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'F' for fantastic: Feminist book makes grade

Julie Zeilinger may not be a household name, but this 19-year-old is making a name for herself in feminist spheres. Zeilinger has written articles for many progressive sites, including, The Frisky, Skirt Magazine, and the Huffington Post. Zeilinger also writes a successful blog and recently took the next step in her budding career by penning a book entitled A Little F’ed Up: Why Feminism is Not a Dirty Word.

In her first novel, Zeilinger provides a raw and realistic interpretation of the state of feminism in the 21st century, showcasing maturity and insight well beyond that of your usual 19-year-old.

The book provides a concise view of feminism for beginners, opening with a summary of the feminist movement throughout history before transitioning into present-day applications and explanations of what being a feminist really means. Zeilinger calls for a continuation of the feminist movement among the teen and young adult population, which she identifies as the key demographic for instigating societal change.

As its title references, A Little F’ed Up comes at a time when feminism is often depicted as a negative and outdated relic rather than as a positive and necessary movement for equality. A self-professed fourth-wave feminist, Zeilinger is marketing the book to young women in their teens and early twenties, citing the demographic’s dearth of knowledge of the history of feminism and its current state in society.

The book succeeds in large part because Zeilinger clearly understands her intended audience and went to great lengths to include input from other young women in her creative process. For example, she let her blog followers submit ideas for the book’s title, from which she chose A Little F’ed Up.

A Little F’ed Up gives the reader a clear explanation of why the fight for women’s rights still matters. Considering the recent national debates about abortion and contraception rights and the accusations that Republicans are waging a “war on women,” the fight for women’s rights is as relevant today as ever before. Whether you already consider yourself feminist or pro-feminist or simply want to know what all the fuss is about, this book is a must-have.