Promiscuities

 

 

 

Wolf, Naomi. Promiscuities. New York: Random House, 1997.

 

 

The book Promiscuities is about the struggles that all girls go through when they grow up. As the book progresses Naomi Wolf discusses many of these topics.

The first chapter, titled "The Time and Place: 1968 - 1971", Wolf talks about her friends and the neighborhood where she grew up. One of the quotes I picked from this chapter is, "From an early age, we understood that the color of female sexuality was hot pink - pink neon, like the sign, or Balenciaga pink, like lipstick." Pink is the color automatically picked for girls. Later, the book goes on to discuss what else has been prevously decided for women.

The second chapter, titled "The Facts of Life", Talks about Barbie, TV, Moms and Dads. It talks about how most little girls play with Barbie and in the end perceive themselves differently because of this experience. Then it talks about TV and James Bond girls. This relates back to Barbie because they are almost one and the same. The part about Moms and Dads was very interesting. It discusses how Moms were becoming sexy in Wolf's generation. She then brings up the point that if Moms are running around, who will take care of the childeren? Wolf and many of the women she talked to decided that many Fathers can't be counted on. This left many children to grow up on their own. I could really relate to this chapter because when I was younger, I too was obsessed with Barbie. I wanted to be just as glamorous as she and the James Bond girls were. I've also found in my life not to have the most reliable Fathers.

The third chapter, titled "Activity into Passivity: Blanking Out", Talks about how girls are expected to act around boys. I think every girl or woman can relate to this. All women know that in order to get the guy you are supposed to be quiet and passive. Wolf talks about how your not supposed to go screaming down the hall with your girlfriends. This is still true today, if you talk to most guys. Fortunately, I think many of these things are changing as women become more aggressive and learn what they want.

The fourth chapter, titled "Free Flight to House Arrest: Slowing Down", discusses how boys have more freedom than girls. Girls get sheltered. I know that my parents have done a good job of sheltering me and I know that it is much worse because I am a girl.

The fifth chapter, titled "Nakedness: Pride and Shame", is about the sex industry and how much is too much. This is another thing that all women can relate to. There is such a fine border between being normal and being a slut. How can women find what is right for them without being judged? Wolf also talks about this in the seventh chapter.

The sixth chapter, titled "Girlfriends", talks about girls relationships with other girls. How they take care of each other and how they can destroy each other. I believe that everyone has had this experience. Girls are hard to predict. They can be your best friend one day and your worst enemy the next.


The seventh chapter, titled "Sluts", is about how to be a "good girl" and still have fun.
It also discusses how girls get cast out for being sluts, even if they never did anything. It was the way they dressed or flirted that made the other girls insecure. This chapter even gives a breif history of the slut. I personally enjoyed this chapter because it makes you want to be nicer to people. I found I was able to pick out things that I unconsciously did, that weren't right.

The eighth chapter, titled "First Base: Hierachy" talks about a girl's first kiss and the social groups she can have it with. Sometimes, Wolf says, when a popular boy gets bored, he'll take just the average girl. I think everyone my age has seen this happen. It makes things get very complicated because girls get hurt when they get thrown back when someone of higher status comes along.

The ninth chapter, titled "Second Base: Love and Control" discusses how girls try to control love through sex. This is the only way many women know how to control men. I believe that no one person should be in control. But, this relates back to previous chapters because some women feel that sex is the only thing that they have to offer.

The tenth chapter, titled "Crash Course: Their Bodies" is about how girls learn about boys. Sometimes it is, unfortunately, a very tramatic thing. I think today things have gotten a little easier because the school has steppd in to give us better sex education.

The eleventh chapter, titled "Third Base: Identity" discusses how many girls begin to know themselves better when they start to explore their bodies. This chapter also brings up violence that puts some women into bad positions. If violence occurs many women never become comfortable with themselves and certainly not with others.

The tweleveth chapter, titled "Fourth Base: How to Make a Women" talks about how much your virginity is worth. It's about coming into your sexuality. My favorite quote from this chapter is, " "Demonstrate that you are a women" means simply "Take off your clothes" ". I think that a lot of men think this way and I was glad that a women put it into words. Women are a lot more than sex.

The thirteenth chapter, titled "Skipped Homework: Our Bodies" discusses how a lot of young women don't understand how their bodies work. I think, like chapter ten, this is becoming less of a problem with our current sex education programs.

The fourteenth chapter, titled "More Skipped Homework: Our Pleasure" is about how girls learn about doing laundry and not about what makes them happy or gives them pleasure. I liked this chapter because I think that in this day and age people have become a lot more aware of what gives them pleasure.

The fifthteenth chapter, titled "Babies" discusses how girls are having babies and things are getting worse. How can a girl know how to take care of a child when she doesn't know how to take care of herself? Thankfully teens are becoming more educated and eventually it may become less of a problem.

The sixteenth chapter, titled "Cheap or Precious" talks about music and sex. The music industry reflects sex. The music we hear everyday, almost always, has sexual undertones. Most of the time today it is blantant. It also discusses magazines, "Seventeen" vs. "Penthouse". When you compare the two, "Seventeen" gets blown away by the sex in "Penthouse". There is definately a big difference between how the two portray young women. I think it goes back to "good girls" and "bad girls".

The seventeenth chapter, titled "Adults" deals with teenagers becoming adults. This is the stage that I am in now so I thought it was something I could relate to.

The eighteenth chapter, titled "A Virus" is about AIDS. I think the most important thing that Wolf says is that, " ... if you've had sex with him, you've had sex with them all." I think this is so important because it deals with the fact that even if you've only had one partner, you might as well have had it with all the people that partner did because your susecptible to those disease. Everyone needs to be so careful and informed.

The nineteenth chapter, titled "An Hypocrisy" is about finding out that you have a disease. This was scary because it was more proof that it can happen to real people. It also discussed if this makes you a slut. I believe that there is a very big difference between being a careless person and being a bad person.

The twentyth chapter, titled "The Technically White Dress" is about being married in white even if you didn't save yourself for your wedding night. I thought this was interesting because it went into the history of it. But today, how many people really wait?

The twenty first chapter, titled "The Time and Place: 1996" talks about what marriage and sex are like now. I thought it was interesting because you could compare it with the first chapter and see the difference right if front of you.

I found this book to be very empowering and that is why I chose to base this project around it. I think it is very important for everyone to know and be comfortable with themselves. I found this project aiding myself in my own journey.

 

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