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February 20, 2012

Book Review || The Female Thing by Laura Kipnis

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The Female Thing is a somewhat controversial look at the psyche of the female, and how it has been determined by society and certain of its aspects.

The book's publisher claims that the work is in the vein of The Female Eunuch - a book that is on my shelf awaiting my attention - but I somehow don't think it's quite as interested in showing off its knowledge of feminism as it is interested in looking, with alternating humour and seriousness, at the way the modern female is structured.

I really enjoyed this book, and could practically not put it down: it is filled with interesting tidbits of knowledge and history; it takes a comical look at women's internal conflicts and their relation to men; and points out all the inconsistencies we supposedly represent in society.

The work is more about exposing feminism as another societal control mechanism, along with patriarchy, porn, purity, dirt, sex, and much more. She utters the horrible truth that society, capitalism, and feminism all depend on the female's sense of inadequacy, which always exists, and she also takes a look at how this construct possibly came about.

The book consists of four chapters: envy, sex, dirt, and vulnerability. I wouldn't be able to choose a single one, as every one of them hits various nails on the head that are all part of building the throne that women are at once placed upon and thrown down from. Kipnis talks about purity, rape, porn, control, independence...

There is so much information in the chapters that it bears another read, perhaps this time with pen in hand and sticky notes at the ready.

Have you read this, or do you have any suggestions for further reading?

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