With an intellect as sharp as her manner is forthright, Katha Pollitt is no stranger to controversy. So it came as little surprise when Virginity or Death!, her latest collection of over five years’ worth of columns from The Nation, came under fire as soon as it was published. In the New York Times, Ann Marie Cox (formerly known as the blogger Wonkette) wrote, “Strident feminism can seem out of place—even tacky—in a world where women have come so demonstrably far.” Cox then proceeded to cite Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric, and women’s God-given right to have their pinky toes removed to fit into a pair of stiletto heels as evidence of women’s progress.
Fortunately for us, Pollitt has more than shoes on her mind, and is proud to be tacky and strident if that’s what’s necessary as she applies her wry wit and unswerving eye to women’s situation nationally and around the world. In Virginity or Death!, she covers a wide range of territory, from the war in Iraq to gay marriage to health insurance, but focuses much of her attention on reproductive justice. Her assessments are sobering, but she always manages to find opportunities for hope and action. Continued.
Interview With Pollitt From The Women's Review of Books
By Jaclyn Friedman. From the interview's introduction: