Kate Pollitt is my idea of a good writer. I only met her once, but immediately liked her. She has a vicious sense of humor which makes her my type of woman. I love her review of Naomi Wolf’s new book Vagina: A New Biography. Wolf’s feminism ends up in the same place as the old patriarchal idea that women are reducible to, and limited by, their reproductive systems:
"By now the whole world knows that the story began when Wolf found her orgasms becoming merely clitoral, losing their 'Technicolor' glow and feeling of oneness with the universe. Surgery for a trapped pelvic nerve fixed her right up, which led Wolf to her big “discovery”: like every other sentient part of the body, the vagina is connected, through the nervous system, to the brain! Furthermore, every woman’s wiring is different!
No wonder a touch that thrills one woman doesn’t do much for another. That is actually a useful point: even today, women fake orgasms rather than ask for what they want, and men can be quick to judge if what worked with one girlfriend doesn’t work with the next. Unfortunately, having 'discovered' that every woman is sexually unique, she proceeds to write 300 more pages arguing that they are all the same, i.e., just like Naomi Wolf."
I’ll add my constant lament: Women are so sexually repressed we are unable to agree on a proper name for our sex organ. The vagina is the birth canal, not the whole package. However, vagina seems to be the favorite name for most sexually repressed women. I so agree with Katha in her last sentence: “Its lucky vaginas can’t read, or mine would be cringing in embarrassment that 'Vagina' is what millions think of as feminism.”
Ditto Katha! That’s exactly how I felt about the “Vagina Monologues.” That millions would think of it as feminism. The patriarchy and matriarchy has never much cared for the word “clitoris.” After all, it’s just a woman’s phallus!