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A genuine question - what is the MN FWR opinion on these writers/bloggers?

(10 Posts)
nickymanchester Mon 10-Feb-14 21:03:24

I was just having a chat with a colleague of mine who is from the USA following a TV programme that mentioned a couple of feminist writers. I hadn't actually heard of any of them but she was very aware of them.

I did a little bit of googling of them and, to be frank, I was a little bit hmm. They, generally, seem very immersed in US culture - not surprising given that three of them are American - and seem to go on about a lot of things that I really don't recognise.

On the other hand, the British writer she mentioned did seem to have some very valid points to make - although I think that I would disagree with some of them.

So, a serious question. What do the more well read members here - and given that I've never read anything at all from these authors it won't take much to be more well read than I am - think about these authors?

1 - Generally agree
2 - Generally disagree
3 - Who is she, never heard of her?

Jessica Valenti
Ariel Levy
Natasha Walter

To get a full disclosure out of the way, I don't identify myself as being feminist to the same extent as a lot of the more vocal posters here do, which - to my perception - is quite rad fem. I think that a more nuanced debate on things would help rather than the quite common righteous indignation that often seems to happen.

scallopsrgreat Tue 11-Feb-14 00:01:59

I'm not sure that a nuanced debate starts with describing the people with whom you'd like to debate as having 'righteous indignation'. Its a bit dismissive and sneery.

Guess I've failed failed on the righteous indignation front already then!

However, I've had cake and I'm quite interested on others people's take on these feminists so I'll go first:

Jessica Valenti - don't read an awful lot of hers but I've agreed with what I've read. She's pretty good on reproductive rights but that's a hot topic in the US at the moment.

Ariel Levy - have only read one of her articles and it was very personal and heartbreaking so probably not representative. However it did make me want to read more from her.

Natasha Walter - yep generally agree. Seen her on TV a couple of times too and she comes across very well.

FWIW I'd say that Natasha Walter is probably the most radical of them as that seems to be of particular interest to you.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 11-Feb-14 08:46:57

Hello again Nicky.

How are you defining radical feminism? The definition, as I understand it, is that inequality cannot properly be tackled within the current system and "root" ie "radical" reform is required. Whilst liberal feminism is defined more as making gradual changes within the current system.

nickymanchester Tue 11-Feb-14 09:07:49

Thank you for your replies.

scallops Looking back, my OP may have been a tad agressive, I certainly didn't mean it that way. I was simply looking for what people's views were on these writers.

So, thank you, it's nice to hear what you think.

TheDoctrine Yes, that is pretty much the definition I'd use as well.

TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 11-Feb-14 21:10:04

Natasha Walter is much more radfem now than she was in her first book (The New Feminism, which was one of those 'the important battles have been won now' type books.) I like the fact that she was prepared to re-evaluate things and admit she was wrong! I like her focus now.

Ariel Levy - have only read Female Chauvinist Pigs (about 'raunch culture') but I think it was spot on.

Jessica Valenti - more libfem than the other two, personally I don't feel I learn much from reading her because of that, but as an activist she does much good stuff re abortion rights etc.

StickEmUpBigStyle Tue 11-Feb-14 21:47:54

Jessica valenti - i tried to read ... Er .. Just checked full frontal feminism.
Too trying to be cool for me, i didn't like they 'yeh man' approach it took,

WhentheRed Tue 11-Feb-14 22:04:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FloraFox Wed 12-Feb-14 08:06:32

Like scallops I was a bit hmm about the OP and thought I'd give this thread a swerve but given what others have said, I'll check out Natasha Walter. I like what I've read of Ariel Levy but I've no time for Jessica Valenti or feministing.

LimeMiniPumpkin Thu 13-Feb-14 09:32:23

Same here - I have a lot of respect for Ariel Levy and Natasha Walter but not Jessica Valenti.

nameequality Fri 14-Feb-14 13:32:03

Natasha Walter wrote Living Dolls which I enjoyed and I have huge respect for her for setting up the charity

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