A new book by Siri Hustvedt offers challenging ways to understand how misogyny became so deeply embedded in our culture
Alina Cohen writes in the Nation: "Since the presidential inauguration (and, really, throughout the entire Trump-Clinton contest), the mainstream media have presented numerous perspectives on contemporary feminism, focusing on issues social, economic, and biological. During just one week in February, Amanda Hess wrote about the multiplicity within the women’s movement for The New York Times Magazine; Jia Tolentino wrote about Jessa Crispin’s new book, Why I Am Not a Feminist, for The New Yorker; and a Los Angeles Times op-ed by Debra W. Soh asked whether gender feminists and transgender activists are undermining science.
"Among all these voices, the novelist, essayist, scholar, and veritable Renaissance woman Siri Hustvedt presents an alternate version of feminism and the feminist critique in her new book, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind. With arguments that span the humanities, neuroscience, and psychiatry, she offers challenging ways to understand how misogyny became so deeply embedded in our culture and how we (or, at least, practitioners in those fields) can begin to combat it. Her book is composed of three different sections: “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women,” “The Delusions of Certainty,” and “What Are We?” (Many of these essays have been previously published or given as lectures.) The diversity of sources and topics underscores the interdisciplinary approach that Hustvedt advocates so enthusiastically; indeed, she blames our narrow modes of thinking for many of the problems in contemporary society that her book addresses."
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