Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality
in conversation with STEVE ALMOND
This event includes a book signing
August 1, 2018
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning journalist ALLISON YARROW for a discussion of her latest book, 90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality. She will be joined in conversation by award-winning author and journalist STEVE ALMOND.
About 90s Bitch
To understand how we got here, we have to rewind the VHS tape. 90s Bitch tells the real story of women and girls in the 1990s, exploring how they were maligned by the media, vilified by popular culture, and objectified in the marketplace. Trailblazing women like Hillary Clinton, Anita Hill, and Marcia Clark were undermined. Newsmakers like Monica Lewinsky, Tonya Harding, and Lorena Bobbitt were shamed and misunderstood. The advent of the 24-hour news cycle reinforced society's deeply entrenched sexism. Meanwhile, marketers hijacked feminism and poisoned girlhood for a generation of young women.
Today, there are echoes of 90s “bitchification” nearly everywhere we look. To understand why, we must revisit and interrogate the 1990s—a decade in which female empowerment was twisted into objectification, exploitation, and subjugation.
Yarrow’s thoughtful, juicy, and timely examination is a must-read for anyone trying to understand 21st-century sexism and end it for the next generation.
“Allison Yarrow is a feminist and a muckraker in the tradition of Betty Friedan, Naomi Klein, and bell hooks. Her enthralling new book, 90s Bitch, takes a long overdue sledgehammer (and, when needed, a scalpel) to the misogynistic myths that cloud our view of that troubling decade. Like all great cultural historians, she examines every sordid cranny of our culture—its sexual mores, its pop culture and rampant consumerism—so as to lay bare the marching orders issued by the patriarchy: that women should shut up and put out, sell out, sell themselves short, and most of all obey. Yarrow’s prose is brilliant, her insights are razor-sharp, and her moral aim is essential. If America is ever going to recover from the Trumpian tailspin wrought by masculine insecurity, we need feminists like Allison Yarrow keeping us all honest.” —Steve Almond, author of Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country
“90s Bitch is a book we need right now. Allison Yarrow takes the full measure of misogyny in America—then and now—and she KO’s it like the champion she is. This is a thrilling read, smart and lyrical and—above all—necessary. The book would be on my recommended reading list at any time, but during the Trump era it should be mandatory.” —Darin Strauss, NBCC-winning author of Half A Life
“Amidst the revelations of #MeToo, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we’re in the midst of a feminist backlash. The best way to prevent that backlash from expanding and overtaking the movement is to study and learn from the (very recent) past. Which is precisely why 90s Bitch is essential reading for every feminist—a wakeup call for those who don’t remember how rapidly society at large embraced the postfeminist moment, and a punch in the stomach to those who remember it.” —Anne Helen Petersen, author of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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