Halfway between an academic study and a romantic statement about freedom, the new book by famous writer Wednesday Martin fails to deliver her message with the needed seriousness her Yale PhD in anthropology could grant.
Anthropology Of Women´s Desires
The central thesis of Wednesday´s new book is to prove that assuming monogamy in women and polygamy in men as natural, instinctively or biologically driven is false. She makes her statement bringing the case of a species called bonobos who are in many ways like humans but have a distinctive way of approaching sexuality. She states that bonobos form girl-gangs and look for males, and in the case, they don´t want to, females satisfy among each other with rubbing techniques.
She also cites the case of the Himba tribe in Namibia in which women with many lovers are not condemned; in fact, children had with lovers remain in the family with two dads. Wednesday is not building up her theories based on her own research but citing very prestigious academic sources. Her journalistic work is, as usual, phenomenal and impeccable.
There is, though, a lack of depth in her way of laying down the facts, because most of the interviews and data she gathers from real life are anonymous and mixed with rigorous anthropological research. To what point can we think that Wednesday is doing some real contribution to feminism and modern anthropology science and to what point is this just leisure-time literature? Towards the end of the book, when she does the research over the Skirt Club, the whole idea gets a little out of hand and, although she is very good at it, it feels as if we were reading some cheap hot novel.
Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe about Women, Lust and Infidelity Is Untrue is an interesting effort filled with good, sometimes remarkable writing, but in my opinion, it is halfway there and not truly the feminist, life-changing statement it could have been.