Reclaiming the F Word : The New Feminist Movement, Paperback

Reclaiming the F Word : The New Feminist Movement Paperback

4 out of 5 (8 ratings)


Discover the demands of the new feminist movement. In today's 'post-feminist' society, women and men are considered equal.

For younger women and men, feminism is often portrayed as unfashionable and irrelevant.

But since the beginning of the new millennium a new generation have emerged to challenge these assumptions and assert a vibrant new agenda.

This groundbreaking book reveals the what, why and how of the new feminist movement and what it has to say about women's lives in today's society.

From cosmetic surgery to celebrity culture and girl power to globalization, from rape to religion and sex to singleness, this book reveals the seven vital issues at stake for today's feminists, unveils the beginnings of a fresh and diverse wave of feminism, and calls a new generation back to action.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Feminism & feminist theory
  • ISBN: 9781848133952



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Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.

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Review by

Unlikely, I suspect, that the keen reader of feminist writing will learn anything new from this book but it does usefully draw together the threads of what is happening in the feminism of 2010 in a readable and enjoyable way. It also relates the concerns of 21st century women to relevant websites and current movements. A worthy addition to any feminist library and an entertaining read to boot.

Review by

I had really high hopes when I started this book. I wanted it to educate and inspire me, to rouse my passions and show me some of the amazing people today who are fighting for equality for all, highlighting the issues that really matter to the modern woman. I think that's probably how Redfern and Aune want their book to be received, too, but sadly, it just didn't hit the spot for me, particularly after reading the amazing 'The Beauty Myth' by Naomi Wolf a few years ago.Don't get me wrong, it was an interesting little read. It is split into seven chapters, covering different areas of feminist interest, including body image, sexuality, violence against women, home and work, politics, religion and popular culture. The seventh chapter focuses on feminism itself, and the necessity of reclaiming the term from the negative connotations that have risen up around it. Not knowing that much about feminism over the years, it came as a surprise to me to find, for example, that it is truly about equality, focussing on bringing men up to women's levels in areas where they are undervalued, as much as it as about raising women to the level of men where they face discrimination. Each chapter discusses the modern issues within that particular area of society, giving statistics and survey results, showcasing feminist battles to counteract discrimination, and offering ideas as to how to get involved.My problem was that it all seemed so shallow, so half-baked, somehow. Feminism-lite, if you will. Surveys and statistics were thrown around without a word of explanation of interpretation, and anecdotes and examples were offered haphazardly for the reader's perusal. Reading it sometimes felt like I was bouncing across a sea of figures and quotes, hopping around without any kind of enlightenment or analysis from the authors. If I'd written an essay like that at university, I'm fairly sure it would have come back with 'own thoughts?' or 'explain further?' scribbled in red pen in the margins. It made certain sections, particularly the politics and religion chapter, very difficult to read without getting bogged down. There were also problems with certain terms and references going unexplained. For example, I know what FGM means, but other readers might not - the briefest of explanations would have served to clarify things.That said, it was an easy-to-read introduction to modern feminism that might suit younger readers and newcomers to feminist thought wanting to know more about feminism in society today. The popular culture references and surveys are bang up-to-date, and perhaps most refreshingly of all, this is a British-focussed book, so most of the statistics and feminist activities mentioned are British-based. There is an extensive 'notes' section listing all sources used for the book, and a condensed bibliography for each chapter, pointing the reader in the direction of more specialised books on each issue, which might come in especially handy for students. The verdict? Some interesting ideas - but I've read better.

Review by

Reclaiming the F-Word has three purposes. The first is to provoke women like me, armchair feminists, into taking action about the issues that concern them. The second is to make more young women aware that feminism isn't a dead issue, it is vital to today's world. And finally the authors want to remind second-wave feminists (those active in the 70s) that the activism of today isn't less valid than their struggles just because it seems less militant.In the 1970s the women's liberation movement had a list of seven demands starting with equal pay now and ending with the right to freedom from violence and sexual coercion. Redfern and Aune put forward a new list of what feminists want. Depressingly, this list isn't that much different from that put together 40 years ago. Sexual freedom, an end to violence against women, equality at work and an end to cultural sexism are still relevant today. The point is made that while gains may have been made in terms of legislation, society still hasn't embraced feminism and gender equality.As I said, I'm an armchair feminist. I have no hesitation in describing myself as a feminist but I don't take part in any activism. So how did this book affect me? It made me bloody angry at the injustices and discrimination that women are still subjected to. How can we accept that 80,000 rapes take place in the UK each year? Why do young women want to be a footballer's wife when they want to grow up? The authors helpfully provide examples of activism and what action women can take and I need to think about what I intend to do about these subjects that I care about deeply.Having said that, I don't think this book is entirely successful. Each section feels a bit light, as if the authors didn't want to get bogged down in detail in case they frighten away newcomers to feminism. I also think that while the examples of activism are helpful, the successes of some of these activities aren't emphasised enough. It feels like there's a lot of blog-writing, facebook campaigns etc with little actually being changed.I'd be really interested to know whether the people who read this book already consider themselves to be feminists. Are Redfern and Aune finding a new audience or are they just preaching to the converted?

Review by

I have really enjoyed this book and although its contents are not exactly groundbreaking, I think it is very useful in two ways:First, it is a book that would serve very well as a fairly thorough introduction to feminism as it stands now; and it is definitely something I'd recommend to someone who was looking for something to give (for example) to their teenage daughter. It is a surprisingly easy and fluid read, and covers the multiple issues affecting women today with enough brevity to keep those with a short attention span interested, yet still providing a remarkably comprehensive overview. It is divided into chapters moving gradually from the personal to the public spheres, and offers a handy list of ways to get involved at the end of each chapter. While this is mainly written from a UK perspective, with results of surveys carried out in the UK used as examples and published at the end of the book, it still provides a useful snapshot of the views feminists today, and helps set a few preconceptions straight.Secondly, it serves as a reminder to those who, while definitely considering themselves feminists, have maybe become a little complacent and are not always aware how much really still needs to be done to truly achieve the kind of equality that feminism strives for. I would count myself in that group, and while I not always agree with the possible solutions supplied, it has served as an encouragement for me to become a little more outspoken and question a few more things that I previously accepted at face value.

Review by

What a wonderful book. Reclaiming the F-Word is a woderful book in that it gives a general overview and introduction to feminism today. Drawing on a survey on the popular UK feminist blog the f-word, the authors outline seven areas that are the most important to feminists today then go on to explain why there are important, what feminists are already doing to adress these areas and to give suggestions of what you can do. The seven areas outlines are:Liberated bodiesSexual freedom and choiceAn end to violence against womenEquality at work and at homePolitics and religion transformedA culture free from sexismFeminism reclaimed. The introduction to the issue which made up the bulk of each section was easy to read and accessible. It focused on a range of issues related to the main issue and tried to broach issues specific to different people rather then focusing mainly on the white middle-class as feminism is often accused of doing. Of course, none of these introduction is comprehensive as each is several topics in itself and there are things left out I felt should have been and put in that I thought less important (in the body image section, it would have been nice to have a section on how bodies of women of different colour are percieved within the frameword of the beauty myth) but as is stated in the introduction, they can't talk about everything so priotities were made and by and large I agree with their choices. The section focusing on current feminist action and the suggestions were both lovely in the fact they were included in the first place (in my opinion, too many texts are critical but no constructive, this book does a wonderful job at constructive) and in their content. They focused on actions and ideas appropriate for a range of age groups and involving groups and effort levels of different sizes. So if you're reading this as a 15 year old who can't go on marches and it busy studying and spending time with your family there are still suggestions on how you can make a different within your school and through online activity. All in all, this book is actually something I think we're long overdue for. A good solid introduction to contemporary feminism that I would feel comfortable handing over to any person, any age, race, gender, sexuality etc. to answer the question "why do we still need feminism?" or "What is feminism about?" Now, there were two little, and I mean miniscule, things that really niggled me. They don't take away from what I said above but I think they bear mentioning. At one point we're told polyamory and wife swapping are the same. I think the term wife swapping has many negative connotations that I wouldn't want to associate with polyamory. Swinging, the movement which has grown out of polyamory, tends to involve couples who are emotionally commited only to each other but who have sex outside of that relationship, which is fine, but polyamory is as much about emotional non-monogamy at sexual. It's about not limiting yourself to loving only one person but being open to loving as many people as you like. Other little niggle - as a side note it's said that GM crops have negative health risks. THEY DO NOT. As a geneticist is drives me crazy. There's something very big with GM crops and that is that companies are not allowed to sell fertile seed. Of course, the companies don't complain too much about it as it means the farmers have to re-buy the seed every year which is what's wrong in the current system of GM crops. There are no known health risks associated with GM crops but in part in response to the massive public panic attack about them there are incredibly tight controls on fertile seed. There are massive benefits to be gained from GM crop, particularly to poor comunities living in hard to farm land, but these benefits won't be realised until we stop panicing and let fertile GM seed enter the market.

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