Sex Object

Sex Object

A Memoir

Book - 2016
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New York Times Bestseller

"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

Hailed by the Washington Post as "one of the most visible and successful feminists of her generation," Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a memoir that Publishers Weekly calls "bold and unflinching," Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes on women's lives, from the everyday to the existential. From subway gropings and imposter syndrome to sexual awakenings and motherhood, Sex Object reveals the painful, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti's adolescence and young adulthood in New York City.

In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, Sex Object is a profoundly moving tour de force that is bound to shock those already familiar with Valenti's work, and enthrall those who are just finding it.

Publisher: New York, NY : Dey Street Books, 2016
ISBN: 9780062435088
9780062435095
Branch Call Number: 305.42 VAL 2016
Characteristics: 204 pages

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WoodneathTaylor
Jun 01, 2019

Jessica Valentin's memoir is a great addition to any feminist collection. It's fast paced with short chapters so one could easily read this in a weekend.

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TeaFloyd
Mar 02, 2019

While her experiences are valid, its hard say its good representation of women who struggle with being labeled as "sex objects" .

Her memoir goes from her learning about her mother's experience with sexual violence and then it goes into how naive she was about the topic in middle school and how she didn't think boys can like her for anything other than her personality. It hard to tell if this part was told out of order or if she completely ignored her mother as a child.

Alot of her experiences could also be easily labeled as her fault. Excluding the perverts on the trains, catcallers and whatnot. Her dating older men, losing friends because of her boy obsession, sleeping around, etc. Its hard to not label a woman a sex object if she treats herself like one.

This book should focus less on women being sex objects and her experiences. It should focused on how she fought it respect herself after putting herself in positions that caused men to objectify her, cause that's pretty much what happens.

I never done anything she has done. I've always been a goody two shoes who practices abstinence. Despite this, I still get objectified because my pear shaped body. When I picked this book up, I was hoping to read about a woman who respected herself and struggled with objectification, not about a woman who cries about being a sex object after casually doing sex acts for dudes she barely dated.

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GB2016
Jan 24, 2019

This is a disappointing book written in a less than attentive narrative style and NOT a series of "essays" as another reviewer wrote.

This author is clearly angry admits it embraces a PTSD label and is unable to accept, despite all of her unfortunate decisions which she early on claims to be aware of the consequences of, her role in becoming a mother. Hopefully her writing style will mature.

Easily read in under an hour.

esgouliaras Nov 12, 2018

An eye-opening read. I was exposed to so many situations of harassment that shocked and angered me. It is empowering to read though, because to see this author express her experience is to have a voice and to represent all the voiceless out there who have experienced sexism, sexual assault and violence.

ArapahoeKati Mar 29, 2017

Blunt. Funny. Awkward. Honest. Important. Eye-opening. And definitely not sugar-coating how men treat women in our society.

KateHillier Mar 13, 2017

A series of essay by one of the US's prominent feminist voices. It's an uncomfortable read that reminds me just how lucky I am to either have not been exposed to or not noticed what a lot of women do experience daily. The things there that I have experienced or relate a bit more directly to make me angry and this is probably the first book of this type that allows the reader to feel hate and resignation. It's certainly not as upbeat as other works but that's okay and just as necessary.

There are several powerful essays here. The final third perhaps having the most. The book's end inclusion of a sample of Valenti's emails and twitter mentions is also horrifying and rage inducing. It's hard out there being a woman, on the internet or not, and no one deserves that kind of vitriol thrown at them.

JCLMELODYK Sep 28, 2016

Five fat stars for honesty. Her experiences as an adolescent in New York City makes me ever so grateful for my small-town childhood. New York - you can take your culture and energy and fantastic food and all of it along with the disgusting subway experiences and street harassment. I'll stroll down main street in my little village of 1000 people and read all about you at my public library.

What unites all women though are our experiences with men who think women exist for their convenience and pleasure. I was reminded of things in my youth - the inappropriate comments from that one creepy dad, the much older, equally creepy dud that asks you out the month after you turn 18.... but what separates me from Valenti is the intentional relationships with deplorable men or at the very least uninteresting men. Was this because of her struggles with mental illness? Is there some parallel between substance abuse and these pitiful relationships? It made me very sad. And after reading Sweetbitter and Love Me Back, two memoirish novels, Valenti isn't the only young woman deserving of so much more than they themselves allow.

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lukasevansherman
Sep 14, 2016

"All women live in objectification the way fish live in water."-Catherine A. MacKinnon
I hesitate to review this because as a white, straight male, my collective voice is too often drowning out conversations on race, gender, sexuality, and just about everything else. So please take this review with a grain of salt. I had decidedly mixed feelings about "Sex Object." Jessica Valenti wrote "Full Frontal Feminism," is a columnist for "The Guardian" and founded the website Feministing.com. Her new book joins a growing number of feminist memoirs/essays, which also includes "Shrill," "Bad Feminist," "Men Explain Things to Me," and "The Argonauts." Of those, Valenti's is the most autobiographical (It is billed as a memoir) and also the most flawed. As someone who is not really a fan of the memoir, perhaps I'm not the right audience. I appreciated her insights about gender and the constant and noxious sexism she's dealt with, but I was less interested in some of the graphic details of her sex life and drug addiction. Despite its flaws, an important read for anyone concerned about these issues.

ArapahoeAlison Sep 08, 2016

A must read for every woman or girl. I loved her humor as she discussed growing up as a teen in the wilds of NYC. It tackles big subjects like harassment, objectification, and motherhood with humor, candor, and originality.

s
singasong70
Aug 19, 2016

Reading it but found nothing remarkable so far; sex is sex, not particularly rewarding when used as a bargaining chip later on. Use of the "F" word makes me think the author's angry about something, could it be sex while still a child? Would love to read her memoirs when in her 70s especially.

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