Why I Am Not a Feminist

A Feminist Manifesto

Are you a feminist? Do you believe women are human beings and that they deserve to be treated as such? That women deserve all the same rights and liberties bestowed upon men? If so, then you are a feminist . . . or so the feminists keep insisting. But somewhere along the way, the movement for female liberation sacrificed meaning for acceptance, and left us with a banal, polite, ineffectual pose that barely challenges the status quo. In this bracing, fiercely intelligent manifesto, Jessa Crispin demands more.

Why I Am Not A Feminist is a radical, fearless call for revolution. It accuses the feminist movement of obliviousness, irrelevance, and cowardice—and demands nothing less than the total dismantling of a system of oppression.

Jessa Crispin is the editor and founder of the online magazines Bookslut — one of America’s very first book blogs — and the literary journal Spolia. She is the author of The Dead Ladies Project and The Creative Tarot, and has written for the New York TimesGuardian, Washington PostLos Angeles Review of Books, NPR.org, Chicago Sun-Times, and Architect Magazine, among other publications. She has lived in Lincoln, Kansas; Austin, Texas; Dublin, Ireland; Chicago, Illinois; Berlin, Germany; and elsewhere. She currently resides in New York City.

“The point of ‘Why I Am Not a Feminist’ isn’t really that Crispin is not a feminist; it’s that she has no interest in being a part of a club that has opened its doors and lost sight of its politics—a club that would, if she weren’t so busy disavowing it, invite Kellyanne Conway in…. Crispin’s argument is bracing, and a rare counterbalance; where feminism is concerned, broad acceptability is almost always framed as an unquestioned good.” —The New Yorker

“Small but mighty, a bracing, contradictory volume full of fury. It’s a rousing call for unity that’s not afraid to alienate, at once breezy and foreboding. It’s a radical text written in accessible, entertaining prose, slipped nonchalantly into the mainstream….A blueprint for women who care about equal rights for all women, and really, all humans.” —Flavorwire

“Perceptive and impassioned…a useful skewering of feminism’s worst tendencies….There’s something decidedly appealing, even romantic, about this vision of a radical movement that will, in Crispin’s words, set about ’fully dismantling’ the system.” —New Republic

“Argues against the current brand of feminism that equates progress with buying into the status quo, and calls for a reinvestment in radical, even revolutionary thinking about what feminism can mean, and do.” —Elle

“[A] fist-pumping feminist manifesto…pulls no punches…Crispin is calling for a deeper, more humanist feminism, one worth marching for.” —A.V. Club

“A searing critique of contemporary feminism’s focus on individual choice and “self-empowerment” at the expense of systematic radical change and collective action…a necessary contribution to the effort to push contemporary social justice movements further to the left and to weave an understanding of class politics into modern identity-based movements in order to build a radical politics of solidarity.” —Jacobin

“Brief, bellicose, and bracing…A call for an examination of conscience.” —Chicago Tribune

“The author’s ferocious critique effectively reframes the terms of any serious discussion of feminism. You’ll never trust a you-go-girl just-lean-in bromide again. Forget busting glass ceilings. Crispin has taken a wrecking ball to the whole structure.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Laser-like insight into feminism’s strengths and weaknesses…Rhetoric that soars and sears…Through insights that provoke discussion and dissension, Crispin rallies the kind of radical verve that once vitalized a revolution in the hope that it will do so once again.”—Booklist

“Feminists have, in fact, become polite insiders, and Crispin is here to show them how to punch their way out. A rallying manifesto; start swinging.” —Library Journal

“Few may agree with everything Crispin has to say. But every political movement needs a regular supply of thoughtful sharply pointed argument-starters. This is a good one.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers

“Rabble-rousing, impolitic, and eloquent, Why I Am Not a Feminist models the latitudes and freedoms it wants us all—us women, us feminists, us humans—to embody. Enough with the safety-mongering, says Crispin: Let’s break stuff! Let’s get messy! Let’s make feminism radical again.” —Laura Kipnis, author of Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation

“I’d follow Jessa Crispin to the ends of the earth.” —Kathryn Davis, author of Duplex

“Very, very funny. . . . The whole book is packed with delightfully offbeat prose . . . as raw as it is sophisticated, as quirky as it is intense.” —The Chicago Tribune

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