Seven Reasons to Agree with Camille Paglia

Conservative feminists are often referred to as anti-feminist feminists. To define this more accurately, this is conservative with a small ‘c’. In other words, in my book, you can be a `conservative feminist’ and not belong to any particular  political party. On the other hand if you are a Conservative (with a big C) and a self-proclaimed feminist, you are more likely to hold these views.  For more on this

Recently Camille Paglia author of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson and university professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia was interviewed by Ella Whelan of Spiked Online about her stance on contemporary female politics. A hard hitting and frank exchange, it was refreshing to hear from someone who is not only in the centre of the US academic world (where usually egalitarian, hardliner theorists hang out) but also was active in the femi-political sense back in the 1960s. She had personal interactions with many of the protagonists of the US women’s movement  at that time.

In this piece she describes the feminist crusader Andrea Dworkin, who was the one responsible for the much used quote ‘All men are rapists’ as ‘a rabid fanatic, a self-destructive woman so consumed by her hatred of men that she tottered on the edge of psychosis’.

She is also no less scathing about the highly influential Gloria Steinem, who was unmarried until she was 66, and the fact that, probably as a result,  ‘Stay-at-home moms have been arrogantly disdained by orthodox feminism’.

There are several issues with which I agree with Dr Paglia’s point of view in this article, namely that:

  1. Feminism is undergoing resurgence.
  2. Today’s feminists have become fixated on political correctness.
  3. Today’s women seem to have lost the ability to ‘assert control over their own dating lives’ by demanding all manner of bans and regulations on male behaviour.
  4. The likelihood that egalitarians like Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dworkin sowed the seed of this current trend towards censorship.
  5. Sex is something that cannot be reduced to verbal formulas only.
  6. Feminism today has become too obsessed with the minutiae
  7. That contemporary movements today must embrace the problems faced by women who want both children and a job.

To read this article by Ella Whelan in full

About Louise Burfitt-Dons

Writer and social critic
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1 Response to Seven Reasons to Agree with Camille Paglia

  1. ascabtopick says:

    When I found out that a bunch of Silicon Valley industries were going to cover the fees of “egg freezing” for their female staff, the first thing I did was go to Jezebel to see the reaction. I was really surprised to see them enthusiastically support this without even mentioning a few criticisms. Sure, it is great for those women who are interested in the service to begin with, but seems to me if those industries really wanted to help women, they would offer services like a daycare service at work at a low cost for employees making it possible for career driven women to not only be able to work, but also maybe even nurse their children during the day. Now, I haven’t done extensive research, they might be able to already and this is just an added plus, but I really don’t think the priority should be to help women have kids in their late 30ies/early 40ies especially since it costs more and involves more health risks and risks of failure. It would make more sense to help women of child-bearing age to better reconcile career and parenthood.

    In my hometown, there are 10 000 daycare spots missing, yet I haven’t seen any feminist group tackle this issue despite the fact that the people most disadvantaged by this are single mothers and low-income couples. This mean the woman will be even slower are re-entering the workforce and will have to deal with all the negative consequences that entails.


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