Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl

Written by the French writer and activist collective, Tiqqun, this little, bright pink book caught my attention immediately in the Rhodes University Library. It looked so innocuous and sweet, a “light” feminist read, if you will, that I decided to take it out even though I was beyond my human limit with coursework reading.

Preliminary materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl, in this case, means it is a “trash-theory” – a basic accumulation of quotes, book and chapter excerpts, newspaper headlines (any sort of written material) that highlighted characteristics of the Young-Girl theory. Different fonts were used for different extracts, cementing their meaning in my mind. The typographic aspect to the book was a definite plus – it made dense pieces more interesting to read and playing with the fonts played with my understanding of the actual text. And I love mental gymnastics,so this was up my alley.

That fluorescent pink cover was misleading. Yes, don’t tell me that old adage about books and judgment and covers. I learnt my lesson. This book was a bomb-shell and a very heavy read because of unwritten things (yes, this is just the preliminary theory – I shudder at the thought of a full-blown theory!) and my mind went on quite a few tangents.

An example, taken from the book. Hipsters are beside themselves because they've never heard of Tiqqun before.

An example, taken from the book. Hipsters are beside themselves because they’ve never heard of Tiqqun before.

I strongly recommend this tough read for those with ovaries of steel. It may not take too long to read, but it deals with big issues like hyper-sexualisation, eating disorders, self-love, consumerism and capitalism and trust me: one of those juicy, typographically interesting, nuggets will linger in your mind.

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