Naomi Wolf was a leading figure in the third-wave feminist movement. She consulted on Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaigns in an effort to help him woo female voters, as well as Al Gore’s unsuccessful Presidential campaign. Over the course of her career, she has had some valid points, and not so valid points. I am not, for instance, a fan of Wolf’s belief that abortion is “homicide” but that women have the right to murder their babies, because I do not believe that abortion is homicide, and to believe so plays right into pro-life arguments (her quote, via Wikipedia, that passionate feminists “might well hold candlelight vigils at abortion clinics, standing shoulder to shoulder with the doctors who work there, commemorating and saying goodbye to the dead,” kind of makes me want to jump out of my skin in anger, but it’s not my lane, so … )
What does seem to be evident, at least according to The Atlantic and others, is that Noami Wolf is sloppy in her research. “In her various books, articles, and public speeches, Wolf has demonstrated recurring disregard for the historical record and consistently mutilated the truth with selective and ultimately deceptive use of her sources.”
That sloppiness is evident here, in a radio interview in which Naomi Wolf realizes that the underlying thesis to a book she is promoting is completely, horribly, embarrassingly wrong. It’s excruciating to listen to, and if you can’t handle that level of second-hand embarrassment this early in the morning, I understand. The gist of it is this: The historical record shows that the last person executed for sodomy in Britain was 1835. Naomi Wolf claims in her book that dozens of men were executed after that year. She bases this claim on the term “death recorded” found in historical criminal records. Wolf believes that “death recorded” means that these men were hanged. The interviewer, however, informs Wolf that that’s not what the term means at all. “Death recorded” is a status that allowed judges to abstain from handing down execution sentences, and thus all of the executions Wolf cites as evidence of her thesis didn’t actually happen.
“Well, uh, that’s a really important thing to investigate,” Wolf responds. Uh, you think?
Everyone listen to Naomi Wolf realize on live radio that the historical thesis of the book she's there to promote is based on her misunderstanding a legal term pic.twitter.com/a3tB77g3c1— Edmund Hochreiter (@thymetikon) May 23, 2019
Here is her misunderstanding in the context of her book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship, & the Criminalization of Love, which illustrates her misunderstanding of the term “death recorded.”
It really is looking like @naomirwolf and @LittleBrownUK should consider a major correction here … following recent interview and this in the @ObserverUK … this is just plain wrong history, as lots of scholars are pointing out … pic.twitter.com/lKsBkui07r— Lee Jackson (@VictorianLondon) May 23, 2019
I almost feel bad for Wolf, but for the fact that this is not the first time that she’s played fast and loose with the facts.
If you haven't been following the story, Naomi Wolf has a new book out that claims there was a wave of judicial executions for consensual gay sex in Victorian Britain. No such wave occurred—she misread legal documents and failed to do basic confirmatory research.— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) May 24, 2019
The Naomi Wolf story is less a "this could happen to any of us" thing than an "it was inevitable that this would eventually happen to her" thing.— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) May 24, 2019
I'm sure it's still a nightmare for authors, but for the record, Naomi Wolf believes in chemtrails (even though she refuses to call them that) and other crazy shit, so she might just be bad at her job these days— CRASH OVERRIDE (pro-choice) (@tylergilfoster) May 24, 2019
Oh, we're talking about "women need to cum regularly or they become huge bitches" Naomi Wolf? "Ebola is a conspiracy to for America to impose martial law" Naomi Wolf?— Julia Ftacek (@JuliaFtacek) May 24, 2019
I think this person says it best:
Naomi Wolf: death recorded 2019— face drawn on weather radar (@Radar_Face) May 24, 2019
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