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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. 4 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. 4 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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 5 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bo

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

  10. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    Florence given wrote this book for Florence given

  11. 4 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

  12. 5 out of 5

    Izzy Cole

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

  13. 4 out of 5

    shopping for a moon

    Starting immediately, this book is what I live by.

  14. 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.

  15. 5 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!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carys

    don't believe the hype

  17. 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!

  18. 4 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!

  19. 5 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

    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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    buydebook

    I NEED this book

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marion Honey

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

  23. 4 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 4 out of 5

    Madelon North

    I think I needed this book at 18, as a now 26 year old not a lot of the content was new or anything I haven’t reflected on after years of therapy. There were a couple of chapters I did find useful (the boundary one mainly), but overall I would recommend it for someone maybe at the start of their feminism journey or a younger age bracket.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Iona Mayall

    Could not recommend ENOUGH !! Loved the illustrations too

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maja

    Actually surprised I didn’t just stop reading but still stuck it out?? This book was a lot, literally a lot, since I felt like it tried to cover everything which made it extremely surface level with a few pages on one topic and then a few pages on another topic, rushing through a number of topics, neither of which were delved into very deeply. However, I guess I wasn’t the target audience anyway and it might be more directed to young teens but I still probably wouldn’t suggest this. The way she Actually surprised I didn’t just stop reading but still stuck it out?? This book was a lot, literally a lot, since I felt like it tried to cover everything which made it extremely surface level with a few pages on one topic and then a few pages on another topic, rushing through a number of topics, neither of which were delved into very deeply. However, I guess I wasn’t the target audience anyway and it might be more directed to young teens but I still probably wouldn’t suggest this. The way she writes is almost as if she expects her readers to know nothing and be very ignorant and naive and she writes in a way like she just learnt about all these things and as if she’s paving the way for all of her readers. In a way it reminds me of when I did Sociology 1A as my third subject in second year and it felt like the lecturers were all did you guys know?? that poor people?? aren’t poor bc individual choices?? oh wow wild isn’t it?? And it just felt way too entry-level and basic. Finally, one of the chapters was talking about self-love and I felt like that was a recurring theme, and in this case it might’ve been more a focus on loving yourself and not loving your body but it made me think of the discussion about empowerment and love your body instead of hating it which I’m not really the biggest fan of. And I’m not saying that you should hate your body but rather instead have a more neutral/indifferent relationship to it, since it’s just a body and it is the way it is and why spend so much energy and time hating or loving it? Ok this turned into a very long review/rant. Conclusion: not a fan.

  29. 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.

  30. 4 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.

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