Thursday, March 16, 2006

More from Namoi Wolf

Naomi Wolf responds to questions about her essay (on girl teen fiction) from readers in today's New York Times. I really liked the following question from a reader. It's the one we all asked in response to the article.
  • Q. 3. Is this literary trend really as insidious as it seems? Are silly novels by silly novelists really that capable of turning a reflective, critical, Gap-wearing teenage girl into a nasty clone of the girls she reads about? — Anne De Marzio, Bloomfield, N.J.

Wolf responds:

  • They may not change the girl's behavior; but they do posit a model of what the dominant culture says holds value. I know from the girls in my own life that they often feel quite alone these days when they do hold out for kindness or integrity in a social setting. Is this a new problem? No, but in past generations the dominant culture of teen fiction did not make this behavior seem so geeky and aberrant.

Unfortunately, Wolf confirms what I thought when reading the essay the first time. The problem isn't the books, per se, as they merely reflect "dominant culture."