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Her newest book, “Sex Object,” is a memoir of her sex life and the misogyny that she believes it demonstrates.
To this end, she provides an extensive collection of romantic encounters and involvements — even though she knew that her book, and its title, were bound to provoke endless Twitter hate.“Whenever women write about sex, whenever they write about their relationship history, there’s a sort of rush to judgment that it must be navel gazing, it must be frivolous, it’s unimportant,” Ms. “Whereas of course when men write things about their sex lives or past relationships, it’s brave and universal and all the great things.”For her, the decision to do a memoir was a departure.
“I didn’t want to reveal a lot of myself,” she said.The latter is of course an impossible demand, and so many female writers are criticized when they (inevitably) fall short.”The British writer Olivia Laing isn’t exactly thrilled to be grouped into the category of women who write about matters of love and sex.She was in Cambridge, England, when I reached her to discuss her approach to the personal.“This is a moment when people like to take pictures of their perfect lives, and I don’t think there’s much pressure on a perfect life to be anything but old-fashioned and conventional,” he said. Stein’s observations is an animating spirit throughout Ms. at Yale in the joint program of Comparative Literature and Film and Media Studies, is an academic by training, and uses the comprehensive research and dispassionate analytic style that she has honed in school. ” only to realize with horror how absurd it was that, every inch the self-respecting, educated writer and thinker, she still craved guidance from a man on this most individual of questions.Witt’s book: her quest to find some kind of new arrangement, even while she harbors a fierce attachment to the old ones.“Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating,” by Moira Weigel, is, like Ms. It wasn’t until the end of the process of writing her book that Ms. She includes the story in the first pages of her book; it’s one of the few explicitly personal exchanges she relays. Weigel, the entire process felt “urgent” and intensely personal, she told me, because the questions of how people relate to each other romantically were the ones she cared about.“I really wanted to take the subjects of love, sex and dating seriously and felt keenly aware of the trap that I had seen many young female writers pushed into, when they were encouraged to focus on ‘personal’ subjects.I guess that’s why I’m more to the side of reticence and discretion than full-blown execution.”For her, it is a kind of anguish to call upon the personal, and the personal parts of her books are, she said, the ones she hates to write. Laing does it, in part because, as she said, “I guess I think it’s ethical to make something of your own experience transparent if you’re going to be digging around in other peoples’ lives.”Unlike Ms.Laing, the feminist author and blogger Jessica Valenti, 37, recently decided to embrace the personal with impunity.Witt’s chapter about going to Burning Man (and having sex with a like-minded bookish dude she met at the Black Rock City library) was published in the London Review of Books, her father was upset, she said. Witt, he said, “is really writing for us, for a lot of my friends who, it’s not just that their lives haven’t taken a conventional path — their lives may have taken a conventional path — but they want to choose their sexual lives, they don’t want to have them assigned, they don’t want to be told, ‘Well, at the end of the day, when we’re all grown up, we know what we’re supposed to do.’”At the same time, Mr.There wasn’t “so much a conversation, just my brother saying: ‘Dad didn’t like your article,” Ms. But after that: “I wasn’t scared anymore.”“It would be strange to me if young, intellectual women writers weren’t interested in intimacy, in the problems posed by sexual relations,” said Lorin Stein, who edited Ms. Stein noted, ours does not seem like a moment of wild reinvention. Bell an email to answer that question, recalling a moment from her 20s when she was dating an older man, who told her that he was still hung up on his ex and may ultimately choose neither of them. Weigel turned to him and asked, “What should I want?Her past books, including “The Purity Myth” and “Full Frontal Feminism,” have been essayistic and polemical.But she, like so many of her feminist icons, invokes that old mantra about the personal and the political.“As a culture, we’re only comfortable with women’s sexual stories being told from a male point of view,” Ms. “It’s not that we’re not comfortable with women’s sexuality — we see women’s sexuality plastered all over ads and movies and television shows.