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Naomi Wolf Defends Vagina

…. which is the title of her latest book. Most feminist critics have reacted with derision or outrage, but Wolf says their criticism is unfounded:

“This book was absolutely written without proscription. The only proscription in this book is for men who live with women to treat them nicely”

I’ll admit to having a soft spot for Naomi Wolf, because her book ushered me into feminism, so I’m predisposed to believe in her good intentions and intelligence. I think this comment by Amanda Hess hits the mark (or very nearly):

Vagina is a little late to the game. If the Beauty Myth[sic] was released just before beauty-industry deconstructions blew up, Vagina is hitting shelves, asking us to accept our vaginas, well after we already have. Then again, yesterday’s radical feminism is today’s mainstream revelation—the book has been a hit with Kathie Lee Gifford, who had trouble even pronouncing the term “vagina” when Wolf visited Today, and Joy Behar, who used it as an opportunity to discuss how she gets turned on when her husband swats at bats in the attic.

Exactly. It’s easy for a sub-culture to become insular and forget that not everyone shares their assumptions or core beliefs. Maybe Naomi Wolf was aiming for the mainstream of non-feminist women… again.