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Sex Object: A Memoir
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Published:
Dey Street Books 2016
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

New York Times Bestseller

NPR Great Read of 2016

"Sharp and prescient... The appeal of Valenti's memoir lies in her ability to trace objectification through her own life, and to trace what was for a long time her own obliviousness to it...Sex Object is an antidote to the fun and flirty feminism of selfies and self-help." New Republic

Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential.

Sex Object explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti's adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable feminists of her generation.

In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, this literary memoir is sure to shock those already familiar with Valenti's work and enthrall those who are just finding it.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/07/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062435101
ASIN:
B015CYFEX6
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jessica Valenti. (2016). Sex Object: A Memoir. Dey Street Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jessica Valenti. 2016. Sex Object: A Memoir. Dey Street Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jessica Valenti, Sex Object: A Memoir. Dey Street Books, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jessica Valenti. Sex Object: A Memoir. Dey Street Books, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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        Jessica Valenti is the author of four previous books on feminism and politics, and editor of the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. The founder of Feministing.com and a columnist for the Guardian US, her articles have topped the most-read lists at the Atlantic, the Washington Post, The Nation, and the Guardian US. She has also written for the New York Times, Salon, American Prospect, Bitch, Ms. Magazine, and The Toast. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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New York Times Bestseller

NPR Great Read of 2016

"Sharp and prescient... The appeal of Valenti's memoir lies in her ability to trace objectification through her own life, and to trace what was for a long time her own obliviousness to it...Sex Object is an antidote to the fun and flirty feminism of selfies and self-help." New Republic

Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential.

Sex Object explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti's adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable...

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title
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fullDescription

New York Times Bestseller

NPR Great Read of 2016

"Sharp and prescient... The appeal of Valenti's memoir lies in her ability to trace objectification through her own life, and to trace what was for a long time her own obliviousness to it...Sex Object is an antidote to the fun and flirty feminism of selfies and self-help." New Republic

Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential.

Sex Object explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti's adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable feminists of her generation.

In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, this literary memoir is sure to shock those already familiar with Valenti's work and enthrall those who are just finding it.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Nation
      • content: "Powerful...incredibly readable... she wants to take us back to a place of telling stories."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: "This aching account of attempting to live, date and work while female is a brave admission of vulnerability."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian
      • content: "A bold undertaking... consciousness raising. Valenti is one of America's best-known and often divisive feminists."
      • premium: False
      • source: Salon
      • content: "Valenti writes in impressively honest detail."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bust Magazine
      • content: "Valenti uses the personal to shed light on a universally female political problem. There is an awakening that happens as a woman reading this book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bustle
      • content: "[Valenti's] memories are relatable and raise important questions about how society treats and views women."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "An entertaining and shocking memoir from a leading feminist writer."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ezra Klein, Vox
      • content: "Amazing...a profoundly raw and honest book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Harper's Bazaar
      • content: "A powerful literary memoir that expertly makes the case for feminism today."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Powerful.. more than the sum of its parts... a bold and unflinching road map of Valenti's journey to become the woman she is."
      • premium: False
      • source: O Magazine
      • content: "A zesty, zeitgeisty memoir."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jill Soloway, writer, producer, creator of the Emmy-winning show Transparent
      • content: "Jessica Valenti is widely known as a feminist leader- with this stunningly brave and often funny memoir, we get a chance to know her as a human being. This is an incredibly powerful book. I can't recommend it loudly enough."
      • premium: False
      • source: Irin Carmon, New York Times bestselling author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
      • content: "Adrienne Rich wrote, 'When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.' In Sex Object, Jessica Valenti tells her truth with stunning vulnerability and courage, defying easy answers and daring us to look away. You won't forget it."
      • premium: False
      • source: Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
      • content: "Deeply moving, honest, and unflinching, Sex Object secures Jessica Valenti's place as one of the foremost writers and thinkers of her generation. Her personal story highlights universal truths about being a woman, and makes the case for why feminism today is an unstoppable force."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jamil Smith, Senior National Correspondent, MTV News
      • content: "Jessica Valenti's powerful personal story offers unique perspective on how sexism and patriarchy manifest themselves in the daily lives of American women. Sex Object is a necessary read for women and men alike."
      • premium: False
      • source: AV Club
      • content: "I began reading Jessica Valenti's Sex Object before the most recent tape (as of this writing) leaked of a presidential candidate bragging about sexually assaulting women for fun, but there could hardly be a better validation for the subject."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 14, 2016
        Reviewed by Laura Bates., Who would I be if I didn’t live in a world that hated women?” asks Valenti, founder of the website Feministing, in the introduction to her new memoir. In a confident and compelling volume that sweeps readers along from her childhood in Queens, N.Y., to her experiences of motherhood and her career as a celebrated feminist writer, Valenti attempts to answer the question—not by imagining that other “version of myself that never existed” but by setting out a bold and unflinching road map of her journey to becoming the woman she is. , Valenti has a knack for making the mundane moments in her life startling and the shocking ones routine, which is exactly what is needed in a book that seeks to force its readers to reevaluate the norms of sexism and sexual violence that have become our wallpaper without our even noticing. Her style is fluid and engaging, drawing the reader in with deftly drawn anecdotes and demonstrating different insidious forms of gender inequality through the vivid recreation of her own lived experience., The choice to order the book nonchronologically, starting with the description of her first abortion and jumping between childhood taunts and marital pressures, between her own experiences and those of her mother and grandmother, is a powerful decision that allows the stories to breathe. Valenti is offering something that is more than the sum of its parts. By presenting these vivid snapshots in a messy and disjointed way she invites the reader to examine the gendered implications of each episode, the better to understand their cumulative impact on her as a woman. , In many places, the anecdotes speak eloquently for themselves. Occasionally (as in the description of her mother’s offer to talk with her about birth control as “a well-meaning lie”) the lack of context can become frustrating for readers, leaving some sketches feeling like empty examples of a wider point we haven’t quite made out. , Valenti is at her best when she combines memoir and feminist analysis in a way that feels enlightening and unforced—for example, in the chapter where she allows herself the space fully to explore her own discomfort and socialized guilt at the come-ons of a married male friend, and takes us with her as she comes to the realization that “it makes me feel disgusting and cheap—even though it was not me who said the cheap thing.”, Valenti’s book is a memoir and as such a very specific story of her own unique experience. It might not, therefore, be considered a vehicle to establish wider conclusions about the systemic effects of misogyny across a spectrum of different women’s lives. But as a memoir, it is enough that it tells one woman’s story, and in its unwavering bravery, it is powerful enough to stand alone. Her descriptions of harassment, sexism, and sexual assault embody the truth she articulates in her first chapter: “Recognizing suffering is not giving up and it’s not weak.” It is strong, and it does an important service for others who suffer too. (June), Laura Bates is author of the forthcoming book Everyday Sexism (St. Martin’s/Dunne, Apr.).

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2016
        A new memoir from the Guardian columnist and "professional feminist.""Who would I be if I didn't live in a world that hated women?" asks Valenti (Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness, 2012, etc.). As she skips around through her memories, the author does include some examples of unpleasant encounters with men: the guys who whistled at her or rubbed up against her in subways as she was growing up in Queens, New York; the college boyfriend who indulged in a nasty species of revenge after they broke up; the high school teacher who said that he would give her an A if she gave him a hug; the married friend who expressed sexual interest in her. On the other hand, Valenti, who admits that she overindulged in alcohol and cocaine for years, acting on the theory that "cocaine let me drink as much as I wanted without passing out or embarrassing myself," seems to be at least partially responsible for some of her own suffering. When she notes, "I cheated on almost all my boyfriends with regularity and without remorse," it's difficult to give her much sympathy when she complains about a boyfriend who was chronically half an hour late for everything. The sections of the memoir that deal with the premature birth of her daughter, her difficulty bonding with the infant, and her daughter's selective mutism are touching, but they are not concerned with pain caused by the hatred of men; Valenti has not a word of complaint about her "lovely" feminist husband. The author ends the book with pages of insulting or demeaning emails and Facebook posts directed toward her, an odd choice since it gives the last word to her critics. Ultimately, the scattered narrative includes some jaw-dropping scenes but fails to live up to its provocative premise. Though lively and richly detailed, Valenti's work lacks the self-awareness essential to a memoir worth pondering.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2016
        A "Guardian US" columnist who merits one million page views a month, Valenti founded Feministing.com in 2004. Here, she uses moments in her own life to reflect on women's lives today. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
A Memoir
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publisher
Dey Street Books
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