Feminist Manifesto Challenges Convention

I was asked by an intern at Hachette Book Group to review one of their recently released books and publish the review on Your Sexy Librarian because the book’s topic falls into my blog wheelhouse of sexual health and sexual issues.

Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All by Jaclyn Friedman is a manifesto on one expert’s view of female sexuality. Friedman is a speaker, opinion writer, author of several books about female sexuality, host of the podcast Unscrewed, and founder of Women, Action & the Media.

Friedman did her homework and presents her argument in a concise manner, utilizing interviews and extensive research for Unscrewed. She references her material sources, which I find adds credibility to her writing, and compiled all sources, separated by chapter, at the end of Unscrewed in the notes section.

One thing I disagree with is Friedman’s creation and use of the term “fauxpowerment.” I disliked this term immensely and feel it takes away from instead of adding to Friedman’s point of view. Although I understand Friedman’s ideas, I cannot easily explain in layman’s terms what “fauxpowerment” means in reality, even after reading Unscrewed.

Perhaps reading Unscrewed as part of a college curriculum or book club will allow readers to discuss the topics Friedman broaches and provide different perspectives to her point of view. Maybe, as a group, other readers can better define “fauxpowerment” than myself as an individual reader since Unscrewed seems to be a suitable platform for group discussion as opposed to a solitary read.

The front cover of Unscrewed is dull and uninviting with its depiction of rumpled grey sheets. The book title itself is long and off-putting. On a shelf with similar books, the cover and title are simply not engaging enough to draw potential readers to Unscrewed who are not familiar with Friedman’s expertise. The book’s body copy utilizes traditional publishing fonts that are easy to read. The list price of Unscrewed, published November 14, is $27 for a hardcover edition. A Kindle version is available from Amazon for $17.99.

I applaud Friedman’s efforts to research and write about a difficult topic. While I don’t personally appreciate her writing style, in which she packs a huge amount of detail into a single paragraph and occasionally jumps abruptly from one subject to another within the same chapter, there are members of the Goodreads and Amazon communities who completely disagree with my assessment and just adore Friedman’s writing in general.

Potential readers just need to decide for themselves if Unscrewed delivers on its premise and if “fauxpowerment” is indeed a reality.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Hachette Book Group for this review.




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