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Women Don't Owe You Pretty

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WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY will tell you to... love sex, hate sexism, protect your goddamn energy, life is short, dump them, And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty. Florence's debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deci WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY will tell you to... love sex, hate sexism, protect your goddamn energy, life is short, dump them, And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty. Florence's debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we're either not enough or too much, it's time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to re-shape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.Florence's book will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms. After all, you are the love of your own life.


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WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY will tell you to... love sex, hate sexism, protect your goddamn energy, life is short, dump them, And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty. Florence's debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deci WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY will tell you to... love sex, hate sexism, protect your goddamn energy, life is short, dump them, And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty. Florence's debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we're either not enough or too much, it's time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to re-shape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.Florence's book will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms. After all, you are the love of your own life.

30 review for Women Don't Owe You Pretty

  1. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    3.5 'Women Don't Owe You Pretty' is advertised as an "accessible leap into feminism" and it is exactly that. I already know the majority of stuff Florence Given talks about here, but it was great to be reminded of certain things and be introduced to a couple of new ones that made me think. It's a fantastic book that's well written, easy to read and beautifully illustrated, but I definitely have some problems with it. 1. Florence spends far too much time talking about the male gaze. Yes, it's impo 3.5 'Women Don't Owe You Pretty' is advertised as an "accessible leap into feminism" and it is exactly that. I already know the majority of stuff Florence Given talks about here, but it was great to be reminded of certain things and be introduced to a couple of new ones that made me think. It's a fantastic book that's well written, easy to read and beautifully illustrated, but I definitely have some problems with it. 1. Florence spends far too much time talking about the male gaze. Yes, it's important and is basically the point of feminism. However, Florence is a bisexual woman, like myself, and I was disappointed to find that she doesn’t spare much thought for the female gaze. There was a brief mention of the "queer gaze" but she didn't really talk about what that enails/how exactly it differs from the male gaze. I think this could've been a valuable addition to the book, especially as it's constantly her being like "DON'T TAKE CRUMBS FROM MEN" (a valid notion). 2. She covers SO many different things, some more briefly than others, but she doesn't really talk about class. It's mentioned in passing towards the end of the book. Very suspicious, but not a massive flaw by any means. 3. The terms "gaslighting," "emotional manipulation" and "abuse" are thrown around throughout the book in a way that overuses and misuses them. I think she needs to be more mindful of how young and impressionable her audience is (Florence is only 21 herself) because these careless simplifications are everywhere. I think her book aims to cover complex realities, but she does stumble into some black and white ideas and also often presents her opinions as absolute facts (something she also does on Instagram).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claire Paterson

    (Actual rating 3.5) Well written and articulated but being in the upper age bracket of Florence’s audience (29), I found most of the subject matter was already familiar to me. That saying, it offered many points for reflection towards my younger self. I needed this book 10 years ago! I also understand that many older people with different life experience may find this book eye opening. It’s to Florence’s credit that she’s created a book that makes intersectional feminism more accessible. I think t (Actual rating 3.5) Well written and articulated but being in the upper age bracket of Florence’s audience (29), I found most of the subject matter was already familiar to me. That saying, it offered many points for reflection towards my younger self. I needed this book 10 years ago! I also understand that many older people with different life experience may find this book eye opening. It’s to Florence’s credit that she’s created a book that makes intersectional feminism more accessible. I think this book is a great start for those discovering concepts like the male gaze, pretty privilege and heteronormativity. I’ll be buying a copy for my teenage cousin!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I read this book in a DAY, and if that doesn't tell you how amazing it is then I don't know what will. This book is raw, honest, sexy, empowering, moving, and so much more. It forces you to take a hard look at yourself and realise where you've gone wrong, and realise that you deserve love and care, but that it must come from within. This is the book I wish I'd had at 13/14, it would have saved me a lot of time and trouble, but I am so grateful for it now. Florence is an incredible woman and this I read this book in a DAY, and if that doesn't tell you how amazing it is then I don't know what will. This book is raw, honest, sexy, empowering, moving, and so much more. It forces you to take a hard look at yourself and realise where you've gone wrong, and realise that you deserve love and care, but that it must come from within. This is the book I wish I'd had at 13/14, it would have saved me a lot of time and trouble, but I am so grateful for it now. Florence is an incredible woman and this book will honestly change your life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    see, if this had been written in 2012 as the stepping stone into feminism it’s advertised as, it would’ve been radical and saying some really interesting and good ideas. now it’s just tired, worn out examples of self love and assertion of self that everyone who isn’t a cishet man have been saying online for close to a decade. i got nothing new from this except her belief that if you shave your head you won’t get sexually harassed, which i’ll admit - is a new one. also, if you’re arguing your vie see, if this had been written in 2012 as the stepping stone into feminism it’s advertised as, it would’ve been radical and saying some really interesting and good ideas. now it’s just tired, worn out examples of self love and assertion of self that everyone who isn’t a cishet man have been saying online for close to a decade. i got nothing new from this except her belief that if you shave your head you won’t get sexually harassed, which i’ll admit - is a new one. also, if you’re arguing your views are radical, don’t place them in the very oppressive structures you’re trying to argue against. feminism doesn’t work under capitalism, period, even if your argument is for individual growth rather than collective efforts. there was nothing on targeting the oppressive structures themselves, only how you as the individual can make feminism work under the patriarchy/capitalism, which, in itself, isn’t radical or new.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    A nice self-affirming read with great artwork, but this isn’t a book that you’ll learn anything new from unless you’re brand new to feminism and/or quite young. There are a few topics that are discussed with very little nuance and some words are flung around in a way that verges on lazy at times, like ‘emotional abuse’. My only other gripe is that some chapters are really short - one is 2 pages long if you don’t include the artwork.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lia

    I struggled to finish this book but wanted to give it a fair chance. Florence Given hits on a lot of important issues - yet I feel she never truly delves into the subjects she touches on. She somehow said a lot without saying very much at all? The one point she made that I firmly disagreed on, is the opinion that Social Media can take the place of a formal education. It's true, formal education isn't for everyone. However, Instagram captions can't take the place of reading and digesting informatio I struggled to finish this book but wanted to give it a fair chance. Florence Given hits on a lot of important issues - yet I feel she never truly delves into the subjects she touches on. She somehow said a lot without saying very much at all? The one point she made that I firmly disagreed on, is the opinion that Social Media can take the place of a formal education. It's true, formal education isn't for everyone. However, Instagram captions can't take the place of reading and digesting information in a more formalised way. I think the reason I found myself disliking this book so much was that it felt like a collection of snappy Instagram captions. There was nothing for me to sink my teeth in, and I felt a distinct lack of references. I don't think I'm the intended audience for this book, as I already hold views as radical as the ones Florence expresses here. Therefore, to me, they weren't particularly radical at all and didn't break any fresh ground. Considering I was reading A Room of One's Own by Virgina Woolf concurrently, this book had an uphill battle to impress me as a feminist text. 3 stars as I can imagine people finding this useful and radical, it's just not for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emma Matthews

    I found some chapters of this book incredibly empowering and relatable but certain parts of it didn’t sit well with me. For me the chapters on marriage and dating seemed slightly patronising as someone in a long term relationship. I appreciate the sentiment behind them; realising your worth and not subjecting yourself to toxic relationships but the whole ‘dump him’ doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe that’s something I need to work on within my self? It’s a weird one because I definitely learnt some I found some chapters of this book incredibly empowering and relatable but certain parts of it didn’t sit well with me. For me the chapters on marriage and dating seemed slightly patronising as someone in a long term relationship. I appreciate the sentiment behind them; realising your worth and not subjecting yourself to toxic relationships but the whole ‘dump him’ doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe that’s something I need to work on within my self? It’s a weird one because I definitely learnt some valuable lessons reading this book, it reaffirmed a lot of feelings for me and I LOVED a lot of the chapters but certain parts of it definitely felt supercilious to me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Izzy Cole

    I rly rly rly wish 16 year old me could’ve read this !

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susanna

    What an excellent introduction to self care, feminism, healing and recognising privilege - this book seems like the holy grail for younger people, definitely! As a semi-seasoned feminist, this book was still great for me despite this being (without sounding snooty) below my usual level of feminist readings. Complete with beautiful illustrations, this book helped change my perspective on things such as self care and marriage. A timely, gorgeously accessible text for all ages, genders and stages o What an excellent introduction to self care, feminism, healing and recognising privilege - this book seems like the holy grail for younger people, definitely! As a semi-seasoned feminist, this book was still great for me despite this being (without sounding snooty) below my usual level of feminist readings. Complete with beautiful illustrations, this book helped change my perspective on things such as self care and marriage. A timely, gorgeously accessible text for all ages, genders and stages of learning. However, my criticisms would be: there is a lot of repeated sentiments that could have been more condensed. Also, there is some misinformation. For example, body hair removal for women DID NOT originate in 1915, and rather met its origins in the ancient Islamic world. Also, there is a misuse of the term ‘intrusive thought’. Intrusive thoughts do NOT apply to thoughts of internal misogyny - they are specific to mental health conditions such as OCD. This could have easily been rectified by an editor, so I’m questioning why this wasn’t. Also, I don’t like her assertion that ghosting is a form of emotional abuse. This statement lacked clarification and nuance - I expected better but u expect this was done in ignorance rather than malice. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact this is a phenomenal text!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacey-Lea

    This is a really well written and engaging introduction into intersectional feminism that covers many topics, such as, the male gaze, heternomativity and accountability to name a few. While I believe the target audience is possibly a little younger than myself I think this is still an important read. I found that I was familiar with a lot of the content but it was still nice to have ideas reinforced and to feel validated in my expression. With that, I found myself refelcting on a lot of my past e This is a really well written and engaging introduction into intersectional feminism that covers many topics, such as, the male gaze, heternomativity and accountability to name a few. While I believe the target audience is possibly a little younger than myself I think this is still an important read. I found that I was familiar with a lot of the content but it was still nice to have ideas reinforced and to feel validated in my expression. With that, I found myself refelcting on a lot of my past experiences and how they were handled which is still a great form of growth that is offered. Given has created a work that is informative without layering on the technical jargon making it incredibly accessible and fun to read. I highly recommend!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Anyone who knows me won't be surprised that I took a day off doing work (which is rare in itself) to read this in one go. I've had a countdown for this book release since Florence announced she was writing it (around November) and it absolutely lived up to my expectations. Buy this book. You need it, even if you don't know it yet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alice Cunniffe

    would have been beneficial for 16 year old me but felt a bit obvious and repetitive to 22 year old me

  13. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    I know I say this for a lot of the books I read, but this is a VERY IMPORTANT book. Florence Given explores a lot of themes from feminism and patriarchy to the gender binary and sexuality. In this book, she also discusses relationships and red flags, loving yourself and being enough, and also checking yourself. My review and words will hardly be enough to do this book justice, so I advice that you pick this up and read for yourself to understand how good it is. Content and trigger warnings for se I know I say this for a lot of the books I read, but this is a VERY IMPORTANT book. Florence Given explores a lot of themes from feminism and patriarchy to the gender binary and sexuality. In this book, she also discusses relationships and red flags, loving yourself and being enough, and also checking yourself. My review and words will hardly be enough to do this book justice, so I advice that you pick this up and read for yourself to understand how good it is. Content and trigger warnings for sexual harassment and rape. I really love that she put a content warning before every chapter that delved into these issues. I really enjoyed this one. I love reading books and essay collections about feminism. At first, I thought this book was just another repackaged book with the same words I've heard and read over and over again, but the author adds her unique perspective to this one in the form of the issues she talks on. She checks a lot of privilege in this book and I think it's important for everyone to read this book! The title essay, Women Don't Owe You Pretty, is one of the main themes over the book, and she discusses, time and again, the pressure and effects of fitting to the male gaze. I enjoyed her narration so so much! Highly recommend this one!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marion Honey

    Ready to re-read immediately and deface it with a highlighter.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Claire Hansen

    This book has torn me. It is sold as an introduction to feminism for the instagram generation which I would agree with, and obviously empowering young women is always a positive thing. I loved the beginning talking about “not accepting crumbs, you deserve the whole cake” and felt like this was going to be a new favourite. Also the whole self-love vibe is completely up my street. However. Florence is only 20, and this shows in some ways. Her statement that following more diverse people on Instagr This book has torn me. It is sold as an introduction to feminism for the instagram generation which I would agree with, and obviously empowering young women is always a positive thing. I loved the beginning talking about “not accepting crumbs, you deserve the whole cake” and felt like this was going to be a new favourite. Also the whole self-love vibe is completely up my street. However. Florence is only 20, and this shows in some ways. Her statement that following more diverse people on Instagram is worth more your time than going to university was coming from someone who has probably never been to university, and could be harmful to young people’s prospects if followed. She makes assumptions about hetero relationships when she acknowledges she has only been in one. That women are expected to do the housework, because she was expected to in her one relationship, and that women are always expected to purchase contraception. Both of these came across as something she has decided is correct for all hetero couples because of her experience; instead of including research she might have done to support her arguments or even her friends experiences being included. On the whole, a definite positive reading experience, and would recommend to someone constantly in toxic relationships and not looking out for their own best interests. But would hesitate to buy for a young impressionable person.

  16. 4 out of 5

    buydebook

    I NEED this book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Pearlman

    I would honestly give this 6 stars if I could. I wish every man I know would give this a read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Curie

    "Choosing yourself will always disappoint some people. The sooner we accept this and make peace with it, the better." I had never heard of Florence Given before picking up this book (which, admittedly, I mainly did because of the aesthetic), but I'm impressed. She's a 21-year old powerhouse full of understanding and wisdom regarding the feminism. This is a brilliant introduction to feminism. In twenty-one chapters Given explains how the male gaze is engraved in our society, how women might not "Choosing yourself will always disappoint some people. The sooner we accept this and make peace with it, the better." I had never heard of Florence Given before picking up this book (which, admittedly, I mainly did because of the aesthetic), but I'm impressed. She's a 21-year old powerhouse full of understanding and wisdom regarding the feminism. This is a brilliant introduction to feminism. In twenty-one chapters Given explains how the male gaze is engraved in our society, how women might not owe you pretty, but how life will be easier when you dress up, shave, wear make-up and make an "effort" with your appearance. Feminism can therefore be hard, as in some ways it'll make you go against the grain, disrupt a system that was built by the people now profiting from it. There was a lot of talk about abuse that wasn't specifically defined, which made me a bit wary and in other sections it sounded a bit like she was creating general rules drawn from very specific, personal experiences. I'm not saying she must be wrong per se, but I do think you should be careful with making absolute statements about complex, social issues. A part I particularly liked was when she spoke about not settling for crumbs people give you instead of offering a whole cake. That you can't change people is a lesson to be learned – you can't fall in love with someone's potential, you'll just end up fooling yourself. She relates that back to the admittedly overused term of knowing your worth. "It's a form of projection because you're falling for a version of them that doesn't exist, and filling in the gaps of their character with what you want and need from them." In general, I feel like this is an accessible and enjoyable read about the basic concepts and ideas behind the feminist movement – for people who have been part of that already though, there won't be much new stuff in here.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Doom on you if you’re in a long-term relationship. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is a decent springboard into intersectional feminism. Given’s advice is refreshingly practical and clear-sighted; she checks your privilege; her artwork is wonderfully quirky; and I particularly appreciated the advocation of self-respect and the importance of setting yourself boundaries. (We all know that person who feels they need to 'raise' their partner/ take them on as a project.) It was, however, supercilious in pla Doom on you if you’re in a long-term relationship. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is a decent springboard into intersectional feminism. Given’s advice is refreshingly practical and clear-sighted; she checks your privilege; her artwork is wonderfully quirky; and I particularly appreciated the advocation of self-respect and the importance of setting yourself boundaries. (We all know that person who feels they need to 'raise' their partner/ take them on as a project.) It was, however, supercilious in places. Givens is at pains to bust the myths around being single: there’s no reason for her to be ‘self-conscious’ because she knows ‘that for her, being single is a choice’. It’s about refusing to ‘settle’. The implication is that if you are in a long-term relationship – no matter how happy or healthy – you are somehow violating Given’s perception of agency. A good place to start with feminism, if a little patronising.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I think I’m too old for this book to be honest, it didn’t teach me anything new however that’s not the reason I’m only giving it 3 stars, as I think it does have useful stuff in for younger people. My main issues were - the author only referenced about 5 statements in the whole book - unsure why this is but there were a lot more that in my opinion needed a source - I found the chapters on relationships/marriage very patronising, the idea that you should never have to compromise in a long term co-h I think I’m too old for this book to be honest, it didn’t teach me anything new however that’s not the reason I’m only giving it 3 stars, as I think it does have useful stuff in for younger people. My main issues were - the author only referenced about 5 statements in the whole book - unsure why this is but there were a lot more that in my opinion needed a source - I found the chapters on relationships/marriage very patronising, the idea that you should never have to compromise in a long term co-habiting relationship seems a bit ridiculous to me - I think the section on checking your privilege would have been far more useful at the start -The author barely acknowledges her own class privilege at all. I assume, being 21 and able to work freelance/influencer/author that she must be fairly affluent, however she gives very little attention to this

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carys

    don't believe the hype

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mariam

    Empowering, honest, and a great introductory to feminism if you just started exploring what feminism is truly about. I was familiar with most of the topics, but it was still a beautiful read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Esme Kemp

    Why did I pay £12 grand for a masters pls when I could have just read this book for £12.99

  24. 5 out of 5

    Iona Mayall

    Could not recommend ENOUGH !! Loved the illustrations too

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kieron Botting

    Reading this made me feel uncomfortable... but I think that’s a good thing. This book was enlightening and incriminating. Thoroughly enjoyable read. Floss, you smashed it! Top book & strong message. Reading this made me feel uncomfortable... but I think that’s a good thing. This book was enlightening and incriminating. Thoroughly enjoyable read. Floss, you smashed it! Top book & strong message.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bo

    There is nothing in here that hasn’t already been said. I was hoping for more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anna Morgenstern

    I guess this book would be more relevant to someone who's new into feminism, for me it didn't add anything new.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charli

    First of, thanks to ✨Bethan✨ For making a drunk Friday night purchase and thinking I would like to read this book - best surprise ever ‘Some people experience better treatment just for existing in the body they do’ This book has made me reflect on, and be able to confidently say - I have received preferential treatment for being a white, thin, feminine cis women. ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’ puts a spotlight on the societal system that have undoubtedly, consciously and unconsciously, contributed First of, thanks to ✨Bethan✨ For making a drunk Friday night purchase and thinking I would like to read this book - best surprise ever ‘Some people experience better treatment just for existing in the body they do’ This book has made me reflect on, and be able to confidently say - I have received preferential treatment for being a white, thin, feminine cis women. ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’ puts a spotlight on the societal system that have undoubtedly, consciously and unconsciously, contributed to me feeling empowered and valued in the world. (Despite sexism) because yes although I am a women - a section of society that has traditionally undermined/ belittled/ held back - It is vital to acknowledge my other elements of privilege I hold when I step out into the world. You can be oppressed and privileged.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Hard to decide how to write this review. It was an easy read with some elements of absolute gold. Some concepts really resonated with me and I think it would be a brilliant introduction to feminism. However, there were some aspects of the book that, (as other readers have mentioned), were very presumptuous and condescending. Florence’s perspective of long-term, heterosexual relationships sometimes came across as rude and patronising - even if that’s not how she intended it to be read. As another Hard to decide how to write this review. It was an easy read with some elements of absolute gold. Some concepts really resonated with me and I think it would be a brilliant introduction to feminism. However, there were some aspects of the book that, (as other readers have mentioned), were very presumptuous and condescending. Florence’s perspective of long-term, heterosexual relationships sometimes came across as rude and patronising - even if that’s not how she intended it to be read. As another review mentioned, it seems Florence took her experience from one heterosexual relationship and deemed that as true for all hetero relationships. There were other elements in which this same ‘personal experience vs fact’ overlapped and I worry that any young, impressionable teenager reading this would need some extra discussion about contrasting ideas. Despite that, I NEEDED the self-love this book so brilliantly promotes when I younger.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sîana Mainwaring

    ★★★★★ - Big fuck off 5 stars - if I could give it 6 I would! Ughhhhhhh this woman's mind! Florence Given is a fucking gift and it would be treasonous for any self-identifying feminist to neglect to read this masterpiece. This was my most anticipated read of 2020, and I did not think Floss could exceed my already high expectations for this book, but she fucking did it. The aesthetics of the book are incredible, the new and old illustrations are beautiful and fit so well with the messages Floss ★★★★★ - Big fuck off 5 stars - if I could give it 6 I would! Ughhhhhhh this woman's mind! Florence Given is a fucking gift and it would be treasonous for any self-identifying feminist to neglect to read this masterpiece. This was my most anticipated read of 2020, and I did not think Floss could exceed my already high expectations for this book, but she fucking did it. The aesthetics of the book are incredible, the new and old illustrations are beautiful and fit so well with the messages Floss worked so hard to deliver. Chapter 10 spoke to me more than any chapter in any book has ever been able to. It had such an amazing representation of my own experiences with my sexuality and that is something I rarely encounter - I find too often my sexuality is explored in film/tv/literature as a gateway for threesomes and frowned upon promiscuity (the classic 'greedy' comment is one I am so bored of). There were things in that chapter I hadn't even realised I felt before reading them in this book, and it was incredible to feel so seen. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh it was so good! I am really struggling to put into words my love for this book and express accurately my gratitude that it exists. This should be mandatory reading for everyone, this book will change your life for the better, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to realise the ways in which it needs to be altered. Read this book. Dump your shitty boyfriend. Have a wank. Raise hell.

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