Naomi Wolf

in conversation with Johanna Baldwin

Recorded Saturday, November 14th, 2020

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Naomi Wolf in conversation with Johanna Baldwin

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Naomi Wolf‘s latest release, Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love explores the history of state-sponsored censorship and violations of personal freedoms through the inspiring, forgotten history of one writer’s refusal to stay silenced.

Naomi made a sensation with her landmark international bestseller The Beauty Myth in 1991. She’s lectured widely on the themes in Outrages, presenting lectures on John Addington Symonds at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, at Balliol College, Oxford, and to the undergraduates in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. Naomi has written eight nonfiction bestsellers about women’s issues and civil liberties, including Vagina: A New Biography, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries. She is also the cofounder and president of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. She lives in New York City.

Johanna Baldwin is a writer and producer whose work includes film, television, theatre and short stories. All (Wo)men Desire To Know is her debut novel. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications from The New York Times to The London Evening Standard. One of those stories, “Her Private Serenade,” is featured in the book More New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of The New York Times.

Johanna’s body of work is influenced by her travels and many homes over the years—from her birthplace Dallas to Kansas City, Los Angeles, Paris, London and now New York City. Her greatest inspiration however comes from individuals and their true stories. oShe began her career as a literary agent at Creative Artists Agency.

“Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men’s eyes when deciding what provokes it.”

– Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

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  • 2

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    What was your inspiration for “Vagina: A New Biography”??

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    What did you learn from your time working with politicians?

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    What are you working on now?

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    Who are your greatest literary inspirations?

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    How has the pandemic affected your life as a writer and as a person?

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    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?

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    How can we restore civil discourse to our public spaces including social media platforms?

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    Which book of yours are you most proud of?

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    What impact does the 2020 election have on american’s individual & sexual freedoms?

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    Are we in need of a sexual revolution right now?

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    What is the last thing you saw or read that moved you?

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    What is your writing process like? I’m interested in the nitty gritty, pen vs pencil, computer vs paper. Does inspiration strike you out of the blue or is it more subtle than that?

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    What was the research process like for “Outrages”?

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    What do you suggest should take place in terms of the role of the government in terms of this pandemic where we are all dependent on each other following the rules and many dont

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    Isn’t governmental censorship in all respects a patriarchal construct?