I’d like to add a title to the Remedial Feminist Reading List, as well as to the OK, So I’ve Blamed The Patriarchy; What The Fuck Am I Supposed To Do Now? list, and to the Books You Must Do Everything In Your Power To Make Sure Your Teenage Daughter Reads Before Leaving For College And Preferably Several Years Before That list.
“Christ,” you’re probably thinking, preparing to be simultaneously angry, depressed, and frustrated, “she’s gonna start in on Dworkin’s Intercourse again.”
Nope, not this time, Paco. Today I allude to Amanda Marcotte’s hilarious and instructive It’s A Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments. It just came out the other day, or last month or something, so I like to flatter myself that I am among the first of the spinster aunts to put it on even one reading list, much less three.
Jungle isn’t dry radical feminist theory, which is what you always get here; it’s practical advice for living the simple feminist life in Boo-Ya Nation 2008, which you never get here.
Such as how to “run off” various species of assholes (MRAs, guys who see you as a “challenge,” Nice Guy Tee-Ems, etc) from your midst. Amanda’s big on running people off, and has figured out how to maximize results with minimum effort. For example, she observes that you can run off both Playboy fanboys AND Libertarians merely by telling them that you are a feminist. This, she says, is “kryptonite.”
She also suggests you can “fake your own death.”
Other topics: what to do when confronted with The Clenis; prank calls you can make to compulsory pregnancy “crisis centers; whether to out a given homophobe fuckwad politician; how to foil Girls Gone Wild. She even addresses the hot-button feminist footwear issue.
Also, because the book’s target audience is young enough to still care about it, and because those poor straight girls who want some kind of sex and/or romantic life are stuck choosing from a pool compromised by privilege and status, Amanda’s got heterosexual dating advice (with lesbo parentheticals where applicable). What if you find out you’re dating a guy who has internalized the Hollywood romantic comedy message, or a guy who “thinks that the female equivalent to being a sports fan is liking shoes,” or a Nice Guy TM?
Once a Nice Guy has slid into racist fetishizing, he is usually unsalvageable. The best thing you can do is wait until he brings home potential mail-order brides from Russia and slip them pamphlets explaining how to get a green card outside of marrying a Nice Guy.
I particularly enjoyed her skewering of the antifeminist feminists, such as the i-Feminists, the Concerned Feminist Pearl-Clutchers of America, the “equity” feminists, and Camille fucking Paglia, can I get an A-men. Camille fucking Paglia, the feminist even a liberal pornsick male can love.
Jungle is all jokes, but it isn’t all jokey. Contained therein is some primo patriarchy-blaming. She takes on PETA, Hollywood, abstinence-only “education,” the famous anti-Girl Scout backlash, and plenty more. No, it’s not a lesbian separatist revolutionary tract, but I pity the hardcore radfem who doesn’t get a bang out this book.
OK, so the cover has Lorna the Jungle Girl, a Marvel Comics dudefantasy character with a poised-for-funk-filled-bratwurst O-shaped mouth and a body that makes Barbie look like an unreconstructed mastectomy patient. This would not have been my pick. But I’m still putting a copy in the Twisty Bungalow Reading Room (i.e. the guest bath).
As an aside: in her book Amanda invokes the term “patriarchy-blaming.” Now that it’s appeared in print in a book labeled “POLITICS/HUMOR,” “patriarchy-blaming” is well on its way to mainstream acceptance. That’s right; it’s only a matter of time until “patriarchy-blamer” gets co-opted by antifeminist pussy cops to mean something like “bleached-blonde submissive in a chastity belt.”