We don’t live in a feminist utopia, but a girl can dream.
In the recently released book New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay, four best friends who work in comedy imagine a world where the only reason your male boss calls you into his office is to offer you a big fat raise.
Seriously, how excited does this get you?
Caitlin Kunkel, Carrie Wittmer, Brooke Preston and Fiona Taylor wrote the book after their satirical listicle of the same name went viral on McSweeneys.
“I hear a box truck backing up in my driveway,” one of the vignettes begins. “Tom Hardy steps out, wearing a tight T-shirt that says, ‘Wild Feminist.’ He politely asks my permission to step inside to fill up my whole refrigerator with free LaCroix and play with my rescue dog every Tuesday forever. I consent clearly and enthusiastically.”
Yep. We want to live in that world.
The women run The Belladonna, a satirical comedy site for women and other marginalized genders. The original listicle sprang from their never-ending group chat. Last year, they started texting about the Tom Hardy scenario, and one of them joked that it sounded like “porn for Brooklyn women.” (They said it lovingly; half of the group calls Brooklyn home.)
“We began playfully creating more lustful scenarios where the erotic element was simply women being treated with agency and respect,” Preston told HuffPost. “The piece immediately went crazy viral, which was a new experience for all of us; that lit the fuse toward agents and book deals and the dizzying year since.”
The book imagines a world where breastfeeding in public is NBD:
Where straight dudes in bars don’t try to talk you out of being queer:
And male sci-fi writers don’t kill off their female characters to serve the storyline:
Now that’s our kind of smut.
The authors say they’ve received positive feedback from readers of all genders. That said, some of the passages go over a little differently for men than they do for women.
During readings, Preston said, women nod their head along to passages or “cackle in recognition in solidarity.” The men laugh, too, but also read it as instructive.
“It’s opening their eyes to how often and in how many huge and subtle ways women suffer from effects of the patriarchy,” she said.
Take, for instance, this story about an elevator microaggression:
When the authors ask crowds at book events if they’ve had encounters like this, nearly all the women say, “Oh, God, yes, all the time.” The men tend to look befuddled, Preston said.
“While that’s certainly a small, relatively inconsequential interaction in the grand scheme of things, it makes women wonder why men don’t trust their dainty little ladyfingers to effectively push a button without the man sort of helping it along,” she said.
While women may be more thirsty for the book’s message, the authors say it’s for everyone.
“We believe that anyone who believes women and nonbinary people should have equal rights and treatment as men is a feminist, plain and simple, so this book is for everyone,” Preston.