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Lightning Rods

by Helen DeWitt

A failed vacuum cleaner salesman comes up with a solution to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, based on his own masturbatory fantasies. Gasp in disbelief at DeWitt's deliberately offensive shock tactics, delivering a devastating feminist critique on office gender politics and the commodification of women in the media and pornography.

Extract

Humans are animals, he thought. All these instincts, these incredibly powerful instincts, are just thwarted by all these taboos. If you can break through some of those taboos for people, there's got to be money in it. A lot of money. But the money is big because those taboos are so strong. Do you have what it takes to break through that, Joe? Do you have what it takes to look someone in the eye when they think it's disgusting?

Parallels

The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
The Diceman by Luke Rhinehart
 

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