This isn't a book review, it's a literary rape scene. Robert Stacy McCain reviews Jessica Valenti's SEX OBJECT:
New York City is a terrible place to raise children. This is one obvious lesson the discerning reader might glean from Sex Object, although it’s not the lesson Valenti intends to teach, nor is it a lesson she has learned, given that she and her husband, Andrew Golis, are now raising their daughter in Brooklyn. The belief that New York is the only place in America worth living has become an idée fixe among young writers, even as the Internet has made it possible for anyone to be a writer anywhere. No doubt the neighborhood in Brooklyn where Valenti and Golis live is crowded with would-be writers in their 20s, English majors fresh out of college, crowded into tiny apartments, working day jobs to pay the rent in hope that their spare-time hobby — poetry, fiction, political commentary, whatever — will someday make them famous. The success of 1990s TV shows like Seinfeld, Friends, and Sex and the City served as an advertisement for the idea that all the cool kids live in New York, having zany adventures with their colorful cast of attractive friends. The urban hipster lifestyle — tribes of carefree single buddies hanging out together in their cool apartments — is now as blatantly promoted by TV as was the suburban idyll of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It to Beaver in the 1950s. For all the media criticism that has emerged from the latest feminist resurgence, no one seems to notice this particular elephant in the room, i.e., the way TV sitcoms sell a particular way of life. Because this urban hipster lifestyle is in fact pursued by feminists themselves — all those ambitious 20-something girls in Brooklyn — they don’t notice it for the same reason fish don’t notice water.Read the whole thing. It's funnier than all the collected performances of Amy Schumer combined.
“Stay away from New York” is not a lesson Jessica Valenti intends to teach in Sex Object, nor does she bother to warn middle-class girls against the error of thinking that an elite private university is the ticket to happiness.
Labels: Book Review