I know I’m supposed to say that I was provided this book for an honest review, but the reality is, I’m actually mentioned in the book. That’s right…I’m included in a book called Sexual Intellectual Female. So yes, Regina did give me a copy, and yes I read it, and yes, I liked it.
Much like I’ve just recently been introduced to the term Latinx, Regina uses the term Womxn to show inclusiveness for anyone who identifies as a female. I liked that touch from the get-go and something that simple sets a tone for the rest of the book. While Regina states she hopes the book will encourage every woman (sorry, I’m old-school) to “step into her personal power, and reach her full potential,” that should not disqualify men from reading the book. Despite identifying as male, I think anybody with an open mind can take a lot from this book.
This book was written for people like me who prefer a buffet to a menu item, or who don’t want to me constrained to a single genre. If you’re looking for facts, figures and statistics — this book is for you. If you’re looking for personal narrative — this book is for you. And if you’re looking for self-help and/or motivation, this will also do the trick.
There’s a Lot to Learn
I once wrote an article about the term Cisgendered shortly after I learned the term. I’m still not identifying myself with it, but this book opens by explaining a lot of sexual and gender terminology I had not heard of or did not know the definition: Sapiosexual, Gray Sexual and Omnisexual were all new to me. I’d tell you what they mean, but I want you to buy the book.
The early part of the book starts with us getting to know Hanson by hearing her origin story, and also how she has felt or reacted to societal stereotypes and gender role expectations she’s faced through the years. She weaves stories using real events, pop culture, her opinion and historical reference in making her points. In lesser hands, it could easily be a mess. Hanson, though, can weave together societial views on nudity, BLM rallies and the tale of Lady Godiva within a page or two and it absolutely works.
I love making connections between two things that don’t seem connected and Sexual Intellectual Female features a lot of that. The role of women when it comes to their intellect, their sexuality and their very being has been bandied about by academics, religious types and different societies for centuries, yet this doesn’t feel like well-worn ground in Hanson’s hands.
From a Guy’s Point of View
While I think that women of all ages will enjoy this book and take a lot from it, I think that men should read this book to better understand just how much women have to put up with that we don’t even think about it our society. I recall at my first “white collar” job, which was on the second-shift at a newspaper, many men were asked to walk the female employees to their cars. At 18 or 19 years old, I just saw it as a chivalrous thing to do. It wasn’t until a woman explained that every woman has to fear walking alone at night that it clicked just how different things are for us. I’m often reminded of this, and despite making strides, women just have to put up with things that men don’t.
Hanson uses current pop culture touchstones like the body shaming of Billie Eilish or the monetary inequity of the US Women’s Soccer team compared to their male counterparts. I don’t know if these references will age well, but for this moment in time, I think these kinds of examples will keep younger readers involved. If I was going to have any critique of the book, it’s that someone who hasn’t consumed as much media as I have (or clearly, Hanson) may not fully appreciate some of the points she’s trying to make.
Obviously, the section on pornography and the repeated theme of how a woman’s sexuality is presented in society were of unique interest to me, but there was very little that I wanted to move along faster. In a world where we have largely shunned books for bite-sized pieces of social media, Hanson keeps things moving at the pace of someone scrolling through their Twitter feed. You may be left a little disappointed if you want her to get deeper into issues, but there’s no dwelling on anything that you may find uninteresting.
Special note of appreciation for her coverage of Kamala Harris and the role of women in the 2020 presidential election. I’m guessing this was finished just as the book was going to press, but it is one of the best sections of the book and, if you read the book soon, is special for its timeliness.
Despite having nearly 150 footnotes and an impressive suggested reading list, there is nothing “difficult” about this read. Frankly, if you don’t want to sound like an out-of-touch person when it comes to female gender roles and stereotypes in the third decade of the 21st Century, this is the guide I’d suggest to get up-to-speed. Spend a couple hours with this book, and you can dominate any dinner party — male or female or otherwise.
Sexual Intellectual Female is available through Amazon at THIS LINK.