Saturday, 24 December 2016

Blogmas Day 24 // Feminist Lit // Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

It's the last day of Blogmas! I would like to say that I consider this endeavour to be quite successful. I had a tiny slip up when I forgot about Day 22 but I'll still have 24 blog posts by the end of this and I'm rather pleased. Hopefully this will encourage me to keep up with blogging in the new year, especially as it's one of my targets to upload at least three posts every month in 2017. I hope you've enjoyed reading my Blogmas posts everyday this month and I will see you in January!

For today's FemLit upload I'll be reviewing/discussing Peggery Orenstein's Girls & Sex. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and picked it up quite quickly after receiving it. Essentially, in this book Orenstein interviews American girls about their experience with sex and has compiled it into this volume where she discusses the problems or issues that the girls came up with regularly. I think this book was really interesting and I definitely feel like it was worth the read, I believe I gave it 3 or 4 stars.

The main problem I had with this book was that although titled Girls & Sex, it only focused on American girls. Indeed, Orenstein included a range of white, black, latino, straight, gay, bi girls within the book, but they were all American. I was hoping for a more global approach to the topic. However, I understand that to cover the whole globe in one book is a lot of work and would've probably resulted in a much larger book that may have been a bit denser to read.

Other than that slight issue, I thought this book was well executed. Most of it was made from anecdotes from the girls and it was interesting to hear them explore their sexual experiences and decipher whether their experiences were sexist or non-consensual. One of my favourite sections was the chapter focused on aural sex and the standard that a blow job is nothing compared to going down on a girl. Many of the girls said that the blow job is the new third base which surprised me, slightly, and I think that if this was compared to other countries we could see how far this idea has spread. I found this interesting, particularly as we see interacting with women's genitals to be much more intimate than a man's. I'm not too sure what to make of that.

Some of it was quite hard to read as this book does contain issues such as rape and other forms of sexual harassment. Although difficult to read, this was still important and Orenstein initiated a great discussion on what needs to be done about the rape issue - whether it's alcohol consumption of both parties or solely to do with social standards and behaviour.

I think this book was important and quite a good information base for what really happens with university sex. Another good element is that Orenstein is quite neutral throughout this book. She lays the facts out and rarely gives a strong opinion regarding the facts. Sometimes this infuriated me because after hearing a terrible story you'd want her to rant it out, but this book has self-control and I think it made it much more cohesive than being biased with opinion. It made the book a lot more factual than opinionated which probably gives it more weight if you want to use it academically.

Definitely would recommend. Please check it out.

Happy reading,
Amelia x

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