Jan 08

How to Win at Feminism Reductress Interview And Book Review

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how to win at feminism, reductress, feminism How did you come up with the idea of Reductress?


Sarah: We were both writing and performing sketch comedy, and realized there was a lack of spaces for women to create comedy for and about us. Then Beth came to me with the idea for a fake women’s magazine, and we were happy to find that nobody had really done it before.


Beth: Yeah, plenty of people had made fun of women’s media before but it felt like there was so much more to cover in a more expansive way.


It is such a smart site and we love the book too, is it easy to come up with new ideas?


Sarah: Yes and no! Comedy is always hard, but fortunately the bizarre nature of women’s media and the internet at large have given us a lot of material to work with.
Beth: Yeah, luckily we have a team of super funny contributors and they’ve had plenty of experience reading women’s media and existing as women in the world to draw on.


What advice to you have for anyone who wants to follow in your path? 


Beth: Use your disadvantages to fuel your work. In comedy your frustration is part of your voice.


Sarah: Don’t give up on a good idea. Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s part of the process, and there’s always something to learn from it.


Do you think women’s magazines are damaging to women or helpful?


Sarah: Somewhere in between. Obviously a lot of what Reductress does is comment on the ways in which they have been harmful, but women’s media has definitely made a lot of strides since our mother’s generation.


Beth: Yeah it really depends on the magazine and the writer and the how they’re writing about a given topic. When it’s done in a one-dimensional way that speaks down to women, it’s harmful.


Describe a typical day.


Sarah: Answer emails, post everything on social media, bitch to everyone about whatever’s happening in the news? Order salad. The rest is a salad-eating blur.


Beth: Email, hide my private email server, pump breast milk, write, edit, eat salad furiously.


How do you run the site?


Sarah: Efficiently.
Beth: Girls.


Tell us about writing the book.


Sarah: We wanted to write a book about how women’s media has co-opted feminism. So, we wrote a proposal in early 2015 and got our editor-at-large Anna Drezen on board and we did the thing!


Beth: It was exhausting but fun. Lots of weekends sitting in a Starbucks thinking about the patriarchy.


What is the biggest issue affect women today?


Sarah: I don’t really think there’s one issue, and it definitely depends on which part of the world we’re talking about. In the states, I think the treatment of marginalized women (women of color, transwomen) and lack of representation overall is a huge issue.


Beth: If you mean biggest in terms of how many people it affects, I think subtle sexism is really insidious, but if biggest means most serious, then I think reproductive rights and the maternity leave policies are huge in the impact they can have on women’s lives.


What’s next?


Sarah: We’ve got some things cooking! For now, check out our podcast, Mouth Time!


Beth: We’re gonna go eat more salad!


How to Win at Feminism is an awesome and original satirical book on feminism written by the subversive women’s magazine Reductress. Which is read by an audience of over 2.5 visitors a month. It will make you laugh out loud and nod your head in agreement.

UK and Commonwealth rights were bought by HQ Senior Commissioning Editor, Anna Baggaley, from Harper One in the US.

Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, the authors of How to Win at Feminism, said: “we are excited to bring our book to the UK and hope that British readers will enjoy it half as much as they do Pippa Middleton’s bum!”

Anna Baggaley said: “As someone who is been a huge fan of Reductress and their sharp observational comedy for a while I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to publish such a funny, wry and necessary book”

Filled with tongue in cheek humour, colour illustrations, bold graphics, and hilarious photos, How to Win at Feminism teaches readers how to battle the patriarchy better than everybody else. From the her-story of feminism to how to apologise for having it all, and by using celebrity studies such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, How to Win at Feminism is a fresh take on women’s rights through the lens of some of funniest women in comedy today.

How to Win at Feminism is out now in paperback original £12.99 and ebook £9.99.

The Art of Feminism by Reductress is published by HarperCollins.

Reductress has discovered a rich, deep seam of comedy.” 

Graham Linehan, co-writer of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd

“People say women can’t be funny. WRONG… I love Reductress.” 

Sam Bain, writer of Peep Show


Reductress is a fast-growing satirical website that delivers mischievously hilarious, on-point criticism wrapped in hilarious headlines and feature articles. Referred to as the “feminist Onion,” it pokes fun at the messages fed to women from an early age and throughout adulthood. Since its creation in 2013, it has exploded in popularity, with over 2.5 million monthly visitors. Reductress was founded by Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, the authors of this book.