New review: He’s a stud, she’s a slut?

// 7 May 2008

Men get angry; women get PMS. Single men are bachelors; single women are spinsters. Jess McCabe wonders how Jessica Valenti limited herself to 49 examples of the double standard

book coverWhen sceptics claim that feminism has done its job and it’s time to pack away the banners and go home, one of the easiest comebacks is to list some of the ways that the rules are applied differently to men and women. So it is no wonder that Jessica Valenti took the double standard as the backbone of her second book.

He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know is an accomplished and witty guide through some of the many ways that women and girls lose out in Western society. Of course, it focuses on the experience of living in the US, but many of the examples transfer over with relative ease to the UK.

Valenti uses her experience as a blogger (she founded to craft short, sharp and digestible chapters. It is an undemanding read – you can flick through and choose a double standard at random – say, “he’s angry, she’s PMSing”. You are presented with a few pages at most of wry and sarcastic analysis of the issue at hand, often served with a dish of personal experience. In this case:

“I had a boyfriend not so long ago who, whenever we got into an argument, would accuse me of ‘going soap opera’. ‘Here comes Telemundo!’ he’d shout. His (clearly gendered and vaguely racist) insult was supposed to make me feel my anger wasn’t valid – that I was frivolous and silly; that I was being overly-dramatic.”

Read on here

Comments From You

Juliet // Posted 8 May 2008 at 2:28 pm

It depends what the argument’s about of course, but I find that staying calm, not getting personal, and pointing out handy facts wins the day. Then they can’t dismiss you as hysterical or overly sensitive. This is far from easy, of course, and it won’t always be possible! But all I had to do to shut up my husband’s hideous father when he was going on about women drivers was to calmly point out that women drivers got lower insurance rates because they had considerably fewer accidents than male drivers. He was left fuming – and SILENT!!!

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