Gore hires Naomi Wolf to win over women

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THE FEMINIST author Naomi Wolf has been recruited as an adviser by Vice-President Al Gore to help his campaign pitch with younger voters, especially women.

He confirmed the appointment yesterday but would not comment on a Time magazine report that her task was to convince voters he was not a "permanent number two" but an "alpha male". Mr Gore said: "She's a valued adviser and she'll remain one." She worked mainly with his daughter, Karenna, a law student, who is also helping with his campaign, concentrating on an outreach effort on the Internet.

Whether associated primarily with Karenna or with the Vice-President, Ms Wolf's appointment will not be without controversy. Her latest book is called Promiscuities, and recommends, among other things, that masturbation be taught at schools as safer than sex and more realistic than abstinence.

Ms Wolf's best-known book is The Beauty Myth, which argues that young women are expected to meet impossible standards of physical perfection. Her follow-up, Fire With Fire, said young women should be more forceful in pushing for action on pay discrimination and sexual harassment.

Once again, however, Mr Gore may be behind the times. In the past two years, Ms Wolf, who is now in her thirties, has met increasing opposition from the next generation of young women authors.