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

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

Each later books had been extensively criticized as counting on unrepresentative samples of respondents. After the publication of “Girls and Love,” which Time journal mentioned was merely an excuse for her “male-bashing,” Ms. Hite obtained loss of life 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 manner. As a graduate scholar 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 a keyboard. However when she noticed the advert’s tagline — “The typewriter so good, she doesn’t must 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 prompt that Ms. Hite look into the matter. When she noticed how little analysis had been completed, 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 girl as “in opposition to the rights of girls in all places.”

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 had 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, notably my ‘stories’ into feminine sexuality, I not felt free to hold out my analysis to the very best of my skill within the nation of my delivery.”

The New York Instances caught up together with her in Germany in 1996 within the house she shared together with her German husband, Friedrich Horicke, a pianist, in Cologne. “The hunted look she had throughout her final years in america has lengthy gone,” The Instances wrote, “and he or she has regained her humorousness — however solely as a result of she is, finally, being taken significantly.”

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