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Women In Relationships Don't Have Dirty Pictures?
For a long time, people (even researcher people) have seen male sexual arousal and female sexual arousal as pretty much the same. It turns out that women in long-term relationships tend not to have the spontaneous sexual pictures, thoughts, and fantasies that men do, which in men, trigger sexual arousal. Ladies?

Posted by aalkon at August 22, 2006 10:00 AM

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Well maybe it's all hoo ha, or maybe I am a weirdo, but usually if something triggers my sexy thinking, well then I think sexy things. If the sex is good or better in a long term relationship, I think that adds data as fodder to those, ohh when I see you thoughts.

That is this lady's thoughts on it.

Posted by: sonja at August 21, 2006 6:36 PM

I'll weigh in on behalf of statistical outliers. :)

I'm a happily married (eleven years), monogamous female, but my arousal patterns tend to be more typically male than female. I'm extremely turned on by visual stimuli, and I think about sex a lot. I can attest that sexual thoughts do occur to me spontaneously throughout the day, leading to fantasies and spontaneous arousal-- irritating when it happens at work!

I suspect my hormonal profile would show a higher amount of testosterone than average for a female.

Dammit, I'm aroused just typing about it! :)

Posted by: Melissa at August 21, 2006 8:17 PM

I'm similar, Melissa. I wonder if you have a low 2D 4D ratio. See this page for an explanation:

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 21, 2006 9:10 PM

Interesting website, Amy. Thanks for the link. I am left-handed, and find that my ring finger is longer than my index finger on my left hand. So the indicator may be one's dominant hand, not the right hand. That said, I'm also a lesbian with symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (associated with lowered fertility). So the information on the web site is consistent with my life. Also, I can relate to Melissa's experiences of being easily (lusciously) distracted while at work. My gripe is that I have rarely come across porn with a plot, where women aren't shaved and impaled into oblivion. Admittedly, I don't spend nearly enough time looking. Any recommendations?

Posted by: Michelle at August 21, 2006 9:47 PM

Pedantry point ... you can't trigger spontaneous arousal. It's one or the other. Either way will float your boat, of course.

Posted by: Norman at August 22, 2006 1:24 AM

Should have said trigger arousal. Thanks, Norm. Will change.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2006 3:49 AM

Aha! That explains everything. My ring finger is way longer than my index finger on both hands. My background is German (see the article). I would say my experiences are very similar to Melissa's. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that thinks about sex almost all the time!
Michelle, you could try some of the porn directed by women. There is atmosphere, a bit of a story line, and the men are focussed on giving women pleasure, which is not the case in male oriented porn. Good luck!

Posted by: Canada at August 22, 2006 6:26 AM

Oh, wow, Amy-- great link! Yes, my ring fingers are *way* longer than my pointer fingers. That is so interesting!

And, in the interest of full scientific disclosure, I should say that, while I am monogamous, I am quite bisexual and find myself equally aroused by images of males and females. So that seems to go along with the 2D-4D ratio thing as well! Fascinating stuff.

I'm also aroused by gay male porn, which I've been given to understand is extremely rare in women (something like 1% ?)

Now I feel compelled to look at my friends' fingers for research. My circle of friends is composed largely of strong women who are involved in sports and the martial arts and who exhibit a lot of "traditionally male" behavioral characteristics, and our men who are more passive. (Hey, it works for us! :))

Found your blog from Orac's site, by the way-- I'm enjoying it!

Posted by: Melissa at August 22, 2006 8:03 AM

....which is not the case in male oriented porn.

No??? So what's all the moaning & gasping all about then? I always assume, even if it's fake, it sends the message "I'm LOVING this".

Posted by: Stu "El Ingés" Harris at August 22, 2006 8:10 AM

I know quite a few women that are turned on by watching gay porn, so maybe that 1% figure is wrong? Maybe a lot of women won't admit that it turns them on, so that would skew the results of studies.

The women in regular porn are pretending to be aroused to orgasm by actions which rarely bring women to orgasm. When men without much sexual experience do these things with their girlfriends, they are surprised when it doesn't bring them to orgasm, and then they try to tell their girlfriends that there is something wrong with them, because it works on the women in porn.

I know that men want to please women and arouse them, but you guys should really pick up one of the many books that actually tell you how!

Posted by: Canada at August 22, 2006 8:28 AM

Gay porn of men? I understand getting turned on by girl-on-girl porn. But two guys slipping each other the bone? Yawn.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2006 8:33 AM

I find the chemistry and mechanics of arousal really interesting-- that one person's turn-on is another person's yawn. I can see the benefits from a genetic diversity standpoint, but I wonder how it evolved to begin with. Anybody know any good references on the subject?

Posted by: Melissa at August 22, 2006 9:38 AM

It is pretty interesting. I find girl-on-girl a real turn off, especially with those long nails! Everthing they do to each other looks either painful or unstimulating.

I think the diversity is great! It makes for a fun guessing game when you're dating-trying to figure out what interesting kink the guy might have.

Posted by: Canada at August 22, 2006 10:46 AM

Gay porn of men? I understand getting turned on by girl-on-girl porn. But two guys slipping each other the bone? Yawn.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2006 08:33 AM

Err, Amy.
There was this film..."Brokeback Mountain"?

I had the usual perkily liberal Ang Lee lovin' reasons for wanting to see the movie. Then I read "the" interview - the one that was quoted everywhere - where either Heath or Jake mentioned giving or getting rough kissing bruises to either Jake or Heath in the scene where they meet for the first time after "that" summer - and suddenly I was erotically interested.

And it was definitely the male on male thing - not projecting myself somehow cutely in the way.

(Another many years happily married hetero monogomous female here!).

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 22, 2006 12:08 PM

Paglia has so covered all of this.

Posted by: Crid at August 22, 2006 12:57 PM

"Paglia has so covered all of this."

I expect she has, Crid.

But Paglia is so not my cup of tea. (Her tone, the vacuous vanity of her interview persona etc.)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 22, 2006 2:57 PM

Jody, with all due whatever, and I do adore you...

The need to judge people based on the cotillion-level propriety of their demeanor is one of America's greatest weaknesses... Perhaps second only to the twisted Christian ideas about forgiveness and turning the other cheek. I think Americans have had their entrees served on such fine china for so long that they lose their bearings if there isn't a a little fragment of orange peel or parsley on the side, which is what you're talking about in terms of 'vanity.' And remember, Cammy wrote the book on "persona."

I want truth and insight, and if it hurts my feelings, I'm ready to deal. The best people in the world (Paglia, Zappa, various figures in science, medicine and warfare) are the ones who combine intellectual candlepower and pugilistic deportment.

Posted by: Crid at August 22, 2006 5:28 PM

How'd we get from porn to mental masturbation?

Today's porn is awful. It's all formula- meeting, cunninglingus, felatio, intercourse, anal, cumshot. Repeat. The guys are all on Viagra so don't have to even be interested, the women are all so plasticized they don't inspire. Ever notice that actors never touch the actresses breasts? (I know I should say tits, but that is too farm-like for my taste.)

Posted by: eric at August 22, 2006 6:29 PM

1. What's the mental masturbation part?

B. Was porn ever any better? What was it like?

Posted by: Crid at August 22, 2006 6:35 PM

Brokeback Mountain was cleaner than most music videos. I'm talking about porn.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2006 6:36 PM

PS Crid, are you on your Paglia kick this week? This is a bit of background I was interested in seeing opinions on, but the research on it is very recent and very much unknown. I wrote about it for this week's deadline. Since you're in Los Angeles, where my column is banned from the local features section, you can read it in a couple weeks when I'm able to post it on my site (don't like to compete with the papers who run me).

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2006 6:44 PM

It's not a Paglia week, it's a Paglia life. She's the kinda person who doesn't mind taking a punch in the face (or the heart) if it means learning something that other people don't know. People forget that she was a creepy carpet-muncher back when creepy carpet-munchers weren't cool.

I'll be watching for your column, but the most interesting thing I've ever heard about porn actually came from radio blowhard Prager: If you look at gay male porn, it's just as silly and degrading as hetero porn, which is almost always made for men. Or as Cammy says, "Male sex is hot." It's not about sharing feelings and vegetarian connectedness and sustainable development for generations yet unborn. It's about gimmesome:

For extra credit from Professor Paglia, review the passage about "chirpy hopes."

PS- Or you could post a link to one of your outlets who posts your column on the net. Surely one of them does that....

Posted by: Crid` at August 22, 2006 7:59 PM

Porn is good on a school night, but as a gay man I find there's nothing more refreshing than mercilessly tearing up the ass of a married man (better yet, a married man with children) on the floor of my office.

Posted by: Lena at August 22, 2006 9:02 PM

Wow, this is exciting news! Up until now I've had a strict rule about only dating CAH women so this 2D/4D thing could be the motherlode! I'll have to work out some sort of clever exploratory handshake that doesn't seem too lingering or pervy.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at August 22, 2006 10:15 PM

Anyway, Amy, I'm so happy you've finally seen the light about the science of Palmistry.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at August 22, 2006 10:45 PM

I'm not sure I understand the question. Sure straight married women, etc. have sexual thoughts/images spontaneously. But I have no doubt that my husband has them far more frequently, and that the situation was different when I was single or newly infatuated. And I'd rather be actually having sex than watching any kind of porn. My random thoughts tend to be of a more mundane quality: "What are those regulators going to settle on?" "What am I going to have for lunch?" "Damn, there are lots of muffin tops this year."

Did someone spend my tax money on studying this? Because I'd like my fractional penny back. I think sex research is pretty damn boring. Go find me new species of snail! Find the missing solar neutrinos! Tell me something I don't know.

Posted by: meep at August 23, 2006 4:03 AM

Mutual and all that...

Just read the "chirpy hopes" link - and she left me cross and muttering all over again. Those are some awfully widely-spaced branches Paglia's swinging between with the theory that violent men are super in bed, surely? If she's just trying to get a rise out of a sexually "pampered" matron here, I guess it's worked!

I've also driven myself potty trying in vain to find the sensational novella-length newspaper Pagila interview for you and Amy that shows why her vanity is objectionable. It's not because I like my pop. culture icons prettily garnished (though your comments were brilliant) - it's because this interview (by the acerbic British novelist and very experienced journalist Will Self) used her vanity against her so splendidly.

Every time Paglia did her usual gutsy-sounding put down of all rivals, Will pretended to consult his background notes - then told her sincerely "actually he/she [name of famous person inserted] spoke about you very highly to me in private...". Paglia steadily unravelled - sort of becoming clinically obsequious.

It was one of those bravura newspaper interviews that stays with you. (Not a stitch up either; much too clever for that...).

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 23, 2006 8:56 AM

Has Paglia ever given voice to anything that even vaguely resembles an idea? Although I have sometimes found her entertaining, from an intellectual standpoint, it seems that she simply does not matter.

Posted by: Lena at August 23, 2006 11:48 AM

> the theory that violent men
> are super in bed

An obvious, perhaps telling, misreading of "Maybe she won't leave him because the sex is very hot." The passage suggests that Paglia doesn't like it when women decline to take responsibility for their own conduct. Lots of women (and others) would be bereft if it were shown that they held any responsibility for their shitty lives. That's not you, right? So that's not your complaint with Paglia.

> her usual gutsy-sounding put
> down of all rivals

There it is, it's always that: 'Well, she thinks she's SO SPECIAL...' Paglia rubs egalitarian Americans the wrong way. It's a strain in our character (the part that likes to read about celebrity comeuppance in supermarket tabloids): We're supposed to feign humility if we can't do the real thing. But I'm not sure she has many peers, at least not in academe. Lingua Franca called "Personae" the best academic book of its decade. Shes weak in the medieval, but who isn't?

In America you're not allowed to say that you're right and others are full of shit. You're supposed to pretend that the truth lies between your position and that of people who disagree. This is logically impossible! I think it's got something to do with the "turn the other cheek" weirdness mentioned earlier.

It ain't hero worship. Having feet of clay doesn't mean you don't excel.

Posted by: Crid at August 23, 2006 9:23 PM

Really, I was just hoping for links to good porn.

It figures that the most helpful lead comes from Canada.

And all the talk about Paglia completely kills the mood.

Posted by: Michelle at August 23, 2006 9:49 PM

I know that men want to please women and arouse them, but you guys should really pick up one of the many books that actually tell you how!

forget the book. read the woman

Posted by: g*mart at August 23, 2006 10:11 PM

No, I don't think I misread Paglia.

Her quote was: "You know what gets me sick and tired? The battered-woman motif. It's so misinterpreted, the way we have to constantly look at it in terms of male oppression and tyranny, and female victimization. When, in fact, everyone knows throughout the world that many of these working-class relationships where women get beat up have hot sex. They ask why she won't leave him? Maybe she won't leave him because the sex is very hot. I say we should start looking at the battered-wife motif in terms of sex".

Reams have been written about the complex quid pro quo that sustains a battered wife in an apparently bum relationship. (The stuff Paglia reckons everyone else misinterprets?)

I think Paglia's talked herself into an absurd premise here - and tries to sass her way out with the usual, bogus "hey, made ya think, didn't I!". (Gimme a break).

Why does it not surprise me at all that she's "weak in the medieval"?

It's such a dead giveway when Paglia-types flashily try to add that era to their expertise. (Rather like film stars writing children's books.)

Boy, she is so not my cup of tea.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 24, 2006 5:24 AM

> Reams have been written

But apparently not enough.

Jody, show your cards! Define your terms! Put it in a sentence! Make your case! (Etc! ) What exactly is the part you disagree with? The larger quote clarifies nothing. Paglia's critics always expect us to share their unspecified outrage, but then just call her a bitch. I don't know (or care) how much the fucking has to do with the propensity of women to get battered. In the 1990s Cammy was the first commenter to offer sane perspective on the issue, one that neatly anticipated OJ's verdict and the rise of prosecutions independent from wive's testimony and participation. In other pieces she described the emotional traffic of these relationships in greater detail. I have a disk drive full of her stuff and could probably pull it for you.

Posted by: Crid at August 24, 2006 6:53 AM

This is all getting way too intellectual.

Anyway, back to good porn. Candida Royale is the name of one of the women directors. I'm sure you can find similar ones by doing a search on the internet. Or you could just go to a good sex store that has a female focus, and ask the friendly and helpful staff to recommend something.

And asking a woman what she wants sexually is all well and good if she is in tune with her body and comfortable with her sexuality. Then you will get some useful feedback. If not, you will get embarrassed and guilt-ridden nonsense, and anger. Just get the damn book.

Posted by: Canada at August 24, 2006 7:27 AM

Candida Royale, a female porn director? Is she cooking up a royal case of candida albicans between her legs?

Posted by: Lena at August 24, 2006 7:48 AM

> if she is in tune with her
> body and comfortable with
> her sexuality.

How much time should we invest if she isn't?

Posted by: Crid at August 24, 2006 7:51 AM

Not too much, Crid. She will fake orgasms for a while, then cut you off from sex, and then start sleeping with your best friend and put him through the same bullshit.

Her body issues are for her to work out, preferably with a good sex therapist. That's not your job.

Posted by: Canada at August 24, 2006 8:42 AM

Candida did make an unfortunately choice in her 'nom-de-porn'. I guess she wasn't up on her health homework.

And the reason I'm so frustrated with these women and their issues is that I have to deal with the fallout, namely guys that have been put through the psychological wringer, and then are too fucked up to be able to deal with a normal healthy sexual relationship. A lot of it has to do with the guy's insecurity though. They think that if you like sex, you'll sleep with other guys, but if you're a frigid bitch, well, at least you'll be faithful!

Posted by: Canada at August 24, 2006 8:48 AM

"a good sex store that has a female focus"

-- They tend to be really great in the Sex Toy Department. I got the entire Voyager series (I-III) at Good Vibrations up in San Francisco.

Posted by: Lena "Dilation" Cuisins at August 24, 2006 9:07 AM

...sorry about the frigid bitch comment-dating burnout!-what I should have said was 'sexually unevolved unhappy and bitter woman'.

Posted by: Canada at August 24, 2006 11:56 AM

I've figured out a plausible objection to Paglia after your challenge - it's been a helluva voluntary homework assignment - thanks (she said grumpily) - but I think some of the comments here have vanished? So maybe this thread is pushing up daisies?

I suspect I now know what I'm talking about - more a thoughful admirer than before at least, although if Bush wrote about sex and art, the French would probably embrace him too!

But out of correct deference to amy's blog etiquette, I shoudn't post here, right? But save it on the chance it fits with Amy's next Paglia post?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 25, 2006 8:02 AM

Paglia fans -- and detractors possibly even more -- won't want to miss this.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at August 25, 2006 9:27 AM

Just read that yesterday (I used to know Julie Burchill slightly, which increased one's disgraceful glee).
Agree it's a complete hoot!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 25, 2006 9:34 AM

Jody, Paglia posts don't come around that often. Go ahead and let it rip

Posted by: Crid at August 25, 2006 9:40 AM

Julie Burchill wrote for NME back in the 70's yes?

Posted by: Lena at August 25, 2006 12:06 PM

Yes, NME was her big break (there used to be a stunning Ramones-style photograph of Burchill from that period that added to her mystique: editors used it for years!). Amazingly prolific, very, very barbed national UK newspaper columnist ever since with appropriately colorful personal life.
She won't do TV or radio because of her voice (she has an extremely silly voice and knows it). God awful novelist too. Sound on Israel. I like her very much.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 25, 2006 12:46 PM

The problem with Paglia is that I have to tune out around 30% of what she writes as I go along. My mental tickertape is going “goodgoodgreatCRAP!greatwowgoodsotrueCRAP!!goodgoodCRAP!!wonderfulgood…etc”.

It’s a lot like reading, say, a brilliant literary critic who happens to be a tunnel vision Marxist. Except the Marxist is easier to handle because you can recognize the agenda when it coincides with his lit crit no longer making sense.

Paglia’s agenda – her personal philosophy – is such an obdurate mish-mash of isms that’s a headache knowing where to start – or stop- making allowances (or throwing her stuff across the room) when it gets in the way of her fine brain.

And what’s wrong with her personal philosophy?
Parts of it are completely bananas, I think.

It’s internally consistent, but simply illuminates where Paglia is coming from over and over again.

It’s seldom applicable beyond specific circumstances yet endlessly, slyly formulated (yawn) for sensationalism as a general rule. To repeat a lovely phrase from NYorker writer Adam Gopnik about the telegram of all things, Paglia’s pronouncements are frequently “a skeletal version of another thing – a communication that opens more than it closes”.

Roughly, Paglia says masculinity is a good, vital, urgent force. Women should be aware of it – and shouldn’t play dumb; they seek to subdue it/toy with it at their risk – the ancients understood this. And this is a key principal animating great creative work.

This is her personal take on the old chestnut of "conflict" driving great art - which always seems about right, as far as it goes.

(And, yes, Paglia's view specifically explains – I guess – why Amy shouldn’t yell at blokes in underground carparks!)

This view saturates her opinions.
Yet it misses out two things.
That the evolution of expectations about behaviour might be as powerful a force as the manly men, women-who-tame-at-their-peril template. (These expectations alter the archetype, is what I’m timidly saying).
That children further profoundly enlarge and alter the way women greet the world.

(Paglia is amazingly consistent in most strongly responding to the childless female artist – (Dickinson/St. Vincent Millay) – or semi-childless (Joni Mitchell). Or being blindly short-sighted when the artist did have brats in a kind of knee-jerk dismissal of anything that symbolises the domestic. (“The mundane has triumphed – as it did when Plath killed herself in the kitchen,” says Paglia. What was Plath supposed to have done? Run out to the nearest municipal gas works to make a less mundane statement? The kitchen is WHERE handy gas ovens are. )

She’s so caught up in her sexy violence kick – without enough imaginative empathy to fill in the gaps – that she’s got an almost adolescent view of men and women.

This view gets her to the bit I complained about (in your link, Crid) about hot sex, violent men, and battered working class women. She says: “Maybe she won't leave him because the sex is very hot. I say we should start looking at the battered-wife motif in terms of sex".

You then retorted to my complaint:’ "The passage suggests that Paglia doesn't like it when women decline to take responsibility for their own conduct. Lots of women (and others) would be bereft if it were shown that they held any responsibility for their shitty lives.”

And I retort: what about children? The presence of children might be an equally sound angle from which to examine the (punishment-accepting) battered wife motif? Don’t kids have more to do with responsibility and the battered wife motif than staying for hot sex?
Society (and Paglia) would say coolly: leave the bastard for the sake of the kids too, you dozy cow. The dozy cow says: but it’s my responsibility to keep him here for their sake? Sex is how I do it.

Oh, sod it.
What do I know?
Also, Amy would stab me with a pink lipstick for even suggesting kids enlarge anything - except one’s butt.

I think Lena was right with the brief comment, (I think it was Lena), to the effect that Paglia is bereft of one great idea. (Also I loathe Paglia’s perky condescension to the “working class”.)

If you even read this, Crid, I think a single exclamation mark would be an appropriate response.

(But I’ve loved a lot in her essays in “Break, Blow, Burn” - because close, old-fashioned textual analysis is always a good trick when the writer is very smart.)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 27, 2006 9:05 AM

I was particularly moved by her section on George Herbert's Love. I have no problem with people either accepting or dismissing her, but I insist that that judgment can only rationally be made after slogging through Sexual Personae. It is, after all, her magnum opus.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at August 27, 2006 12:34 PM

Again, again, again, again! The thing people want to say about her, the first thing (as in your comments), is how she makes them feel. Five sentences later there's a theme: That she's "internally" consistent. This "illuminates where Paglia is coming from over and over again." Isn't that admirable in an academic? It's wonderful when polemicists and thinkers 'open more than they close'. That's what they're paid for, to offer principles that apply broadly. But wait: "It's seldom applicable beyond specific circumstances..."

> Roughly, Paglia says
> masculinity...

Well, she says that and I think it's true. The idea I like most from her is her argument that nature is in control of our planet, including from within our own hearts, and that this is not entirely good news. People often forget that. They're comforted by pretending the evil in the world is done by others, and can be fixed by clever or compassionate policies. ('Chirpiness'.)

> the evolution of expectations
> about behaviour might be as
> powerful a force as the manly
> men

I think this is bourgeois feminine naivete. I started to type out why, but it's long and involved. Let me know if you wanna get into it. (There's a bourgeois masculine kind, too.) Briefly: Young women feel nature as a low hum, rather than an explosive throb as men do. So they find more of their lives being forged by the expectations that are brought to them, and they think men are somehow missing out on all those subtleties. Men, in turn, can't understand why young women don't feel the throb. And why there has to be so much talk: It's the throb, what is there to say about it? Why can't we just talk about sports and car parts?

> That children further profoundly
> enlarge and alter the way women
> greet the world.

Says you. Even if true, so what? If kids made women better, women with more would be demonstrably more successful. The reverse seems true: Children can distract from careers and other obsessions that bring progress. Of course "Paglia is amazingly consistent in most strongly responding to the childless female artist". The whole world is!

Twelve years ago, a writer named William A. Henry III said "The unvarnished truth is this: You could eliminate every woman writer, painter and composer from the cave man era to the present moment and not significantly deform the course of Western culture. Of course you would lose individual artists of merit: I'd sorely miss Jane Austen and George Eliot, Sigrid Undset and Willa Cather. But you would eradicate few if any true giants, and hardly anyone who radically changed a form instead of simply executing it well."

Don't hate him for that: He died before the book was published. And in the next sentences he argued that the problem was that women hadn't been given opportunity. I'd argue, as Paglia probably would (and often has), that child rearing takes a lot of attention, especially when done well. Oprah and Condoleeza are barren; Carly Fiorina appears to have children only by marriage. One reason I like Amy's blog is she's not obsessed with children (this morning's street photo notwithstanding). Paglia has acknowledged the American freedom which allowed her to choose the life of a hyperfocused, out-lesbian academic. Opportunities are taken, not given.

Also, we should note that a lot of really successful businessmen are shitty fathers. Malcolm Forbes once authored a book about the offspring of the famous called "What Happened to Their Kids?" It was ghostwritten; he musta been busy.

What's a "(punishment-accepting) battered wife motif"? I don't see your logic in linking kids to abusive husbands. When single motherhood is an essentially normal condition, it would be hard to argue that modern mores prefer that children see their mother beaten to removing them from the father.

> textual analysis is
> always a good trick

Reading isn't a trick.

Posted by: Crid at August 27, 2006 1:24 PM

Poetry's boring until I drink, then it's all weepy. But if you're into it, you might be amused by this guy, who rips her a new one:

People *hate* that woman.

Also, as regards Jody's point about the proper proportions of masculinity in the home: Incompetent women too often try to have the government phone it in.

Posted by: Crid at August 27, 2006 1:52 PM

Lucky you're very funny, Crid - that's provocative stuff.

Paglia is absurdly exclusionary in her thesis. Since she writes off what she hasn't experienced directly (birth, juggling kids and career during the crucial years) because it doesn't matter to her - even while she includes so many aspects of male experience - even though they too are second hand.

And, of course, she defines what nature "is" - and the way she defines it spookily supports her thesis. Funny that.

God, it's even more bourgeois for certain men (James Wolcutt, Clive James - and someone else comes to mind, Crid?) to offer chummy intellectual bar space to a non-threateningly hyper-sexed toughie gal who craps all over her gender as distracted babymakers while swooning about "essential" male creativity!

Easily flattered, the lot of you!

As for for the fortunately deceased Billy Henry the Third, just calling something the "unvarnished truth" as he does- dig the macho, sawdusty metaphor - isn't a guarantee of anything - save his own splintered opinion.

And maybe young women feel nature as a really, really loud nonstop hum?

The reason I launched off with the comment about how Paglia makes one "feel" is that SHE forces that response by waving too much of herself in our faces. "Look at me, everyone!" not an automatically winning trait in an academic. Frankly, it's wearying.

Agree I ought to read Paglia's "Sexy Beasts" or whatever before proceeding further.
And I look forward - as always - to checking your links.

(Obviously I find Amy very stimulating too. Been reading her long enough!)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at August 27, 2006 3:27 PM

Wolcott's a dick

Posted by: Crid at August 27, 2006 3:44 PM

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