Traditionally, feminism has framed the struggle to improve the lives of women in terms of “equality” or “rights.” In her new book "The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness," journalist Jill Filipovic argues that feminists should talk more about women’s happiness, and what women really need to be able to pursue happiness.
Filipovic stopped by Salon's New York studios to talk to Amanda Marcotte about the third rail of gender discourse: Pleasure, and why women are so frequently shamed for wanting to feel it.
“If we didn’t think there was something there was something suspect about women seeking out sex purely for recreation, we wouldn’t be fighting about birth control coverage in the Affordable Care Act," Filipovic said. "We wouldn’t be fighting about abortion rights, frankly. None of these debates would exist if we had this agreed-upon moral framework, which is that sex for fun is good.
“I think you see this in other areas, too. You see it around food. It sounds a little silly, this idea that food can be feminist or political -- but food, like sex, is a great, fundamental human pleasure,” she added. “But for women, food can be so fraught, because it’s tied to body size or weight or how you can appear to others in the world. So a lot of women I know, including myself, have very fraught relationships with the pleasure of eating.”
“This idea that women should just get to feel good along a variety of lines is, remarkably, still controversial,” Filipovic concluded.