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He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know [Paperback]

Jessica Valenti
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 6 2008
Double standards are nothing new. Women deal with them every day. Take the common truism that women who sleep around are sluts while men are studs. Why is it that men grow distinguished and sexily gray as they age while women just get saggy and haggard? Have you ever wondered how a young woman is supposed to both virginal and provocatively enticing at the same time? Isn't it unfair that working moms are labeled "bad" for focusing on their careers while we shake our heads indisbelief when we hear about the occasional stay-at-home dad?

In He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism, calls out the double standards that affect every woman. Whether Jessica is pointing out the wage earning discrepancies between men and women or revealing all of the places that women still aren't equal to their male counterparts-be it in the workplace, courtroom, bedroom, or home-she maintains her signature wittily sarcastic tone. With sass, humor, and in-your-face facts, this book informs and equips women with the tools they need to combat sexist comments, topple ridiculousstereotypes (girls aren't good at math?), and end the

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He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know + The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IF YOU HAVE A VAGINA, chances are someone has called you a slut at least once in your life. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The worst thing to be is a girl Nov. 8 2009
Valentini's book brings us back to the basics. I feel so used to our daily life that this book bring back these issues into light again. Friendly writing for all audience, feels like it's just an old friend talking to you. A solutions is also offered at the end of each issue, which is extremely useful to apply to everyday life. From the wage gap, labels that were apply to women, to last name changes etc. As the book title, the general audience are women, but I believe this book is a must read for every one, no matter sex, age, background, race,or religion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book Feb. 4 2014
By Mina J.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Valenti is a great writer, very passionate and straight to the point. These double standards are supported with evidence and are sadly still prevalent in our society today. A great awareness tool for any young woman!
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good. Nov. 8 2012
Half the stuff in here isnt true, the other half is 50/50 men/womens fault.
there theres stuff missing like for example
the sterotype implied on the title of the book...

shouldnt men know this stuff too? or should we continue to raise our sons in this cycle...

Theres far FAR FAR better books on the topic. its very biased and even women would do better to find
other books with greater value at the same price.

also, the stuff in this book is freely available information through google, youll be surprised.
I wonder if google is the real author of this book...

its trash.

Those praising it definatly dont have a clue.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
152 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REALLY good stuff! May 22 2008
By WichacpiHoskila - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not being sarcastic at all--I'm a male reader, and I found this book to be REALLY insightful stuff. I also found double-standard #51: that these are double standards that WOMEN should know. Shouldn't men know these too? I mean, I'm trying to raise my two sons with better insights than the blueprint for sexist privilege they are being handed to them every darned DAY, and I want them to see past it. So right there in the title--BAM!--another unintended double-standard. This stuff's just as integral for men to consider.

Jessica Valenti's writing style is snappy, fun to read, and yet very good at disturbing the reader with insights that are dead-on but easily overlooked in our culture. I've followed the feministing website (which Jessica Valenti contributes to) for some time now, and I am constantly fascinated by the sheer amount of research and information that they find. I'm also disheartened by how often her work is dismissed as "thought police" or "hysteria"--but then, that's exactly what she's getting at in this book: male privilege allows (us) men to mouth off on TV, talk radio, and pretty much every other form of media about OUR interests, but women who do the same are labeled "guy bashing" or worse, simply for acting like actually free people. Books like this one are powerful documentaries about that dynamic, which is taken for granted to the point that those who call it out are usually personally scolded for it. All the more reason why Valenti's contribution is integral.

Oh, this is really interesting, to Jessica personally: you know that part where you mentioned seeing your childhood tormentor, Eleena, talking about her own issues on TV? As amazing as this is, I know EXACTLY who you are talking about. I wonder, do you see her on-screen confessional as a sign of hope, or head-smacking "Jeez, how can she not even get this?"
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Girls Aug. 9 2008
By Toni R. Tatro - Published on
Despite what you may think, this book doesn't just focus on double standards where women get the short end of the stick. It also talks about the crap these double standards cause men. The only critism I can think of is that #46 "He's Childless, She's Selfish" had a title that was misleading. I thought it was going to talk about how childfree women are considered selfish because apparently having kids is the only way women can contribute to society, society doesn't think twice about childfree men. Instead it talked about how single mothers are "selfish." While I agree what she was talking about there, I thought the title was misleading and she should have touched on childfree women as well.
44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must read for anyone who notices the "differences" between the sexes April 30 2008
By Alik - Published on
He's a Stud, She's a Slut was worth the wait. I think Valenti did a much better job with this book than with Full Frontal Feminism and this new book is a lot more approachable for women and men of all ages. Valenti does cover a lot of the more obvious double standards but she also sheds some light on some more pervasive attacks against women and details how some thing which on the surface seemed more geared towards attacking men, also set some unattainable standards for women.

The only real problem I have with this book is the "So... What to do?" section at the end of every chapter basically boils down to "Stop _____. Seriously." I think Valenti could have put more practical solutions to these everyday problems or put in more resources that have some ideas for solutions.

Overall He's a Stud, She's a Slut is great take on sexism and I'll be passing it around to all my friends.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tackling the double standard - SPEAK OUT! March 10 2013
By Crystal Starr Light - Published on
I think I finally get it. I think I finally understand what it is about Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters and "He's a Stud" that bugs me.

You know how you go to a party and maybe your friend came in with this loud, obnoxious person? And in order to spend time with your friend (and being an introvert, you hate parties anyway) you must spend time with this obnoxious person? And you realize that everything about you and your friend's companion is opposite and there is NO WAY unless hell freezes over you will be friends? So you stand around, listening politely while the other person shoots off at the mouth, saying things you agree with, but you find yourself almost immediately inwardly opposing?

Well, that's how Valenti and I are. She's got some great ideas, but the way she writes totally grates on me. Little to no research or references, a too-casual approach, tons of f-bombs and lots of goofy, supposedly funny comments to more serious topics. Some people are going to adore this frank discussion; they are going to learn oodles from it. They are going to love how relaxed and carefree Jessica Valenti is.

But when I open a non-fiction book, I want professionalism. I want to see a big, fat Bibliography with lots of references - weblinks AND books, magazines, periodicals. I want a certain tone in the writing. I don't mind some anger, but I want some attempt at objectivity.

This time around, Valenti tackles the double standard. How guys can be ugly, but women have to be gorgeous. How men want careers, and women want marriage and kids. How guys can have frequent sex, but women are called prostitutes. And Valenti attempts to provide solutions to each one.

If you have been a woman not secluded in the Andes mountains, you are well aware of most of these double standards already. So this book might be more interesting for the research/solution portions. Or, I supposed, the "humor" part.

But here's where I start having problems.

1) There are 50 of these double standards, but in a sense, there are much fewer as several overlap. Two are so intimately tied (18 & 46) that Valenti uses the same quote in both and even slightly references the title of 18 in 46. Not to mention, due to the size of the book, a mere 4 pages tops is given to each double standard and that is with a whole page typically dedicated to a "solution". Honestly, I would rather have Valenti condensed these hypocrisies down into as few as possible (10? 12? 5?) and spent MORE time going into depth on each one.

2) If you are lucky, the double standard will have a weblink in the "Bibliography" (actually just a couple of pages where Valenti tosses the mostly weblinks up, without proper refencing). Otherwise, large portions of the text remain unreferenced. You have to take Valenti's word when she says things like there is a "boy crisis" in colleges. And for a non-fiction book, I shouldn't have to take someone's word; I should be directed to a source that has research backing up the claim. Otherwise, it's no different than me making a Feminism Wiki and linking it to my "Chicken and Men Conspiracy" blog.

3) When Valenti does reference stuff, sometimes it's questionable. For instance, she gives definitions for "pussy whipped" from Urban Dictionary - whose submissions, according to Wikipedia are "regulated by volunteer editors and rated by site visitors". Yeah, that certainly sounds credible! Also, the other part that kinda perturbed me was how frequently Valenti would reference her own work (in which the excerpts were of better professional quality than the book!) or the work of another Feministing blogger. Is there no one else that can provide quotes and references for your work, that you have to resort to using your own or your blog?

4) The solutions are terrible. Not as in "don't do them", as in "not helpful". Most are "Speak out!" or "Tell them to f@#$ off!" Yup, that is certainly going to make you a lot of friends! The worst though was for #44, where at the end of one section, Valenti goes, "I really just wanted to bring much work we have to do." So what IS the solution to the horrible rape laws, the unfair sex laws? The ever popular "speak up"? Support rape groups? I wish: "I don't know, dude. Move?" And THAT'S IT!!! End page! No more! Valenti didn't even bother to toss a repetitive SPEAK UP? I spent more time thinking of solutions to this problem than she did - join a rape crisis center, donate money to rape advocacy groups, support elected officials who will change laws, etc.

5) The titles range from being spot on "He's a Stud, She's a Slut" to being confusing "He's a Hipster, She's a Ho" (I suggested that "Ho" should be "slob") to being downright misleading/incorrect "He's Protected, She's Property". To me, this smarts more of having too many hypocrisies and not enough material to work with.

6) While most of the double standards I agree with, some of them I am unsure about. For instance, the "He's 'Lucky', She's Lolita" is about how teenaged boys having sex with older women is OK, but teenaged girls having sex with older men is squicky. It confuses me mostly because - aren't older women in that case "cougars"? And wouldn't teenaged boys "look bad" for sleeping with "prowling women"? A few of these that I had questioned (such as being approached when dining alone), fellow friends corroborated - too bad Valenti didn't provide more examples, other than her own experience for this. The other one, "He's Hot AND Heady, She's Brainy OR Boobilicious", I somewhat disagree with. How many hot, too-young female doctors do we see on TV? These women are in their mid-twenties; there is no way they would have finished college, residency, etc. at that age and be respected doctors!

7) This one is VERY subjective, but I don't really find the work very funny. Most of the time, Valenti tries to be funny by inserting jokey comments, but I find those sarcastic, obnoxious and derisive. Now, some people like this, and even I can myself, but for whatever reason, Valenti's humor did not jive with me. And then at one point, she tosses in a rather crude (IMO) sexual joke, to prove that women can be "funny", and I didn't find the joke funny at all. (And no, it's not because she's a woman and women can't tell crude sex jokes - if a man had told the same joke, my reaction would have been the EXACT same.)

In my opinion, Valenti's best work was The Purity Myth. She was professional, well-researched and candid without being abrasive and dumbing down her content. These earlier books ("He's a Stud" and "Full Frontal Feminism") seem to be more like long blog posts - so perhaps if that is how you found Valenti, these would really click with your personality. By no means is this book bad; I find it an improvement over "Full Frontal Feminism". A lot of these double standards are one that women everywhere will have experienced. However, I doubt many people who have read anything about feminism will learn anything new from this book - and if you are reading this for the solutions, I can save you time: "Speak out. Tell people who don't like what you do to leave you alone." If you were hoping for something more substantial, keep looking. If you want a little time waster and adore Valenti's style, then this book will be right up your alley.

Brought to you by:
*C.S. Light*
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For every woman who's been called a slut. For every man who's been called a sissy. May 4 2008
By Kellie M. Powell - Published on
If you enjoy, and/or if you liked Jessica Valenti's last book, Full-Frontal Feminism, you'll definitely love this book. Valenti uses humor and demonstrates how ridiculous some double standards are. She connects the personal and political to illustrate how insidious, everyday stereotypes are damaging and dehumanizing. It's a difficult thing to raise consciousness about gender inequality in a way that inspires activism instead of depression. And even with Valenti's attitude and humor, readers will probably find themselves infuriated or disgusted while reading about some of the injustice described. The suggestions about how to change double standards are a little vague in some places, but there's enough there to get you started brainstorming - hopefully with a group of like-minded feminist friends.
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