So via Hullabaloo, we have an awful cover, an even worse pitch…
In an age where women are dominating - in the workplace, at school, at home - why are they seeking to be dominated in their love lives? Recent media portrayals have shown that a rising number of modern women fantasize about being overpowered, while studies are turning out statistics that bewilder feminists. New shows like HBO’sGirls and books like Fifty Shades of Grey are showcasing the often hidden desire for powerlessness. But why? Katie Roiphe examines the submissive yet empowered female in Newsweek. “It is perhaps inconvenient for feminism that the erotic imagination does not submit to politics, or even changing demographics,” she writes.
…and an article in which a book, a TV show, and references to studies, supposed feminist consternation that isn’t linked to, etc. reminds us that Katie Roiphe’s idea is that data is merely the plural of anecdote.
Women may certainly have more power, more income, and more freedom than at any time in our history, but let’s be clear: that’s not saying a whole lot. This piece comes smack-dab in the middle of numerous state legislatures passing or voting on laws that require invasive ultrasounds, numerous procedures, and even trans-vaginal “wands” just to obtain a legal abortion. The likely Republican candidate for president refuses to say the Lily Ledbetter Act was a good thing. Women may make up half the population and more than half of college students, but that doesn’t mean they get to management levels or the political or corporate seats where real power is exercised.
I mean, not a week ago the ADD media had its annual buzz over whether Augusta National would ever have a female member with some extra frisson because IBM’s CEO is a woman and usually the CEOs of sponsors are offered membership without question there.
After several months in which it’s been more than demonstrated that women clearly do not have the real power posed in the premise of the article’s summary, how is this not flagged as complete hokum from the first paragraph? The sole nugget of anything resembling truth here comes from a Katha Pollitt quote: “Women have more sexual freedom and more power than ever before in our history, but that does not mean they have a lot of either, and it doesn’t mean they don’t have complicated feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness.”
(This isn’t even getting into the fact that there are men who fantasize and get off on surrendering power in similar ways. Sadomasochism, BDSM, whatever you want to call it — it’s been around forever and will last through whatever changing gender dynamics we encounter. In my opinion, that will remain because people sometimes desire spaces where they can assert or forfeit control in different ways, regardless of their real life dynamics.)
Essentially someone came up with the cover and decided to write an article to fit it.