Q&A: Naomi Wolf-Vagina: New Biography

Written on December 4th, 2014


Aired 9/30/12

When Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth was published in 1991, Gloria Steinem hailed it as “a smart, angry, insightful book, and a clarion call to freedom,” recommending “Every woman should read it.” The New York Times called it one of the most important books of the 20th century. Over the intervening two decades, Wolf continued to write about the role of women in our culture, but she also took on broader political issues in books such as The End of America and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.

In her newest book, VAGINA: A NEW BIOGRAPHY, she returns to the feminine and the personal. Drawing on cutting-edge neurobiological research, she makes the bold claim that there is a direct link between a woman’s experience of her vagina and her experience of her very sense of self. Heralded by Publishers Weekly as one of the best science books of the year, the book is also receiving more than its share of critical reviews. I’ll talk with Wolf — No stranger to controversy — about the good, the bad, and the surprising – in her research, her synthesis, and in responses to her new work.


Q&A w/ CHRISTOPHER RYAN, author (co-author, Cacilda Jethá) – SEX AT DAWN: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

Written on June 4th, 2014

 Aired: 04/28/13

In the best-selling book, SEX AT DAWN, CHRISTOPHER RYAN and co-author Cacilda Jethá aim to answer the question, “What is the essence of human sexuality and how did it get to be that way?” They contend that, “Cultural shifts that began about ten thousand years ago rendered the true story of human sexuality so subversive and threatening that for centuries it has been silenced by religious authorities, pathologized by physicians, studiously ignored by scientists, and covered up by moralizing therapists.”

What is that true story? According to Ryan and Jetha, first, “We didn’t descend from apes. We are apes.” They liken us most to bonobos. Further, “human beings evolved in intimate groups where almost everything was shared – food, shelter, protection, child care, even sexual pleasure.”

Needless to say, their attempt to overturn the accepted narrative on such a hot topic as sex has led to controversy. RYAN joins me this week to explore these questions.



Chris Ryan Podcast Link: