The Book


Press / Endorsements

“Reclaiming the F Word provides a wide-ranging perspective on issues that affect the lives of women today. This book not only highlights the problems facing women but also discusses possible state policies to ameliorate their condition and provides suggestions for steps that may be taken by feminist movements in civil society to reach out and gain wider support for their cause.”
The Hindu

“…it is a practical, readable handbook for contemporary women (and perhaps also men) with an interest in feminism. It concisely runs through the various issues that modern feminism is concerned with and follows up with suggestions for action and activism… a very useful and thought-provoking book that deserves to be read widely.”
Reggie’s Reviews

“From the right to control one’s own body to the right to an education and healthcare, Redfern and Aune do a good job of elucidating the current approach modern-day feminists are taking in the struggles for these things. If one wants to read an honest discussion of where modern day western feminism stands, this book is a good place to begin. Accessible and informative, it is a brief survey of many of the issues faced by women in the early part of the 21st century and the attempts by many to address them.”

“A plenitude of media pronouncements claim to know what feminists are, and what they think. This useful book, based on a survey of 1,300 avowed feminists, articulates what today’s feminists actually are interested in, and what their concerns are… This is an intelligent book that illustrates global awareness of women’s issues.”
Times Higher Education

“In their book Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement, Redfern and Aune demonstrate the vitality and relevance of contemporary feminism, rescuing the term from negative and unsubstantiated stigmas. What they deliver to their readers is a revitalized pride in the identity of Feminists-women and men who work toward challenging and dismantling patriarchal systems and attitudes-and an urgent desire to act out. ”
Feminist Lab

“The book’s title isn’t supposed to suggest feminism ever went away – groups as disparate as Justice for Women, The Fawcett Society, Southall Black Sisters and Karma Nirvana have been working for women’s rights for decades now. But when Redfern started feminist website The F Word, in 2001, she felt there was a general perception that young women weren’t interested, and that the movement was therefore gasping its last. “People in the media kept saying that feminism was dead,” says Redfern, “and deriding it year after year”. As a young lecturer, Aune noticed the same problem in academia.she met plenty of young feminist students, “but a lot of older academic feminists didn’t seem to believe it”. The idea of the book, says Redfern, was to “try and present a snapshot of the movement, and bring it into the mainstream”.”

“According to Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune, reports of the death of feminism have been greatly exaggerated. Their new book, Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement, reflects on the distance women have travelled from the radical movement of the 1970s – but it also highlights much that we haven’t achieved.”

“What makes this book exceptional is its examples of how today’s feminists are fighting back. …it’s impossible not to feel buoyed up when reading of the progress made by campaigns around the world. This book reads like the voice of a movement.”
Time Out

“…a new book by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune hopes to dispel the notion that feminism is a derogatory word, one which is no longer needed or wanted. Reclaiming the F Word isn’t extolling the virtues of “babe feminism” as seen in the Sex and the City 2 film (focus: shopping, shagging and shoes). This is full-on fighting feminism, of the marching and protesting kind. A little less angry than its Seventies sister, perhaps, but sharing much of the same DNA. And as the authors emphasise, there are more people in this country who support feminist ideals — even if they don’t want the label — than much of the media would have you believe.”
Ros Urwin, Evening Standard

Reclaiming the F Word, the upcoming book by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune, charts the emergence of a new breed of feminist: young, political, pragmatic and attuned to issues of class and race, violence and power that are elided by sex-and-shopping feminism. In a world where rape accusation is still considered a more serious crime than rape, the feminists of the 21st century want more from life than marriage, babies and a really great shoe collection. We want power, fairness and freedom from fear, and we’re coming to claim it. Girl power is over: long live the new feminism.”
New Statesman

“It’s likely that you do actually agree with fundamental feminist principles – fighting for women to live in an equal and fair society – but the time has come to publicly acknowledge it, and to recognise feminism is still relevant – and not at all scary. Cochrane, Hannam and Dyhouse all agree that feminism is finding its feet again. 2010 is a really interesting year, says Cohrane. ‘There are major books on the subject coming out, including Reclaiming The F Word…
Stylist Magazine (See the issue here)

“A lucid and lively examination of the state of contemporary feminism from two women who really know what they’re talking about. Most importantly, at a time when it’s easy to feel down-hearted about the state we’re in, this book is full of hope.”
Libby Brooks, Guardian

“Savvy, witty and politically passionate, Reclaiming the F Word explains what today’s feminists want, and describes what they are doing to make it happen.”
Deborah Cameron, University of Oxford

“There has never been a better, more exciting time to be a feminist. This book shows the positive impact of feminism on our daily lives. ‘Reclaiming The F-Word’ should be every woman’s – and many men’s – bedside companion.”
Zoe Margolis AKA Abby Lee, author of Girl With A One Track Mind.

“This is a book that celebrates feminist history and salutes the new generation
of feminism that’s emerging.”
Alison Piepmeier, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, College of Charleston

“‘With verve and immediacy, Reclaiming the F Word provides feisty retorts to
those tired claims that feminism is dead.”
Chilla Bulbeck, University of Adelaide

“Redfern and Aune’s contribution on women’s political involvement provides a robust and important contribution to this rejuvenated feminist debate… Reclaiming the F Word has a practical list of suggestions for actions you can take to change the things that stop half the world being all they can be, lists of books you might want to read, groups you can join (or set up) and a warm sisterly tone of congratulation to everyone who has ever challenged even the tiniest belittlement of women. “Feminists, if you are downhearted, we hope we’ve changed your mind. You are not alone,” write Redfern and Aune in this must-have DIY guide to feminist action.”
Irish Times

“Reclaiming the F Word is a statement of why feminism is still necessary, is a recognition of the amazing work that’s being done, and is a rallying cry to women and men everywhere to get involved. It strikes a great balance between these themes, and the thorough research, clear and honest writing, and unabashed celebration of feminism in all its myriad forms mean that everybody can take something positive away from reading this book… What the writers also show, though, are the huge numbers of women (and men) who keep fighting, in a seemingly never-ending variety of ways. The pages are bursting with the activities and achievements of feminists engaging in a wide range of activism. Some of these I knew about (such as the Pink Stinks campaign), but others were new to me (like Robogals), and I found myself frequently running to my computer to look up more details about particular projects. ”
All Lit Up

“…wide-ranging, the most globally-oriented and in many respects the most radical… Also, though it isn’t ‘academic’ in the narrow sense, its broad range of reference makes it probably the most suitable for student readers who want to use feminist ideas in an academic context… practical, positive, and refreshingly free from navel-gazing.”
Trouble & Strife

“A new poll of feminists revealed that nearly half are under 25, with almost three-quarters of the 1,300 surveyed saying they started to identify with being a feminist while still in their teens… Catherine Redfern, who conducted the survey [with Kristin Aune] for Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement… said: “We want to tell people that feminism is still here, and is a growing, vibrant movement.””

“‘Reclaiming the F-Word’ is a wonderful book, in that it gives a general overview and introduction to feminism today. Drawing on a survey on the popular UK feminist blog the ‘f-word’, the authors outline seven areas that are the most important to feminists today, then go on to explain why they are important, what feminists are already doing to address these areas and to give suggestions of what you can do… The introduction to the issue which made up the bulk of each section was easy to read and accessible. It focused on a range of issues related to the main issue and tried to broach issues specific to different people; rather than focusing mainly on the white middle-class, as feminism is often accused of doing.”
Library Thing reviewer

“A really good — & heartening — statement of where feminism is now, according to Redfern & Aune. The book responds to the too-often heard, supposed truisms that 1) feminism has gone too far & 2) feminism is dead. Neither, of course, are true, and the authors do a great job of showing why this is so.”
Library Thing reviewer

“…the media have this stereotype of what a feminist is. …They have this assumption that young women don’t care, that they’re apathetic. You get that story all over the place. But our research shows that younger feminists are really active in feminism. We hope to put an end to that stereotype once and for all!”
Interview with Catherine Redfern
Grassroots feminism

“Our book is an optimistic look at the feminist movement today and we hope it gives people a taste of the diversity of feminist issues and activism both in the UK and around the world.”
Interview with the authors
New Left Project

“‘There’s a resurgence of feminism happening now,’ says Catherine Redfern, founder of the popular feminist blog The F Word and co-author of Reclaiming The F Word: The New Feminist Movement. ‘I’m fed up with the way feminism has been presented negatively – and the way younger women are assumed not to be feminists.'”
Company, May 2010 issue

“Feminism has been out of fashion but there are signs that women are becoming activists again… ‘Some things have even got worse, like the rape conviction rate,’ says Catherine Redfern, founder of The F-word website. Her book, Reclaiming the F-word, comes out later this year.”

“Redfern spells it out: ‘Even if you don’t feel sexism has affected you at all, feminists are fighting for rights that might benefit you, your friends or your family one day.”
Coventry Telegraph

“[Redfern’s] influential website revived interest in feminism”

“For those enjoying this Lord of the Rings -style approach to women’s rights, the trilogy will be complete when Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune hits the shelves shortly”
Irish Times

The blurb

In today’s ‘post-feminist’ society, women and men are considered equal. For younger women and men, feminism is often portrayed as unfashionable and irrelevant. But since the beginning of the new millennium a revitalised feminist movement has emerged to challenge these assumptions and assert a vibrant new agenda. This groundbreaking book reveals the what, why and how of the new feminist movement and what it has to say about women’s lives in today’s society. From cosmetic surgery to celebrity culture and girl power to globalization, from rape to religion and sex to singleness, this book reveals the seven vital issues at stake for today’s feminists, unveils the beginnings of a fresh and diverse wave of feminism, and calls a new generation back to action

More info

We want to finally put to rest the myth that feminism is dead today and in particular, that young women are not interested in feminism or that feminists are only interested in a narrow range of issues. We want to showcase the resurgence of feminism that’s happening, give a whistle-stop tour of the key issues, and highlight some of the feminist activism that inspires us. Our book is an optimistic look at the feminist movement today and we hope it gives people a taste of the incredible diversity of feminist issues and activism both in the UK and around the world.

Half of each chapter is about the issues and the other half shows what feminists are doing about it.

What do you mean when you say feminists are ‘Reclaiming’ the F word?

Feminism today is much maligned in the media and in general public opinion; partly because everything we tend to hear about it is negative. The feminists we know are reclaiming feminism for themselves, proactively, and despite all the negativity around it.

They’re inspired by feminism’s past and optimistic about its future.

They’re reclaiming feminism; not reinventing it.

What do you mean by ‘the new feminist movement’?

We’re shining a spotlight on new forms of feminist activism that have arisen in the last ten years as well as feminists who were too young to be around in the 60s and 70s, whose voices aren’t often heard in the mainstream. Three quarters of the feminists we surveyed were under 35, and women in their twenties are in the forefront in the resurgence of feminism, working alongside older feminists.

However, whilst there are new groups, new events and new contexts in which to fight (such as the internet); the issues are not necessarily all new – many of the aims of the original Women’s Liberation Movement have not been achieved.

The cover

The cover was designed by Kika Sroka-Miller.

It references the past (Rosie the Riveter, and the colours of the suffragette movement green and purple) whilst looking to the future.

We’re positive and optimistic, and so is the feminist on our cover!

The publisher

Zed Books publishes cutting-edge books from an international perspective. All Zed’s publishing has the common goal of giving voice to people, places, issues and ideas at the margins.

Many thanks to…

This website was very kindly built by Andrew Bowden with images supplied by Kika Sroka-Miller.