Are you looking for a great book for that special feminist someone this year? I have the book for you– Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All by Jaclyn Friedman. Even better news, TynanRhea.com is hosting a book giveaway for the holidays! Just comment on this blog why you need feminist literature, and I will enter your name into a draw. On Dec 16th I will draw a winner, and reply to that winners comment on the blog. When you see you’ve won, e-mail your shipping address and voila! A book fairy will blow glitter into the wind and a book will arrive via Canada Post.
Here are 6 reasons why I loved this book:
1. Friedman is not afraid to be critical of both our sex-negative and shaming culture and the sex-positive movement. I knew this book was going to be good by the second page when I read that Friedman doesn’t “identify with the “sex-positive” movement, despite dedicating [her] career to improving the way we fuck.”
2. I’m never guessing what Friedman is trying to say. Her writing is clear, concise, and not so academic or cerebral that my anger is lost in theory. It’s honest, raw, and supported with good evidence.
3. There is a significant amount of race and queer politics throughout the book, showcasing the works of women of colour, including indigenous women, trans women, and queer folks.
4. There are plenty of Canadian shout outs! Whether is was looking at Canadian statistics, organisations, or researchers. I could actually see myself and my communities reflected in Friedman’s book.
5. Every chapter starts with describing the problem and ends with hope. Friedman highlights work happening across Canada and the United States focused on undoing the damage of things like toxic masculinity, body shaming, and oppressive messages about women and sex.
6. Friedman tackles all the big topics on sex and gender: growing research on women’s sexuality, sexual representations of women in the media, sex work, sex and religion, men and masculinity, and more.
This book is an important addition to the on-going conversation about sex and gender. I’ve been dreaming of a book like this. I found it’s critiques accurate and validating. Having said that, this book did not (and could not) cover every nook and cranny of gender and sexuality (for example, as a nonbinary person who was raised as a woman, this book was important for me though not exactly for me) and there were many chapters and sections I would have liked to seen expanded on (such as some of the sections on sex work). This book does keep the conversation going and is a refreshing update on the climate of sexuality and gender in North America.
Leave your comments under the post and win a chance to spread the word (or gift it to yourself!)
NOTE TO TROLLS: if you write something obnoxious, sexist, racist, ableist, transphobic, queerphobic or any other kind of ism, ist, or phobic, your comment will not be posted and you will not be entered into the draw for obvious reasons (though perhaps you are the most desperately in need of this literature).
*The photo of Jaclyn Friedman in this post was taken by Ashton Lyle and taken from jaclynfriedman.com.