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The Sexual State of the Union Paperback – Bargain Price, March 24, 1998
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Susie Bright is a sexual liberationist of the highest order. The Sexual State of the Union includes essays about dirty pictures and porn, lesbian marriage and lesbian murder, lesbian men and switching genders, vibrators, and the longevity of feminism. The writing is crisp, intelligent, and provocative; there is sure to be something that will make you cheer as well as something that will deeply offend you. Much of Bright's writing is personal, based on conversations and relationships with queer friends of different genders and sexualities. One of her most impressive strengths is her ability to forthrightly ask obvious questions--Why did you want to change your gender? Why do you want to be hurt?--without presupposing either judgement or an answer. Bright's mind is open and fertile, curious, and eager.
From Library Journal
Famous lesbian and "sexpert" Bright, editor of On Our Backs magazine and books like Best American Erotica (LJ 9/15/93), has put together a set of disparate essays on disparate topics, bouncing from censorship to cybersex to motherhood to S&M and back again. This would be fine except that the essays are also uneven in tone; some are thoughtful reminiscences about her experiences, both sexual and not; some are insightful analyses showing that people of both sexes and all ages need sex education; and one is just a list of questions asked by college students. Despite the irregularity of her writing, Bright's unvarnished truthfulness shines through. She obviously wants readers to understand where she's coming from and what she has experienced. Recommended for most public libraries because of Bright's popularity and candor, this also deserves a space in academic women's studies collections.
-?Pamela A. Matthews, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
But the writing is excellent, and what could possibly be more interesting as subject matter? It was fun, and her conversation with a trans friend will certainly shake up a few readers (I couldn't decide if she was being insightful or wildly insensitive).
Recommended further reading: For a solid, well-researched history of sex in America this century, read Heidenry's "What Wild Ecstasy: The Rise and Fall of the Sexual Revolution". For utter provocative gall, amazing insight and some very surprising facts, read Levine's "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex". Both of these were riveting, less fluffy and better edited than "Sexual State of the Union". But they all seem to speak from the same base: a fundamental understanding of the importance of both sex and free speech in our society.
However, towards the end of the book (last chapter or two) she talks about being a lesbian and friends with transexuals, it seems that she is speaking too much about her own experiances, and she isn't trying them into any broader concept. While her experiances are interesting, the title of the book is "Sexual State of the Union", so one expects a little more discourse on how her experiances relate to America on a whole.