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Naomi Wolf: live webchat TODAY, Thursday 6 September, 12pm to 1pm

(410 Posts)
comixminx Wed 03-Oct-12 08:34:54

I see her current doctorate at Oxford is about the discourses about sexuality in the nineteenth century. Pity: she could be doing experimental psychology and actually learning about neuropsychology properly. Oh well. Not like I care but she would then be in a position to actually learn from the criticisms that have been made, maybe...

Fobwatch Sat 29-Sep-12 09:13:27

Just watched the Paxman interview.

Speechless.

The bit where he questions her on what it isbif you wake up in the morning and find someone has had sex with you whikst you slept and her response is so revealing. She says "well, the law sees it as rape, that's the law"

NurseRatched Fri 28-Sep-12 23:45:22
chaya5738 Wed 12-Sep-12 18:25:27

Still waiting on that apology re: appalling Assange comments....

well any doubts i had that naomi was a feminist no more and actually rather a misogynist have been waved away by her appearance here (and it was still redeemable) then that article.

all that space to write an apology and instead more book promotion and strawman arguments and patronising of her critics.

ho hum. seeya naomi. enjoy the rewards that come with selling out. shame you had to sell out the victims of rape in the process.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 12-Sep-12 15:27:08

Dear Naomi,
People are not saying that writing a book about the physiology of the vagina and its connection with the brain is essentialist.
The point they are making is that ascribing a unique importance to the vagina-brain connection is essentialist.
They are also not criticising you for writing about the physiology of the vagina and its connection with the brain, they are criticising you for having a poor grasp of our current level of knowledge with regard to the physiology of the vagina and its connection with the brain.
HTH
love Tunip x

prettybird Wed 12-Sep-12 15:20:04

hmm

She really doesn't understand her own lack of scientific rigour methodology basic knowledge.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 12-Sep-12 15:10:36

Wow, she has an amazing ability to avoid reality and convince herself of things rather than face up to criticism, hasn't she?

I dare say her agent is in negotiations over the apology. hmm

aufaniae Wed 12-Sep-12 15:05:22

Any sign of that public apology yet then?

PretzelTime Wed 12-Sep-12 15:04:17

Yeah sad

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Wed 12-Sep-12 14:50:12

ouch.

i'd have thought her next piece for the guardian would have been 'why i really regret writing that cack about the Assange case'.

Greythorne Wed 12-Sep-12 14:46:43
Greythorne Tue 11-Sep-12 18:46:02

Don't think all of evo psychology is bunk

But there is a very strong tendancy for populist idiots who don't understand how evidence works to use pseudo evo psychology to justify all sorts of rubbish. Sadly, Wolf has just placed herself firmly in this latter category.

it's teleological bollocks and any serious academic or scientist knows it. populist nonsense.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 11-Sep-12 16:44:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mercury7 Tue 11-Sep-12 16:19:48

well, I was jiving with it until she came in with the evolutionary psychology angle..mind you lots of people DO take evolutionary psychology seriously.
I think it's bunk

loving that quote too grin

that shit about 'needing a virile man' is jaw-dropping. it would be best if she just stopped using the term feminist when she is very clearly not now but in fact a heteronormative handmaiden peddling tired old myths about how women just need a good seeing to.

prettybird Tue 11-Sep-12 15:53:22

I love this quote from Zoe Heller's review to refute Naomi's assertion that women "need" hmm to be made to feel safe by the big strong man hmm in order to achieve orgasm because they will be "so carried away"hmm:

"Anecdotal evidence suggests that a female in the throes of more than culturally adequate passion can snap to attention with astonishing rapidity if one of her children happens to wander into her bedroom, and the response time might even be quicker if the intruder were a woolly mammoth"

grin

vezzie Tue 11-Sep-12 14:59:41

Mercury, I haven't read it. I don't think I will bother I'm afraid. I don't feel qualified to say that it is shit, exactly (not having read it); but I do feel qualified to say I will almost certainly find it very annoying.

SuperB0F Tue 11-Sep-12 14:58:16

Oh, and does anyone else find the idea of that London "somatic therapist" deeply creepy? It reminds me of the Victorian doctors who would stimulate their middle-class female patients with vibrators to cure their "hysteria". In fact, wasn't hysteria itself initially believed to be caused by a wandering womb? The male medical establishment held that women were uniquely emotional creatures because of their sexual biology, and unsuited to manly pursuits such as much of an education, or the vote. Wolf appears to have simply put a fresh spin on a very old and tired idea. The fact that she uses the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology makes it no less reactionary.

SuperB0F Tue 11-Sep-12 14:52:32

I've read enough, in extracts, and pieces quoted by reviewers, to feel disobliged to spend my money on it. In the same way that I don't have to read Fifty Shades Of Grey to know that it's shit.

mercury7 Tue 11-Sep-12 14:37:58

...hmmm, 60% through and it's all gone a bit 'venus & mars'
sad

mercury7 Tue 11-Sep-12 12:10:08

I dont especially disagree with the Zoe Heller review, but still enjoying the book and finding it interesting to look at things from Naomi Wolf's view point.

Has anyone else on this thread actually read the book that's being discussed?

PretzelTime Tue 11-Sep-12 11:38:34

Yes Tunip, I found that incredibly strange too.

From the review: Wolf specifically disqualifies masturbation as a method of achieving high orgasm: “A happy heterosexual vagina requires, to state the obvious, a virile man.”

So
1. For a heterosexual woman, only interourse will get you a "real" orgasm. All others are just not special and creativity inducing enough hmm
2. Apparantly lesbian, bisexual, asexual etc women have a different type of vagina hmm

TunipTheVegemal Tue 11-Sep-12 11:26:24

That is indeed a good review.

I hadn't previously picked up on the inconsistency of her attitude to rape - when she was supporting Assange it was that rape shouldn't be treated as a uniquely different crime, now she's saying that (because of the sacred vagina) rape is uniquely damaging to women.

vezzie Tue 11-Sep-12 11:09:28

Good review of Wolf's book by Zoe Heller (although a lot of her points have already been made here by mumsnetters):

www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/sep/27/pride-and-prejudice/?pagination=false

mercury7 Sun 09-Sep-12 18:13:27

OK, I see your point, although I'd say that she was discussing various things in the book rather than using science to prove things.

I think the mind body connection is inherently mysterious since we cant know whether mind is purely a function of the brain and are a very long way from even beginning to solve the 'hard problem' of consciousness.

Anyhow, like I said, so far I'm really enjoying the book smile

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 09-Sep-12 18:05:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mercury7 Sun 09-Sep-12 17:50:39

you didnt like the book?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 09-Sep-12 17:41:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mercury7 Sun 09-Sep-12 17:14:05

Pretzel hi, well, I'm about 1/3 though it, I felt very moved by some of what I read, lots of insights, lots of 'aha' moments relating to my own experiences wrt sex and relationship.
Very very thought provoking, and really a great sense of validation.
There is a kind of mystical goddess slant at times which made me slightly dubious at first, but now I'm really enjoying it and finding it very beneficial.

This thread has got very negative, I just wanted to chip in and say that my actual experience of the book is very very positive.

It feels very helpful to focus on the complexities of female sexuality which kinda gets drowned in the flood of porn

PretzelTime Sun 09-Sep-12 16:59:40

What has the book helped you with, mercury7? <genuinelly interested>

mercury7 Sun 09-Sep-12 16:53:23

has anyone actually read Naomi Wolf's book?

I'm reading it now and finding it very very interesting and helpfulsmile

Thumbwitch Sun 09-Sep-12 00:36:47

Am still mildly irritated by the idea that DH stroking me for 10mins would somehow enhance my day. hmm I bloody hate being stroked!! Drives my skin barmy in about 20 seconds (as poor DS is discovering, as he's already overstepped his allowance of hand-stroking this morning and my hand is now hyper-irritable)

prettybird Sat 08-Sep-12 14:30:10

Having not known much about Naomi Wolf beyond the initial hype about "The Beauty Myth" (because I am that old! blush), I was interested to learn more given the recent publicity.

I am profoundly disturbed by the backwards step that this "feminist" (and I have put the word into italics deliberately) appears to be advocating: reducing females to the dictates of our "bits" deliberately using a word that I know she would hate We are more than that. We are the sum of our brains, our body, our relationships, our choices.

Saying that we are dictated to by how our fanjo reacts demeans us and give ammunition to those that try to claim that "poor women can't help it" or "need to be protected".

It is the other half of the coin that says that all men are controlled by their penises and are therefore to be feared as potential rapists.

Shame on her. angry

LineRunner Fri 07-Sep-12 20:38:52

Was it Greythorne?

(The 'Good Seeing To' allusionist)

[rockinginthecornervagina]

garlicnutty Fri 07-Sep-12 19:21:09

grin Pubes

[SpacedOutVagina]

MySpanielHell Fri 07-Sep-12 18:23:09

GN, yes but I was referring to your post, where you said:

'I don't know how many of you have felt shocked to discover your 'self' is more about your nervous system's physical & chemical configuration than you thought.'

and LSD is a straight forward way of experiencing that by changing your nervous system you can temporarily experience a very different sense of self.

I thought it was a pretty harmless comment. Debating it is kind of off topic, so I won't, as it really was just meant as a passing remark.

garlicnutty Fri 07-Sep-12 18:07:56

Yes, Spaniel, but it doesn't afford insight into their workings, does it?

Though I suppose it might if you dropped the acid while listening to a colourful description of nerve systems, hormones and happy vaginas ... <zones out>

<wonders if the extreme changes can be changed back again and what my brain would have worked like without the lsd>

thanks to whoever called this a version of the equivalent 'she needs a good seeing to' thing - it is isn't it.

fancy language and spouted by an alleged feminist but awfully like misogynistic drivel in sheeps clothing.

MySpanielHell Fri 07-Sep-12 16:56:50

'LSD alters the action of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, triggering extreme changes in brain function.'

garlicnutty Fri 07-Sep-12 15:26:55

Acid must have moved on since my day confused I got that my feet are really pig's trotters and I can send my astral body zooming into outer space, but nothing about neurotransmitters ... ?

MySpanielHell Fri 07-Sep-12 15:12:30

You can probably work out all that stuff about self and neuroscience by dropping LSD though. There's no need to start bringing vaginas into it.

garlicnutty Fri 07-Sep-12 15:07:33

I hadn't realised Wolf's vagina was sad because it was out of touch with her spine. Apparently her discovery of the complicated neural pathways to women's genitalia prompted this book.

I don't know how many of you have felt shocked to discover your 'self' is more about your nervous system's physical & chemical configuration than you thought. It was a hell of a shock to me the first time. Perhaps like Wolf, too, I became obsessed with finding out more about it (in my case, about ovaries and hormones). My endocrinologist was helpful and encouraging; he felt that widespread ignorance about female biology causes needless problems ... and disempowerment. I've got to say that years on Mumsnet have convinced me he's right.

With caveats all over the place - particularly about neurobiology & neuropsychology, which are misunderstood by both sexes although they tend to impact more heavily on women - I think I can understand why she may have made flaky extrapolations from her freshly-learned science. And I'm not prepared to rubbish them without reading the book properly.

My vagina is currently standing defiant, hands on hips (trying not to think of anatomical equivalent), suggesting some other vaginas on here might be in denial of their own power! Take that any way you want it [smiling vagine]

OatyBeatie Fri 07-Sep-12 14:59:42

Oh,well, think how quickly you could have done the crossword if you had done the rood strokes, tsk! Your brain isn't connected to your forearm, you know, not even a little bit, which is why men have never targeted women's forearms.

Hullygully Fri 07-Sep-12 14:53:38

I DON'T MEAN ORGASM STROKES <faints> That is so rood!

Just ordinary forearms type ones.

We never taught Naomi the word 'fanjo' [sadvagina]

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 14:48:03

My vagina prefers Suduko

OatyBeatie Fri 07-Sep-12 14:41:19

That's good, Hully. If you only get clitoral orgasms you have to do the Quick Crossword, which is literal, mechanical, penile. Only the mystery of vaginal organism breaks your soul through to the mysterious metaphorical relalm of the cryptic.If Freud had realised that, he could have established his distinctions between different kinds of female orgasm much more easily, on the basis of women's crossword preferences.

MyDogShitsMoney Fri 07-Sep-12 14:39:37

Great link Chaya.

Seriously though, why is this so funny?

Why am I clutching my sides at the idea of my flaps pulling faces?

I've been actual lol'ing at the [vadgeemoticons] since yesterday. Am I 12?

[perplexedvagina]

Hullygully Fri 07-Sep-12 14:32:22

This morning I stroked myself for ten minutes and then my vagine did the cryptic crossword in seven!

chaya5738 Fri 07-Sep-12 14:12:52

Oh look, Naomi Wolf's credibility as a commentator/authority on Assange allegations questioned again:

samtycke.nu/eng/2012/09/the-assange-case-naomi-wolf-errs-on-facts-and-basic-geography/

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Fri 07-Sep-12 14:09:07

Wolf gah

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Fri 07-Sep-12 14:08:48

I LOVE YOU ALL

Deep respect for the intelligent comments and questions asked by so many of you.

I cannot believe the trite, dismissive and plainly unintelligent responses from Wolfe. This reads like a parody. She has made herself look completely ridiculous, which is extraordinary.

ShiirleyKnott Fri 07-Sep-12 14:04:35

<strokes BIWI>

That means you will now like me 10% more plus we won't have to argue about the quark thing.

Sorry, my vagina is being sarcastic.

pofacedalways Fri 07-Sep-12 13:58:10

whilst the female insurer was here assessing water leak damage dh metaphorically stroked her for much more than 10 minutes. [cynical vagina]

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 13:54:33

Low fat cream cheese
[helpfulvagina]

ShiirleyKnott Fri 07-Sep-12 13:50:23

I can't work out what a quark is.

<shakes fists at [brokenvagina]>

IawnCont Fri 07-Sep-12 13:48:26

No, not a hat. A fascinator. It's more celebratory. [jollyvadge]

SuperB0F Fri 07-Sep-12 13:41:28

My family planning clinic won't do Dutch caps any more [sadvagina]

In all seriousness I'm now very worried that I have a [sadvagina] I need to sort this ASAP.

I think I will buy it a hat

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Fri 07-Sep-12 13:22:01

<sings>

while my vagine gently weeps...

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 07-Sep-12 13:08:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FushiaFernica Fri 07-Sep-12 11:59:35

This webchat took me totally by surprise. I only knew Naomi Wolf from one book that I read 'Misconceptions' during pregnancy. How out of my depth was I? The Mumsnetters that posed those challenging questions were brilliant. Yesterday I had a look on her performance on Newsnight on 3rd Sept where she discussed the Julian Assange case with Jeremy Paxman, she even attempts to plug her new book at the end of his conversation, it is shocking.

IawnCont Fri 07-Sep-12 10:57:00

Your vagina rarely comes up in conversation? You poor repressed soul... grin

MyDogShitsMoney Fri 07-Sep-12 10:54:18

to be honest my vagina rarely comes up in conversation

please stop, I can't take anymore!

MySpanielHell Fri 07-Sep-12 10:38:12

I do refer to my vagina as a vagina, although to be honest my vagina rarely comes up in conversation. I don't think it makes me less repressed though.

IawnCont Fri 07-Sep-12 10:31:54

I just don't get it. I am probably thick may be in denial, but I really have no issues whatsoever with my vagina. And I don't really get the "let's own the word VAGINA!" I no more use the word vagina than I do call my elbow my olecranon. I don't think that makes me repressed. I know no men who refer to their dicks as penises either.

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 07-Sep-12 10:23:22

grin @ garlic

TunipTheVegemal Fri 07-Sep-12 10:22:42

<applauds Oatie>

As it happens I used to generally do my best writing after a break-up when I was getting no sex at all. I have never in my life found that orgasms unlock creativity.
If Naomi does that's very nice for her but cherry-picking neurology to try and impose that on everyone else is ridiculous.
I'm all for people writing books about the vagina but it is immensely depressing when people get the impression that this ill-judged unscientific narcissistic twaddle is in any way representative of contemporary feminism - when there is so much politically engaged, outward-looking, well-researched new feminist writing out there.

MyDogShitsMoney Fri 07-Sep-12 10:16:36

personally I'm okay with my vagina. We get on.

Actual roar!

ShirelyKnort Fri 07-Sep-12 10:15:42

" it is more than infuriating to be given a version of the male claim that all I need is a good seeing to"

YES!

OatyBeatie Fri 07-Sep-12 10:06:28

Having read the Levy article I feel quite angry about Wolf's book. She really does seem to claim that if you don't get good enough orgasms you can not be a creative person. I very often struggle to write the things I want to write and it is more than infuriating to be given a version of the male claim that all I need is a good seeing to, even (and perhaps especially) when that male claim is softened by resort to pseudoscience and a bizarre mystification of my body. It is a vast irrelevance, which is bad enough, but it is also such a retrograde and diminishing one.

garlicnutty Fri 07-Sep-12 09:56:32

Norma, it's not obligatory to say 'new york' twice! grin

garlicnutty Fri 07-Sep-12 09:55:45

What the hell's she doing up there? Having a picnic with the toy money? hmm

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 07-Sep-12 09:55:43

Love that new yorker article.

MySpanielHell Fri 07-Sep-12 09:53:26

Well fortunately there is a solution to nervous fanny for a reasonable £200. Naomis Wolf's adviser will dress you in a sarong, blindfold you, ring bells in your ears, rub a toy monkey over your body and then see the Virgin Mary in your vagina.

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 07-Sep-12 09:53:02

Love that new yorker article.

garlicnutty Fri 07-Sep-12 09:48:06

Doesn't anybody remember the Weird things your body does thread? 48 MNers (my count) saying they get a 'nervous fanny' ... must be something!

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 09:46:37

grin

TunipTheVegemal Fri 07-Sep-12 09:46:34

I like this line in the Levy one:
'If my vagina heard a potential partner murmur, “Welcome, Goddess,” she would turn to me and say, “Get us out of here now.”'

OatyBeatie Fri 07-Sep-12 09:33:28

Warrior Training is testament to the power of the penis-brain connection. It stimulates the powerful "bloke neurotransmitter" that is essential to male well-being.

MySpanielHell Fri 07-Sep-12 09:28:52

I cannot believe Ariel Levy managed to write that article without mocking the whole book outright; she was very restrained and professional in her comments. I've looked up Wolf's 'adviser' - the man who will stare at your vagina and see a vision of the Virgin Mary. It costs £200-300. He also does New Warrior Training for men, whatever that may be.

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 09:07:17

I liked the last word especially! grin

pofacedalways Fri 07-Sep-12 09:04:02

I LOVED the last line of Moore's piece. Made me wet myself a bit.

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 08:59:04

Oh yes, Hully. <nods furiously>

Hullygully Fri 07-Sep-12 08:56:11

suzanne moore in the grauniad yesterday summed it all up

Haven't read the book, but from this webchat it seems to imply that men are giving women unhappy vagina sexy time in order to keep us down? Is this right?

<Off to kick husband in the penis>

SuperB0F Fri 07-Sep-12 08:34:56

book, in The New Yorker. I'd urge anyone who wants to understand why the whole thing is anti-feminist nonsense to read it here.

IawnCont Fri 07-Sep-12 08:34:40

She has made a lot of good points. But a lot of bad ones too, very damaging. As far as the book goes, I don't know- I think it would be good for women who feel their sexuality has been massively conditioned, but personally I'm okay with my vagina. We get on.

SuperB0F Fri 07-Sep-12 08:32:55

Ariel Levy has written a superb critique of the b

OatyBeatie Fri 07-Sep-12 08:04:12

I agree she does have a good point about govts "pimping feminism for their own ends." And her govt's horribly overbearing extradition policies are a target that needs attack. With the exception of the awful letter I think she did quite a good job on this webchat of defending her Assange stance (not that I agree with it) and was sometimes too harshly attacked.

It was the pseudoscience that antagonised me most. If you are going to write a book about neuroscience and well being it is not enough to "just care."

MmeLindor Fri 07-Sep-12 00:54:35

Messy
It is the signals that are sent when a 'leading feminist' talks about the conspiracy against Assange that is worrying.

And her use of rape myths such as women who are raped would not want to be in contact with their attackers afterwards, or that they would not have consensual sex after the rape.

Not to mention the anonymity issue, which would lead to less rapes reported not more. Who would report a rape if they knew that their pic could end in the paper, or their personal life could be dissected on internet fora?

messyisthenewtidy Fri 07-Sep-12 00:08:37

Ok Albie! But I think she has, and I think she makes a good point about the governments "pimping" feminism for their own ends. Maybe I'm too soft.

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 23:55:44

Oh come off it messy, if that letter was written by someone who's spent twenty years working with rape victims I'm Albert Tatlock.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 23:48:32

<deflated emoticon>

AliceHurled Thu 06-Sep-12 23:31:42

I thought you had to read the book mooncup, then contact her to discuss using that website, as the chosen one.

messyisthenewtidy Thu 06-Sep-12 23:30:35

Why is everyone being so harsh? Yes that letter was truly awful but she seemed to genuinely regret it and her years spent dealing with rape victims is proof of her dedication. She was also frank in her answers and didn't try to ignore the difficult questions.

As for the Vagina stuff, whether the science behind it is bogus or not, she obviously just cares about women's physical and emotional well being. She is arguing that porn culture is harmful to women's well being and that men need to pay more attention to how female sexual pleasure works. I can't disagree with that.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 23:16:39

Jimmy Carr is on my tv, my lubrication and engorgement levels are being seriously depleted as we speak.................give me 5 to google Paul Walker/Rupert P-J and I'm ready.

what time are we wanking?

garlicnutty Thu 06-Sep-12 23:09:04

No, there's nothing there, mcm! My vagina wonders if they're going to put up some work of hers, but are running late? (My vagina's always telling me off for inflicting similar on my clients, tbh blush)

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 23:05:07

I've just been that website that Naomi said we MUST READ and then come back to her.......dailycloudt.com

I can't find anything relevant to the discussion - am I being extra dim or is it that I am very unfocused and unconfident because I've still not connected my brain with my vagina today? <fail emoticon>

TheCrackFox Thu 06-Sep-12 22:35:21

Just read the entire thread and it really should be in classics. My vagina found if hilarious.

garlicnutty Thu 06-Sep-12 22:23:25

Am heartily in favour of vagina emoticons, and I have my vagina's permission to say so grin

YAY! That should keep Tech busy for a little while ...

PseudoBadger Thu 06-Sep-12 22:11:33

I can't believe no one called it their 'sex' grin

thenightsky Thu 06-Sep-12 21:52:08

OOoh yes... please let's have Jilly on soon!

MmeLindor Thu 06-Sep-12 21:50:44

I will admit to being wrong.

When I read that Ms Wolf was to do a MN webchat, I was rather upset. I thought that it was wrong to have someone who perpetuated rape myths on MN after the strength of the We Believe You campaign.

It was however, a very good webchat, albeit not one that Naomi was hoping for. Either her publicist was a bit disingenuous when arranging this, or she was expecting the hostile reaction, I am not quite sure. It was good to be able to put our questions directly to her, and I was pleased that she realised how much damage that she has done with her letter in the Huffington Post. I can only hope that she follows up with a decent apology, with no spreading of blame onto others.

Am heartily in favour of vagina emoticons, and I have my vagina's permission to say so.

SarahStratton Thu 06-Sep-12 21:47:47

Well, that was a bit of a fun bloodbath. grin

I'd still rather chat to Jilly Cooper though, or perhaps we could have Boris back to toy with a little more.

garlicnutty Thu 06-Sep-12 20:35:06

Thank you! Yes, I'm always garlicky, though grin

pofacedalways Thu 06-Sep-12 20:32:08

garlicnutty did you used to be someone else? I like your posts. smile

garlicnutty Thu 06-Sep-12 19:07:41

Thanks for this, Mumsnet. I was impressed by Wolf's responses <ducks> and am interested enough in her vagina/self/politics theories to get hold of the book.

I'm not going to dismiss it as reductionist without a proper read and a think. Our vaginas are still culturally associated with fear and shame (often covered up by humour) and it is true that medical understanding of women's genitalia is pretty pathetic on the whole. For these reasons alone, I think it's worth doing a proper investigation to learn more about the defining anatomy of women, and raising its status if you like.

One of the best webchats ever, imo. Credit to Wolf for her directness and professionalism.

Hullygully Thu 06-Sep-12 18:37:46

we could have ol Paggy for the flowery vadge

BIWI Thu 06-Sep-12 18:33:59

Not sure I want [flowersvadge]. I have enough vases.

Hullygully Thu 06-Sep-12 18:13:42

I have suggested it, Oaty

Hullygully Thu 06-Sep-12 18:12:02

YES

Vadge emoticons

top idea

OatyBeatie Thu 06-Sep-12 18:07:47

What we need is for all the emoticons to be replaced by vaginas reacting in various ways [grinningvagina] [shockedvagina] [angryvagina] [confusedvagina] [enviousvagina]

(Not winking vagina though. Too disturbing)

BIWI Thu 06-Sep-12 18:04:46

shock

And

shock

We need a [flabbergasted] too

Hullygully Thu 06-Sep-12 18:03:33

My vagina weeps when Gove/Cameron/Gidiot appear on the telly

So she's right

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 17:48:01

I rather enjoyed Ariel Levy's comments on the book:

Wolf claims that vaginal slander—referring to the vagina by its "awful" feline moniker, for instance—"apparently affects the very tissue of the vagina." She bases this conclusion on a study of female rates whose vaginal tissue showed signs of change after periods of stress. The experiment did not, however, entail researchers yelling "Rat pussy!" at the animals; stress was manufactured physically. Wolf's interpretation of the science is, as usual, rather free.

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 06-Sep-12 17:44:32

She didn't answer my question about Ali G sad

Naomi Wolf, you sound like you’re on crack. grin

(MNHQ please note this is a compliment wink)

OatyBeatie Thu 06-Sep-12 16:59:18

Hmm, yes, New Statesman article points out her attribution to "sexually threatening stress" of effects that are in fact common to all stress sources and that does seem to be a sleight of hand on Wolf's part. Also, I think she misuses Austin's notion of a performative utterance in one of the quotations the New Statesman article includes.

It does seem increasingly that the book would have been better named after a different sexual organ -- Bollocks.

What an excellent blog post. Thank you for linking it, Msrisotto.

Hullygully Thu 06-Sep-12 16:54:40

How can you get a whole book out of "Wanking Makes You Feel Good?"

Just how?

<admires>

Did anyone ever think that there WASN'T a link between orgasm and feeling good?

msrisotto Thu 06-Sep-12 16:45:24
MyDogShitsMoney Thu 06-Sep-12 16:04:10

I can't believe I bloody missed this.

My vagina is ROFLing all over the shop.

BOF your one liners made me do actual lolz.

(imagine the furious wanking Ms Wolf must have had to do after that, her vadge must have been in pieces sad)

Hullygully Thu 06-Sep-12 15:47:29

Ok, I missed it and now I've only read to page 6. Does her Vagina book amount to:

"Treat your woman good and you'll get more?"

msrisotto Thu 06-Sep-12 15:24:01

We should suggest that Cordelia Fine reviews it smile

FWIW it screams bullshit to me.

MooncupGoddess Thu 06-Sep-12 15:18:23

Great post OatyBeatie - thank you for putting so cogently something I've been trying to articulate all morning.

It would be really interesting to read a review of her book by a proper neuroscientist with a specialism in sexual issues. Everything I've read suggests that it's not yet possible to draw any serious conclusions from which areas of the brain light up on an MRI scan.

OatyBeatie Thu 06-Sep-12 15:11:53

I wish she'd answered my question about the wandering womb! The close identification Wolf seems to make between the vagina and the self (i.e. the neurological connections between vagina and the "female brain" and between orgasm and mood/temperament) echo very strongly the earlier quasi-medical mystification of woman as being the products of their wombs (hysteria etc).

That is such a disturbing echo that, especially coupled with a sexual culture in which women are demoted to body parts (and people are aggressively identified as "cunts"), I don't think I could begin to look properly at her empirical claims without some preliminary discussion of how on earth so close a connection of a woman's selfhood with her sexual organ could possibly avoid collapsing her into a mere fragment of herself at best (and an illusion at worst).

Added to that, as I think the Guardian review of her book makes salient, there is a pervasive tendency at the moment to react in an oversimplifying and overly determinist way to the numerous and complex relations between brain and self that are constantly being discovered and which are usually only partly understood. Phrases like "feminist neurotransmitter" and "feminist impulse in the brain" are an almost comically egregious example of mapping brain to self in a reductionist way, reminiscent of phrenology.

It's true that she did say at the start she was going to talk about her book.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 14:42:35

It could be really useful. If she does it right and doesn't just go all defensive and keep on about how many people keep telling her how wonderful her work is.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Sep-12 14:39:35

agreed. like i say, it'll be interesting to see what she does with that admission.

Thedoctrineofennis Thu 06-Sep-12 14:32:44

Just got back to my desk and read this all through, curse you, meetings!

Thanks Justine and excellent posts everyone!

LineRunner Thu 06-Sep-12 14:32:34

I hadn't read the Huff Post letter before, and I think it's bloody hateful.

Naomi Wolf didn't answer any of my questions, about (a) her reception in the UK, and (b) her poverty of understanding of the primary academic sources.

MooncupGoddess Thu 06-Sep-12 14:27:41

Yes, well, if she really regretted that ghastly piece she would have asked the Huffington Post to take it down or add a retraction/apology at the bottom.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 14:24:03

An apology only works if you put your hands up and actually admit what was wrong about it. If she admitted she had peddled a rape myth and talked about what harm could be done by it, it would be helpful, I think. An unspecific expression of regret coupled with blaming the Mail for getting it wrong doesn't really put anything right.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Sep-12 14:20:37

i do automatically nod, though, to 'i totally regret that'. that's fair play, imo. interesting to see what she does with it.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Sep-12 14:19:36

omg... <clutches sides> and <the outside of my insides> ifyouknowworramean [lascivious wink]

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 14:01:20

OK, George next month? <stern eyes>

We are only a group of women who want to understand good sexual etiquette after all smile

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 13:59:19

Hahah.

Poor Justine, imagine having to smooth HIS ruffled feathers.

[grim]

LemarchandsBox Thu 06-Sep-12 13:59:14

No! get him while he's hot, so to speak grin

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 13:57:55

TwelveLeggedWalk

AH, missed it! Interesting read though...

<wonders if MNHQ have made a mash rush to the nearest pub and a gin-based lunch>

You know us so well. Any chance we could leave George Galloway for a bit [pleading eyes]?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 13:56:47

chaya5738

But, Justine, she didn't explain her position properly. She was disingenuous and prevaricated. She said her "phrasing" was wrong. Please.

I don't think we should promote an author whose views are so inconsistent with the WeBelieveHer campaign.

But agree that it was an interesting chat only because it gave us all a chance to tell Naomi Wolf exactly what we thought of her position/s.

My comments about not being allowed to talk about Assange, referred to the comments made by Naomi that she was here to discuss her latest book. These were echoed by Mumsnet.

Her book - and promoting it - is certainly what prompted the chat - I think that's all we meant by the introduction to the thread but nowhere did we limit the scope of the chat (we're not complete nitwits!) and to be fair she did address questions on Assange and her initial response to the Assange case.

AH, missed it! Interesting read though...

<wonders if MNHQ have made a mash rush to the nearest pub and a gin-based lunch>

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 06-Sep-12 13:50:41

Hello aitch smile

chaya5738 Thu 06-Sep-12 13:47:37

But, Justine, she didn't explain her position properly. She was disingenuous and prevaricated. She said her "phrasing" was wrong. Please.

I don't think we should promote an author whose views are so inconsistent with the WeBelieveHer campaign.

But agree that it was an interesting chat only because it gave us all a chance to tell Naomi Wolf exactly what we thought of her position/s.

My comments about not being allowed to talk about Assange, referred to the comments made by Naomi that she was here to discuss her latest book. These were echoed by Mumsnet.

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 13:47:37

Hold onto your vagina hat Aitch!

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Sep-12 13:43:09

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh. missed it. damn that nursery run. <settles down to read>

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 13:41:39

TunipTheVegemal

It was an interesting webchat Justine. Haven't seen the Mumsnet feminists so united since early 2011.

You're not wrong there.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:37:45

Can you get George Justine? PLEASE?

Alameda Thu 06-Sep-12 13:34:17

I wasn't wanking in there or anything like that. I'm allowed in, just not to take books home with me.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 13:34:09

It was an interesting webchat Justine. Haven't seen the Mumsnet feminists so united since early 2011.

Looking forward to the mass wank.

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:33:51

It was great, Justine, thanks.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 13:33:36

chaya5738

Apparently it is ok to talk about the Beauty Myth but not to ask her about her writings on Assange. What fcking bullsh*t, Mumsnet HQ.

Who said it was not ok to ask about Assange? There's lots of questions about Assange on this thread confused.

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:33:07

I'm guessing that Alameda was having a crafty shuffle in the Quiet Section to help her read some De Beauvoir.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 06-Sep-12 13:32:44

alameda how do you get banned from a library? You weren't raising your dopamine levels in the military history section were you shock

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 13:31:42

chaya5738

JustineMumsnet You wrote:

"Naomi's position isn't this wasn't rape, it's that Assange's deportation is politically motivated and that under normal circumstances a case like this wouldn't be prosecuted. But far better for her to speak for herself, I'd say."

Well saying that it was politically motivated is the equivalent of saying that it shouldn't be taken as seriously as it is ie: all rape victims should be treated badly. Apparently, if you are raped by a left-wing celebrity the police should not prosecute your case because, well, there are worse rapes to worry about. Utterly appalling.

And that wasn't all that Naomi said. You should read exactly what she said on it. She definitely falls into the this wasn't rape-rape camp.

And the conspiracy theories she has bought into are an embarrassment too.

This definitely doesn't fit with the WeBelieveHer campaign. I accept that Assange hasn't been convicted but at least let his accusers/victims have their day in court. He has had many, many, many days in court and the best legal counsel that could be bought. I don't know of many other people accused of rape who have had such fantastic access to due process and excellent legal counsel!

I really wish Mumsnet had done some research on this before supporting Ms Wolf in this way.

I merely outlined Naomi's position - one that's she's put forward anywhere and everywhere this week and that she reiterated here. I didn't say I agree with it it and I'm not sure providing a platform on Mumsnet counts as "supporting Ms Wolf" tbh. But I do think it's useful to give people a chance to explain their statements and I thought it was an interesting webchat. Hope others did too.

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:31:37

Fastidia, that's a bit close to the kids' bedtime- can we make it nine?

LemarchandsBox Thu 06-Sep-12 13:31:05

I have a PTA meeting. I can run it by the Chair and see if we have space on the Agenda though.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:30:41

LOL Alameda, what did you do to get banned from a library?

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:30:36

How did you get banned from the library, Alameda? shock

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:29:58

I have a brilliant idea.

We must choose a date and time, and agree to have a mass fuck, wank or other vagina-focused sexual activity and if everyone in the world does it, there will be no more patriarchy and men and women will be equal. No more rape, equal pay, no more DV and men will do their fair share of housework and parenting.

Does October 17th at 8PM suit?

BupcakesandCunting Thu 06-Sep-12 13:28:03

You have got exceptional hair Naomi. What shampoo do you use?

Alameda Thu 06-Sep-12 13:27:55

(a little part of me does want to read her book, am a big fan of anything to do with my minge, but don't want to line her pockets and am banned from the library)

chaya5738 Thu 06-Sep-12 13:27:39

Apparently it is ok to talk about the Beauty Myth but not to ask her about her writings on Assange. What fcking bullsh*t, Mumsnet HQ.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:27:20

Can you all be quiet, I'm try to get myself all confident and dopamined up for the afternoon. I've got this patriarchy to defeat just as soon as I've got myself off.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 13:27:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Margerykemp Thu 06-Sep-12 13:27:11

Naomi- if you are still here- the UK is not one jurisdiction. Scotland has a separate legal system, laws on rape, reporting, prosecution and conviction rate, therefore that is why there are no UK stats.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Thu 06-Sep-12 13:26:57

My vagina and I love mumsnet. But we won't be reading your book, ms wolf.

That went well smile

Thank you Naomi and I look forward to reading your open letter of apology to those two women.

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 13:26:13

Gorgeous George, i mean.

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 13:25:44

I'm up for that....

slug Thu 06-Sep-12 13:25:20

Well, she is a journalist with a book to sell hmm

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:25:15

So.

George Galloway next?

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:23:50

Slug she appears to have no shame

if we all walk round with love eggs in we'll have the patriarchy whipped in no time.

i can't stop! god i wish the world was as simple as people in ivory towers with publishers in their ears believe it to be.

it makes me think twice about going back into academia in case my brain becomes as riddled with nonsense and ego as seems to happen to so many.

chaya5738 Thu 06-Sep-12 13:23:05

JustineMumsnet You wrote:

"Naomi's position isn't this wasn't rape, it's that Assange's deportation is politically motivated and that under normal circumstances a case like this wouldn't be prosecuted. But far better for her to speak for herself, I'd say."

Well saying that it was politically motivated is the equivalent of saying that it shouldn't be taken as seriously as it is ie: all rape victims should be treated badly. Apparently, if you are raped by a left-wing celebrity the police should not prosecute your case because, well, there are worse rapes to worry about. Utterly appalling.

And that wasn't all that Naomi said. You should read exactly what she said on it. She definitely falls into the this wasn't rape-rape camp.

And the conspiracy theories she has bought into are an embarrassment too.

This definitely doesn't fit with the WeBelieveHer campaign. I accept that Assange hasn't been convicted but at least let his accusers/victims have their day in court. He has had many, many, many days in court and the best legal counsel that could be bought. I don't know of many other people accused of rape who have had such fantastic access to due process and excellent legal counsel!

I really wish Mumsnet had done some research on this before supporting Ms Wolf in this way.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:22:45

My vagina is still a bit confused about whether she actually wants Assange to be extradited or not.

Maybe if I go and stroke it a bit, it will understand.

slug Thu 06-Sep-12 13:22:18

Rapists rape with impunity everywhere not just in the UK or USA.

I'm sure you have witnessed or at least been aware of the huge level of abuse that has fallen on Assange's accusers. As soon as their anonymity was removed (illegally I should note) they were subject to an unrelenting torrent of abuse, rape threats, death treats etc. their names have been published, their previous sexual behaviour examined in minute detail and the underlying message is they were lying sluts who deserved everything they got because they were stupid enough to claim their right to have a sex life.

If their anonymity had been kept, don't you think they would not have been doorstopped, had their email addresses and phone numbers published, had their home address published so every conspiracy theorist could accuse them of being a USA stooge, been hounded in public and in private nor been subject to the daily excruciating process of going about their daily life?

Surely, watching what happened to these women would make any sane woman think very carefully about accusing any person of rape? The very case you are an apologist for is a stark example of what happens to women who speak p publicly.

Aren't you ashamed of yourself?

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 06-Sep-12 13:22:04

SGM - I asked that. Having a diddle.on your own is fine grin

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:21:20

I haven't had a wank today, could that be why I haven't been able to get on with the ironing?

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 13:21:00

I will be having stern words with my vagina this evening.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 13:20:47

So rape victims aren't getting convictions because they're not fighting back hard enough? hmm And if we take away their anonymity they will be stop being ashamed, like the gay people, and their shame is the reason why they're not getting convictions and when gay people stopped being ashamed it got better for them?

Do you see how victim-blaming and unkind your suggestion is?

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:20:41

Me and the vagina are off for some lunch now- laters!

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 13:20:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:20:30

Is she gone?

<Nervously peeks round>

ahh. this was worth revisiting mn feminism for. nice to see old faces smile

keep up the good fight sisters - and remember to crack one out hourly.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:20:16

swallowed

Just ha fucking ha

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:19:45

Thanks Naomi- I'll reach out when I've checked my vagina says its ok smile

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 13:19:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

women wanking their way to freedom.

overthrowing the patriarchy one orgasm at a time.

fucking for freedom?

so many slogans.

Alameda Thu 06-Sep-12 13:19:29

I wish you hadn't bothered. I'd rather not know that someone who used to be a feminist could support the removal of the right to anonymity for rape victims.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:18:08

grin swallowed

I've not had an orgasm today yet. Must try harder to be a good feminist.

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 13:17:48

You have some brass neck moaning about other people treating rape survivors like shit lady.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:17:46

Are you fucking insane? Do you know how it feels to know that someone hostile to you, who may be bigger and stronger than you and may have power over you, knows you've been raped?

How do the rape victims you say you've worked with, respond to this suggestion?

IawnCont Thu 06-Sep-12 13:17:13

Disagree with a lot of what you say, but thank you for coming in to discuss things.

it's a conspiracy to stop us getting dopamine sgm - labiaplasty the hell of out of them. probably why they're so keen on episiotomies as well.

hold onto your lips ladies.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:15:56

So this had certainly been a very frank discussion and that is good. I appreciate the chance to talk directly with you and hope to do so more. Thank you for your time and comments and please do reach out if you have more you want me to think about -- yours Naomi

chaya5738 Thu 06-Sep-12 13:15:44

But anonymity is OPTIONAL - the rape victim can waive that right. You are trying to take away that option.

dear lord please beam me up.

the tories are in for another couple of years and feminists are telling us we just need to shag better and patriarchy will fall.

i can't cope anymore.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 13:15:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 13:15:11

God, is it nearly over yet. I've got cramp in my feet from all the cringing.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:14:09

slug

"Because it covers up malfeasance and prosecutorial neglect"

Can you explain that a bit more clearly please? Are you only referring to the American or UK justice system?

You are aware, aren't you, of the strong societal pressures against women reporting rape and the persecution (see the Assange case) of any women who does publicly name their rapist? Surely working, as you have claimed, in rape crisis centres has made you aware of this? How then, do you propose to defend women who do report rape from the societal backlash that she will inevitably suffer?

Rapists rape with impunity in the US the UK and throughout western europe. In the UK only sic per cent of REPORTED rapes are ever prosecuted and you can't even find conviction rates. In two years at the UK rape crisis center where I worked we had ONE prosecution, zero convictions.

What I see if that rape survivors are treated like shit with or without anonymity -- by the courts and by the outcomes and by not enough helplines or centers etc etc etc. There will be a backlash just as there was when gay people started to eschew anonymity and come out to fight back against homophobic assaults. Their position was: this is not my shame. And now homophobic attacks are better documented, better prosecuted and paradoxivcally perhaps there is far less shame in being the subject of such an attack. I believe this is the analogy. It is not rape victims' shame, it is the rapists' shame.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:14:07

PMSL bof

it's a little light that comes on in the bright pink area of the brain just next to the 'likes kittens' zones slug

hth.

chaya5738 Thu 06-Sep-12 13:13:38

Naomi, your response to the Assange matter is disingenuous at best. You haven't responded to the criticisms of your assertions made by people with a lot more knowledge of Swedish law, and law generally, than you eg:

samtycke.nu/eng/2012/09/checking-naomi-wolfs-8-big-problems-in-the-assange-case-and-coming-up-empty/

I find it gobsmacking that you have bought into the conspiracy theory myths put forward by the nutty Assange supporters without taking the time to actually research UK extradition law or indeed read any of legal blog posts written for lay people (eg: the David Allen Green article in the New Statesman cited above).

So disappointed. If this is how you research law, then I worry about how you research science.

Your sloppy research and willingness to manipulate research and conclusions to suit your assumptions discredits your academic credibilities I am afraid. Good luck for getting through the Oxford DPhil.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:13:36

Avocats, exercise, pumpkin seeds and bananas increase dopamine levels.

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:13:20

I had an episiotomy once. I could have been such an awesome feminist if I hadn't sad.

it does a fair bit more than effect her neural boosts. trivialising again.

and you don't think reproductive control and ensuring paternity and the transmission of property (including females) was a more immediate and pressing reason for men to control women's sexuality? you think they sat round instead and said these women get awfully uppity when they have orgasms so let's make sure they don't enjoy sex?

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 13:12:47

See, I just find this all really daft. The reason men "target" the vagina isn't because that's where our brains are kept.

slug Thu 06-Sep-12 13:12:23

"Feminist impulse in the brain"?????

<<bangs head>> Where, in the Flying Spagetti Monster's Name is the site of the brain's "Feminist Impulse"?? And could you please send me links to the research papers that have mapped it.

IawnCont Thu 06-Sep-12 13:12:21

grin Stroking. When my husband annoys me and I tell him so, he should just say "shhhhh" and start stroking me gently, as if I was a cat. That's so much better than arguing verbally. Just to shut up and be stroked. grin

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 13:11:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

i'm beginning to think feminism should operate like alcoholics anonymous and at the level of press and publication no one should use their real name or be identifiable so fame and being courted by patriarchs couldn't turn their heads.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:10:10

swallowedAfly

you may well have found out some interesting brain rewards that come from sex and that women miss out on when having shit or no sex. fine. that could be interesting to some.

but to then make out that it is some universal explanation for women's subjugation is ridiculous! this is an interesting biproduct of women's sexual control NOT the cause of it.

do you really believe this is why the vagina has been targeted as a site for control?

I do, categorically. Dopamine makes women: assertive, motivated, goal-oriented, confident. The multiorgasmic potentail of women makes them uncontrollable if they have good sexual knowledge and are treated well sexually. Female genital mutilation is an excellent illustration of the power of this -- Dr Deborah Coady and Nancy Fish, experts in the pelvic nerve, agree that cutting women in this way lowers the dopamine boost to the brain. Cutting the vagina is a way of controlling the feminist impulses in the brain.

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 13:08:42

Tantric sex. I mean you couldn't make this shit up.

Alameda Thu 06-Sep-12 13:08:31

I'm not going to read it. You don't sound like someone who has women's best interests at heart anymore. It's a shame.

so we all just need to have more sex and all be well.

add that to rape apologism and it sounds awfully.... well... familiar.

slug Thu 06-Sep-12 13:08:23

Borrow it from a Library?

Chance would be a fine thing. You should have a look at what is happening to the libraries in the UK Naiomi.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:08:04

FastidiaBlueberry

Why do men need to read your book to learn how not to be arses and therefore get more sex?

No one I know knew, for instance, that women's bodies react to being stroked (nonsexually) differently than men's do, so a woman's heart rate lowers and her oxytocin levels rise (making her like the stroker 10% more) after just ten minutes of stroking. So many couples in trouble are trying this rather than arguing verbally and they send me emails saying how much easier it hasd made communication. Many other such science-based findings that help men understand and support women.

you may well have found out some interesting brain rewards that come from sex and that women miss out on when having shit or no sex. fine. that could be interesting to some.

but to then make out that it is some universal explanation for women's subjugation is ridiculous! this is an interesting biproduct of women's sexual control NOT the cause of it.

do you really believe this is why the vagina has been targeted as a site for control?

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 13:06:45

With a chapter for catching rapists and a chapter for curing male prickishness, it sounds like this book has everything. Is there a chapter that cures aids?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:06:06

mcmooncup

I will read and write smile

I appreciate that. I want to extend that invitation to everyone here -- it would be wonderful to have this discussion or a followup after you have had the chance to read it, even if you get it from a library....please do contact me with your thoughts, suggestions, opinions...

PretzelTime Thu 06-Sep-12 13:05:48

Dear ms Wolf,
since rapists and other abusive males really are the number one thing that leads to vaginal/female unhappiness, it would be really excellent if you went ahead with your promise to write an official apology for defending Assange.

slug Thu 06-Sep-12 13:05:46

"Because it covers up malfeasance and prosecutorial neglect"

Can you explain that a bit more clearly please? Are you only referring to the American or UK justice system?

You are aware, aren't you, of the strong societal pressures against women reporting rape and the persecution (see the Assange case) of any women who does publicly name their rapist? Surely working, as you have claimed, in rape crisis centres has made you aware of this? How then, do you propose to defend women who do report rape from the societal backlash that she will inevitably suffer?

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:05:37

Why do men need to read your book to learn how not to be arses and therefore get more sex?

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 13:05:32

'Because it covers up malfeasance and prosecutorial neglect, no one is accountable to rape victims for low conviction rates and rapists go free.'

But anonymity is a completely separate issue from those things. Victims who wish to waive their anonymity to complain about neglect by police and prosecution can choose to do so, and many do.
How exactly is naming of victims supposed to lead to greater accountability? And what prevents it deterring large numbers of victims from coming forward?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:05:18

mcmooncup

I think there is a phrase "blinded by science". Naomi, this science stuff about how to get yourself off is really diverting from the true problems that women face in their sexuality.

I want to add that these issues are part of how women are kept down in all other ways -- thousands of copies of the book for instance have been ordered for India, where women are punished for being sexual in all kinds of ways. Refugee women in London, I was told by an advocate yesterday, are fleeing sexual abuse and courts don't take it seriously. A book that asserts that our sexuality and what happens to the vagina is very serious and consequential is a political act tied to all kinds of other oppression women face.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:05:07

I will read and write smile

what utter hogwash.

the woman's vagina has been targeted throughout history to stop her getting neurochemical hits that would 'empower' her?

we know why the vagina has been targeted - women's sexuality and reproductive potential is targeted for control because women are the sex class and men want to control them to exploit them in every way possible and build their patriarchy upon their free labour and exploitation.

have you any idea how trivialising and pomo intellectually masturbating this all sounds?

what a sad end.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:04:29

I don't agree that female masturbation is taboo.
It is not MALE masturbation- but who cares? But it is not taboo.

I wouldn't want to walk around with my mates saying "had an amazing wank last night". I'm fine us talking like we do about it. It doesn't empower me to talk in intricate detail about my wank life.

We can safely say that he won't read it. Thanks for answering me though.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:03:32

mcmooncup

I think there is a phrase "blinded by science". Naomi, this science stuff about how to get yourself off is really diverting from the true problems that women face in their sexuality.

I invite you to write to me after you have read it at dailycloudt.com and see what you think.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 13:02:38

So when rape victims didn't have anonymity, were reporting and conviction rates higher and were fewer women raped?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:02:11

UnnamedFemaleProtagonist

Don't we just know this though? I know that if my husband has been a prick then I won't want to shag him. Surely I don't need an experiment on a rat to tell me that? confused

Yeah but he might want to know how to not be a prick and how to make you really happy and relaxed, which my chapter on tantra and the neuroscience that confirms it will teach him if he reads it.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 13:02:00

I think there is a phrase "blinded by science". Naomi, this science stuff about how to get yourself off is really diverting from the true problems that women face in their sexuality.

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 13:01:42

I think the brain-vagina link is actually fascinating.

I think the arse-mouth link is also an area worthy of further research. Just how do some people come to talk out of their bottoms?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:01:19

TunipTheVegemal

Why does victim anonymity result in a low rape conviction rate?

My vagina is positively tying itself in knots trying to work it out.

Because it covers up malfeasance and prosecutorial neglect, no one is accountable to rape victims for low conviction rates and rapists go free.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 13:00:24

Greythorne

Naomi
Why do you think make masturbation is so acceptable in popular culture, whereas female masturbation remains very low profile, even taboo?

So right!! Male masturbation is the very basis of tons of comedy and female masturbation a kind of icky or titillating secret. A young woman told me that the only time she saw female masturbation addressed in pop culture was in sex in the city. I think it is for the reasons I keep showcasing -- female masturbation is the first way we learn about our responses, our pleasure, and it puts the power in our own hands so to speak. This self-knowledge and self-pleasuring is the foundation of what Dr Jim Pfaus calls the boost for the dopamine loop -- ie that it is being IN CONTROL of our pleasure, which first happens by ourselves, that we are in an optimal state later in sexual situations and in general.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 06-Sep-12 13:00:14

I am interested in that question too turnip

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 12:59:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 12:58:02

Why does victim anonymity result in a low rape conviction rate?

My vagina is positively tying itself in knots trying to work it out.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:58:01

And I never thought my vagina was a mere sex organ. It does lots of other things too. I think men think it just is a sex organ because they don't know all the other stuff it does and because of porn, but I don't. Never have either - it does all sorts of stuff smile.

Don't we just know this though? I know that if my husband has been a prick then I won't want to shag him. Surely I don't need an experiment on a rat to tell me that? confused

aufaniae Thu 06-Sep-12 12:57:46

*who not how!

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:57:35

aufaniae

In the light of the strength of feeling about your letter in the Huffington post and if you genuinely regret it now, have you considered submitting an open-letter apology to the two women?

I think your ideas are really interesting, and it would be a shame if this incident overshadows your future work.

I always have respect for people how are honest enough to fess up when they get it wrong!

That is a good idea.

slug Thu 06-Sep-12 12:57:32

<<sigh>> I think, for discussions like these, I would prefer to talk to Cordelia Fine who is a neuroscientist and understands the science behind the body/brain connection, not just a journalist.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:57:17

Margerykemp

So are you advocating daily masturbation for all women to keep us happy and confident?

Is this what you do?

It isn't me advocating in this book -- all of the science confirms that society, physicians, everyone should make sure that women are empowered to know how important a sexual relationship with themselves is.

aufaniae Thu 06-Sep-12 12:57:11

In the light of the strength of feeling about your letter in the Huffington post and if you genuinely regret it now, have you considered submitting an open-letter apology to the two women?

I think your ideas are really interesting, and it would be a shame if this incident overshadows your future work.

I always have respect for people how are honest enough to fess up when they get it wrong!

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:57:08

Male masturbation

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:56:49

Naomi
Why do you think make masturbation is so acceptable in popular culture, whereas female masturbation remains very low profile, even taboo?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:55:56

FastidiaBlueberry

Is the brain-penis connection as strong?

Different. Men's innervation for instance is much more regular -- women's innervation is much more diffuse and complex. Men's sex responses aren't as tied to their autonomic nervous system and freedom from 'bad stress'. Whereas 'bad stress' can just shut down a woman's engorgement, lubrication, arousal etc. Women are potentially, if treated well, multiorgasmic -- capable of more than one orgasm -- and men have a refractory period (another reason I think society has feared female sexual self-knowledge).

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:55:51

So if I am much more than my vagina, why call the book Vagina?

I think I am obviously not getting the point of the book.

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:55:19

Naomi
Are you surprised by the line of questioning prevalent on this thread? Were you expecting such a grilling? Do you get such feedback in real life? Do your friends agree with the line you took on Assange?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:53:53

mcmooncup

I can't quite put my finger on it, but all this 'traumatized vagina" thing makes me very squirmy. I realise you are trying to reclaim the word, and all that goes along with that, but it just doesn't sit right. Is it just me??

Is it that you are isolating one part of my womanhood for scrutiny when I am much more than a vagina?

I did not understand why for throughout recorded history, the vagina and female sexuality had been targeted, abused etc. Now I do, because of the brain-vagina link. The point of the book is that you are much more than a vagina and your vagina is much more than a 'mere' sex organ.

That said, I work with young women training them for leadership all the time and so many have the constellation of struggles post-sex abuse that my research docoments and for their sakes, knowing how to address those issues is very healing and helpful for them.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:53:26

Is the brain-penis connection as strong?

Margerykemp Thu 06-Sep-12 12:51:33

So are you advocating daily masturbation for all women to keep us happy and confident?

Is this what you do?

IawnCont Thu 06-Sep-12 12:50:45

I know what you mean mcmooncup. I am not squirmy about the word vagina at all... But I must admit that I suspected for some time that the book title was thought up by Chris Morris. blush
That's no reflection on Naomi though, it's probably just me.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:50:42

mcmooncup

Also, for those 1/3 of women reading your book with no sexual desire, is there the danger that you are encouraging them to take the blame for their lack of sexual desire and try and work it out with their (possibly) abusive partner?

Certainly not -- I think you will find if you get a chance to read Vagina that the opposite is the case. In fact many readers have said they left abusive or disrespectful partners after reading my book. It is about respect as the brain-vagina connection.

slug Thu 06-Sep-12 12:50:36

I see she is pointedly ignoring the questions about her promulgation of rape myths. hmm

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:49:55

ethelb

Yes, what were the paramenters used in the study into the impact of rape on the brain? How did they define non-violent and violent rape? Or did they look at what was criminally classified as aggrivated rape vs non-aggrivated rape?

The studies (see Rellini and Meston for instance) don't deal with the law at all -- they deal with what women self-report as sexual assault or rape as they define it. And they saw that a group of women who have rape or sexual abuse in their pasts, even long ago, can suffer lasting changes to their autonomic nervous system response -- affecting how they react to erotic videos and even exercise. This was important finding to me as a supporter of rape victims since so many women I have counselled say that years after a rape or incest experience, even with a loving partner and after years of talk therapy, they still can't reach orgasm often. Knowing the physical affects - the ANS is central to reaching orgasm -- helps us bring better therapies to rape survivors and helps us understand better that ANY rape injures women on multiple levels that prosecutors and society often now cannot see.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:49:42

Also, for those 1/3 of women reading your book with no sexual desire, is there the danger that you are encouraging them to take the blame for their lack of sexual desire and try and work it out with their (possibly) abusive partner?

Alameda Thu 06-Sep-12 12:49:34

I am still a bit open mouthed at the letter, for which I see you express regret, you haven't been on my radar since The Beauty Myth. What happened to you? How will you regain credibility?

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 12:49:23

Please can we come back to your claim on Newsnight that victim anonymity is a cause of the 6% conviction rate? How does that work, because it goes against everything I have heard from rape victims and those who work with them. Victim anonymity is usually considered to be a vital condition in allowing victims to report.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:48:44

Yes and if we let them know that the more housework a man does, the more sex he gets, they'll just abolish patriarchy completely won't they BoF?

Job done.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:48:01

I can't quite put my finger on it, but all this 'traumatized vagina" thing makes me very squirmy. I realise you are trying to reclaim the word, and all that goes along with that, but it just doesn't sit right. Is it just me??

Is it that you are isolating one part of my womanhood for scrutiny when I am much more than a vagina?

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:47:26

Naomi
What do you think about the huge success of Fifty Shades of Grey?

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 12:47:02

I hope all those rapey men in the Occupy movement read your book and realise they are actually missing out on great sex by being mean. If only they just knew, it could transform everything!

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 12:46:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:46:41

MooncupGoddess

So are you saying that the third of women who say they don't experience sexual desire are wrong? Or that they're abnormal? What would you say to these women?

I am not saying they are wring or abnormal. I am reporting -- not making my own value judgment -- that many of these women, and the ones who don't reach orgasm in sex when they want to, would like it to be otherwise; and many of these women who have read my book, whatever their sexuality, have said that they understand their own desire and anatomy better and are feel much more in charge of their own pleasure.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:45:08

StewieGriffinsMom

How do you define "non-violent rape" because I have never ever heard a feminist use that term. Rape is, by definition, violence. It can be accompanied by other forms of physical violence but the act of rape is always violent.

The idea that there is a difference between violent rape and non-violent rape is a rape myth.

See below, I said there is no such thing as a nonviolent rapeand my 'The Traumatized Vagina' chapter goes further than anything I have ever read to put together all of the latest data on how lastingly damaging in new ways we have not understood, any kind of rape or sexual abuse is to women, and I am glad to hear that prosecutors and lawyers representing victims are using that chapter in their aim to put rapists away.

ethelb Thu 06-Sep-12 12:44:52

Yes, what were the paramenters used in the study into the impact of rape on the brain? How did they define non-violent and violent rape? Or did they look at what was criminally classified as aggrivated rape vs non-aggrivated rape?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:43:45

Greythorne

Naomi - just as women have made huge inroads into the professional world, but men have not on the whole stepped up to seek equality on the domestic / childcare front, women have made huge leaps in demanding sexual fulfullment. The "lie back and think of England" thinking may still exist, but most women know about orgasms, vibrators, sexual fulfillment, even if it is only a theoretical knowledge.

So, just as to achieve equality in coupledom, men need to step up and assume their responsibilities for cleaning the loo and making the kids' dental appointments, the sexual fulfillment of women requires men stepping up and responding to women appropriately?

And writing about the neuroscience behind the vagina is yet another way to put the onus on women?

I totally agree that many of the women who lose interest in sex do so because they are mistreated by the men they are with. The autonomic nervous system science shows just how -- when a man is abusive, insulting, threatening -- it harms women on a daily physical and sexual level. I have a thorough chapter -- which has been called a revolutionary call for the transformation of how men treat women -- which makes the case to men that they must respect women on all levels if they are to have any happiness or sexual pleasure for themselves in their homes. One reason this new data is not well known is that the 'solution' for understanding women's wellbeing in this way depends not on a pill but on women's treating themselves well and men treating women well.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 12:42:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MooncupGoddess Thu 06-Sep-12 12:42:00

So are you saying that the third of women who say they don't experience sexual desire are wrong? Or that they're abnormal? What would you say to these women?

PretzelTime Thu 06-Sep-12 12:41:06

Dear Ms Wolf,
I read this article your wrote.
www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/newsreview/article1116389.ece?shareToken=e42ca368737335aecef1510ad18b1517

Do you think the sexlives and moods of lesbians could improve, if they smelled the armpits of horny men more often?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:40:45

IawnCont

Greythorne My question was serious also. I want to know if Ms. Wolf identifies with the cream laden, sickly custard cream (surely the vagina of biscuits) or the more phallic chocolate finger.

I like them both. No such thing as a bad biscuit.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:40:45

If a third of women don't have sexual desire and it is also reported that 1 in 4 women experience a relationship that is abusive......there may very well be come correlation there. And I would say that the 1 in 4 is vastly underestimated especially if we put that in line with the porn culture and the prevailing attitudes to "every hole is a goal" bla bla

A lover is usually 'dismissive' or 'disrespectful' because of that - i.e. shit man, shit sex.

The emphasis, or could be construed as pressure, on the biology, I don't think is empowering at all. It is quite the opposite - putting the blame firmly on the women, when actually you are not touching upon WHY 1/3 of women don't have sexual desire. That used to be me, then I realised I was married to a twat. I didn't need to know how my clitoris was attached to something bla bla......I just needed to be not abused and have a respectful man.

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:40:38

Naomi - just as women have made huge inroads into the professional world, but men have not on the whole stepped up to seek equality on the domestic / childcare front, women have made huge leaps in demanding sexual fulfullment. The "lie back and think of England" thinking may still exist, but most women know about orgasms, vibrators, sexual fulfillment, even if it is only a theoretical knowledge.

So, just as to achieve equality in coupledom, men need to step up and assume their responsibilities for cleaning the loo and making the kids' dental appointments, the sexual fulfillment of women requires men stepping up and responding to women appropriately?

And writing about the neuroscience behind the vagina is yet another way to put the onus on women?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:40:02

NormaStanleyFletcher

Would all of these positive feedback/hormones from the vagina also be present if orgasming through oral sex or masterbation, or is PIV necessary?

EXCELLENT question! All of these good chemicals are boosted through masturbation to orgasm as well and oral sex. I am hearing amazing things from lesbian readers of the book who are saying that they understand their own different responses now -- including emotional responses -- to different kinds of stimulation -- clitoral or penetrative etc. So you don't need a penis around ...

Badvoc Thu 06-Sep-12 12:39:47

BOF smile smile smile

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:39:24

Naomi if you've spent so much time supporting rape victims, how come you don't know these basic things about rape?

Like for example, many rape victims continue to have relationships with their rapists after they have raped them.

How can you not know this?

Seriously, I am not taking the piss, either you're not aware of this, which seems incredible if you genuinely have worked a lot with organisations which support rape victims and survivors, or you chose to ignore that in order to make a political point, knowing that most of your readers would accept your basic premise.

Seriously, how could you?

IawnCont Thu 06-Sep-12 12:39:13

Greythorne My question was serious also. I want to know if Ms. Wolf identifies with the cream laden, sickly custard cream (surely the vagina of biscuits) or the more phallic chocolate finger.

I think that the direct relationship between what men say and how the vagina responds was discovered some time ago without any 'neuroscience' and lighting up areas of the brain.

May I present this

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 12:39:01

Men who do more housework get more sex, you know <nods sagely>. Who'd have thought it was all down to vaginal nerves?!

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:38:10

FastidiaBlueberry

How do you feel about the Handmaiden's Tale becoming a reality in the USA with regard to the growing restrictions on women being able to get free, legal abortions?

Who should control a woman's body, her or mostly male politicians, lawyers and doctors?

Obviously women should control their own bodies. I do think that many laws and controversies right now -- from Pussy Riot being imprisoned, to the 'virginity tests' against young women protesting in Egypt, to state laws in the US demanding transvaginal probes, prove my larger argument that when you want to control and subdue women you target and violate the vagina.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 06-Sep-12 12:38:02

Would all of these positive feedback/hormones from the vagina also be present if orgasming through oral sex or masterbation, or is PIV necessary?

ethelb Thu 06-Sep-12 12:37:38

When investigating the neuroscience of the vagina, did your studies include an investigation into which part of the brain lights up during "bad sexual etiquette"?

Naomi sia dfurther up that they found that "non violent rape" caused damage to the brain in the same way any violence did.

OatyBeatie Thu 06-Sep-12 12:37:24

Are the neural connections between vagina and brain, and the mood-consequences of the chemicals released during orgasm really any different in degree or importance from other sorts of body--mood connections, such as those between exercise and mood, or diet and mood? Do these connections really deserve claims "the vagina is an essential part of what makes women great leaders?" Is the vagina-brain connection more important than the penis-brain connection?
I must say that I feel as sceptical and resistant to being told that the vagina is the seat (or a seat) of my self as I am to being told that my wandering womb has that role.
We live in an age of very great discovery about the roles of neurochemicals, neurotransmitters et al, but these have to be conceptualised very carefully indeed to avoid dodgy determinist theses and oversimplification.

MmeLindor Thu 06-Sep-12 12:36:51

Were you surprised at the backlash against that letter?

Have you heard of the Mumsnet We Believe You Campaign?

It is the reason for your rather hostile reception here. It was a very personal campaign for many of us and we find it very hard to see a 'leading feminist' trampling on all the work that we did to draw attention to rape myths.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:36:41

Margerykemp

You like the f word? So you think that it is transphobic for females assigned at birth to meet together without the presence of males assigned at birth?

Does your book apply to transwomen with constructed vaginas?

Isn't it transphobic to write a book which ignores transwomen's experience of their 'vaginas' (or lack of them)?

Very interesting -- actually trans women or women transitioning from female to male who have read my book said that it gave them isight into their own anatomy, responses and biology that their doctors had not given them. And I was contacted by women in a support group for women without vaginas who confirmed that there is so little good research on constructing vaginas -- as opposed to constructing penises -- that their members have often bad outcomes. So yes this book is written for anyone with a body and bodies vary.

Margerykemp Thu 06-Sep-12 12:36:03

Thank you for apologising for that letter.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:35:51

How do you feel about the Handmaiden's Tale becoming a reality in the USA with regard to the growing restrictions on women being able to get free, legal abortions?

Who should control a woman's body, her or mostly male politicians, lawyers and doctors?

When investigating the neuroscience of the vagina, did your studies include an investigation into which part of the brain lights up during "bad sexual etiquette"?

In the Democracy Now debate with Jaclyn Friedman you cast doubt on one of Assange's alleged victims because she went on to spend time with him afterwards and threw a party for him.

This is actually quite common, in fact many victims go on to have a relationship with their rapist (not to mention those who are raped within the context of an ongoing relationship) - there isn't a correct way to behave after you've been raped.

How do you think your comments will have affected rape victims who have continued to be pleasant and amenable to the men who have raped them?

Badvoc Thu 06-Sep-12 12:35:10

I am just....speechless really.
How on earth can you identify yourself as a feminist and yet be the author of that letter?
You may well regret it - I am glad you do - but you wrote it. You sat down and thought of those vile words, sentences and paragraphs.
You then took the time to send it to the editor of the publication in question.
Let's not pretending was a spur of the moment action, shall we?
I think the whole concept of feminism is harmed by women like you.
And it saddens me greatly to say that.
sad

ethelb Thu 06-Sep-12 12:34:59

oh dear, where has she gone. have you all scared her off!

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:34:41

mcmooncup

I think women generally do know how to have sex and what feels good with decent men Naomi, why is all this emphasis on the biology necessary?

Essentially, bad, abusive, narcissistic men = bad sex, bad vagina moves.

So a third of women don't have sexual desire, and a third (come the same women, some different) self-report that they do not reach orgasm during sex in a way that they can count on. So this is to me a serous feminist issue especially because of that powerful dopamine/oxytocin/opioids boost that is part of women's optimal wellbeing, whether they are gay straight bisexual, in a relationship or not. So absolutely, knowing the new science that shows for instance that women have eight neural termini throughout their pelvises, whereas men's innervation is relatively simple -- that women have to be understood carefully, treated well, and know their own responses with a neural system that varies from woman to woman -- is really empowering and important. Not to mention the many ways in which men are raised to misunderstand female sexual response because of porn culture. I have no idea that the autonomic nervous system is so connected to female arousal that if a lover is dismissive or disrespectful in a 24 hour period before lovemaking, it actually can close down the avenues, like respiration, lubrication, vaginal engorgement -- of female arousal and orgasm.

Margerykemp Thu 06-Sep-12 12:32:29

You like the f word? So you think that it is transphobic for females assigned at birth to meet together without the presence of males assigned at birth?

Does your book apply to transwomen with constructed vaginas?

Isn't it transphobic to write a book which ignores transwomen's experience of their 'vaginas' (or lack of them)?

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:32:13

OK, sorry, cross posted, you've apologised for that letter so I'll shut up about it. Thank you.

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:31:52

Why do you think the "mommy wars" are so pervasive?

Do you agree that women are much more likely to judge other women's life choices in a way that men don't?

CreativeFL0 Thu 06-Sep-12 12:31:36

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:26:07
"Can't believe a feminist would take that trivialising, minimising and silencing tone about alleged rape victims, tbh.
Bloody shocking, that letter".

Ditto.
And a very strange tack to take when writing in a professional capacity about a case that has yet to be tried.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:30:42

Yes our culture does ignore and trivialise lots of issues to do with women doesn't it Naomi.

Rape's another one it ignores and trivialises. It doesn't help when self-identified feminists buy into that by publishing open letters mocking alleged rape victims.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 12:30:29

'I do not write or post rape myths.'

How can you say that when that is EXACTLY what that Huff Post article was doing? If you have spent as much time supporting rape victims as you say you must be aware of the very widespread and damaging myth that women 'cry rape' when displeased with the behaviour of their male sexual partner. That was exactly what you were promulgating the idea of their having done in that piece.

Perhaps you should admit that on this case you did write a rape myth, and try harder not to do it again?

MmeLindor Thu 06-Sep-12 12:30:07

Naomi
Have you read the article linked earlier by David Allen Green where he discussed the legal implications of extraditing JA to Sweden and the chance of him being further extradited to US?

Leading legal experts have stated that JA is safer from extradition to US if he returns to Sweden. Why would he want to prevent that, other than because he is trying to avoid a rape conviction.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 12:30:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:29:46

Badvoc

That letter is disgraceful.
You should be ashamed.

I do totally regret it.

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 12:29:41

This is embarrassing.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:29:18

FastidiaBlueberry

Can't believe a feminist would take that trivialising, minimising and silencing tone about alleged rape victims, tbh.

Bloody shocking, that letter. shock

see my statement.

LineRunner Thu 06-Sep-12 12:28:59

This the Twilight Zone shock

Badvoc Thu 06-Sep-12 12:28:53

That letter is disgraceful.
You should be ashamed.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:28:48

I think women generally do know how to have sex and what feels good with decent men Naomi, why is all this emphasis on the biology necessary?

Essentially, bad, abusive, narcissistic men = bad sex, bad vagina moves.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:28:42

Greythorne

Who are your feminist role models today?

I love Germaine Greer always. Gloria Steinem never takes her eyes off the prize. But I am really interested most these days in the work of emerging countries' feminist leaders like the women bloggers of Tahrir Square -- they are refreshing and reinventing feminism in a human rights/democracy model that I think is really necessary. Mary Nazzal who advocates for women in Gaza is my current personal heroine. BTW so many of the issues that these feminists face have to do with targeting female sexuality -- from forced marriage to FGM.

ethelb Thu 06-Sep-12 12:28:37

Do you think the media is more comfortable looking at the anatomy behind male sexual enjoyment then?

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 12:26:35

Sorry, silly me, ALLEGED survivors of rape.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:26:25

ethelb

why do you think there is so little gender study in science? I mean most stuff involves looking at gay men!

That is a great question. So one amazing fact -- scientists have found that there is a 'neural arm' in the anterior wall of the vagina such that there 'war' between clitoris and vagina, clitoris and g-spot, is just wrong -- they are north and south of the same neural structure! But I think news media is squeamish about devoting space to treating this seriously and making room for it, because the link of female sexual knowledge and self-awareness to female empowerment is so strong that many cultures including the US and UK tend to trivialize or ignore research on the vagina and female desire.

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:26:18

Who are your feminist role models today?

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:26:07

Can't believe a feminist would take that trivialising, minimising and silencing tone about alleged rape victims, tbh.

Bloody shocking, that letter. shock

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 12:25:45

What part of rape counselling training suggests sarky public pisstaking as being beneficial to survivors of rape?

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 12:23:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:23:57

I do not write or post rape myths. My concern is always to support rape victims and support prosecution and conviction of rapists.

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:23:48

Iawncont
mine was a serious question! blush

ethelb Thu 06-Sep-12 12:23:25

why do you think there is so little gender study in science? I mean most stuff involves looking at gay men!

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:22:48

StewieGriffinsMom

Naomi published this letter in the Huffington Post without bothering to research the case properly. She based her opinion on an entirely discredited article in the Daily Mail and a retraction was printed since Wolf got the facts wrong. In this letter, she writes numerous rape myths. The actual title is Julian Assange: Captured by the World's Dating Police. This is only one instance where Wolf's words make a complete mockery of the We Believe You campaign.

www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/interpol-the-worlds-datin_b_793033.html

Dear Interpol:

As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.

I see that Julian Assange is accused of having consensual sex with two women, in one case using a condom that broke. I understand, from the alleged victims' complaints to the media, that Assange is also accused of texting and tweeting in the taxi on the way to one of the women's apartments while on a date, and, disgustingly enough, 'reading stories about himself online' in the cab.

Both alleged victims are also upset that he began dating a second woman while still being in a relationship with the first. (Of course, as a feminist, I am also pleased that the alleged victims are using feminist-inspired rhetoric and law to assuage what appears to be personal injured feelings. That's what our brave suffragette foremothers intended!).

Thank you again, Interpol. I know you will now prioritize the global manhunt for 1.3 million guys I have heard similar complaints about personally in the US alone -- there is an entire fraternity at the University of Texas you need to arrest immediately. I also have firsthand information that John Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, went to a stag party -- with strippers! -- that his girlfriend wanted him to skip, and that Mark Levinson in Corvallis, Oregon, did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut -- even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER.

Terrorists. Go get 'em, Interpol!

Yours gratefully,

Naomi Wolf

So that headline is not mine: editors post their own headlines and I do not agree with it. It was an immediate reaction of frustration to how millions of other women are completely neglected as I wrote above and I certainly regret my phrasing.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:22:22

The condom didn't break. He stopped the woman reaching for it.

This is quite basic research really.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:21:29

Greythorne

Naomi - what are your favourite feminist blogs / online fora?

I love 'The F-Word'. I think Feministing does really exciting writing and discussion and I love their fearlessness. Jezebel is interesting very often.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 12:21:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:20:10

MmeLindor

Naomi
Do you think that the rights of Assange are more important than the rights of two women who accused him of serious sexual assault and rape?

And what does that signal to any woman raped by an important political figure?

Should DSK not have been investigated because of his political standing? Maybe that was a conspiracy too.

This is why it is important that these cases come to trial. Because it is not up to journalists or bloggers to decide, but a judge and jury.

I completely agree, a judge and jury should decide and I think progress is being made by Hague suggesting that if the US seeks to extradite (to send Assange to GTMO for reasons completely unrelated to the sexual allegations, they want to extradite him under the Espionage Act for releasing state secrets) Sweden should not extradite. Of course everyone should have a fair trial.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:19:46

I studied Neuropsychology (to a point) and found that you could essentially back up any theory you wanted with "areas of the brain that light up" because actually bugger all is really truly understood about it still. So all depends on what you are looking for.

IawnCont Thu 06-Sep-12 12:19:46

What's your favourite biscuit?

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:17:30

Mine too - almost weeps, BOF sad

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 12:17:10

Naomi - what are your favourite feminist blogs / online fora?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:16:56

StewieGriffinsMom

Have you read Cordelia Fine or Lise Elliot? Because I'm struggling to understand your construction of 'neuroscience' as it appears to have no relationship to the actual research in neuroscience.

So if you go to the notes and bibliograohy, you will see dozens of studies cites, and I also travelled around the world to interview such cutting-edge neuroscientists as Dr Jim Pfaus, Dr Burke Richmond, I explored the MRI studies of Barry Komisaruk at Rutgers and Dr Beverly Whipple who have recently found that if you stimulate women's vaginas, clitorises and cervixes in different ways, different areas light up showing a different emotional response and brain function response. Dr Jim Pfaus allowed me to watch his astonishing studies with rats and female sexual desire, which established its role in mate selection -- he showed that female rats injected with naloxone, that blocked sexual pleasure, remembered and made choices in the future based on their bad or disappointing sexual experiences, compared with the control group that was injected with saline. There is a vast amount of new documentation that has not been widely reported but can be found in PubMed and in academic journals cited in my notes.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:16:55

My vagina's a bit confused about whether you think Assange should face trial for rape allegations or not, Naomi.

My brain's a bit confused about it as well.

To say nothing of my nipples. They're waiting hopefully for a straight answer to that.

mcmooncup Thu 06-Sep-12 12:16:25

So, let's get this straight, it seems you think they should lay off Assange because not every rape victim is privileged with the same political backing?

SuperB0F Thu 06-Sep-12 12:14:25

My vagina gets really upset at the thought of rape victims being told they should lose their anonymity sad

MmeLindor Thu 06-Sep-12 12:13:53

Naomi
Do you think that the rights of Assange are more important than the rights of two women who accused him of serious sexual assault and rape?

And what does that signal to any woman raped by an important political figure?

Should DSK not have been investigated because of his political standing? Maybe that was a conspiracy too.

This is why it is important that these cases come to trial. Because it is not up to journalists or bloggers to decide, but a judge and jury.

pofacedalways Thu 06-Sep-12 12:12:32

Naomi Women Against Rape have also stated publicly that they feel, after so many years of fighting for rape victims' rights that the Assange case is being hijacked for political reasons, largely men who don't usually give a sh*t about the subject. But they have now been called 'anti-women'. However it has also brought out of the woodwork a huge number of those that before one wouldn't have known were apologists for rape, like Galloway and Todd Akin. Surely Assange should go to Sweden and face up to the charges, if he is innocent?

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 06-Sep-12 12:12:16

The fact that loads of other alleged rapists are not being persued does not seem a good reason not to chase a prosecution for the one who happens to be well known.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:11:49

aufaniae

Hi Naomi. I saw you on Newsnight, you started to touch on the stuff about the connection between the vagina, nervous system and brain.

Sounded interesting. Please could you let us know a bit about this. Also where did these ideas come from? Are they accepted yet or is this pretty new?

So so facinating. So when a woman thinks about rewarding sex, fantasizes about it or strategizes to get it, her brain gets a boost of dopamine. This is the ultimate feminist neurotransmitter -- raising her levels of confidence, motivation, goal-orientedness, sociability and so on. When she has a satisfying orgasm, or when her nipples are stimuated, she gets oxytocin -- which is about connection, trust and reading emotions. When she climaxes, too, she gets a boost of opioids, which are about transcendence or bliss, a sense of being 'swept away' -- indeed one Georgiadis study showed that parts of women's brains that are about self-consciousness and self-regulation go quiet in orgasm. So this to me explains why the vagina has been targeted for millennia -- the vagina isn't properly understood just a sex organ, let alone a shameful or porn-y part of women -- it is an essential part of what makes women good leaders, great parents, great thinkers, confident, risk-taking, self-trusting. So when you want to target women you target the vagina. There is tons more amazing discoveries in the book from the latest science that show that our understanding of female sexuality and even anatomy is totally out of date -- I can explain that in another question....

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 12:11:03

With respect Naomi, the issue is not the UK press's misrepresentation of your position. Please credit us with more intelligence than this. Our concerns arise from your own words, in articles you wrote and interviews you have given.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 12:10:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArtexMonkey Thu 06-Sep-12 12:08:53

It is terrible when rape victims are subjected to police neglect or are disbelieved. Rape victims often find that, just as we think our ordeal is over, it is actually just beginning.

These injustices are compounded by hacky poorly researched articles sneering snidely at them and rewriting their trauma and violation as "personally injured feelings".

Would you agree Naomi?

aufaniae Thu 06-Sep-12 12:06:28

Hi Naomi. I saw you on Newsnight, you started to touch on the stuff about the connection between the vagina, nervous system and brain.

Sounded interesting. Please could you let us know a bit about this. Also where did these ideas come from? Are they accepted yet or is this pretty new?

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 12:05:59

So should Assange be extradited so that he can face questions about rape allegations?

What is your actual position on that?

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 12:05:22

Greythorne

Do you agree that the pornification of contemporary society is the biggest challenge facing women, ahead of the pay gap and the glass ceiling?

How should we counter the pornification of society and young people's lives?

This is such a great important question and one especially important for a parents' community, and I especially worry about it as a parent. So the answer is: it is way up there. Studies show that in spite of a hypersexualized culture, with porn everywhere, women's sexual satisfaction and wellbeing is dropping below levels of forty years ago -- this pornification has NOT liberated women.

A third report hypoactive sexual desire, which is losing interest in sex over time. And I show in the book how the 'porn script' of our society can lead to sexual unhappiness for both men and women -- women often feel (especilly young women) rushed and pushed -- to offer more and more extreme kinds of acts that they may not really want for themselves -- and the new data show that men's and women's sexual response (men more quickly) is actually blunted over time because the brain habituates and sometimes addicts to porn, and thus requires more and more extreme stimulation.

So young men and healthy middle aged men are reporting problem with ejaculation or arousal because, as Dr Jim Pfaus puts it, the brain, when men masturbate chronically to porn 'bonds with the porn' instead of a partner.

But why is this issue about more than 'just sex'? Because the amazing discovery that I researched in Vagina is that new neuroscience has found a brain-vagina link that is so strong that scientists are now calling it 'one system' -- so a woman's experiences of her vagina -- good or bad, traumatic or losing interest -- affect her brain directly. The vagina delivers dopamine, opiates and oxytocin which affect women's confidence, creativity, and sense of connection. So damage to the vagina is a way of targeting women.

I have a whole chapter on rape showing that new neuroscience shows that rape -- even 'nonviolent' rape -- is violent in the effects on the brain. There is no such thing as nonviolent rape. So the vagina should be understood as much more than a sex organ and the harm porn can do should be better understood as well.

NaomiWolf Thu 06-Sep-12 11:56:59

Hello -- I am glad to be here and have always admired the Mumsnet community. I will be talking about Vagina: A New Biography, which is about the latest neuroscience about women's sexuality and how that relates to their courage and confidence, but I want to clear the air by addressing some issues first.

I want to set straight very strongly and clearly for the record a number of misconceptions that are around in the UK press right now, and that I see reflected in some ways below.

A) I don't 'support Julian Assange' in the sense of defending anything he may be found to have done in terms of accusations of sexual assault. I have -- based on my twenty-three years as a worker in rape crisis centers and battered women's shelters, and as an advocate for women's rights, due process and the rule of law, consistently pointed out -- most recently this week in a globally syndicated column, www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf which is why the UK press' misstatement of my position is indefensible -- that rape victims in Sweden whose assailants are NOT wanted by the US government face underfunded hotlines, brutal neglect by police, the highest rape rates and some of the lowest convictions in Europe www.rcne.com/downloads/RepsPubs/Attritn.pdf -- and that a situation in which the whole world waits for an accused assailant while thousands of injured, traumatized and desperate women are ignored by the same police and prosecutors -- is a terrible miscarriage of justice for RAPE VICTIMS all over the world whose attackers are not pursued in the same way.

I also make the case that the US government is entirely capable of cynically making use of women's issues to pursue its own agenda but that this cooption of this crucial women's issue by my government has no bearing on whatever happened between these people, which should be pursued in a court of law with a single justice system, and with the US government, which cares nothing about the rights of rape victims in this case, not involved. No ALWAYS means No. Having sex with a sleeping partner who is not consenting is ALWAYS legally and morally rape.

No other reporter has called the Swedish Rape Crisis line -- I did because, as a counselor for rape victims, I know these are the only people who really understand what Swedish rape victims go through. They described official neglect or worse, which is what rape victims face from police all over the world.

Over six hundred women in Sweden are waiting fruitlessly for space in shelters, trying to flee violent sexually abusive men. So once again: I am against the hijacking of the rape issue for unrelated government agendas that have nothing to do with justice and the wellbeing of rape victims and I am FOR justice and support for every single rape victim in the world, as my quarter-century advocating on their behalf and supporting them as a volunteer should make clear beyond any doubt. Now I look forward to our discussion.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 11:31:31

smile & fair enough re Galloway, Justine - I remember the Farage webchat fondly.... (and clearly Fastidia here is dying to get at him).
Not sure about 'influential' either, but I take the point that MN invites a range of voices for webchats.

ShirelyKnort Thu 06-Sep-12 11:29:36

PLEASE don't have Galloway on.

<fears for own blood pressure>

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 11:29:32

Ooh ooh, brilliant, can we have George Galloway, can we, can we?

grin

I bet he'd be too frit to come.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 11:26:56

TunipTheVegemal

Justine, I dunno about Naomi being a 'leading feminist' - the media treat her as such but I don't know a lot of feminists who are in any sense led by her - not since The Beauty Myth, at any rate.

Well, OK, clearly not everyone would use that description but I think you'd have to concede something like: influential voice on feminist issues - and as such I think she's an obvious webchat guest for Mumsnet.

(And an aside I think we'd probably would be inclined to have George Galloway on MN - we've had Nigel Farage - who better to take him to task than Mumsnetters?)

BlameItOnTheCuervo Thu 06-Sep-12 11:25:03

Fastidiablueberry, I think I love you.

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 11:19:01

Naomi - what do you think about the DSK debacle?

Greythorne Thu 06-Sep-12 11:17:33

I feel really conflicted about this.

Naomi Wolf was a hero for many years, I LOVED The Beauty Myth, read all her other books, even the dire Fire with Fire, and generally read her articles with interest and respect.

I admit I have not followed the Assange case closely, but thanks to these links on this thread, I see that Wolf has adopted a very surprising and disappointing stance which seems to have liberal politics trumping feminism.

Naomi - are you willing to rescind your original misinformed article about Swedish law / Assange's case?

How do you feel knowing you have disappointed so many people who by instinct and intellect self identify as feminists (ie a constituency you presumably identify with)?

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 11:12:52

She's a leading feminist like John Redwood is a leading socialist.

Feminism means anything the media says it means, nothing more nothing less. If they want it to mean empowerfulment, that's what it means. If they want it to mean rape apology, that's what it means. If they want it to mean cuntini, that's what it means.

See, even George Galloway is a feminist by the media definition.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 11:05:57

Justine, I dunno about Naomi being a 'leading feminist' - the media treat her as such but I don't know a lot of feminists who are in any sense led by her - not since The Beauty Myth, at any rate.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 06-Sep-12 11:05:02

This will be interesting.

I am shock that Naomi wrote that huff post thing using facts gleaned from the daily mail.

I too would be interested in why Assange's worry about a theoretical exradition to the US (they haven't applied for one) trumps the rights of two women to have their case heard.

OatyBeatie Thu 06-Sep-12 11:02:32

Regarding the "enormous amount of publicity her book has generated this week", I wonder whether that is testimony to her being a "leading feminist" or on the contrary a testimony to how effectively publicity is generated by marketing strategies, of which appearing on this webchat is an example. I've not seen anything about her appearance in the press etc this week that speaks of anything more than the usual book-release chatter. It's an artifice.

CreativeFL0 Thu 06-Sep-12 10:57:58

This is a very informative article re the legal mythology surrounding the Assange case, particularly regarding the rape allegations.
www.newstatesman.com/blogs/media/2012/09/legal-mythology-extradition-julian-assange

It may be useful in the context of this webchat.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 10:55:54

Actually Mumsnet, I'd bloody love it if you got George Galloway on. grin

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 06-Sep-12 10:54:39

So what is your position on Assange then Naomi?

If we accept your premise, that this prosecution is politically motivated, does that mean it shouldn't go ahead even if those women in Sweden are claiming to be raped?

Should we ignore women who describe being raped in cases where we like the politics of the men accused of raping them?

I totally agree with you that in normal cases, rape victims are treated shamefully badly and rape allegations are not taken as seriously as they ought to be. But does this mean that because most rape allegations are not pursued with the vigour that they should be, it's wrong for a state to pursue rape allegations in the case of men the state might not like and the rest of us might admire or agree with on other issues?

Because you do realise that if that is your position (and it is the position of may people on the left) then it's not a feminist position, don't you? It's a position which says that although women's rights are all fine and dandy, when it comes to the really important things in life, like fighting imperialism/ poverty/ racism/ insert worthy cause here, women's human rights have to go to the back of the queue? You do understand that feminism does not accept the premise that women's human rights come last, don't you?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 10:48:27

ComradeJing

I'd also like a response to the issues raised on this thread regarding the Assange case and one from MNHQ regarding the We Believe you Campaign.

Hi ComradeJing - see answer to SGM below. Think it makes sense to us to ask Naomi where she stands and have a reasoned debate don't you? After all she's an extremely influential writer and leading feminist, as evidenced by the enormous about of publicity her book has generated this week.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 06-Sep-12 10:47:46

Naomi, I just re-read the original Huffington Post piece you wrote about Assange here and once again am utterly gobsmacked by the viciousness of the tone and your choice to deploy that tone against woman victims in a way that serves to promote dangerous rape myths, such as the belief that women regularly 'cry rape' because they are upset about the behaviour of their male sexual partner. I understand from your 'correction' that you blame the Mail for your failure to get the facts straight before writing this; however I would like to ask, how, as an experienced journalist, were you so quick to jump into writing an attack piece against these two women without the most cursory checking of the facts? And how can you do that whilst calling yourself a feminist?

I would also like you to justify your frankly bizarre claim on Newsnight recently that the 6% conviction rate is the result of victim anonymity. (Quote: 'It had wonderful motivations, but the upshot here is that in Britain, only 6 per cent of reported rapes, which is a small fraction of all rapes, get convicted') How many rape victims do you think would report if they did not even have that basic right of anonymity? Seriously?

MNHQ, I admit in the light of the splendid We Believe You campaign I am a touch surprised at your giving airtime to Naomi Wolf. Please promise you won't be getting George Galloway on next.... confused

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Sep-12 10:45:51

StewieGriffinsMom

I'm finding it very difficult to understand how Ms Wolf's participation in a webchat does not invalidate the We Believe You campaign since Ms Wolf has spent the better part of the past 2 years spreading rape myths about a case she clearly does not understand since she has consistently made fallacious remarks about what constitutes rape under Swedish law and fails to understand the legal process in Sweden.

Hi there,
From what I've gathered in the last week (and I may well be wrong) Naomi's position isn't this wasn't rape, it's that Assange's deportation is politically motivated and that under normal circumstances a case like this wouldn't be prosecuted. But far better for her to speak for herself, I'd say.

aufaniae Thu 06-Sep-12 10:37:26

Hi Naomi, a few years back you gave talks about "the End of America", about how the US seems to be sliding towards becoming a fascist state.

A few years on, and with elections looming in the US, I just wondered if you have any updates on these ideas? Do you think it's more or less likely now?

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Sep-12 10:29:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Margerykemp Thu 06-Sep-12 10:27:16

Hi Naomi!

I heard you on women's hour yesterday.

The bit that caught my attention was when you were talking about Sweden. I have a Swedish feminist friend who works for rape crisis in the UK and she shares your sentiment that Sweden isn't the feminist utopia some people in the UK and US seem to believe.

She says that although some social structures like maternity/paternity provision / childcare cost and availability and the cultural hegemony that a woman's place is at work rather than in the home benefit women they still have lots of problems resulting from misogyny such as rape culture.

So I'd like to ask you why do you think that women-hating is so universal, regardless of a particular country's laws and culture?

hellsbells76 Thu 06-Sep-12 10:17:42

grin what's the betting Naomi suddenly finds herself with a pressing prior engagement?

CardgamesFTW Thu 06-Sep-12 09:53:35

I'd also like a response on that.

ComradeJing Thu 06-Sep-12 09:38:01

I'd also like a response to the issues raised on this thread regarding the Assange case and one from MNHQ regarding the We Believe you Campaign.

AliceHurled Thu 06-Sep-12 08:59:16

Naomi, why, when reflecting on the Assange case, did you feel it was a priority to use your power and influence to fuel the rape myths already predictably being perpetuated widely?

MNHQ, I'd also like to add my voice to those asking how this fits with the We Believe You Campaign.

BoerWarKids Thu 06-Sep-12 08:26:10

<marks place> This is going to be interesting grin

mcmooncup Wed 05-Sep-12 23:55:21

Have you been misquoted as saying that women living in Muslim countries, wearing the burkha etc, are not oppressed and repressed?

What is your stance on anonymity for rape victims - you seem to have expressed support for both sides of the fence? confused

ShirelyKnort Wed 05-Sep-12 22:46:50

I would just like to "LIKE" FastidiaBlueberry's post and politely request an answer.

I would also like to add my weight to the growing concern that Ms Wolfe has been given credence here considering the We Believe You Campaign.

msrisotto Wed 05-Sep-12 22:13:36

Hi Naomi. The beauty myth was exceptional work. Was it misrepresenting you as a feminist though? In light of your recent position on rape these seem to be utterly conflicting politics.

FastidiaBlueberry Wed 05-Sep-12 21:07:12

Hi Naomi
How do you think promoting rape myths and defending the right of men to penetrate women who are asleep and therefore cannot consent to sex, fits in with calling yourself a feminist? Also you appear like other Assange fans, to believe that if a woman consents to sex with a man, that means that she consents under any terms and doesn't have the right to set conditions, like for example that he must wear a condom. Can you explain how that is a feminist position? Because it sounds to me very much closer to a rapey position.

And Mumsnet, how does having a woman who defends the right of men to penetrate women without their consent if they have had previous sexual intercourse with them on for a webchat, fit in with your "We Believe You" anti-rape campaign?

confused

digerd Wed 05-Sep-12 19:31:40

Shouldn't boys and girls be educated in the truth about a female orgasm, and how she achieves it. It could,of course, cause many problems , and that is why women for centuries have kept quiet about it.

Greythorne Wed 05-Sep-12 19:19:00

LineRunner
Have you got the book handy? I'll be doing this from memory. I think the botton line for me is that there's a huge corpus of primary sources and analytical literature by prehistorians which examines the meaning of palaeolithic and later prehistoric 'things', which Wolf just ignores. She 'does' prehistory in a few hundred words, referencing only a couple of secondary ultra-interpretive sources. To me, it's just lazy.

Oh, yes I see now. thx, I will re-read that bit.

Greythorne Wed 05-Sep-12 19:17:47

I remember reading something that you wrote once along the lines of "any woman who balances her own cheque book at the end of the month is a feminist". I absolutely loved that because in a nutshell it encapsulates women being (a) educated enough to perform a simple financial calculation (b) she has her own bank account (c) is writing her own cheques, spending her own money, has financial independence.

Do you remember the exact quote? I have spent many hours seaching for it, but never tracked it down.

How do you counter the "I'm not a feminist" brigade today, esp among the young?

Derkyderpy Wed 05-Sep-12 18:07:38

Naomi, is lack of oxytocin implicated in depression? Given that oxytocin is sometimes called the "hugging hormone", if someone is deprived of physical contact, could the lack of oxytocin in itself lead to depression?

Clearly I'm leaving out the question of orgasm, which for the purposes of my query is a separate issue.

MooncupGoddess Wed 05-Sep-12 17:55:36

From my reading of extracts and reviews, the book is essentialist (it argues for an essential femininity located in the nervous system) and also heteronormative (there is a lot of emphasis on sexual-romantic relationships with men and the importance of male pheromones in women's lives).

What does your book have to say to women who are lesbian, single (by choice or circumstance) or who just don't see their sexual relationships with men as a primary part of their identity?

LineRunner Wed 05-Sep-12 17:46:22

Greythorne
Have you got the book handy? I'll be doing this from memory. I think the botton line for me is that there's a huge corpus of primary sources and analytical literature by prehistorians which examines the meaning of palaeolithic and later prehistoric 'things', which Wolf just ignores. She 'does' prehistory in a few hundred words, referencing only a couple of secondary ultra-interpretive sources. To me, it's just lazy.

Greythorne Wed 05-Sep-12 17:35:13

linerunner
The short passages in Vagina that refer to the prehistoric 'Venus' figurines are, archaeologically, beyond parody.

Please can you explain this for those of us unfamiliar with the passages you are referring to? Thx

MmeLindor Wed 05-Sep-12 16:24:44

I am also troubled by the invitation extended to Ms Wolf to publicise her new book, when she has consistently defended Julian Assange.

Ms Wolf
I would like to ask about your assertion, made on Women's Hour, that Sweden has the highest reported rate of rape, and yet one of the lowest conviction rates in Europe.

According to the Swedish government this is partly explained by the fact that many crimes which would not be recorded as rape in other countries, are termed so in Sweden. The Swedish justice system also records individual incidents of rape separately so if a woman is raped by a man several times it is recorded as several rapes.

The rate of conviction is 10%, which when you compare with UK is almost double, and compared with US of around 13%, is in line with other countries (still atrocious but not remarkable).

I am very surprised that you base your objection to the transfer of Assange back to Sweden to face rape charges on dubious statistics, and disappointed that you would lend your voice to such a campaign.

I would like to ask you how you reconcile the defence of an alleged rapist with your feminist ideals, and would like to ask MNHQ how they reconcile the invitation of someone who defends a rapist with the We Believe You campaign.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Wed 05-Sep-12 16:13:33

Hello naomi, just wondering if you would consider donating your time to rape crisis and womens aid so that you can get a better understanding of rape and the effect it has on survivors?

I look forward to your response.

LineRunner Wed 05-Sep-12 16:05:00

Naomi

The short passages in Vagina that refer to the prehistoric 'Venus' figurines are, archaeologically, beyond parody. Is there some strange rule in the world of Pop Fem Bestsellers whereby writers such as youself and Camille Paglia are not allowed to read actual archaeological textbooks and analyses?

Greythorne Wed 05-Sep-12 15:59:13

Do you agree that the pornification of contemporary society is the biggest challenge facing women, ahead of the pay gap and the glass ceiling?

How should we counter the pornification of society and young people's lives?

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 05-Sep-12 15:27:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chaya5738 Wed 05-Sep-12 14:03:27

Dear Naomi

Why do you speak so authoritatively on Swedish law when you can't read Swedish and are not a lawyer?

Do you have a response to these criticisms of your statements about the Assange matter? You got so many things factually and legally wrong:

http://samtycke.nu/eng/2012/09/checking-naomi-wolfs-8-big-problems-in-the-assange-case-and-coming-up-empty/

Thanks!

AGiraffeOnTheDivingBoard Wed 05-Sep-12 12:51:05

Hi Naomi

Do you think we should be bothered by the demise of the bush and the growing trend for women (and teenagers) to remove all their pubic hair?

and

is access to online porn screwing with people? (i.e. making anal sex, group sex, violent sex seem like the standard way to shag).

Thanks.

Derkyderpy Wed 05-Sep-12 12:48:36

Blimey, Naomi, you were fantastic on Woman's Hour. Here.

I'll come back with a question when I've had another listen. smile

BarryShitpeas Wed 05-Sep-12 10:39:50

<Hijacks>

MN- please could we have a vagina pasta emoticon?

FushiaFernica Wed 05-Sep-12 10:14:14

Hello Naomi
Your book 'Misconceptions' helped me through pregnancy and my dd. Now my dd is at primary school (first day back today) was wondering if you had any thoughts on the competition between mothers at the school gates?

Hi Naomi,

How does a woman say 'no' if she's asleep?

thanks.

GeminiGal Wed 05-Sep-12 08:33:56

Welcome Naomi! The popular misconception that we have reached equality and feminism's work is done troubles me; but I have difficulty explaining this simply when asked. Can you please give some pointers as to the most simple, effective things that may be said in conversation to make the points? Thank you.

sieglinde Wed 05-Sep-12 08:19:12

Dear Naomi,

Why did you decide to go back to school to do a doctorate? Are you enjoying that? Has it made a difference to your other writing?

MisogynistToolMagnet Wed 05-Sep-12 08:10:48

Dear Naomi.

I've looked in the dictionary, "no" is not a synonym for "yes". Could you please explain how you came to the conclusion that "no" doesn't always mean "no"?

specialgal3 Tue 04-Sep-12 19:18:22

Hi Naomi

After reading your article in the Sunday Times it struck me that your sudden lack of sexual feeling may have,been peri-menopause related, perhaps shared by a large cohort
of women nearing 50?

Greythorne Tue 04-Sep-12 18:50:25

Oh! One more question....

I read the extract from your new book in The Guardian about the cuntini party held by your friend "Alan".....why did you not just walk out when you realised what the salmon fillets represented?

Greythorne Tue 04-Sep-12 18:48:27

Hi Naomi

You received (rightly, IMO) so much praise for The Beauty Myth but then so much criticism for Fire with Fire. None of your subsequent books have been so well-received.

How do you handle this? Do you feel the weight of expectation to be unrealistic? Do you feel demoralised by negative reviews?

Hello Naomi,

Do you think that it's a good idea to introduce younger teenagers to the idea of a "beauty myth" (e.g. by having them read your book) or do you think it might sometimes cause more problems instead of solving them?

LineRunner Tue 04-Sep-12 17:13:16

Hello Naomi,

Do you wish you were taken more seriously in the UK?

AlistairSim Tue 04-Sep-12 16:47:07

Hi Naomi,

I know you were a consultant for Al Gore in the olden days. I wondered if there are any current politician's you would like to consult for?

Thanks.

ItsaTIARA Tue 04-Sep-12 16:30:46

Are we allowed to ask questions about J****n A*****e?

AbsofAwesomeness Tue 04-Sep-12 16:26:04

Hi Naomi,

You were interviewed by Ali G a couple of years ago - did they tell you afterwards that it was a farce? Did you want to hit him?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Sep-12 15:22:16

Naomi Wolf is joining us for a live webchat on Thursday 6 September at 12 noon. Naomi's latest book, Vagina - A New Biography, has attracted major media attention this month and we're delighted she's joining us to tell us more about the book and answer your questions. 

Described as 'exhilarating and groundbreaking', Vagina combines cultural history, physiology and personal memoir to explore the role of female desire and how it affects female identity, creativity and confidence.

Naomi Wolf is author of seven books including the bestseller, The Beauty Myth. She travels regularly to speak about gender equality and social justice. She lives in New York and is working towards a doctorate at New College, Oxford University. 

Please post your question to Naomi in advance, or set the date in your diary to join us this Thursday at midday to chat to Naomi 'live'.

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