We Were Feminists Once

  • by Andi Zeisler
  • Narrated by Joell A. Jacob
  • 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Today, feminism is no longer a dirty word, and women purporting to stand up for women's equality now include high-powered names like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Emma Watson. Hip underwear lines sell granny pants with "feminist" emblazoned on the back. In every bookstore there are scores of seductive feminist how-to business guides telling women how to achieve "it all". Meanwhile, access to abortion clinics is growing ever more difficult for many women across the country, and Arizona has passed a law requiring doctors to tell women undergoing abortive procedures about a junk science method of "reversing" abortion espoused by the Tea Party right. Feminism has gone mainstream, but true equality is never an easy sell.
Here, Andi Zeisler exposes how feminism has transformed into something barely warranting the name, ignoring the many for the one, shamelessly colluding with market forces and popular culture. Witty and fearless, We Were Feminists Once is the story of how we could have let this happen and where we go from here.


What the Critics Say

"This thought-provoking yet sobering consideration of the current state of feminism emphasizes the need to continue to fight for full equality." (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fantastic book despite shoddy narration

This is a thorough, thoughtful, though by no means unbiased study of a topic that defies easy definition. While I might have minor quibbles with Zeisler on very minor points, I agree with her premise that "marketplace feminismL is detrimental to the cause it purports to advance. Moreover, I think this theme can be seen in other contemporary movements.

I concur with other reviewers frustrated by this audiobook's narration. The density of mispronunciation a is kind of staggering. To be fair though, it's not entirely poor Joell A. Jacob's fault. The other members of the production team bear some responsibility too. And mispronunciation a aside, Jacob's performance is actually pretty easy on the ears, and matches the lively buoyant tone of Zeisler's prose.

This is the first book-length study of feminism I've read, but it certainly won't be the last. We're all in this together.
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- Seth H. Wilson

Very Engaging Read For Feminists And Marketers

Andi does an excellent job of exploring how feminist themes got co-opted, sugared, and repackaged as sales pitches by the capitalist system. She does an eloquent job of analyzing how this repackaging actually undercuts the ideology of solidarity and collective action needed to achieve feminsim's humanistic goals and instead substitutes individual consumerism as feminist action. What is very, very uneloquent is the articulation of the reader.

The reader was unprofessional. When the text spoke of Andi's publishing career the reader pronounced the word "zine" (a contraction of the word magazine) as "zyne" the first time and "zeen", the proper pronunciation, the subsequent times. The reader pronounced the magazine title Nete A Porter as if the title was not from French.

Those reading foibles could be overlooked if this reader did not pull me right out of the book every time she did not mouth cross the double "tt"s in the words "written" and "button". Plus the reader softens the "or" in the middle of the word "important". A reader is suppose to either disappear altogether as the listener gets enfold ed in the text. Or the reader is suppose to enrich the text with character voices. The reader is NOT suppose to pull the listener out of the text. Yet that is exactly what this reader did.
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- A. Langston

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-03-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio