file under “it could always be worse”:

Instead of Woman: An Intimate Geography the instructor for Mandatory Science could have assigned Vagina, by Naomi Wolf.

coverIn 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 StatesmanLaurie Penny explained how and why “this sort of excuse for feminism” hurts women. In the New York Review of BooksZoë 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 NationKatha 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.


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