On one hand we have Natalie, over-achieving, ultra-controlling left-brained alpha female. She is basically Tracy Flick from Election. She eschews all high school boys, seeing them as the quickest way to ruin her reputation and her ambition and controls the minutiae of her relationship with her best friend. She is massively judgemental of all other girls for everything from their sexual behaviour to their clothes to their (lack of) ambition.
Basically, Natalie is what every feminist-hater thinks a feminist is. Humourless and man-hating.
On the other hand we have fourteen-year-old Spencer, who is a sexual being and isn't afraid to show it. She thinks slut-shaming is sexist and that women should be allowed to wear whatever they like, as long as it empowers them.
Of the two, I come down more on Spencer's side, but Spencer doesn't exactly have a happy ending. A nude photo she sends a boy goes viral and she gets publicly shamed and I think this ending is a shame. Spencer at least tries to stand up to Natalie and show her that her brand of radfem isn't helpful
But then again, having said that, I can see where Natalie is coming from in her 'hate all men' agenda. Because the boys at their school are really disgusting. They are basically parodies of hormone-driven, sexually abusive teenage arseholes. And I imagine that yes, every school might have a couple of these types of boys, but an entire campus full of them?
I *think* the message of this book is that radical feminism can be as damaging as no feminism at all.