Vagina: A New Biography (2012)
Vagina: A New Biography (2012)
3.62 of 5 Votes: 2
0061989169 (ISBN13: 9780061989162)
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The vagina has had a very sordid history, and not a very pleasant one. It has been worshiped and cursed, praised and damned, a Goddess and a demon. From an aesthetic view, the vagina has, historically, been greatly admired and inspiring.. from the medical standpoint, the vagina has been disturbingly misunderstood and and abused. Psychologically, the vagina has had, and still has, some serious trauma to deal with, but has achieved some real enlightenment too. All in all, I would recommend this book to most people I know.. It is a very interesting, sobering and inspiring subject that I'm going to guess, most men and women are completely ignorant about. Ms. Wolf does a good job with this book, in terms of presenting the history of society's perception of female sexuality (and, since, most societies were patriarchal in nature, the book is in large part about men's perception of female sexuality). She illuminates a fascinating, sometimes occluded history, making the case that philosophers of ancient antiquity actually had a more progressive view of women's reproductive systems than more contemporary Victorian thinkers. One example is her contrasting of Hippocrates' view that women needed to achieve orgasm to conceive ("bursting forth with seed") versus the opinion of a distinguished 19th century doctor, who equated female sexual desire with being the sole province of prostitutes.The tone of the work is sometimes light and humorous, other times tragic, but never (and this is important) strident or combative. Too many men have a skewed view of feminism, equating it with the more extreme second-wave iterations, like Valerie Solanis, who I believe wanted to kill or castrate all men. I don't get the sense from this work that Ms. Wolf hates men, either from an ideological standpoint, or from a personal, sexual standpoint.My only gripe with the book (my reason for the four, rather than five star rating) is that the author sometimes spends quite a bit of time telling us things every lay person already knows, regardless of how acquainted they are with feminism. It's been said that the purpose of a social scientist is to spend several years learning what everyone already knows, which is fine, and probably true to an extent, except Wolf doesn't do this with social science; she does it with hard science, taking up page after page to bless the reader with chestnuts, such as 1) Women like to talk more than men 2) Women like to cuddle after sex, whereas men prefer to sleep, and so on.That's a minor complaint, though, directed at an otherwise solid overview of the vagina, that is by no means comprehensive, but serves as a more than sufficient introduction to an important topic.
The facts in the book were interesting. However, I really am not fond of her writing style.
The premise in interesting, but it neither compelling nor enjoyable.
interesting book. Learned a few things.
A must read for one and all...
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