Monday, February 18, 2008

Parting the Red Sea

"Know Touching" is a comprehensive, almost anthological survey of references to masturbation in both Hebrew and translated literature, as well as in the press. The book describes the historical changes in attitude toward masturbation and the negative associations some literature has implanted in the hearts of generations of women: "The victim of this literature starts to believe that she is already becoming unfit for work, or begins to fear the onset of some mental illness, some weakening of the nervous system. It is enough to feel some sort of symptom once, such as a headache, anger, a memory lapse, heart palpitations, and she is immediately prepared to see this as a result of masturbation."
In the course of her research, Pliskin discovered that she is not the only one with this so-called problem. Her studies led her to talk about masturbation with many women - the youngest 20 years old and the oldest over 90 - including religious women, Mizrahi women (with origins in Middle Eastern countries), Ashkenazi women (with origins in Eastern and Central Europe), straight women, lesbians and also an Arab woman. All revealed their deepest secrets to her and attributed their responses to Israel's social reality, which - according to Pliskin and most women she spoke with - transmits the message that this simple, natural activity is problematic, not to mention sickening.(more from Haaretz) by By Itzhak (Zahy) Ben Zion
" Dvarim sheratziti laga'at" ("Know Touching") by Gili Pliskin, Yedioth Ahronoth Books, 350 pages, NIS 98.

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