Topics of Conversation Themes & Motifs

Popkey, Miranda
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The Deficiencies of Mainstream Feminism

Perhaps the true antagonist of Popkey’s novel is a low-resolution mainstream feminism. Especially for her narrator, feminist ideologies are orienting energies: a student of literature at the graduate and undergraduate level, an astute observer of gender relations, and a sexually energetic young woman, she is very much alive to the experiences of herself and other women. What she has absorbed from her circles proves not only to be false; it is also destructive.

The blonde graduate student, who tells the narrator the story of the mousy girl’s rape, is the first to challenge the “sex positivity” narrative of conventional feminism. “We were sex-positive,” she says of herself and her former peers (34). “We were porn-positive, we were sex-positive…who were we to judge” (34). The only tenant the girls had absorbed was this: feminine sex, porn, desire, lust, is all okay. No...

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This section contains 2,151 words
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