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Now she's back to sex and religion, with a book arguing that the key to women's self-expression and transcendence lies between our legs. The vagina, she writes in her introduction, "is not only coextensive with the female brain but also is part of the female soul It shouldn't need pointing out that plenty of misogynists believe the same thing.

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Vagina may intend to celebrate and empower women, but it has a reactionary way of treating them as slaves to biology. The impetus for Vagina , Wolf informs us early on, was a crisis in her own sex life. It was and she was in love with a man who sexually satisfied her, but something was awry.

She realized she was missing "the usual postcoital rush of a sense of vitality infusing the world, of delight with myself and with all around me. This sounds disappointing. For Wolf, it was a dark night of the soul, "like a horror movie. I actually prayed, proposing a deal—if God or whoever was listening; I would go with anyone who was willing to take the call would somehow heal me I would write about it if there was the least chance that what I had learned could help anyone else.

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It turns out that a back injury was compressing Wolf's pelvic nerve. She had surgery, sex became sublime again, and her depression lifted. It's a rhetorical question.

The answer, of course, is the latter. The Sadeian Woman.

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