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It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments

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For all of you humming “I Will Survive” while watching the political debacles gracing the evening news, when getting an earful from your Limbaugh-loving brother-in-law, or as you’re ducking into the bathroom to avoid the date espousing the wisdom of those Mars versus Venus books, this book is for you. It’s a Jungle Out There gives all you smart, independent women out there For all of you humming “I Will Survive” while watching the political debacles gracing the evening news, when getting an earful from your Limbaugh-loving brother-in-law, or as you’re ducking into the bathroom to avoid the date espousing the wisdom of those Mars versus Venus books, this book is for you. It’s a Jungle Out There gives all you smart, independent women out there the funny pranks, witty comebacks, and stalwart sources of strength you need in these trying times. With her tongue firmly in cheek and her middle finger stuck straight up in the air, Amanda Marcotte (of Pandagon.net) takes you on a tour through the perils that await any feminist who must navigate day-to-day life in the U.S., from the abstinence-only classrooms to the glass-ceiling of the office world. Drawing on her personal experiences of dealing with anti-feminists—from her years of blogging about feminism and living in the woman-unfriendly state of Texas—Marcotte brings her wit and distinct lack of patience to the topic of surviving while feminist. She doles out priceless advice along the way on how not only survive but also thrive, and even how to carve out a space for your feminist self in these oft-times hostile environments.


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For all of you humming “I Will Survive” while watching the political debacles gracing the evening news, when getting an earful from your Limbaugh-loving brother-in-law, or as you’re ducking into the bathroom to avoid the date espousing the wisdom of those Mars versus Venus books, this book is for you. It’s a Jungle Out There gives all you smart, independent women out there For all of you humming “I Will Survive” while watching the political debacles gracing the evening news, when getting an earful from your Limbaugh-loving brother-in-law, or as you’re ducking into the bathroom to avoid the date espousing the wisdom of those Mars versus Venus books, this book is for you. It’s a Jungle Out There gives all you smart, independent women out there the funny pranks, witty comebacks, and stalwart sources of strength you need in these trying times. With her tongue firmly in cheek and her middle finger stuck straight up in the air, Amanda Marcotte (of Pandagon.net) takes you on a tour through the perils that await any feminist who must navigate day-to-day life in the U.S., from the abstinence-only classrooms to the glass-ceiling of the office world. Drawing on her personal experiences of dealing with anti-feminists—from her years of blogging about feminism and living in the woman-unfriendly state of Texas—Marcotte brings her wit and distinct lack of patience to the topic of surviving while feminist. She doles out priceless advice along the way on how not only survive but also thrive, and even how to carve out a space for your feminist self in these oft-times hostile environments.

30 review for It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is hilarious! As a longtime feminist, some of the concepts were very feminist 101 (so it would good to give a "I'm not a feminist but..." friend) but I still wanted to keep reading it because the prose was so snarky, witty, and fun. Her metaphors are so creative that they cut right through the sexism and bullshit. It looses a star for some of the very old-timey racist cartoons that add nothing to the book. I get that Marcotte likes retro, but it's more than a little tacky. The guides to This book is hilarious! As a longtime feminist, some of the concepts were very feminist 101 (so it would good to give a "I'm not a feminist but..." friend) but I still wanted to keep reading it because the prose was so snarky, witty, and fun. Her metaphors are so creative that they cut right through the sexism and bullshit. It looses a star for some of the very old-timey racist cartoons that add nothing to the book. I get that Marcotte likes retro, but it's more than a little tacky. The guides to feminist music, tv, movies, and blogs at the end are invaluable. I can't wait to get some new cds to go with this awesome book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amethyst

    The book is amusing most of the time. The drawback about it is that the blog format doesn't translate that well to book format. I would recomend it to budding feminists and young women but if you're much older than 25 or have considered yourself a feminist for more than 5 minutes, you're probably not going to get a LOT out of this book (though you ought to get something. Even at my age and having considered myself a feminist for 20+ years, there were many arguments I appreciated someone else art The book is amusing most of the time. The drawback about it is that the blog format doesn't translate that well to book format. I would recomend it to budding feminists and young women but if you're much older than 25 or have considered yourself a feminist for more than 5 minutes, you're probably not going to get a LOT out of this book (though you ought to get something. Even at my age and having considered myself a feminist for 20+ years, there were many arguments I appreciated someone else articulating for me.).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paige Connors

    The only reasons I didn't give this book 5 stars: 1. Lots of typographical errors. 2. Lots of run-on sentences that can be difficult to read. Hire me as an editor next time! 3. Exclusion of trans* women. This is a huge problem for me in most feminist literature, and I will not relinquish that withheld star until this is corrected. Otherwise, it is a veritably hilarious, witty survival guide even for the most seasoned of feminists. Trans* women beware, though, because there are some erasing passages. The only reasons I didn't give this book 5 stars: 1. Lots of typographical errors. 2. Lots of run-on sentences that can be difficult to read. Hire me as an editor next time! 3. Exclusion of trans* women. This is a huge problem for me in most feminist literature, and I will not relinquish that withheld star until this is corrected. Otherwise, it is a veritably hilarious, witty survival guide even for the most seasoned of feminists. Trans* women beware, though, because there are some erasing passages.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aspen Junge

    Amanda Marcotte has a hilarious take on the insanity that is modern American misogyny. For example, an essay on how "feminist" has somehow become conflated with "crazy cat lady," or one on how women's magazines describe the perfect woman. The astute reader will alternate between nodding in recognition and howling with laughter, which beats hell out of our previous options of crying in frustration and seething in rage before grabbing a pistol and heading out for the shooting range to blow off som Amanda Marcotte has a hilarious take on the insanity that is modern American misogyny. For example, an essay on how "feminist" has somehow become conflated with "crazy cat lady," or one on how women's magazines describe the perfect woman. The astute reader will alternate between nodding in recognition and howling with laughter, which beats hell out of our previous options of crying in frustration and seething in rage before grabbing a pistol and heading out for the shooting range to blow off some steam.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Overall I liked this book although the tone was definitely tounge in cheek, but sometimes came across as just plain angry. I most identified with the chapter on 'Being told to smile by a stranger'. How often that has happened to me...now I know it happens to others as well. I did learn about some movements that I had never heard of before such as the father/daughter dances that celebrate the girl's virginity, creepy. Overall I liked this book although the tone was definitely tounge in cheek, but sometimes came across as just plain angry. I most identified with the chapter on 'Being told to smile by a stranger'. How often that has happened to me...now I know it happens to others as well. I did learn about some movements that I had never heard of before such as the father/daughter dances that celebrate the girl's virginity, creepy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    laaaaames

    I'm not really finished with this book, but I've read enough to review it, and since I'm in no rush to get through it, I just sort of want it off my "currently reading" list. I really do enjoy Pandagon, Marcotte's blog, for the most part, but I get a little annoyed when she thinks she's being hilarious and she's just not. She is smart and quite often cuts through the bullshit to offer some really illuminating takes on our culture, but godDAMN is she in love with her writing. And it shows. This bo I'm not really finished with this book, but I've read enough to review it, and since I'm in no rush to get through it, I just sort of want it off my "currently reading" list. I really do enjoy Pandagon, Marcotte's blog, for the most part, but I get a little annoyed when she thinks she's being hilarious and she's just not. She is smart and quite often cuts through the bullshit to offer some really illuminating takes on our culture, but godDAMN is she in love with her writing. And it shows. This book could have been a lot better, I think, if it wasn't out to be so friggin' cutesy, and if you couldn't see Marcotte's utter delight at her hilarity reeking from each page. Seriously, most of my friends who blog are funnier than her; where are THEIR book deals? I know that isn't exactly fair (I've got some really smart friends after all!), but, man, this book exhausts me. I just picture Marcotte patting herself on the back so hard after each little joke. I do hope she keeps blogging, and turns out another book where she doesn't take herself so frigging seriously. I'm all for every feminist blogger getting published, but, seriously, I'm like two pages into Jessica Valenti's new book, and already she's nailed a bunch of points better than Marcotte has in the 37 pages I'm already through. Seriously, the more I think about it, the more this book isn't really "how to deal with conservative settings when you're a radical feminist" but "how to feel really superior about yourself and treat your feminism like that time you dyed your hair blue just to get your mom's attention". I myself am not a feminist because it pisses off conservatives. And I have to say that sometimes, especially within the pages of this book, it seems like Marcotte might just be. Way to make the cause look like a fifteen-year-old's tantrum, Marcotte.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shinynickel

    I like Marcotte's writing on the Pandagon blog, but I think I was hoping for something more from this book. As is, it reads like a series of blog posts, and light ones at that. I think I was expecting a combination of actual suggestions for existing as a feminist in politically inhospitable environment, with a good dose of humor and perhaps derision for some of the idiocy that exists out there. Unfortunately it was far heavier on the humor and far lighter on the actual suggestions than I would h I like Marcotte's writing on the Pandagon blog, but I think I was hoping for something more from this book. As is, it reads like a series of blog posts, and light ones at that. I think I was expecting a combination of actual suggestions for existing as a feminist in politically inhospitable environment, with a good dose of humor and perhaps derision for some of the idiocy that exists out there. Unfortunately it was far heavier on the humor and far lighter on the actual suggestions than I would have liked. It has some laugh-out-loud suggestions for dealing with some of the situations you might find yourself in, but they're the kind of stuff you laugh at sitting on your couch at home - in many cases, executed in real life, they'd just make things far worse. Or maybe Marcotte is just dealing with different social dynamics than I am. Kudos to her for, in her chapter on the marriage pressure straight women often have to deal with, suggesting that those who do marry may consider asking that their wedding guests donate funds to gay and lesbian organizations fighting for equal marriage rights. It was a great shout-out, and one that I really appreciated. There's also a fantastic rundown of feminist blogs, their focus and general content, in the back. All in all, I really like Marcotte's writing, and I think my opinion of the book suffers less from its execution than from my different hopes for it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    As entertaining as her blog Pandagon (plus an I'm-sure-it's-a-typo about libertarians who complain about "taxing the public to pay for pubic services," oops), it's a fast, witty trip through many sexist aspects of American culture and what to do about them. I should write a more in-depth review, because there's probably a number of things I could quibble with, and things that could have been included, but overall, recommended for anyone who knows what it's like to stay up way too late reading fe As entertaining as her blog Pandagon (plus an I'm-sure-it's-a-typo about libertarians who complain about "taxing the public to pay for pubic services," oops), it's a fast, witty trip through many sexist aspects of American culture and what to do about them. I should write a more in-depth review, because there's probably a number of things I could quibble with, and things that could have been included, but overall, recommended for anyone who knows what it's like to stay up way too late reading feminist blogs. Update: There have been a lot of overlapping controveries around Marcotte, Seal Press, and this book recently (April 2008) and I should point out I DID notice, and was baffled by, the "Jungle Girl" artwork. I could see the images of the woman as being kitschy/ironic (though irritating, in the same way the cover of Full Frontal Feminism was) but the images of the threatening, dark-skinned jungle natives in some of the pictures--what the hell? That's not funny or ironic or anything and I don't know how those got approved. Weird.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Well, I never got around to reading each and every essay, but it's due back at the library and I can't renew it. Not sure whether or not to give it 2 or 3 stars - wish I could do 2 1/2, maybe. I did like it. There were some very funny bits. I particularly liked her essay about the "nice guy." (will add in some quotes if/when I have the book in front of me.) There is some controversy around the book because of the publisher's use of racist Tarzan-like imagery (white woman saving man from dark-skin Well, I never got around to reading each and every essay, but it's due back at the library and I can't renew it. Not sure whether or not to give it 2 or 3 stars - wish I could do 2 1/2, maybe. I did like it. There were some very funny bits. I particularly liked her essay about the "nice guy." (will add in some quotes if/when I have the book in front of me.) There is some controversy around the book because of the publisher's use of racist Tarzan-like imagery (white woman saving man from dark-skinned savages). From what I recall, the publisher had meant it to be read ironically. (I skimmed a few blogs about this issue several months ago, and don't recall all the details - do a google search if you're interested.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    As someone who has been very heavily involved in feminist activism and academia for the past 4 years, this was kind of boring. I maybe read the first part in its entirety? And then skimmed the rest. I completely skipped the "Surviving the Sexual Minefield" section since I'm a lesbian and it was based completely on heterosexuality. In sum: Marcotte tries to be intersectional and appeal to diversity, but basically resorts to discussing straight, able bodied, white women's issues and throws in spri As someone who has been very heavily involved in feminist activism and academia for the past 4 years, this was kind of boring. I maybe read the first part in its entirety? And then skimmed the rest. I completely skipped the "Surviving the Sexual Minefield" section since I'm a lesbian and it was based completely on heterosexuality. In sum: Marcotte tries to be intersectional and appeal to diversity, but basically resorts to discussing straight, able bodied, white women's issues and throws in sprinklings of lesbian issues and issues for women of color. It's like reading a recipe and the issues covered that impact women of color and lesbians were the "add a dash of salt" instructions. She doesn't even touch issues for women with disabilities.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gofita

    It is funny. Also, the chapters really help highlight various issues in feminism, which is important. But I didn't like her writing style. She used the No True Scotsman Fallacy throughout the whole book. Basically it's her brand of feminism or the highway and you're not a true feminist. I find that behavior abhorrent on so many levels. But hey, that's her and if this type of thinking makes her feel better at night... It is funny. Also, the chapters really help highlight various issues in feminism, which is important. But I didn't like her writing style. She used the No True Scotsman Fallacy throughout the whole book. Basically it's her brand of feminism or the highway and you're not a true feminist. I find that behavior abhorrent on so many levels. But hey, that's her and if this type of thinking makes her feel better at night...

  12. 4 out of 5

    robin

    Has anyone else read this? So poorly put together, excessive use of the same few words, badly edited, humorless, long choppy convoluted sentences. This woman thinks it would be funny and helpful to picket outside of reproductive health clinics on surgery days just to fuck with the anti-choice protesters..because making things worse makes things better, right? Terrible.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elyssa

    This book was reviewed and recommended by Ms. Magazine. I am not sure why. The attempt toward cutesy/funny writing was nauseating. The book lacked depth and brought nothing new into the feminist discussion. If anything, I feel badly that this book might represent feminists. A much better book is Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti.

  14. 4 out of 5

    K Kriesel

    Made me laugh out loud repeatedly! Marcotte has a fantastic sense of humor along with excellent information and reasoning skills. She and I have different experiences and opinions, but she writes respectfully as an individual and I appreciate learning about others' lives. I highly recommend reading this as an educational, delightful break from the ever-dour news Made me laugh out loud repeatedly! Marcotte has a fantastic sense of humor along with excellent information and reasoning skills. She and I have different experiences and opinions, but she writes respectfully as an individual and I appreciate learning about others' lives. I highly recommend reading this as an educational, delightful break from the ever-dour news

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    The wit wasn't witty? Most of this books humor I didn't find humorous. (Do you like that fact that I can't stop using the same words over and over again? No. Okay, I'm not very witty either.) The format of this book fell flat for me as well. And there was some trans erasure in this book. Not one I would recommend to my feminist friends, but not horrible. The wit wasn't witty? Most of this books humor I didn't find humorous. (Do you like that fact that I can't stop using the same words over and over again? No. Okay, I'm not very witty either.) The format of this book fell flat for me as well. And there was some trans erasure in this book. Not one I would recommend to my feminist friends, but not horrible.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    While more concerned with the content of the book and less of the imagery accompanying the text (because, let's face it: comics are the least concerned media with progressive identity politics), I found the book to be hilarious and insightful. While more concerned with the content of the book and less of the imagery accompanying the text (because, let's face it: comics are the least concerned media with progressive identity politics), I found the book to be hilarious and insightful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Curlita

    Reviewed in Bitch Magazine. Looks like a good read and might hone my sexist-bullshit-detector, but I am troubled by the image of the big breasted cartoon character on the front. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Although I share some of her feminist perspectives on issues, I'm not sure it quite worked in this format. And, I'm all for sarcasm, but I'm afraid it's the kind of feminist writing that might turn people off and scoff with stereotypical, anti-feminist responses. Although I share some of her feminist perspectives on issues, I'm not sure it quite worked in this format. And, I'm all for sarcasm, but I'm afraid it's the kind of feminist writing that might turn people off and scoff with stereotypical, anti-feminist responses.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Saryn Modderman

    This book was hilarious and insightful. Marcotte is a master at finding the funny in horrible situations and making them more bearable. You don't have to agree with everything she says to feel energized and more hopeful while reading about real problems in our society. This book was hilarious and insightful. Marcotte is a master at finding the funny in horrible situations and making them more bearable. You don't have to agree with everything she says to feel energized and more hopeful while reading about real problems in our society.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Yveva

    a very quick read. lighthearted. not bad for novice feminists and gives some things to think about, but rather basic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    miteypen

    Not really a guidebook--just a bunch of wise cracks. Not worth the money or time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    An alright book. It's not super practical, but it is funny, sarcastic, and snarky. It's a light read on a bunch of serious subjects. An alright book. It's not super practical, but it is funny, sarcastic, and snarky. It's a light read on a bunch of serious subjects.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Holly Diem

    I really can't tell how I feel about this book... I really can't tell how I feel about this book...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    Timmy the Singing Fetus.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Funny lighthearted look at how to approach life in a sexist world. I feel like all tween girls should be given a copy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    Fantastic. Perfect if you're someone who actively attempts to call people out in problematic situations and sometimes has trouble productively navigating negative responses. Fantastic. Perfect if you're someone who actively attempts to call people out in problematic situations and sometimes has trouble productively navigating negative responses.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Hilarious primer for the modern feminist... and boys. :)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stevie

    A fun, light read. She closes the book with a chapter listing online resources, which I'll be interested to check out. A fun, light read. She closes the book with a chapter listing online resources, which I'll be interested to check out.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Thea

    The racist imagery is horrific and alienating to all readers who aren't white The racist imagery is horrific and alienating to all readers who aren't white

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meave

    I only wish I'd had this book when I was a wee preteen feminist. I only wish I'd had this book when I was a wee preteen feminist.

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