Naomi Wolf : Dopamine :: Suzanne Somers : Estrogen
Faux science, actual stupidity:
For example, she says bioidenticals kept her slim but then later complains about weight gain. She says she feels great but then later acknowledges that after years on bioidenticals, she was bleeding so heavily every day that she recently had to have a hysterectomy. That’s the kind of success we can live without.
source: Suzanne Somers’s Pseudoscience – Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
Indeed, a breast cancer survivor who takes massive quantities of estrogen to “rejuvenate” herself is playing Russian Roulette with her life, plain and simple. That Somers has been lucky enough thus far not to have a recurrence of her breast cancer is just that–luck–and nothing to do with any of her health regimens. Worse, she made millions selling books advocating “bioidentical” hormone therapies and since her breast cancer treatment has diversified into a veritable cornucopia of “anti-aging” treatments that she hawks at her website Ageless-Diva.com.
source: Oh, goody. Suzanne Somers has found new woo – Respectful Insolence.
Now compare that with Naomi Wolfe’s prescription for a woman who needs to be creative:
After consulting many research papers and interviewing many scientists, Wolf has decided that the sex–creativity link can be “explained” by dopamine, one of the brain chemicals involved in female orgasm. Dopamine, according to Wolf, is the chemical that fosters female focus and motivation. It is what makes women leap up from the rank sweat of their enseamed beds to write novels. Modern women who complain of depression need better sex and more dopamine, but patriarchal societies, fearful of sexually empowered women, prefer to fob them off with antidepressants. “Serotonin,” Wolf writes, “literally subdues the female voice, and dopamine literally raises it.”
Wolf literally does not understand the meaning of “literally” and her grasp of the scientific research she has read is pretty shaky too. By repeatedly confusing correlates with causes, she grossly exaggerates what neuroscience can reliably tell us about the functions of individual brain chemicals. Dopamine undoubtedly has a role in female orgasm. But it also has a role in schizophrenia and, by Wolf’s own admission, a panoply of addictions. Given this, it seems foolhardy on Wolf’s part to designate it “the ultimate feminist chemical.”
[…] There is a strange hubris in Wolf’s claim to understand how all rape affects all women. It is the same hubris that compels her to instruct us on how all women need to be wooed, and how all women feel when they come. Wolf remarks more than once in this book that she has no wish to be “prescriptive,” but prescriptiveness, alas, is her compulsion. She won’t be able to rest easy until all of womankind has heard her gospel and has started having sex that is not just pleasurable, but worthwhile. Her refusal to acknowledge the heterogeneity of female temperament, of female sexual proclivity, of female desire, would be galling, if it were not so dotty. As it is, her willingness to position herself as a visionary sexual prophet inspires a sort of affectionate awe.
source: Pride and Prejudice by Zoë Heller | The New York Review of Books.
Wolf goes on to recommend hiring holistic male prostitutes. Make sure you read Zoë Heller’s piece.