Who's afraid of Vagina Wolf?


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Michelle Godlberg writes: "Reading Vagina: A New Biography, Naomi Wolf’s self-parodying ode to female genitalia, one wonders what’s happened to a writer who was once one of feminism’s freshest voices. The vagina, she writes in her introduction, “is not only coextensive with the female brain but also is part of the female soul ... a gateway to, and medium of, female self-knowledge and consciousness themselves.” A woman, in this formulation, basically is her vagina. It shouldn’t need pointing out that plenty of misogynists believe the same thing.

It could be that she learned the wrong lesson from The Beauty Myth’s success. Generalizing from her own preoccupations, she was able, in that book, to tell a story with wide and enduring resonance. Perhaps the experience led her to overestimate the value of her intuition and epiphanies. Even with a subject as intimate as the vagina, not all wisdom lies within."