Story posted May 03, 2009
Michelle Obama has transitioned from active professional life as a successful hospital executive to what Naomi Wolf describes as fashion plate, doting mom and demure sex object.
A metamorphosis, Wolf points out, to which few object.
Wolf, whose book The Beauty Myth (1991) made her a leading spokesperson of what's often described as third-wave feminism, uses the first lady as a shining example of the movement in her review of Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown (Oxford University Press, 2009) by Professor of Gender and Women's Studies Jennifer Scanlon in the May 3, 2009, edition of The Washington Post.
Wolf, who notes the timeliness of the biography at this moment of "next-generation" triumph, writes that serious feminists have derided the longtime Cosmopolitan editor's claim to a version of feminism — attacking her as too optimistic, too politically incorrect and too frothy.
Bad Girls Go Everywhere is the book of the week in the May 8, 2009, issue of The Week magazine.
"But Scanlon makes a solid case that, apart from her easy-to-satirize excesses, Brown is a genuinely important figure who pioneered a feminism that championed women as cheerful, self-empowered individualists, that held that 'every woman has something that makes her unique and gifted; pursuing beauty can be a delightful endeavor, not just a preoccupation; sex is among the best things in life; and men are not the enemy,'" says Wolf in the review, "Who Won Feminism?"
Wolf gives Scanlon kudos, noting her "fast-paced, energetic prose."
Wolf writes that feminism had to reinvent itself, that Brown, a "leopard-print-wearing provocateuse," helped bring on the latest wave, and that there's more work to be done.
Bad Girls Go Everywhere has been winning rave reviews in major publications from coast to coast.