Talk:Naomi Wolf

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Subjective Piece[edit]

I have never commented on an artcile before but have been moved to do so by the extremely subjective tone in this piece - it seems to set out to make Wolf look ridiculous and her work as having been derided by the majority of thinkers and reviewers, which was simply not the case. A substantial rewrite is needed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I was not able to find one positive comment in this whole biography. Someone must have been very busy putting all the bad reviews only. There must be at least one reviewer who actually thought her thoughts are worthwhile. Only comes to support a bit what she proposes. decaalv —Preceding unsigned comment added by Decaalv (talkcontribs) 23:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC) at

Well, when you claim that 33,000 women die every year from anorexia, but in fact it's less than 100, that's pretty ridiculous, don't you think so? It's very easy to prove your point when you fabricate your own numbers. American In Brazil (talk) 12:45, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Summer 2007 Assessment Drive

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 15:49, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

This article comes off as very subjective to me. It's loaded with more criticism of Wolf than of her own positions and cites no responses by her to the criticism presented. Just an observers POV, who came to learn more about someone they'd heard of. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 6 May 2008 (UTC)


I attempted to make the final paragraph in this article neutral by changing "gone off her rocker" with "involved with scandal." However, I know very little about this controversy so am unable to tell if the facts presented are correct and neutral. Sdoles

I made a lot of changes to make this article NPOV and factual, mostly changing the discussion of the "earth tones" and "alpha male" flaps, including removing a quote incorrectly sourced to Time magazine. I think this article is NPOV now, let me know if you disagree. protohiro 22:52, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Protohiro: Were your changes reverted? From my reading of the section Political Consultants I get the distinct impression that it's loaded with weasel words and phrases. Though Time Magazine is mentioned ("Wolf [was] paid a salary of $15,000 a month…in exchange for advice on everything from how to win the women’s vote to shirt-and-tie combinations.") the article is not referenced nor does the quotation parenthesized above have a link. e.g. the quote is unsourced. Indeed the only reference on this section comes from a single apparently biased source. The tone of the section would be greatly improved by removing POV heavy language and catch phrases. I do not want to throw a POV tag, but would appreciate a neutral set of eyes on this section. BingoDingo (talk) 16:39, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


I think it is best to just list the books in chronological order and focus on general themes of the career. If certain books have some notability beyond their content (special controversy, etc.) then that might deserve a mention. -- 07:07, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


I don't like Camille Paglia and her work in the least, but the reference to her first book as "pseudo scholar" -- whether true or not -- and her lecture at MIT as "infamous" violates the attempt by Wikipedia to offer the most neutral point of view possible. Wikipedia is no place for propaganda or polemics.

I fully agree with the preceding paragraph. Pagli’s spiel should not have a place here. I just read an article by Naomi Wolf, and such saying as “ccannot write a coherent paragraph” or “cannot do historical analysis” is just untrue rhetoric to badly make a point.

Anorexia numbers[edit]

Hi, I am wondering whether the number for anorexia victims must not be confirmed by a independent third party source (neither Wolf or Summers) in order for it to be a NOPV to state that the actual number is closer 100?

Until then I think it is enough to say that wolf's account has been challenged.

best regards [Unknown writer]

//There occured a mistake in that article section: in the quote from Baumgardner we read the words "...estimate of than 100...". It was not clear to me what precisely the sentence should look like ( I am not a native speaker of English), perhaps "more/not more/less" or wahtever is to be added, or is it more than just one word missing ?

Regards147.142.186.54 16:34, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

WOW....First of all the 150,000 number doesn't need any "third party source" to be dismissed. I'd also like to see any evidence that anyone prior to Wolf had used this fabrication. Just curious.

SPCGuru 24-Mar-08


I think this article would look a lot nicer with a picture, and would help demonstrate that she is one of the younger feminists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 30 September 2007 (UTC) e

Her date of birth tells her age (duh). American In Brazil (talk) 12:51, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Current picture[edit]

I am just wondering if the current picture is allowed, considering it looks like a model shot. Damn though, only hot feminist I ever saw :D —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elakhna (talkcontribs) 00:53, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

The Beauty Myth. American In Brazil (talk) 12:54, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

You just nailed it/ Aimee Semple McPherson?[edit]

In reply to the comment above, you just found the key to Naomi Wolf's career. Pop culture demands one beautiful feminist with good hair. Gloria Steinem held the job for over thirty years, and when she got old, Naomi Wolf replaced her. Wolf held the chair for about ten years; now Naomi Klein has replaced her. (I wonder how many casual readers think that Naomi Klein is Naomi Wolf? I did for a year.) All three were lightweights who said pretty much what you could hear in any grad student bar-- but what great hair! Isn't it true that you can guess their position on any topic without reading the essay? Corporations? Obama? SUVs? Designer handbags? Palestinians vs Israelis? Islam? Indians? Immigration? --See? What oft was thought and often better expressed, remixed with the kind of puritan guilt trips-- the modern form of the hellfire sermon-- that Americans feel better for listening to, though they don't reform. I wonder if their true American ancestor isn't the beautiful Aimee Semple McPherson? Americans have historically liked to get scolded and "saved" by a beautiful woman now and then. Profhum (talk) 06:48, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Who does her hair? I think it's relevant. American In Brazil (talk) 13:00, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Given that she wrote "End of America", I wonder if she's watched Babylon 5[edit]

Wait wait, hear me out! A major plot thread for most of the later seasons involved the establishment of a dictatorship, and the characters reaction to it. I would have liked to ask her how well the fictional version fits the 10 steps. Included are use of propaganda and complete control of the media, and the setting up of a secret police (Nightwatch). --Athcnv (talk) 19:31, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

She wrote an article in, I think, the Huffington post where she claimed the government was tapping into here bank accounts. Part of the oncoming police state, which is being engineered by Rove and Cheney. Why it's Rove and Cheney, one who is no longer in politics and the other who wont be in a few months, don't ask me. I also don't know why this same paranoia didn't apply to the Clinton administration, like the "anti-terrorism effective death-penalty act" and rocketing the pharmacutical plant in Sudan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Frankly, the 2008 Election Results made her look like a fool. If her book was true....then there would not have been a 2008 Election and bush would still be president, right? Whippletheduck (talk) 07:45, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Actually, if the paranoid fantasies she espouses were true, she'd have long since been arrested; her books would not be published; the websites and radio shows she so frequently appears on would have all been silenced; and her friends and colleagues would be out of circulation too. I'll never understand the blindness of true believers, leftwing or rightwing. (talk) 12:59, 12 March 2012 (UTC)DAS


I have removed the prolix non-sequiturs from the criticism section. Sommer's criticism is now made, and then most of the remaining text is devoted to rebutting Sommer's criticism.

The quote from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Eating Disorders Foundation do not actually address the dispute (the number of deaths per year). The latter refers to the number of women afflicted by the disease. Sommers did not address this matter. The former seems to say that those individuals with anorexia are ten times more likely to die than individuals without anorexia. Again, Sommers did not address this matter.

--Tom Joudrey (talk) 17:37, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Hey thanks for removing all those messy comments she made on the 3rd Brigade and that Crazy Coup stuff that I have many times heard her talk of --- good that you took all the references to this subject out of the Fort Stewart article also . Keep up the good work . What credibility could possibly be attached to a video clearly showing her stating her fears and opinions about these subjects in a documented public forum . Jimologist (talk) 00:33, 2 December 2008 (UTC)


Nowhere in this source [1] does it talk about Wolf "reveling in her rolls of fat, her rotund chunkiness, and her corpulent overflowing girth." Whoever added that, thanks for giving fodder to Wolf and her criticisms. This is exactly the type of mean-spirited nonsense she writes about. Uwmad (talk) 16:08, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I think you're talking about Andrea Dworkin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:04, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Many cititations needed or material must be removed[edit]

I just went through and took out the worst WP:BLP violations, including dead links. Please read WP:RS on self-published blogs as a No No.

Use of youtube as back up only discussed on these pages: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

I did leave youtube in in couple places where I think people will be likely to come up with better references. For her religion I took out youtube since it's just one mention in a video and that should be easily found in some WP:RS online reference.

Even if two paragraphs in a row are from same source you must make that clear by using ref name format - see WP:Cite on how to do it if you don't know how.

The BLP DISPUTE tag should stay up til all these issues are dealt with either with proper citing or removal of material. Carol Moore 17:22, 18 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

Agreed. I also removed the last section (coup in America), as it was sourced entirely to Youtube. Carol Moore 17:22, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I've seen a number of email posts on that issue, so I think it is true, but if people really want it in, they do need a better source. Carol Moore 17:22, 18 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
I added the citation for her Jewish identity which a gleaned from listening to her Interview with Alex Jones (see citation in article) is a 2 hour interview that has alot of the information this article wishes to have citations for, straight from Wolf herself, but I am not up for listening to it again and doing the work. This is just a heads-up if someone cares. It's a good interview when Alex gives her a chance to talk :) And the download is free (or I can email it to you if you ask me on my talk page) Saudade7 10:30, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Technically per WP:RS that might be problematic but since you did all that work I won't challenge it absent some obvious contrary info. But it would be better to find an article source for that as the first of two refs. Carol Moore 16:48, 25 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
FYI I give a couple more days and most of the unsourced stuff will be removed except a few things which I'll bother to research and ref. It takes as long to look up a ref and put it in as it does to whine about her politics in talk -) Carol Moore 15:28, 27 October 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc

I just went through and added most of the missing citations. I'll cite the remaining soon. Please do not delete any material in the interim.-- (talk) 03:29, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

The New York Times is not the only institution that reviews books[edit]

Yes, it is relevant that many of her works have been negatively reviewed by the New York Times. But it is misleading and dishonest to not also cite positive reviews from other sources, of which there have been many. If I find time I may do so later, but really, who thought it was ok to leave it this way? Dorzeco (talk) 01:36, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

The article contains reviews and reactions from a whole variety of sources including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Press, New York Journal, Slate, New York Magazine, The Observer, The New Republic, Think Tank, People, The Huffington Post, Project Syndicate, Library Journal, and The Los Angeles Times.
Furthermore, The Washington Post published a positive review of the Beauty Myth, which is cited in the article. The New York Times also praised her next book which, again, is included in the article. So both the alleged lack of sources and alleged negativity from NYT seem mistaken.-- (talk) 23:52, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

The New York Times is far too heavily over-emphasized in this article. It is mentioned first "in the mainstream press" for The Beauty Myth, first for Promiscuities "in general, negative reviews", again in Misconceptions, and yet again in Other Writings! Its only a newspaper! Surely something more academic is appropriate. (talk) 15:20, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Feminist positions: Rape?[edit]

This recently-added subsection excerpts Wolf's position regarding the Assange charges.

Is this fairly representative of Wolf's ideas on rape, as articulated in her decades of writing books and commenting as a feminist and public intellectual? My feeling is that this edit likely should be reverted, or perhaps placed elsewhere under a more accurate heading. I also feel it contains too much detail for an encyclopedia article. M.boli (talk) 10:26, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

This section will no doubt generate controversy, discussion, debate, and already has sparked a complete reversal of view. Let me clarify why I believe it is important this section reflect Wolf's position on the Assange sexual allegations accurately. It seems to me that Wolf's primary and central notability is the integration in her work of two themes - feminist causes and progressive politics. The sexual allegations against Assange offer a perfect storm in which these two central themes of Wolf's work collide head-on. Where does she fall ? Fortunately the answer is not left up for interpretation or "original research". We have a video interview by a trusted and reliable source in which she clearly states her position. The section is notable in that it speaks to the primary and central notability of the article's subject. The section is clearly and reliably sourced with a verifiable citation. The section, as currently written, lacks POV. However, I expect there will be repeated attempts at removing the essence of this paragraph so it would be nice if we could resolve any disputes here prior to an edit war. Ronald Joe Record (talk) 02:55, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
You would have a stronger case for inclusion if there was some coverage of the interview in other sources. (Have newspapers reported on the interview? Have they deemed it illustrative of Wolf's general views about rape in the way you are suggesting? Have they reported it in the context of Wolf's feminist or progressive politics in the way that you have framed it?) As it stands now, it actually is a violation of our original research policy, as you appear to have written a summary of what happened in the interview based solely on watching the interview. Or have I misunderstood? Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 03:43, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
The paragraph consists primarily of direct copying of's own summary (licensed under a Creative Commons license), slight paraphrasing of their summary, and quotes from the transcript. I do see your point and the paragraph should be reviewed for original research. Also, it occurs to me now that the inclusion of a video timestamp is probably more suited in a citation rather than the text of the section itself. Similar to the page of a book where some quote can be found. I will review and revise and improve and welcome other editors with time and expertise to scrub this. Ronald Joe Record (talk) 04:31, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I have two points of disagreement with Doctorfree / Ronald Joe Record.
  • I read your paragraph as being quite full of POV, the point of view being that Wolf's stance in this instance is unpersuasive. Your version of this paragraph does not outline Wolf's position, it outlines the objections to Wolf's position and her unpersuasive responses. I happen to agree with this point of view. Reading the transcript of the Amy Goodman show was pretty revealing in this regard. But the other version does a good job of summarizing Wolf's stance, while it was possible for me to read your version and not know that Wolf even had a coherent stance.
  • The title is wrong. The radio debate was about Wolf's reaction to one news event, not about her writings on the subject of rape. I agree with your analysis, viz: there was a collision here between several different themes and values, in the context of a very charged event. Anybody can read what they will into how Wolf responded, but I feel it is quite misleading to take that response as representative of her views on rape.
That's my two cents worth. I do not wish to write this paragraph, so if my views get swept aside I cannot complain. I hope you and other editors arrive at a consensus. M.boli (talk) 04:04, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Wolf's position is summarized in the paragraph as "Wolf argues that the alleged victims should have said no, that they consented to having sex with Assange, that the charges are politically motivated and demean the cause of legitimate rape victims." Nothing was added in the other version other than stuff like "again and again" or that Wolf has decades of experience which is redundant information to the reader of this article. Perhaps we can improve the summary of Wolf's position. Did the above sentence summarizing Wolf's position not present a coherent stance ? Ronald Joe Record (talk) 04:42, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the problem is in how it's summarized; the problem is in taking her comments about the Assange case and presenting that in the article as her position about rape in general. Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 13:19, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Perhaps we can expand this subsection to more completely reflect her position about rape in general. I read one good article in which she champions the notion that the only real effective means of changing societal perception of rape victims and actually reducing the rate of rapes is to enforce more severe penalties for rape. I'm sure there are many more references and position statements that can be found. Alternatively, we could move this particular instance of her views on the Assange case to a section on "Controversy and Criticism" or "Conflict between Feminist Causes and Progressive Politics" or "Something". Ronald Joe Record (talk) 22:45, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Doctorfree / Ronald Joe Record: Sorry! Your paragraph does indeed lead off with a summary of Wolf's position. My mistake.
Both Paul Erik and above: My part on this page has been slowly cleaning, mostly fleshing out cites and putting them in templates, but also making sure that the cites and the text fairly match, that the material under a heading pertains to that heading, and stuff like that. My feeling is still that the paragraph as it stands is dangling out-of-context. It is not about Wolf's writings on rape, and she is not a major player in the Assange rape case. If somebody were keeping a blog of dumb things that people say there might be a place for this, but I don't see a spot in a Wolf encyclopedia entry where it belongs. (There are other out of context dangling additions, I am not picking on this as the only example.) M.boli (talk) 18:31, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
P.S. An example of a dangling addition is the reference to her column on the Guantanamo prison. I haven't figured out what to do with that yet. But I am wondering whether, since Wolf is frequently consulted as a public intellectual, something like a bullet list of positions she has taken on topics of the day would be appropriate. M.boli (talk) 18:42, 24 December 2010 (UTC)


It appears she's been arrested at OWS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Charges of bad reporting[edit]

A series of recent analyses of her recent articles indicate that her reporting may be suspect in veracity. Naomi Wolf’s ‘Shocking Truths’ on #OWS Crackdowns are False The page has no information on this and little on other criticism of her work. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:06, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Additional followup: [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:06, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

A Wolf in sheep's clothing? American In Brazil (talk) 16:39, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

New look at neutrality and citations templates[edit]

I did some citation, content-bolstering and minor organizational work today and wonder if the two pretty old templates

{{multiple| {{refimprove|date=November 2011}} {{POV|date=November 2011}} }}

are still appropriate. I know the subject is controversial but citations look good and can handle both complaints. To the extent I've looked at the article I would vote to Remove templates. Any thoughts? Specific areas of work still needed? Thanks. Swliv (talk) 20:28, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Most of the content appears sourced, most of the sources appear reliable so I think the "refimprove" tag can be removed and replaced with individual {cn} if anyone has concerns. When a NPOV tag is placed as a stand alone rather than a multi-issue tag, it indicates that the POV issue should be discussed on the talk page. I am seeing no obvious issues in the article and none listed on the talk page and so I support the removal. Again if someone has an NPOV problem to address they can re-add the tag and make note of why here. -- The Red Pen of Doom 21:02, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Even at the time the tag was added, I dont see obvious POV issues and the person adding the tag is not giving specifics either [3] -- The Red Pen of Doom 21:07, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed the cleanup templates. Gobōnobo + c 10:12, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Good. Thanks. Improved. Swliv (talk) 05:54, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

This seems the best place to raise this point: fn. 59 appears to have been retrieved prior to being written. Can someone please check this out. Accuracy in a WP article is essential (duh). — Preceding unsigned comment added by American In Brazil (talkcontribs) 21:40, 18 April 2014 (UTC) I'm going to change the retrieval year to 2012 on the assumption that it was not retrieved until after it was written. Any objections? American In Brazil (talk) 12:16, 19 April 2014 (UTC) Ok, so I don't know how to do it. I ain't no geek, but I took logic and my sources tell me that you cannot retrieve a cite before it is posted. Can someone fix. PLEASE. American In Brazil (talk) 16:54, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Wolf not paranoid, says Wolf[edit]

  • In late December 2012, FBI documents released by a FOIA request from the Partnership for Civil Justice proved Wolf was far from paranoid.[61] The author wrote a piece for The Guardian discussing the findings: ... [62]

Reference 61 just refers to Wolf's article in The Guardian (which is used as reference 62). I'm sorry, but this might seem a little bit odd. --Luri80 (talk) 02:35, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. The CNN headline alone establishes no proof of Wolf's earlier claims.
I also note that Naomi Wolf's interpretation of the Dec. 2012 FBI files was itself challenged, including an article in Mother Jones magazine ("What the FBI's Occupy Docs Do—and Don't—Reveal," by Gavin Aronsen, Jan. 7, 2013), quoted here:
"That has provided plenty of fodder for speculation. Take the Guardian's Naomi Wolf, who in November 2011 advanced the unfounded theory that federal officials had coordinated the raids on Occupy encampments across the country with local authorities, and with congressional blessing (a conclusion quickly debunked by Alternet's Joshua Holland). The new FBI documents, Wolf wrote last month, 'show a nationwide meta-plot unfolding in city after city in an Orwellian world' and a 'terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council.'"
"In fact, the DSAC, 'a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector,' is mentioned in just one unredacted document, an unremarkable report compiled by the FBI and DHS about Occupy's West Coast port shutdown plans in December 2011. Most of the other documents are routine FBI memos focusing on the potential for criminal activity during protests, cyberattacks from Anonymous, reports of suspicious mail, and a threat to shoot a police officer allegedly made by Occupy protesters."
AecwriterAECwriter 05:44, 18 April 2013 (UTC)


Can some-one put in some-thing about her comments on Snowden? (talk) 11:48, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Allegations vs. Facts[edit]

I have changed the title of the section 'Sexual Encroachment' to 'Alleged Sexual Encroachment' because it is very important to distinguish between facts and allegations - and not just in a WP article. Anything less borders on libel, especially with respect to accusations of sexual or criminal activity. Ms. Wolf made this accusation 21 years after the alleged incident supposedly occurred. Whether it happened or not is unknown and unknowable. Citing that she wrote an article about it, and the content of that article, is entirely appropriate because it is part of her body of work. But whether it actually happened, or is merely a figment of her imagination, is impossible to ascertain. American In Brazil (talk) 12:08, 24 May 2014 (UTC)