file under “it could always be worse”:
In the weeks since Naomi Wolf’sVagina: A New Biography was released, feminists have enjoyed a rare moment of widespread agreement: This book, without a doubt, is awful.
In the New Statesman, Laurie Penny explained how and why “this sort of excuse for feminism” hurts women. In the New York Review of Books, Zoë Heller was so scathing, a friend of ours who hasn’t read the book said he thought, “This can’t possibly be a fair account of Wolf’s thesis because it would entail — among many other things — that Wolf doesn’t know what the nervous system is.” (It was a fair account.) Jaclyn Friedman declared in The Prospect, “The book collapses under the weight of a breathtaking narcissism: If it doesn’t apply to Naomi, it doesn’t exist.” And at The Nation, Katha Pollitt wondered if “opinion-mongering, black-and-white thinking and relentless TMI are the price of remaining a world-class celebrity feminist.”
Meanwhile, a shady cabal of feminist writers were conducting a week-long roundtable discussion of the book, occasioned by the following e-mail conversation:
You should just read the post. It’s funny.