What Women Want?

Hmm.

Speculation at Salon.com today:

Meana, a self-described feminist, argues that women’s lust is “narcissistic” and guided by “the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need.”

Is there power in objectification if it’s not imposed from the outside—but chosen and desired?

I couldn’t help but think of Guy de Maupassant’s short story, “The Necklace,” in which a woman triumphantly revels in male attention at an elite ball:

All the men stared at her . . . She danced ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, unmindful of all else in the triumph of her beauty . . . of the desires she had aroused . . .

Is this a male author’s sexual (and sexist) projection of what a woman might want—or is it an actual component of (at least some) women’s liberated sexual desire?

What are the pleasures of presentation and approval?

Again I say, Hmm.

Read the full Salon article here.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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