Author Katie Roiphe has whipped up a storm with her Newsweek/Daily Beast cover article on submissive female sex fantasies. Roiphe's argument: "that huge numbers of women are eagerly consuming myriad and disparate fantasies of submission"—think Girls, A Dangerous Method, Fifty Shades of Grey—"at a moment when women are ascendant in the workplace." And why is that? Because "power is not always that comfortable" and "equality is something we want only sometimes."
Cue the outrage ... and amusement:
- "This must've sounded edgy to Tina Brown: Get Katie Roiphe (the Katie Roiphe) to write about 50 Shades of Grey for a Newsweek cover story and watch the media pull out their hair and keel over," writes Alexander Abad-Santos at The Atlantic. "Unfortunately, everyone's too busy laughing to be outraged."
- "I think this is generally wrong," writes Dana Goldstein at The Nation. "It’s true the advances of feminism mean women today are freer than ever to explore their sexuality in art and in their personal lives. ... But these desires are as old as the human race."
- Hamilton Nolan gets more personal at Gawker: "Katie, in the future, your rape fantasies should be presented in first person essay format rather than thinly-veiled-projection-upon-imaginary-ideological-opponents format."
- Speaking of personal: "If every era gets the sadist it deserves—wait, what does that mean?—then it makes sense we got Tina Brown, the wicked, high-spirited and slightly out-of-it editor of Newsweek and the Daily Beast," writes Virginia Hefferman at The Lookout blog. "The bruises can be found on the brains of anyone masochistic enough to read the article."
Want to give poor Katie a chance? See her full article here