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

(410 Posts)
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'.

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):

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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)

swallowedAfly Fri 07-Sep-12 20:31:20


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

grin Pubes

PlentyOfPubeGardens Fri 07-Sep-12 18:37:54


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>

swallowedAfly Fri 07-Sep-12 18:01:55

<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.

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

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

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

My vagina prefers Suduko

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