My rating: 4 of 5 stars
‘The Sex Object’ is a memoir that can best be described by the cliche raw, I don’t use it casually. Jessica Valenti is a renowned journalist with the Guardian and founder of the popular feminist blog feministing.com. I happened to read about the book on twitter and remember Valenti as one of the female journalists who was found to be the most abused on Guardian’s online comments sections in a study published by them a few months ago. There are several people who have accused her of selling articles and books on provocative titles, but if any of them had actually bothered to read the content, then they would know or at least admit to themselves that what she writes IS widely read because she does not hold back. She doesn’t couch her experiences in a neat little package so that it is less uncomfortable for not-all-men-are-like-that types to consume. This memoir is testament to the suffering that Valenti went through growing up in the suburbs of New York. Her feminist writings are not things outside of herself or someone else’s experiences that she feels sorry for or empathy towards. They are her own and for that reason, is powerful. As a man who grew up in a slow ‘city’ in India with mediocre middle class values and ambitions, this is a story that is nowhere near relatable and it makes you uncomfortable (especially if you are a man) about what the average woman goes through negotiating the every day.