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Promiscuities: An Opinionated History of Female Desire: A Secret History of Female Desire (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. März 1998

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Part memoir, part exposé, Promiscuities is Naomi Wolf's (author of The Beauty Myth and Fire with Fire) perspective on the confusion surrounding female sexuality. According to Wolf, promiscuous is "a word that holds within it the mixed message girls today are given about sex: 'You're promiscuous if you do anything, but you are a prude if you do nothing.'" Thus, still polarized on the spectrum between virgin and whore, adolescent girls are allowed little information and even fewer healthy outlets for their normal sexual desires. Wolf shatters the illusion that good girls and professional women are not sexual, and boldly embarks on redefining female sexuality outside of men's experience and assumptions. Wolf's own coming of age in the post-sexual revolution of Haight-Ashbury, serves as an evocative tool for revealing the naked and admirable truth of female sexuality. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.


"Her book is a searing and thoroughly fascinating exploration of the complex wildlife of female sexuality and desire." (New York Times)

"At last, a new generation of women writers is addressing the powerful issues of female sexuality. I gulped this wonderful book down in one sitting, like a novel. Brava Naomi Wolf for your courage, your intelligence, your lucid prose." (Erica Jong)

"Refreshing... Highly evocative... Wolf does two important things very well: reminding readers her own age what it felt like to be a teenage girl, and providing a crash course on the wildly varying cultural meanings attached to female sexuality throughout history" (The Ottawa Citizen)

"Naomi Wolf [is] the best writer about women and sexuality that we have" (Toronto Sun)

"Fascinating... Wolf celebrates the ancient concept, heavily suppressed in the 20th century, that women are the more carnal sex" (Vancouver Courier)

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Format: Taschenbuch
This book was a memoir, and, if I may say so, a very superficially written one. Which is a shame, because a real memoir of Wolf's life would probably be quite interesting.
Wolf's purported discussion of the sexual maturation in young women deals with little more than her own experience and that of her circle of friends. Which is also a shame, because a seriously written book on this topic would also be interesting.
But Wolf treds a painfully dull and over-hyped path with this book, which manages to hide her considerable intellect almost completely under trite melancholy reminisces. Utterly failing to provide any insight into adolescence's turbulence, Wolf laments her psuedo-tragic past and suggests ill-thought-out "solutions" for preventing such pain.
This autobiography is not really an autobiography at all, as it only covers a few years of her life, and doesn't delve into her psyche or experience at all, except with regard to her (huge) virgin/whore complex. It might be a very compelling book about her adult life as she struggles with her feminist beliefs and the backlash to "The Beauty Myth," but it's not. So if you are interested in Wolf as a thinker, you're out of luck.
But if you're interested in the complex social navigations of young women in our society and how those interactions have affected our culture's view of women, you're out of luck too. Any discussion about this issue is about as deep as a puddle.
The real shame of this is how much I like Naomi Wolf, and how much "The Beauty Myth" meant to me. And if one looks hard enough in this text, you may take something out of it. However, something went horribly wrong with this sophomoric, pseudo-intellectual book from a very smart author.
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Von Ein Kunde am 5. Januar 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Intelligent adult women need to write more about their coming of age. Wolf has done just that, and writes well. (The best book of this genre is Annie Dillard's "An American Childhood".) This book is also a telling document about what it meant to grow up in the 60s and 70s, a period when the prevailing sexual hedonism came into flower. However, I doubt that La Wolf's memoir tells all; I suspect that a lot was (rightly) left out of this book, out of respect for the author's parents, siblings, spouse, and child.
The book's flaw is the author's naivete about desire, carnality, and the dark side of human nature. She doesn't seem to appreciate the extent to which her she is a product of her place and time. San Francisco and California have always been exceptions and trend setters. A whole generation grew up there believing that sexual restraint and boundaries were merely manifestations of outdated "hang-ups". She fails to see that her life story gives the lie to her parents' academic idealism, and to the ideology underlying the sex education her grandmother advocated in the 50s. The author also does not seem to appreciate the extent to which her thinking and her emotions are products of her secular Jewish upbringing.
Wolf's generation has imperfectly relearned via bitter experience the wisdom of the ages, namely that human sexual urges are potentially destructive of health, happiness and sanity. That women and children need the protection of marriage and the criminal law. That adolescents should be shielded from deliberate sexual arousal. (She does see that erotica and sex toys should be marketed in ways that limit the ability of under 18s to encounter such stuff.) That girls must be protected from peer pressures to become sexual.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Puh-leese!!! I still can't believe that anybody of my generation seriously liked "Tonight's the Night" as anything other than a bit of satire. I think Rod Stewart is so cheesy that he is bound to become the Wayne Newton of our generation. Young girls wanting a boyish older man!!! That ought to make pedophiles happy!!! Certainly not my case!!! That's for starters. It's always interesting to read anybody's memoirs, but for a book supposedly about desire, it talked a lot about events which transpired, but very little about feelings, either emotional or physical, nor much about hopes and dreams, and how they were formed by such events. I probably had a more sheltered or restricted adolescent life (or did I?) but my emotional life was much richer. Also, there was too much talk about what was "learned" from said events, without much questioning of those lessons. What's the matter, in your adolescent years, were you so docile that you never got angry?
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Von Ein Kunde am 14. Juni 1999
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is an incredibly empowering book for women. No longer do we need to think of ourselves in a manner of either being a virgin or a whore. I only wish I would have read this three years ago, before I became desperate not to be seen as the former. The history of women's sexuality was particularily wonderful. Though I took sex ed in the 80s and 90s, we still were being taught that it was always the boy who made the first move, and it was up to the girl to say no. (In other words, it is her fault when things go all the way.) It is depressing that no matter how far we come, we still regress back to that. This book should be required reading for every sex ed teacher, every school-aged girl, every school-aged boy, every parent. Want an insight into the mind of a female teenager? Things haven't changed much since Wolf was a teen 30 years ago. This book changed -- probably forever -- the way I view matters of sex and sexuality.
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