Does Politically Driven Language Have an Expiration Date?

This week I picked up a favorite book for a re-read: Aphrodite’s Daughters: Women’s Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul. The ideas still resonate, as do the chapters written in the standard pop psychology language that has been with us since the 1970s. What seemed incredibly dated was the 1990s vintage essentialist feminism: identification of women and our spiritual capacities with the goddesses of myth, the hero’s journey metaphors … all struck me as corny and diminished my ability to enjoy the ideas.

I contrast this to my recent first read of Elmer Gantry. A bestseller of 1927 it satirizes small-town, Midwestern church life. I had to look up a lot of words that are not commonly used today. Overall, though, the language experience was fresh.

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