PRISONER OF SEX
Disingenuously shocked to find himself cast by Women's Lib as the archetypal male chauvinist pig, Mailer takes on Kate Millett (Sexual Politics, 1970) and her sister furies. He wins hands down as literary tribune for Henry Miller and D. H. Lawrence, rescued from Millett's scissors-and-paste butchery though hardly exonerated despite the "barbaric yawp of utter adoration for the power and the glory and the grandeur of the female of the universe." Mailer himself doesn't yawp; he is ready and willing to be contrite; he will buy the groceries and wash dishes, the double standard is indeed noxious, and women ought of course to be allowed self-expression. But. . . honesty compels him to avow his own mystical adoration of femaleness. Deftly, he turns the table on the 'liberal technologist' 'Left totalitarian' ladies of the movement: Masters and Johnson, plastic dildoes, genetic engineering are signposts on the way to the "loss of sex polarity" -- this to the Prisoner represents the true dehumanization and heaven help us all. No, the transcendent divine "awash in the great ocean of fuck" must be preserved at alt costs. Smug and snug he gives a virtuoso performance certain to enrage the emancipated still further.