suck it, wonder woman! Book Review

I spend a lot of my time on the blog Jezebel and as you may have heard, they took on The Daily Show and Olivia Munn this past year. My boyfriend was rather amused by this, thinking I really ‘had it in’ for Olivia Munn. Not wanting to “dislike” someone just because a blog told me to, I decided to read her book suck it, wonder woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek.

Reviews of the book on come in two varieties–the “if you like her, you’ll love the book, but if not, it’s not for you” and “I thought there was going to be more geeky stuff in it.” Which I’d agree with the later reviewer. The subtitle says it’s The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek, but a more appropriate subtitle would be Sex, Mean People and Some Geekery on the Side. Instead of looking at whether the book was funny or not, I was more interested in what the book was about and what kinds of jokes were made.

While Olivia has given shout outs to her fans who are not heterosexual males, it’s pretty clear who this book is for. And it’s not for lesbians, fat people or women, really. In fact, there are many jokes on based on The Patriarchy, or rather, The Kyarchy–there are jokes based around people with disabilities, guys who fantasize about sucking dicks, gross looking vaginas, fat people and drunken lesbianism for the male gaze.

“You heard that right. The maid of honor screams for me to take a shower. With her. (Note: You are about to be fully rewarded for buying this book.)” P.97

“To me, vaginas look like messy open-faced Reuben sandwiches…not mine, of course. But, this one looked like that.” P.28 (emphasis mine)

Caption under Olivia in a Fat Suit: “He was shocked by my reaction saying that whenever he finishes fat suits on women, they start crying at their reflection. That is so stupid. It’s just make up.”  (emphasis mine)

On Olivia’s Potential Presidential Agenda: “#2 I will fix america’s obesity problems by taking all the motorized transport away from fat people. In turn, I will build an infrastructure of Fat Tunnels, where all the fat people can walk. This will create jobs and subsequent weight loss.” P.84

I had always wondered why her reaction to the Jezebel story consisted of a hatred for eating: “I think that anyone who’s out there trying to bring down why any woman would get anywhere, or why we’re different, just needs to fucking turn her fucking computer off, take the sandwich out of her mouth and go for a goddamn walk fucking walk.” via Big Think

Well, now you know! It’s part of her schtick.

But one of the most interesting things about Olivia Munn is that she really wants to be The Caped Crusader Against Sexism. Several of the stories in the book recall the sexism she has experienced in Hollywood. She tells a story about how she does not want to be the weak Hollywood starlet who will accept being called “slut” and “whore” by her powerful director boyfriend. Instead, she promises that she will always speak up for herself–i.e. when her producer wanted to undress “slowly” before jumping into the pie, Olivia refused. Which, I suppose, is great for her and future Hollywood Starlets…..

Except Olivia doesn’t understand how fat hatred is just sexism under a different name. It’s “bringing down women”—something she finds unacceptable.

In one fascinating story, a very famous director masturbates in front of Olivia. The director is “fat” and Olivia details how disgusting his eating and his fatness are–as if he was thin and muscular, his masturbating wouldn’t have been so bad? It’s as if fatness is as bad as misogyny. It’s as if misogyny causes fatness or fatness causes misogyny. Which is wrong, wrong, wrong.

It’s unfortunate that Olivia didn’t try to extend an olive branch to Jezebel–I mean, after all, they both love talking about sex, celebrity and the evils of sexism. We aren’t all perfect. However, it seems to me, now that Olivia has branched out to other jobs such as The Daily Show and Perfect Couples, cracking jokes that played well among those who want to support The Patriarchy aren’t going to be funny anymore. And perhaps she doesn’t need to make more fans–she doesn’t need Jezebel on her side.

Which is unfortunate. Because as much as she says she is for “all geeks,” she will throw certain “geeks” under the bus when it’s convenient. Olivia Munn can do better.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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