New review: The Personal is Political

// 4 October 2012

What You Really Really Want and Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life are anti-self-help self-help guides. They challenge the clich├ęd, patronising and, often, offensive advice which is usually trotted out in this genre. Katherine Wootton reviews their alternative advice, discovering it is still possible to be a feminist while navigating the minefields of dating and sex


Jaclyn Friedman’s What You Really Really Want and Samhita Mukhopadhyay’s Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life (both from Seal Press) discuss how our thoughts and feelings about sex, sexuality and romance are being influenced by the patriarchy and kyriarchy, and suggest feminist ways of thinking about and addressing this influence.

The intention is to help readers find a new narrative, in which their own needs, wants and desires are distinguished from those they are ‘supposed’ to have in order to be ‘normal’ and happy in the very limited roles and narratives which we are normally faced with.

While both Friedman and Mukhopadhyay recognise that we have to live in the world as it is, they look at tactics for challenging the culturally and socially accepted norms, while working towards a lifestyle that reflects our own values and priorities.

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