Naomi Wolf

The gadfly (and ex-Gore advisor) delivers another warning

Women, what’s your biggest goal—a corner office, affordable healthcare, raising a happy family? Apparently, more than 30,000 of us in America told researchers we’d rather lose 10 pounds than achieve any other goal. Feminist author/cultural critic/Rhodes scholar Naomi Wolf points to that alarming factoid as an indicator that women are still hostage to Western culture’s unrealistic beauty standards. Wolf’s 1991 book The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women catapulted her to fame and was hailed by the New York Times as one of the most important books of the 20th century for its critical examination of the fashion and cosmetic industries and the political agenda they impose, arguing that women are encouraged to remain at war with their own bodies because it allows the nation to maintain its patriarchal society. Disagree? Tell it to her face. This fierce best-selling author continues her controversial streak with an appearance at UW to discuss her latest book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. In 2003, the Bush administration created the Department of Homeland Security and White House spokespeople began referring to the U.S. as “the Homeland”; Wolf flashbacks chillingly to 1930, when Nazi propagandists began using the same term, calling Germany their “Heimat,” a term she says is thus “saturated with nationalist power.” Coincidence? Wolf examines our dwindling liberties in a post 9/11 nation and reveals a pattern strikingly similar to that of some of history’s worst dictatorships.

Thu., Oct. 11, 7 p.m., 2007

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