Okay, to tell the truth, I started this book last year and got about halfway through. Then I put it down for months (I'm slow with non-fiction) and didn't pick it back up until this week. So it feels a little dishonest to include it on this list, but I'm just so excited that I finished it and can take it off the nightstand stack.
Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture "is a bold, piercing examination of how twenty-first century American society perceives sex and women." (from the Amazon review)
You know who the female chauvinist pigs are. They're the ones who grew up wanting to be in Playboy, the ones who think it's empowering to flash the Girls Gone Wild cameras, and the ones who will make out with their girlfriends at bars because they know that it turns guys on. It's like they're a whole generation of women who's mamas didn't raise them right. The interviews with women in the book were really interesting because they all seemed to reveal that their sexuality was so much more about performance than pleasure. There were also some interesting ideas about how much women's sexuality and "hotness" prevail in our culture and media, yet by comparison, we tend to fetishize virginity.
I don't feel like I learned anything new from this book, but then I'm a daily Jezebel reader. So I know all about women and sex in culture and media. But I did think that the chapter when Ariel Levy travels around with the Girls Gone Wild production, was fascinating (oh, and also revolting), and worth buying the book for.