Book Corner: “He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know”

Title: He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know
Author(s): Jessica Valenti
Pages: 320
Year: 2009
Apple iBooks Link

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This is one of the very first feminist books I ever read. I learned about the author, Jessica Valenti, for her work on Feministing.com, one of the best known U.S.-based feminist blogs. The premise of the book is simple: it runs through 50 different double standards that adversely affect women. 

Although the book is nearly a decade old, it holds up surprisingly well. A common stereotype about feminists are that they “take things too seriously,” and this book does a great job at  explaining why many of these innocent-seeming double standards are indicative of broader issues of misogyny.

A common critique of Jessica Valenti is that her writing caters too heavily toward white, middle class women and does not aim to encompass a broader subset of the population. I would not go as far as to pejoratively label this book as case study on “white feminism“, it could have done a better job at being intersectional. Future works of Valenti’s (such as Yes Means Yes! A Vision of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape) show her own growth.

I do have a small issue with the title: “He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.” I critique this not to whine in a #notallmen-style, but to point that the double standards within this book are worthwhile for people of all genders to acknowledge.

Somewhere I have a physical copy of the book, although I recently downloaded it onto my iPad. The physical copy I own is a bit beaten up because of how many times I have loaned it to personal friends looking to learn a bit more about the basics of feminism. I genuinely enjoyed rereading such an informative book!