Monday, January 26, 2009

Charlotte Roche's "Wetlands" is Causin' Some Controversy.

A novel by Charlotte Roche entitled Feuchtgebiete, which roughly translates to “Wetlands” in English, has sparked a number of debates within and extending beyond the worldwide feminist community. The novel is told from the perspective of 18-year-old Helen whom examines her sexual self in ways that are apparently quite graphic according to reviews. Responses to the book vary; some say the book is a groundbreaking piece of feminist literature while others are saying it’s plain old pornography and that it holds no particularly feminist value. First of all, why should it matter? I mean, who says porn and feminism can't be friends? Second, most pornography relies on heavily exploitative images, leaving very little room to appreciate the real
human body and its functions. Considering that mainstream porn is designed to get you off quickly, I think it’s high time we bring a little intellect and some curiosity back into the sexual realms of ladies and gents alike. If we can do that by turning to a provocatively written novel (as this one seems), then so be it!

The author herself seems to have suggested in a recent interview that the book may not speak of feminism in an outwardly political sense but that it may shed light on a different kind of exclusively female complex: our sexual self-awareness. In my opinion, social politics cannot and do not make up the prime interests of feminists; the politics of body image are quite relevant to all women, feminists or not. So, why all the controversy? It seems women’s erotica is so carefully critiqued and evaluated for its morale… much more than the average misogynistic porn flick to say the least.

Feel free to browse through this interview with the author or check out a
fabulously witty review of the book from our dear friends at Jezebel.

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