Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Admirable Camille Paglia

extracts from 'Vamps And Tramps' (1994):

"What is most disgusting about current political correctness on campus is that its proponents have managed to convince their students and the media that they are authentic Sixties radicals. The idea is preposterous. Political correctness, with its fascist speech codes and puritanical sexual regulations, is a travesty of Sixties progressive values."

"White middle-class girls at the elite colleges and universities seem to want the world handed to them on a platter. They have been sheltered, coddled, and flattered. Having taught at a wide variety of institutions over my ill-starred career, I have observed that working-class or lower-middle-class girls, who are from financially struggling families and who must take a patchwork of menial off-campus jobs to stay in school, are usually the least hospitable to feminist rhetoric. They see life as it is and have fewer illusions about sex. It is affluent, upper-middle class students who most spout the party line - as if the grisly hyperemotionalism of feminist jargon satisfies their hunger for meaningful experience outside their eventless upbringing. In the absence of war, invent one."

"It is tremendously difficult to convince feminist professional women of the existence of unconscious or subliminal erotic communication. As my friend Bruce Benderson says, their middle class world has "no subtext."...That men can satisfy their desires on an inert or unconscious object seems intolerable to such women, though it is a fact of life, palatable or not. Male sexual functioning does not depend on female response. And the illicit is always highly charged."

"Feminist confidence that the whole human race can be "re-educated" to totally eliminate the possibility of rape is pure folly...Wave after wave of boys hit puberty every year. Do feminists, with their multicultural pretensions, really envision a massive export of white bourgeois good manners all around the world? Speak of imperialism!"

"A major failing of most feminist ideology is its dumb, ungenerous stereotyping of men as tyrants and abusers, when in fact-as I know full well, from my own mortifying lesbian experience- men are tormented by women's flirtatiousness and hemming and hawing, their manipulations and changeableness, their humiliating rejections. Cock teasing is a universal reality. It is part of women's merciless testing and cold-eyed comparison shopping for potential mates. Men will do anything to win the favor of women. Women literally size up men- "What can you show me?"- in bed and out. If middle class feminists think they conduct their love lives perfectly rationally, without any instinctual influences from biology, they are imbeciles."

"(Andrea) Dworkin's blanket condemnation of fellatio as disgusting and violent should make every man furious. (Catharine) MacKinnon and Dworkin are victim-mongers, ambulance chasers, atrocity addicts. MacKinnon begins every argument from big, flawed premises such as "male supremacy" or "misogyny," while Dworkin spouts glib Auschwitz metaphors at the drop of a bra. Here's one of their typical maxims: 'The pornographers rank with Nazis and Klansmen in promoting hatred and violence.' Anyone who could write such a sentence knows nothing about pornography or Nazism... In arguing that a hypothetical physical safety on the streets should take precedence over the democratic principle of free speech, MacKinnon aligns herself with the authoritarian Soviet comissars. She would lobotomize the village in order to save it."

"Feminist anti-porn discourse virtually always ignores the gigantic gay male porn industry, since any mention of the latter would bring crashing to the ground the absurd argument that pornography is by definition subordination of women...Far from poisoning the mind, pornography shows the deepest truth about sexuality, stripped of romantic veneer....What feminists denounce as woman's humiliating total accessibility in porn is actually her elevation to high priestess of a pagan paradise garden, where the body has become a bountiful fruit tree where growth and harvest are simultaneous."

"Feminism's main problem for the last twenty years has been that it is incapable of appreciating art. There is no aesthetics in feminism. All there is is a social agenda. Art is made a servant to a prefab social agenda."

"Let's get rid of Infirmary Feminism, with it's bedlam of bellyachers, anorexics, bulimics, depressives, rape victims, and incest survivors. Feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses."

"The tension between the genders is essential to our survival as a species. Perhaps in some futuristic sci-fi  totalitarian feminist society men would pee sitting down and be unable to screw without viagra, and the women would all take steroids and lift weights. Through the use of the right drugs, nature could be totally subverted. But why bother?"

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