Naomi Wolf

Taking stock of people and ideas in the news.
Nov. 5 1999 9:30 PM

Naomi Wolf

Al Gore's alpha female.

45000_45703_powell_naomiwolf
(Continued from Page 1)

Wolf sees the telling of her own personal experiences as a triumph for all women. Her third book, Promiscuities, is a memoir in which she single-handedly "retrieve[s] [the] secret struggle for womanhood" by narrating her own sexual coming of age. "By telling my story and asking other women to tell theirs, I wanted to elucidate the emotional truths that emerge from a particular generation's erotic memory," she explains. She bills her stories as tough to tell: In a Tikkun magazine piece on her coming out as a spiritual person, she testifies that "it's taken me nine years to build up enough credibility in the analytic/linear world that I can now speak and have some expectation of being heard to a certain degree. It's been a long haul, and very much a gendered haul." This from a woman whose first book was a best seller, published in 14 countries.

Advertisement

Indeed, Wolf often expounds on the trauma--and the necessity--of expressing herself in public. In all three of her books, Wolf demands the need for positive role models in the media--of which, naturally, she is one. It's a brilliantly self-justifying line of reasoning: I am on television because I am a role model, and I am a role model because I am on television. And a great marketing strategy: Buy my books, because they're good for your daughter.

It's no wonder that Wolf has become a well-paid political consultant. Who better to help a candidate extract weighty lessons from his personal history, to teach him to tell voters that their own successes depend on his own? At last, it seems, Wolf has found a forum where the personal really is as political as she thinks it is.

Jodi Kantor is a New York Times reporter and the author of The Obamas.

TODAY IN SLATE

The Slatest

Ben Bradlee Dead at 93

The legendary Washington Post editor presided over the paper’s Watergate coverage.

This Scene From All The President’s Men Captures Ben Bradlee’s Genius

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.