This video is a clip of blogger and author Jessica Valenti on her book Full Frontal Feminism. While she doesn’t specifically talk about what it means to write the poltical, she does address what her purpose is. She comments that with her web site, Feministing.com, she often forgets about people who are not yet feminists. It’s easy to forget that there are tons of people out there that don’t understand the patriarchal restrictions that oppress everyone and it’s much easier to write about feminism from a more enlightened viewpoint. I thought it was really interesting to note the importance of keeping in mind who may stumble across your writing and how beneficial it is to get your message out there in many ways.
This video reminded me of all three authors, but specifically of Roy. While Roy and Valenti are from two very different walks of life, they are both considered writer-activists. Valenti’s activism is perhaps even more blatant given the nature of her writing. Unlike Roy, Valenti is writing strictly in a political sense and pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a woman. Her book asks what the worst names for a woman are. They include things like “slut” and “whore.” Then she asks what the worst names for a man are. They include “pussy” and “mangina,” pointing out that the worst thing you can call a man is a woman.
Roy asks “do we have Really Free Speech? If what we have to say doesn’t “sell,” will we still say it?” I think Valenti is an interesting answer to this. It doesn’t seem as though we have free speech.Think about it, if we tend to go against the crowd we are often called names and torn down. Just recently a girl worked to get a prayer banner taken down in a public school and she has dealt with incessant bullying since. Valenti is lucky in that she was able to us the internet as a platform to find like minded individuals to support and spread her message. The school girl didn’t have that same option. I don’t know that Valenti would have been able to publish any of her books had she not been affiliated with Feministing.com and gained such a loyal internet fanbase. She was lucky enough to have power in numbers. Unfortunately, power usually comes in the form of money.
Roy, Arundhati. Power Politics. Boston: South End Press, 2002. Print.
Valenti, Jessica, perf. Book TV: Jessica Valenti, author of “Full Frontal Feminism”. Web. 30 Jan 2012