I’m a Paglia addict, which is why I’m so psyched for her 3-part interview series being released by Salon, liberal bastion that it is. Dear God, don’t let that turn you off. Read this lesbian atheist’s cultural commentary and you’ll find in it the seeds of the equity feminist movement (fancy lingo for the kind of women’s lib that even conservatives love) that is today being championed by women like Christina Hoff Sommers. Fabulous excerpts include:
The horrible truth is that the feminist establishment in the U.S., led by Gloria Steinem, did in fact apply a double standard to Bill Clinton’s behavior because he was a Democrat. The Democratic president and administration supported abortion rights, and therefore it didn’t matter what his personal behavior was.
The Clinton’s are responsible for the destruction of Monica Lewinsky! They probably hoped that she would just go on and have a job, get married, have children, and disappear, but instead she’s like this walking ghoul.
We’re in a period right now where nobody asks any questions about psychology. No one has any feeling for human motivation. No one talks about sexuality in terms of emotional needs and symbolism and the legacy of childhood. Sexuality has been politicized–“Don’t ask any questions!” “No discussion!” “Gay is exactly equivalent to straight!” And thus in this period of psychological blindness or inertness, our art has become dull. There’s nothing interesting being written–in fiction or plays or movies. Everything is boring because of our failure to ask psychological questions.
The erasure of motherhood from feminist rhetoric has led us to this current politicization of sex talk, which doesn’t allow women to recognize their immense power vis-à-vis men. When motherhood was more at the center of culture, you had mothers who understood the fragility of boys and the boy’s need for nurturance and for confidence to overcome his weaknesses. The old-style country women–the Italian matriarchs and Jewish mothers–they all understood the fragility of men. The mothers ruled their own world and didn’t take men that seriously. They understood how to nurture men and encourage them to be strong–whereas current feminism simply doesn’t perceive the power of women vis-a-vis men. But when you talk like this with most men, it really resonates with them, and they say “Yes, yes! That’s it!”
On campus rape: “I wasn’t automatically kowtowing to the standard rhetoric that men are at fault for everything and women are utterly blameless. I said that my 1960s generation of women had won the right to sexual freedom–but with rights came personal responsibility. People went crazy! ”
On Emma Sulkowicz, aka the mattress girl of Columbia U: “I call it “mattress feminism.” Perpetually lugging around your bad memories–never evolving or moving on! It’s like a parody of the worst aspects of that kind of grievance-oriented feminism.”…nd for Columbia to permit this girl to carry her mattress onstage and disrupt the commencement ceremony was absolutely ludicrous. It demonstrates the total degradation of once eminent and admirable educational institutions to caretaking nursery schools.
Her conclusions are as chilling as they are correct. Read the whole interview here.