Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jane Sexes It Up

I have to write another post about this book for a book club and am feeling very resentful of it. There are a myriad of reasons for this, that I won't go into on this semi-anonymous forum, but if this post is especially sketchy, you will know that it is because I am working on something more professional, less personal about the same damn book.

First off, this book was published about ten years ago and feels incredibly dated. Remember when radical feminists defended Bridget Jones' Diary? Yeah, it was before we had to hear about how "fat" Renee Zellweger for for the movie role. And before Carrie married Big (sorry for the spoiler, but seriously? If you cared, you knew). It was a golden era before reality shows co-opted bisexuality and teenagers weren't getting their nether-regions plucked by professionals. When being aggressively sexy, even to the point of being paid for it, seemed transgressive. Now, frankly, I'm tired of it. Is it our pornified culture? My own (further) experience with sexual exploitation? Have I had too many sex workers assume that I'm repressed because I have a "straight" job? Yeah, pretty much. But frankly, even that bores me. If I can be a little cranky about third wave feminism for awhile (this is not common): ladies, are we planning on DOING anything? Or are we going to stay in our cocoon of theory and our own experience? Will we reach out to people with different experiences or just "be aware" of them?

That said, the intro chapter was extremely difficult for me, because it hit very close to home. I don't want to read on because I feel like I'm confronted by my radical (naive) 20 year old self. The one who didn't see the problem with being independent and being in love, who was unabashedly sexual (in public), who lived--and thrived--in contradictions. I am too tired for that anymore.

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