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Female Chauvinist Pigs

Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture

Today's young women seem to be outdoing the male chauvinist pigs of yesteryear, applauding the 'pornification' of other women, and themselves. This is a world where simulating sex for baying crowds of men on shows like Girls Gone Wild and going to lapdancing clubs - as patrons - is seen as a short cut to cool. Ariel Levy says the joke's on the women if they think this is progress. She tears apart the myth of this new brand of 'empowered woman' and refuses a culture-wide obligation for women to act and look like porn stars. This terrifically witty and wickedly intelligent book makes the case that the rise of raunch does not represent how far women have come - it proves only how far women have left to go.

Group Reading Guide

Female Chauvinist Pigs discussion questions:
  1. Try to define raunch culture. What are some examples you've noticed? What are the values expressed in raunch culture?

  2. Levy asserts that raunch is not essentially progressive, it's essentially commercial. Do you agree with her?

  3. To what extent do you, or people you know, participate in raunch culture? Has this book made you reconsider any of your habits or assumptions?

  4. Is there anything positive about raunch culture? Are there ways in which it demonstrates women's success?

  5. How does the rise of raunch affect teenagers? Can education help them cope with the messages about sex they find in media and entertainment?

  6. How do you think we should be educating young people about sexuality? Is this something best taught in school or at home?

  7. If you had a daughter, or if you have one, what would or do you tell her about sex? If you had a son, or if you have one, are those messages different?

  8. What does feminism mean to you and what influence does feminism have on your life? Has it always had the same value to you, or has it meant different things at different times?

  9. What do you think would be the single most empowering thing that could happen to women? Electing a female president? Seeing a female anchorwoman on television? The passage of the ERA? What did the women's movement leave unfinished?

  10. What does it mean to you to be "like a man?" Or "like a woman?" Is there any such thing? Do you believe there are any inherently female or essentially male traits?

  11. What would you ask or say to a friend who had decided to "transition" from female to male?

  12. What are your thoughts on cosmetic surgery? Do you feel it is something people take too lightly? Is it an expression of a vain and shallow culture or is it something positive people can do to improve their looks and self image? Or does it depend upon the context?

  13. What can we do to make progress? What are some positive ways for women to pursue freedom and power?
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (June 19, 2006)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416526384