Camille Paglia

Feminist trouble

Camille Paglia assesses the parlous state of today’s feminism.

“…The anti-porn crusader Andrea Dworkin (who died a decade ago) was a rabid fanatic, a self-destructive woman so consumed by her hatred of men that she tottered on the edge of psychosis. Dworkin and her puritanical henchman Catharine MacKinnon (born into wealth and privilege) were extremely powerful in the US for a long time, culminating in the major media’s canonisation of MacKinnon in a 1991 New York Times Magazine cover story. When I burst on the scene after the release of my first book in 1990, I attacked Dworkin and MacKinnon with all guns blazing. I am very proud of the role I played in defending free speech and helping the pro-sex wing of feminism to go public and eventually win its great victory over both Dworkin-MacKinnon and the priggish feminist establishment typified by Steinem. Hence the unthinking backward turn of current feminism toward censorship is appalling and tragic. Young feminists seem to have little sense of the crucial battles that were waged and won a quarter century ago.”

  • Martin B

    As much as I admire Camille Paglia, it’s far too early to claim a great victory over Dworkin. Her hideous bloated ghost still hovers over us today.

    • True, but at least that harpie is deceased.

      I always have time for Paglia, she is not insane.

      • Clausewitz

        Same here. I don’t agree with every thing that Paglia stands for, but at least when it comes to free speech she is a warrior.

  • Hard Little Machine

    the feminists have to fight this out themselves. who ever walks away from the conflagration wins and all women should be forced to bow down and obey that, whatever that is.

  • Ed

    best dike ever

  • Brenda

    What a load of horseshit.

    Paglia did absolutely nothing to stop the culture of political correctness. Nadine Strossen and the ACLU did a lot more that was constructive to defend freedom of speech than Paglia ever did or will. As to this ‘pro-sex feminism’ she keeps harping on about, that’s what gave us and the rest of that crap, which we now have along with political correctness.

    Contrary to the general opinion around here, Paglia is an opportunistic coward. American feminism was in decline ever since the failure of the ERA; Paglia’s only merit was to say the emperor had no clothes. She was always very leery about attacking interest groups that were actually powerful, like the racism industry. She specifically said that affirmative action was a bad thing gender-wise, but not race-wise:

    “But I regard affirmative action as pernicious—a system that had
    wonderful ideals when it started but was almost immediately abused
    for the benefit of white middle-class women. And the number one
    sign of it is in the universities. The elite schools were
    destroyed by affirmative action for women, not for blacks.”

    That’s from a Reason magazine interview from 1995; available online. Even the article linked to in this post shows that she’s still the same self-promoting coward: most of the latest campus shenanigans have been race-based, with a few feminists along for the ride. But does she say anything about the institutionalized race grievance industry? No, of course not. It’s all the fault of the feminists. That’s because attacking feminism is like shooting fish in a barrel, whereas she’d really be risking something if she attacked the race industry.

    I’m sorry, but if you want to understand why today’s feminists carefully avoid attacking Islam while focusing on irrelevant stupid shit, look no further than Camille Paglia.