Julie Zeilinger (author); A LITTLE F'D UP; Seal Press (Children's: Young Adult Nonfiction) 16.00 ISBN: 9781580053716
Byline: Elizabeth Millard
It seems that every few years, feminism gets a new literary paint job. We're now in the era of "third wave" feminism, with a strong focus on criticism of gender stereotypes and media portrayals of women. In academic circles, this wave involves elements like postcolonial theory, ecofeminism, transgender politics, and queer theory.
Although discussions centering around those themes are useful to pursue, first-time author Julie Zeilinger prefers a different route: focusing on the essentials of female empowerment and appealing to the young women who will form a crucial "fourth wave" before long.
She talks to these teenagers like she's one of them because she is. She begins her witty book with: "So. I'm a teenager and I wrote a book. And not just any book. A book about feminism. What kind of obviously pretentious and generally ridiculous teen does that?" The answer: a very talented one.
Zeilinger's wry, conversational style works exceedingly well at making her opinions and research accessible to a wide audience, particularly young adults. She titles a chapter on feminist pioneers "The Badasses Who Came Before Us" and breaks down complicated milestones like the Equal Pay Act and Roe v. Wade. She's not afraid to throw swear words around, but she also elevates...