Book Review: “Vagina” by Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf is a well-established third-wave feminist known for her book The Beauty Myth. In 2012, she came out with a new biography centered both in and around her lady parts. The book was not well received. Katie Roiphe of Slate said of Vagina that, “I doubt the most brilliant novelist in the world could have created a more skewering satire of Naomi Wolf’s career than her latest book.” So, with that in mind, I didn’t set out to fall in love. I listened to Vagina in an audiobook format, and it was a strange journey. Read More Book Review: “Vagina” by Naomi Wolf

Book Review: The Beauty Myth

I just finished reading The Beauty Myth for the first time. Wow. Wolf certainly did a lot of research in order to write this book, and I appreciate much of it. The chapters “Work,” “Culture” and “Sex” were especially interesting reads, as they cited statistics on beauty standards at work (and how women lose by either being “too beautiful” or not “beautiful” enough) and how “beauty pornography” is linking beauty with sexual attraction and performance in very wrong ways. Read More Book Review: The Beauty Myth

Talking about The Beauty Myth, Pt. II – Let’s Get Personal

The last three chapters–“Sex,” “Hunger” and “Violence”–of Naomi Wolf’s seminal text were at least twice as compelling as the first half  of the book (bogged down as it was by sloppy “Culture” and irrelevant, albeit interesting, “Religion”), primarily because Wolf finally interrupted her endless litanies of ad copy and study results to share her own, private experience with the beauty myth (TBM). So, instead of taking a clinical approach to analyzing Wolf’s findings, I’m going to emulate the most successful parts of her book and tell my story of growing up under TBM. Read More Talking about The Beauty Myth, Pt. II – Let’s Get Personal

Naomi Wolf Redeems Herself: Talking about The Beauty Myth, Pt. I

When Naomi Wolf started writing nonsensical, victim-blaming screeds about rape accusers, I thought, “Too bad I never got around to reading The Beauty Myth, because there’s no way I’m subjecting myself to more of her foolish blubbering.” I’m glad that I abandoned my initial boycott of Wolf, because I’ve found the first half of The Beauty Myth to be, if not necessarily eye-opening (I’ve been living with America’s extreme vanity for 22 years, after all), a very encouraging, needed work that taps women on the shoulder and says, “You know that frustration you feel? That’s legitimate. We all feel it.” Read More Naomi Wolf Redeems Herself: Talking about The Beauty Myth, Pt. I

On #MooreandMe, Pt. II: Naomi Wolf and Protecting Accusers’ Anonymity

Part of what has so revived the #MooreandMe Twitter hashtag this week is renowned feminist Naomi Wolf’s January 5 op-ed for the Guardian, titled “Julian Assange’s sex-crime accusers deserve to be named.” Wolf argues that shielding rape accusers from the public spotlight infantilizes women, allows unethical organizations to hush up accusations, and is morally irresponsible. Read More On #MooreandMe, Pt. II: Naomi Wolf and Protecting Accusers’ Anonymity