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Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy

Imposters

A review by Larissa N. Dooley

In an age when porn star Jenna Jameson's memoir climbs the best-seller list, Olympic athletes pose naked for Playboy, mothers bring their daughters to "cardio striptease" classes at the local gym, and primetime TV features the Victoria's Secret fashion show — that is, in an age of raunch culture — women are claiming to be more liberated than ever.

In her first book, Ariel Levy exposes this sense of liberation as being as phony as the breasts that over 260,000 women in this country had implanted in themselves last year. Instead of working to elevate the status of the female, Levy argues, women have opted to become "one of the guys." In a particularly "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality, the new brand of chauvinist pig is female, and she exploits herself, as well as other women.

Observe the (heterosexual) female chauvinist pig's two key modes of behavior: she fulfills the stereotype of a woman herself, flaunting big boobs in little...



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Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

The scores of most competitions aren't recorded in the light bulbs of a scoreboard, and no buzzer announces the end of the game. Most competitions take place outside the easily readable arena of sports with their immediately identifiable teammates. Most of the time, the stakes are much higher....


Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! a Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR by Jeff Macgregor

For the uninitiated, NASCAR can seem a set of baffling unknowables -- or just 300,000 rednecks in the grandstand, braying at death-frenzied hayseeds. Lacking the pastoral sophistication of baseball or the strategy of football, for as many adherents NASCAR claims (around 75 million) there are...


My Last Sigh by Luis Bunuel

In an appropriately poetic end to a tirelessly creative life, Luis Buñuel (whose ashes, curiously enough, are still missing) finished this autobiography just before his death in 1983. Buñuel's work was visionary, his approach was unique, and his films were incomparable...


Subtitles: On the Foreignness of Film by Atom Egoyan and Ian Balfour

Not unlike the lack of translated works in our bookstores, the dearth of foreign films in our theatres speaks volumes about our cultural isolationism. With this lovingly edited and designed collection, filmmaker Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Ararat) and literature professor Ian Balfour...


City of Nets (86 Edition) by Otto Friedrich

Otto Friedrich's City of Nets is littered with bodies: somebodies, nobodies, congressional bodies, bodies of work, and even corpses. Hollywood from 1939 to 1950 -- the period covered in this 20-year-old book -- had scandals that make US Weekly and Star seem school-marmish by comparison. A few ...


The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film by Michael Ondaatje

In The Conversations, novelist Michael Ondaatje speaks with legendary film editor Walter Murch, the man who cut such landmark films as The Conversation, The Godfather I and II, and Apocalypse Now, as well as last year's Jarhead. Playing off of each other, the two men free-associate their...



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