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Recent Reading: Double Standards and Shame

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Lately I’ve been enjoying two very different works of nonfiction by two very different young, talented ladies. One, ‘He’s A Stud, She’s A Stud,’ by Feministing.com’s Jessica Valenti, is a handy reference guide to “49 double standards every woman should know.” And the other, ‘Have You No Shame’ by Rachel Shukert, is a memoir by a lady who has had to deal with adversities as varied as growing up Jewish in Omaha and fishing out what the back cover politely terms an “errant feminine hygiene product.” (It’s not a chapter you’ll soon forget.) Being a woman can be quite tricky, is the overall conclusion a reader of these two books might draw. Here are my favorite lines from each book:

“Have you ever been sitting by yourself — reading in a park, drinking at the bar, whatever, and a guy comes up to you? What the fuck is that?” — ‘He’s A Stud, She’s A Slut’

“[My vagina] smelled like that smell that hits you sometimes in the subway, so fetid, rotten, and overwhelming that you know that you’re in a place where the body of an enormous rodent is currently decomposing, or a homeless person has recently been naked.” — ‘Have You No Shame’

I highly recommend both.

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