Shere Hite, Who Challenged Myths of Female Sexuality, Dies at 77

Each later books have been extensively criticized as counting on unrepresentative samples of respondents. After the publication of “Girls and Love,” which Time journal stated was merely an excuse for her “male-bashing,” Ms. Hite obtained dying threats within the mail and on her answering machine.Many dismissed her as an offended feminist, although she had come to her feminism in a roundabout means. As a graduate pupil at Columbia College, she earned cash for tuition as a part-time mannequin. One of many manufacturers she posed for was Olivetti typewriters, which confirmed her as a leggy blonde caressing the keys. However when she noticed the advert’s tagline — “The typewriter so sensible, she doesn’t should be” — she was horrified and shortly joined a bunch of girls picketing the Olivetti places of work in opposition to the very advert she was in.That led to her attending conferences of the New York chapter of the Nationwide Group for Girls. At one assembly, by her account, the subject was the feminine orgasm and whether or not all ladies had them. There was silence, till somebody urged that Ms. Hite look into the matter. When she noticed how little analysis had been executed, she started what would turn out to be “The Hite Report.”The tidal wave of anger and resentment in opposition to her impressed 12 distinguished feminists, together with Gloria Steinem and Barbara Ehrenreich, to denounce the media assaults on her as a conservative backlash directed not a lot in opposition to one lady as “in opposition to the rights of girls all over the place.”And it fueled Ms. Hite’s resolution to surrender her American passport, go away the nation and settle in Europe, the place she felt her concepts have been extra accepted.“I renounced my citizenship in 1995,” she wrote in 2003 in The New Statesman. “After a decade of sustained assaults on myself and my work, significantly my ‘studies’ into feminine sexuality, I now not felt free to hold out my analysis to the very best of my potential within the nation of my delivery.”The New York Occasions caught up along with her in Germany in 1996 within the residence she shared along with her German husband, Friedrich Horicke, a pianist, in Cologne. “The hunted look she had throughout her final years in the USA has lengthy gone,” The Occasions wrote, “and he or she has regained her humorousness — however solely as a result of she is, eventually, being taken significantly.”

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