“Freud was wrong and Shere Hite didn’t have the whole picture, and the feminists of the 70s were waging a battle to prioritise the clitoris over the vagina that is actually beside the point, because every woman is wired differently,” says Wolf. “Why didn’t they tell us in eighth grade? No one let us know.”
Why?! Why-y-y-y?! Thank goodness Wolf has broken the pink wall of silence. Someone needs to run down to the check-out lines at the dollar stores where women are working 10-hour shifts for minimum wage and tell them that the whole clitoris vs. vagina debate is actually irrelevant to their experiences. This will no doubt come as news to them.
When Wolf was growing up in 70s San Francisco, the daughter of two academics, the kind of states of consciousness she writes about were frowned upon by many women activists as not feminist. Being in love, with its sense, as Wolf puts it, of “longing, dependency, need”, was considered undermining of female independence. “The discourse that I inherited,” says Wolf, “was like, you keep [these feelings] at a distance, don’t acknowledge them, they’re shameful, they’re weaknesses. I always felt that that was buying into a sexist or traditionally masculinist view of human nature. And I thought, if women feel these things so regularly, it’s not enough to say that it’s just masochism.”
It is perversely pleasurable to me to contemplate the mind-forg’d manacles that cause someone to view something as thrilling, as beautiful, as pleasurable and as deeply human as falling in love as ideologically suspect. A culture that teaches its young women that is sick.
The New Yorker‘s review sums the book up like this: “Wolf adopts the pro-sex-feminist position that sex is the solution to every problem and the source of everything worth anything.” Ah. So a champion American feminist has written a book defending the worldview of the 17-year-old male. Delicious.
Anyway, I will leave you to the rest of the Guardian piece on Wolf. Read about the time a friend used the c-word ironically at a party for her, and caused her to have six months of writer’s block. Seriously. Six months of writer’s block because the friend who threw the party for her spoke a naughty word. Even the Guardian interviewer thinks she’s a piece of work for that one. One suspects Naomi Wolf is such a hothouse flower that she would expire outside of the culturally suffocating island of Manhattan.