upper middle to upper class homes and schools I liked her critical list of what feminism is, but would add a fewpositive ones for heterosexual females Feminism means that men can learn that just because they have an erection they don t have to use it Feminism means you can love sex but find blowjobs incredibly boring and choose not to do them Feminism means we need to get over sexual exclusivity as the most important thing for both men and women and admit it s no moral failing to practice sequential monotony er monogamy which is mostly what we do, anyway Feminism is directly educating about sex role stereotypes in schools and insisting on what the AAUW called civil rights curriculum for girls , e.g., comprehensive and well done K 12 Sex Education Feminism is teaching boys and girls that sex sells and how to respond to confusing and mixed messages that are both pro and anti sex Feminism is that the need for safe and legal abortions in such a sexually obsessed culture Feminism doesn t present abortion, though, as no big deal as it is invasive, and often quite painful, both physically and financially, even if you have access Feminism means that women don t wait for men to ask them out or for men to show interest in them Feminism means reclaiming friendships with men outside of sexual relationships.Finally, why doesn t she consult a thesaurus and find adverbs and verbs other than fuck when she needs the punch The largely White female NYC undergraduate audience at the Stroud Bookstore the night of the book release giggled when Jesse repeatedly said fuck during her one hour interview I was struck by it s what small, often petite women do to augment their power as Crispin would herself argue and realized a gender difference that was at the tip of the tongue or frontal lobe for many decades, that as an extra large, extra strong women, I didn t need to ever use profanity, even as I was the least prudish woman around, as is common with women of many ages now Is that feminism

  4. says:

    Where to begin This is a book about how feminism has failed women by being too limited in its thinking It s definitely possible to make this argument in an effective way, but that s not what Jessa Crispin has done here First of all, the feminist of this book is a moving target It often seems to refer to universal feminists, Crispin s made up term for the allegedly vast number of women out there who want to make feminism as bland as possible so everyone feels comfortable calling themselve Where to begin This is a book about how feminism has failed women by being too limited in its thinking It s definitely possible to make this argument in an effective way, but that s not what Jessa Crispin has done here First of all, the feminist of this book is a moving target It often seems to refer to universal feminists, Crispin s made up term for the allegedly vast number of women out there who want to make feminism as bland as possible so everyone feels comfortable calling themselves feminist It also refers to choice feminists, women who think every choice any woman makes is feminist just by virtue of her being a woman Crispin seems not to realize that this term was made up by the mainstream media and has nothing to do with actual feminists out in the real world Sometimes when she uses the word feminist she seems to be referring exclusively to women like Sheryl Sandberg who try to help women succeed in the corporate world, or to pop stars who call themselves feminists even though they don t really engage in activism Sometimes feminist seems to refer to women in general, as when she complains about female film directors not all of whom are necessarily feminists who make regressive romantic comedies, and sometimes it seems to refer to women who don t actually consider themselves feminists because they re afraid of leg hair and such, or of turning off men In other words, Crispin casts a very wide net Just about all of us are doing a terrible job at being feminists, or really just at being women in the world We don t care about things like helping working mothers We don t explore other options beyond being married and having kids We hate men but simultaneously want only to please men We want to exclude everyone who s not white, cis, and at least middle class We want everyone else to be just like us because we re uncomfortable with difference, and we love to make straw man arguments.Speaking of straw man arguments, where did Crispin get her ideas about how feminists are Because these feminists don t sound like the contemporary feminist writers I m reading, and they certainly don t sound like the feminists I know in actual life I was constantly writing in the margins WHO are you talking about There are all kinds of feminists who care about helping working mothers, who explore options beyond the conventional ones, who care about intersectionality, who welcome difference Who are these feminists that Crispin is talking about She doesn t quote anyone except, once, the British feminist Laurie Penny, who apparently said something disparaging about Andrea Dworkin one time She uses few examples, and the ones she does use are all anecdotal Eventually it becomes clear that she s getting most of her information from the comments sections of internet articles Literally, this is where she s getting her ideas about contemporary feminism She seems not to realize that internet comments sections tend to be full of jerks of all stripes That some of these jerks are women, or even self identified feminists, doesn t mean you can extrapolate from them to the entire human race This would seem to be a fairly obvious point Maybe Jessa Crispin needs to leave the house a little .Look, I think I get what she s going for to a certain extent A lot of current well known feminist writers are pretty conventional in their personal lives married, kids, participate in capitalist economy, conventionally attractive I, too, would like to see a lot of other models for how to live But that doesn t mean thatconventional feminists don t have anything worth saying, or that they re not doing any good in the world They re doing a lot of good Crispin complains that they re unaccepting of difference, but to me it s Crispin herself who s unaccepting Women come at feminism from a lot of different places We re not all radical, we don t all want exactly the same things, but we can all make significant changes in our own ways Our own feminist project can still be valid even if it doesn t look exactly like other women s feminist projects Vive la diff rence Or, as Roxane Gay put it when I saw her speak the other night Corporate feminism exists Fucking whatever For that matter, it s not as if Crispin herself is brimming with ideas for how to knock down the patriarchy At one point she even says that, now that we have women both on the inside and the outside of male dominated culture, it should be easy for us to tear it apart But how, exactly If everything we re doing is wrong, what does she want us to do differently that will suddenly make some huge difference She doesn t really say.If it s not already obvious, Why I Am Not a Feminist A Feminist Manifesto is a polemic I understand the rules of polemics They re rants They don t necessarily have to be backed up with facts A polemic is in some senses an intellectual exercise, meant to stimulate thought I get that I was looking forward to that I knew I would disagree with some of it, and I was excited to be challenged But the worst thing about this book is that I wasn t challenged There is nothing sharp and incisive about Why I Am Not a Feminist It doesn t hang together, sometimes even from one paragraph to the next Crispin contradicts herself over and over again and doesn t even seem to realize she s doing it I didn t feel stimulated I didn t feel excited Honestly, I just got a low level headache from the whole exercise.Crispin s The Dead Ladies Project was one of the best books I read in 2016, and possibly ever Now that book stimulated and excited me For that reason, I struggled with how to rate this one Two stars, with one star acknowledging my admiration for Crispin s past work Or one star, to recognize that this is not just a bad book, but a major letdown You can see for yourself where I ultimately landed I m not happy about any of it Jessa Crispin, you can do better than this So next time, do better

  5. says:

    Making feminism a universal pursuit might look like a good thing or at the very least a neutral thing but in truth it progresses, and I think accelerates, a process that has been detrimental to the feminist movement the shift of focus from society to the individual What was once collective action and a shared vision for how women might work and live in the world has become identity politics, a focus on individual history and achievement, and an unwillingness to share space with people with dif Making feminism a universal pursuit might look like a good thing or at the very least a neutral thing but in truth it progresses, and I think accelerates, a process that has been detrimental to the feminist movement the shift of focus from society to the individual What was once collective action and a shared vision for how women might work and live in the world has become identity politics, a focus on individual history and achievement, and an unwillingness to share space with people with different opinions, worldviews, and histories It has separated us out into smaller and smaller groups until we are left all by ourselves, with our concern and our energy directed inward instead of outward Jessa Crispin,Why I am not a Feminist A Feminist Manifesto There s something that Dr King said that I read a few years ago that stuck with me, which is about the importance of reading widely, including reading views that you don t agree with I learned that is true and that we can learn a lot from people who think differently In the past this isn t the sort of book I d have picked up, I mean so many of my readings are feminist focused as a black woman I m interested in feminism, and how to make my life, and the lives of the women in my life, better, so my defenses were slightly up when I read this one.From my perspective, this book is a critique of feminism, and in my opinion every movement should be critiqued As Crispin says, Feminism is should be a movement, not an excuse to stand still She makes many good points and gave me food for thought Overall she did make me think about labels and how important it is for us to understand what we are claiming when we take on any label Basically, this requires self reflection, and Crispin assumes that feminists do not self reflect.Being confronted almost daily with pinkwashing capitalism, I was really glad that Crispin addressed how feminism is used in advertising Crispin says It is often supposed that acceptance of the feminist label will also result in the acceptance of the meaning behind it, but the meaning has been drained away by this psychotic marketing campaign A woman can now take up the feminist label without any true political, personal, or relational adaptations whatsoever It s just another button on her jacket, another sticker on her bumper The inner contents remain unchanged I do agree with this, and additionally I agree with the importance of not celebrating someone just because they are a woman See this article the book I found myself disagreeing with plenty, and part of that reason was Crispin seems to be focusing on white middle class feminism, which clearly I have little to no connection with at all Crispin also uses examples from feminism online, and that makes me think that her data is skewered towards the West, as so much else is I find that it s so easy to forget that there are worlds out there outside of the West, and the citizens of those places might not have the word feminist in their vocabulary, may not have access to the internet and other resources, but they are still fighting to improve the lot of women, and in very diverse ways, ways that are not mentioned in this book Crispin also made several sweeping assumptions that surprised me, such as that feminists hate men.But still, despite Crispin s sometimes arrogance and blanket statements, I feel this is an important read It s a quick one too, and you can probably skip over a few of her essays as some of the stuff is repetitive

  6. says:

    A provocative book that has a couple of important insights but hurts itself overall by prioritizing stylistic flare over substance Its title, for example when you read the book, you can see that Jessa Crispin used this title just to draw people s attention, because she calls for a restructuring of feminismthan a dismissal of it As you can see from the available Goodreads reviews, her lack of clarity detracts from the book She does not cite research, and she will often make bombastic c A provocative book that has a couple of important insights but hurts itself overall by prioritizing stylistic flare over substance Its title, for example when you read the book, you can see that Jessa Crispin used this title just to draw people s attention, because she calls for a restructuring of feminismthan a dismissal of it As you can see from the available Goodreads reviews, her lack of clarity detracts from the book She does not cite research, and she will often make bombastic claims about certain groups without specifying her target audience e.g., saying that feminists will do X or Y thing, but not articulating which sect of feminists, which weakens her argument because we are not all the same nor do we have identical views.I give this bookthan one or two stars because Crispin does a great job of addressing how capitalism and predominant ideas of romance take away from the power of the feminist movement She articulates well how only focusing on havingfemale CEOs andwhite women with higher paying jobs neglects the suffering ofmarginalized women e.g., queer women, women of color, etc She also criticizes how we socialize women to prioritize romantic relationships above all else, to the detriment ofinternalized, long lasting empowerment A quote about that harmful emphasis on romance, hereWe wait for love to redeem us For straight girls, that means, despite all of our talk about independence and empowerment, the goals of self empowerment are often pursued to make ourselves better on the romantic market Feminists do not have to shut themselves off from the possibility of romantic love But we should question the privileging of romantic love over all other forms of love, from familial to friendship to societal We should also question what is required of us in order to be loved, and the way the possibility of love and sex and family is dangled in front of women as a way of keeping them in line and the way women are all too eager to internalize this method of control Still, Crispin misses the mark quite a few times in Why I Am Not a Feminist Two examples include her critique of outrage culture and her critique of those who critique toxic masculinity She gets mad at people who get mad at their oppressors, which reminds me a lot of tone policing and how people try to pathologize the anger of those who experience bigotry see Audre Lord s amazing essay, The Uses of Anger Women Responding to Racism Instead of directing her anger at oppressed groups outrage, maybe she could focus her energy on stopping the people who commit oppressive acts in the first place She also goes awry when critiquing those who critique toxic masculinity, by arguing that people who abhor toxic masculinity think that masculinity itself is inborn and awful She is wrong a lot of the people fighting against toxic masculinity acknowledge that it is socialized and learned Men themselves are not the problem, the problem is how we are often taught to hurt ourselves and others, repress our emotions, value securing a high income over caring for those around us, etc Crispin lacks nuance in her discussion of masculinity, which sucks because masculinity serves as such an important topic in the feminist movement.Overall, an okay book that misses the mark too many times for me to recommend it I would urge you to check out We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler and All About Love by bell hooks, two books that elaborate on the strongest parts of this book by Jessa Crispin

  7. says:

    Please go read some Audre Lorde, Patricia Hill Collins, or Angela Davis instead I agree that mainstream feminism does not address many of the issues Crispin suggests, but actual intersectional feminism does To do what Crispin has done here and equate anti capitalism as Not Feminism and brand these ideas as her own is completely unfair to and bordering on appropriative of the many feminists out there, particularly women of color, who have done a lot of work in this area and made it part of the Please go read some Audre Lorde, Patricia Hill Collins, or Angela Davis instead I agree that mainstream feminism does not address many of the issues Crispin suggests, but actual intersectional feminism does To do what Crispin has done here and equate anti capitalism as Not Feminism and brand these ideas as her own is completely unfair to and bordering on appropriative of the many feminists out there, particularly women of color, who have done a lot of work in this area and made it part of the movement rather than eschewing it I agree that mainstream feminism is deserving of critique Much better books have even been written recently that critique many of the issues with mainstream feminism, e.g We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler incredibly well researched and informative , but the execution of this is overly generalized, condescending, hypocritical, and divisive at best

  8. says:

    DNFed this trash You can t write a whole book arguing against imaginary people and their imaginary arguments Absolutely no rigour or research of contemporary feminism went into this It s frankly embarrassing.

  9. says:

    If by declaring myself a feminist I must reassure you that I am not angry, that I pose no threat, then feminism is definitely not for me.I am angry And I do pose a threat I can see why this is a polarising book It is angry it is a bit ranty and it is far from a comfortable read However, I think it is an important book, and I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with a lot of what Crispin says In particular she takes to task the idea that women in power is an inherently good thing and wond If by declaring myself a feminist I must reassure you that I am not angry, that I pose no threat, then feminism is definitely not for me.I am angry And I do pose a threat I can see why this is a polarising book It is angry it is a bit ranty and it is far from a comfortable read However, I think it is an important book, and I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with a lot of what Crispin says In particular she takes to task the idea that women in power is an inherently good thing and wonders why, in contemporary feminism, markers of success are the same as in patriarchal capitalism ie money and power A woman CEO can proudly stand up and proclaim her belief in feminism after all, it got her to this position of power while still outsourcing her company s labor to factories where women and children work in slave like conditions, while still poisoning the atmosphere and water supplies with toxic run off, and while paying her female employees disproportionately low salaries.Another target is what the author terms outrage feminism , the phenomenon whereby individuals are called out on their misogyny, usually on the internet She argues thattaking out one individual at a time does not decrease the amount of misogyny in the world The system we live in, a system that rewards competition and violence, a system that devalues compassion and care, will keep spitting out misogynists until the system itself is addressed Yes to dismantling the whole rotten system I suppose my only criticism of the book would be that Crispin doesn t offer much in the way of solutions, although she does address thatI havequestions than answers I do not know how this is all supposed to go I m fine with that, you should never listen to anyone who says they have it all figured out They are either lying or they want something from you This book is not without its flaws, but I think its message is an important one and needs to be heard I think I might read some Andrea Dworkin next

  10. says:

    There s a lot that s interesting in this short, engaging book, and early in Why I am Not a Feminist, Jessa Crispin makes some points that had me nodding along She opens her manifesto with a disparaging list of what feminism now is It has become a decade long conversation about which television show is a good television show and which television show is a bad television show It is a narcissistic reflexive thought process I define myself as a feminist, so everything I do is a feminist act, There s a lot that s interesting in this short, engaging book, and early in Why I am Not a Feminist, Jessa Crispin makes some points that had me nodding along She opens her manifesto with a disparaging list of what feminism now is It has become a decade long conversation about which television show is a good television show and which television show is a bad television show It is a narcissistic reflexive thought process I define myself as a feminist, so everything I do is a feminist act, no matter how banal or regressive.Crispin s main target is an easy one the universal or lifestyle feminism of wealthy, white westerners, apparent in declarations of feminism from mainstream celebrities, expensive designer clothes emblazoned with feminist slogans, and campaigns forfemale CEOs and politicians that is, further elevation of women who are already extremely privileged Her objections are understandable, but surely it s quite a widely held opinion that much of what typifies this feminism isn t muchthan a marketing ploy Everyone will have different ideas about what s wrong with modern feminism, but but to my mind one of the main problems is the fact that different strains of feminism are locked in such aggressively siloed groups, within which questioning of the accepted doctrine is verboten Crispin does address this briefly when she talks about outrage feminism and social media pile ons, but she seems nervous of really tackling the issue.Sometimes Why I am Not a Feminist seems to contradict itself from one page to the next Crispin suggests in one chapter that women should build alternative forms of family and community, in order to move away from the idea that children can only be raised within romantic relationships or by isolated single mothers But by the final chapter, she s saying it s selfish to be concerned with one s own family and community She claims women are not inherently caring, compassionate and nurturing that this is an idea that has been imposed by patriarchal systems yet repeatedly argues that such feminine qualities are missing from society because women have long been excluded from positions of power It s worth mentioning also that all the evidence here is anecdotal Crispin says in the acknowledgements that she is indebted to various feminist writers, but no specific sources are cited She pays lip service to the idea of beinginclusive of marginalised groups but, again, doesn t explain how this might be achieved.Crispin also, strangely, appears to misunderstand what the phrase toxic masculinity means Perhaps it s just poor wording, but the way she talks about it here makes it sound like she believes those who use it are saying all masculinity is toxic.Ultimately, this is one of those books that goes on about all the problems with something in this case a particular quite narrow brand of 21st century feminism but fails to offer a viable alternative There are no solutions to be found here, aside from a few vague suggestions about resurrecting various radical feminist ideas and rejecting the system This seems a rather significant oversight for something that labels itself a manifesto it s reallyof a polemic It is thought provoking, though, and I m glad I pulled it out of my to read stack for that reason, if nothing else.TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr

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