I have put off even buying this book let alone reading it for several years, worried about what I might find between the boards, about how I would feel about what was revealed. But I was spurred on to take a draught of courage by a recent conversation comparing women's magazines. Martha Stewart's Living seems to be about women doing. Oprah Winfrey's O seems to be about women being. Where's the magazine about women wanting? Several were discussed, including Cosmo, and all discarded.
Appetites is truly a book about what women want but with a bonus. Along the way Caroline Knapp also spelunks what's threatening about wanting and in the exposure helps untangle the double binds that creep around the joy of being alive.
Here are a few teaser quotes for your reading pleasure:
- "the clash between the desire to satisfy appetites and the fear that they may overwhelm us, control us and lead us astray is as old as the story of Adam and Eve."
- "...the primary underlying striving among many women....is the appetite for appetite: a longing to feel safe and secure enough to name one's true appetites and worthy and powerful enough to get them satisfied." (16)
- "What liberates a person enough to indulge appetite, to take pleasure in the world, to enjoy being alive." (21)
- "Master over the body - its impulses, its needs, its size - is paramount; to lose control is to risk beauty, and to risk beauty is to risk desireability, and to risk desireability is to risk entitlement to sexuality and love and self-esteem." (26)