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Hanne Blank

Autor(a) de Virgin: The Untouched History

11+ Works 1,080 Membros 26 Críticas 5 Favorited

About the Author

Hanne Blank is a writer, historian, and public speaker whose work has been featured everywhere from Boston magazine to Penthouse

Includes the name: Hanne Blank

Image credit: Hanne Blank

Obras por Hanne Blank

Associated Works

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era [35th Anniversary Edition] (2005) — Contribuidor, algumas edições867 exemplares
The Best American Erotica 2001 (2001) — Contribuidor — 89 exemplares
Best Bisexual Erotica (2000) — Contribuidor — 72 exemplares
Fucking Daphne: Mostly True Stories and Fictions (2008) — Contribuidor — 24 exemplares
Lilith: The Jewish Women's Magazine, Issue Number 14 — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Blank, Hanne
Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
Locais de residência
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Prémios e menções honrosas
George Whitfield Chadwick Medal (1991)



This is a surprising book full of things you thought you knew.
villyard | 7 outras críticas | Dec 6, 2022 |
I regularly give nonfiction three-star ratings. I don't read a lot of it. The two stars is because of how this book was written and edited. Trigger warnings for this book include but are not limited to: historical and social examinations of misogyny--lots and lots of it; the huge double standard that exists; and historical pedophilia. I don't doubt all the research she did. This book is informative, educational, a lot of it still stands, and it got me wondering a little if society or medicine had advanced in any other way around virginity since. I read this when it first came out. Fourteen years later, I only remembered what turned out to be a few pages. The book flows well. It starts out with medical and historical aspects, with some pop culture references. An enormous hunk of the book examines Christianity's relationship and influence on virginity and its perception, with Catholicism not far behind. Judaism is often mentioned, but Jewish attitudes towards sex are wildly different so they're not presented side-by-side. Pop culture and Western attitudes are increasingly examined as the book progresses. It was trying to be linear, and it did a good job. The author, however, makes bad puns and stupid jokes often. She was trying to break up sections that could be dry, but her choices were annoying. She contradicts herself otften without explaining why, and only sometimes acknowledges it. Her sentences are too wordy. Some, I had to read out loud three times in an attempt to figure out what was going on. In the introduction, she says there's little information. Then she says there's a lot. She says not to see her book as the sum total of research, then says there's not that many books out there. That virginity wasn't important, then that it clearly was. Make up your mind, lady.

From beginning to end, all of this book except for a few paragraphs are about straight female virginity, or just female virginity in the context of historically rooted and ever-present lesbian erasure. At times while reading this, I wondered what Blank thought of the Lonely Island song "I Just Had Sex," a lighthearted take on male virginity loss. The song came out shortly after this book was written. I wondered how she would have interpreted it in the context of her book, and to herself as a consumer of pop culture. Especially now in 2021 as of this review writing, when there are TikTok trends of playing the song upon acknowledgement of virginity loss for all genders. I watched a few that were intended as lighthearted celebration and giggled.

The conclusion doesn't feel like one. It feels like she wanted to hurry up and finish the book. Given the style of it and the poor writing, I don't blame her. I'm glad this was written. It was well-researched and brought a lot of things to light.
… (mais)
iszevthere | 11 outras críticas | Jul 13, 2022 |
Engaging, all things considered. Also, lots of historical info I never learned in school.
bookbrig | 11 outras críticas | Aug 5, 2020 |
A light, quick read. Like Blank's previous cultural history, Virgin, this book is full of fascinating anecdotes, some of which you're likely to know about if you've spent much time involved in gender or sexuality studies. The book combines broad strokes of history with these anecdotes and details smoothly and readable, and like Virgin, ought to be accessible to the general reader.

Like Blank, I have been in relationships that might - or might not - be definable as heterosexual, and so I have a personal investment in her unraveling of the term and its history. I found her eventually conclusion (is this a spoiler? can you spoil nonfiction?) - "this too shall pass" - hopeful and reassuring.

One negative note - I found some of Blank's language choices when discussing transgendered individuals strange, such as the footnote where she briefly observes that "the horrific rape and murder of Brandon Teena" demonstrates her point that "women who are perceived to be overly sexual, or too sexual in the wrong ways - meaning, especially, ways that do not focus on conventional feminine receptivity - are still likely to be shamed, ostracized, and punished." (n 27, p 179; p 143). I don't disagree that the example of Brandon Teena (whose life, as Blank notes, has been dramatized in the movie Boys Don't Cry) demonstrates the brutality that those who violate gender norms often face, or that Teena's rape and murder was due to the revelation that he was not cisgendered - that he was perceived by his murderers as a woman pretending to be a man. But Blank here seems to identify Teena as a woman, against his self-presentation.

This is a small detail, but it did mar an otherwise enjoyable read for me.

… (mais)
elenaj | 7 outras críticas | Jul 31, 2020 |


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