This essay challenges and deconstructs the feminization of deviant materialistic desire, an important preoccupation of late nineteenth-century American naturalism. Turn-of-the-century American culture expressed great anxiety over changing gender roles and expanding consumerism through its critical and frequently negative stance toward the figure of the New Woman, whose role as a consumer in the burgeoning consumerist society was being increasingly foregrounded. This anxiety often found expression through the representation of female characters in naturalist fiction, who, in their deviation from the traditional feminine role within the domestic sphere, were demonized for their obsessive materialism or pathological consumerism. The cultural preoccupation with the figure of the excessive female consumer requires particular critical attention because femininity`s discursive association with materialistic desire functions as a central rhetorical tool in many turn-of-the-century literary works as well as in critical discourses, consolidating the problematic notion of femininity in modern society as representing the pathology of desire itself. Focusing on Frank Norris`s McTeague and Theodore Dreiser`s Sister Carrie, I flesh out the rhetorical strategies of these naturalist narratives, which invest excessive materialistic desire in femininity, to examine how these narratives are characterized by internal contradictions in their definitions of femininity and desire. These internal contradictions are significant because they reveal that these male-authored naturalistic texts rely upon a strategic deployment of a problematic femininity in order to establish their discursive authority.