July 12 2012

Feminist Author Naomi Wolf's New Book: It's a "Biography" of the Vagina

Charlotte Hays

The good news is that feminist author Naomi Wolf isn’t doing a lot of useless naval gazing. The bad news: it’s worse, she’s just written “a new biography” of the vagina.

Just when you thought that Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” had become hopelessly passé, Amazon’s book description notes:

One of our best-selling and most respected cultural critics, Naomi Wolf, acclaimed author of The Beauty Myth and The End of America, brings us an astonishing work of cutting-edge science and cultural history that radically reframes how we understand the vagina—and, consequently, how we understand women.

A “New Biography,” Vagina is at once serious, provocative, and immensely entertaining—a radical and endlessly fascinating exploration of the gateway to female consciousness from a remarkable writer and thinker at the forefront of the new feminism.

The U.K. Guardian is planning a June 22 Q & A with Ms. Wolf, billed, I kid you not, as a “vagina dialogue.”

Meanwhile, in a current Guardian column, Wolf defends Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown, who used the V-word in a debate of the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Headlined “Vagina: Say It Loud, Lisa Brown,” the column begins:

You've got to love Lisa Brown and her vagina.

No, Naomi, actually you don’t.

This may turn out to be a great book on female consciousness. I don’t know because I haven’t read it. I suppose there is no reason why this particular body part couldn’t merit its own biography, but I must confess that stodgy souls such as myself might be inclined to see this as the latest ridiculous vagary (sorry) of a feminist movement that has become hopelessly trivial.  

Still, this does sound like it could be fun: for example, what will be the response to the book of those who believe that one’s gender that is “assigned” at birth, with the presence of a vagina being--er--a key marker used by medical personnel to make this frivolous “assignment” when filling out a birth certificate?

But, Naomi, I am certain about one thing: there is no way to pretend that invoking the V-word on the floor of the House of Representatives isn’t a cheapening of our national discussion of public issues. I'd be more inclined to say: Lisa Brown, be a lady.

 

 

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