This is going to be looooong. But every now and then, I owe my readers who like that sort of in-depth thing. Feminazis: take cover.
The topic has only been on my radar from time to time…over a long time. As I’ve posted before, I grew up with naturally strong women around me at all times. The idea of any of them going to some uniformed, suited, or robed goon-jobholder, shielded in edifice, pomp, circumstance…for anything…is just laughable. They would have never lowered or so debased themselves (being righteously proud of the earned male adoration they commanded effortlessly), and so my memory of all of them isn’t tarnished in the least—the few problems now and then worked out amongst families. As such, I always pretty much laughed at the pathetic victimology that is feminism, in most all of its entitlement manifestations—laughing to this very day.
What’s funny, in retrospect, is that the feminism of the 60s & 70s is to my mind virtually Einsteinian in contrast to the contortions defying credulity now on display and in your face with attitude and entitlement. Is there a better display of something becoming its own ridiculous caricature, anywhere? My just-the-essentials, woman-on-the-street impression of 60s and 70s feminism: we can fuck whomever we want, whenever we want. New Millenium Feminism: we only fuck women, now; some just happen to have male-like genitalia; women-made.
…Anywhoos, the first one I recall actually bringing up the fact that men have generally been the women & children first, let’s go off to die in war, come back and build lottsa shit doormat of civilization for as long as anyone can remember, was Camille Paglia: in various writings, articles written about her, and interviews. Perhaps this was the first time I took notice, from 1991: Big Girls Don’t Cry. A review of several feminist tomes, including hers: Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
A quarter-century after the reemergence of feminism out of the cultural maelstrom of the 1960s, some of its most devoted adherents sense that something has gone woefully amiss. For these now middle-aged feminists—participants in the heady excitement of the movement’s early days of encounter sessions, female bonding, and male bashing—the thrill is gone, and they feel very much on the defensive. Young women seem indifferent to the buzzwords of “patriarchy,” “oppression,” and age in the ’60s. Graying revolutionaries of gender, comfortably ensconced in tenured slots at fashionable universities, they still think of themselves as crusaders, on the cutting edge. Yet their female students, they lament, view them quite differently: as vaguely comic relics, bra burners, responsible for the social disintegration of the family, divorce without alimony, rampant teenage pregnancy, and rapists behind every bush. Since no fate could be worse for the ideologically au courant than atavism, bookstores of late are bulging with exculpatory tomes, mostly blaming something other than feminism or other-than-my-kind-of-feminism for these hard times. […]
My how things have changed in 22 years, or: same utter stupidity, different many days?
Our final exhibit is Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. In Camille Paglia radical feminism has spawned the enemy that it deserves. Paglia declares that her approach to aesthetic criticism is “sensationalistic,” and she delivers. This book is a 673-page tour of the “canon,” with a self-proclaimed accent on the “decadent.” Paglia disembowels Western culture. Her principal quibble with the “canon” is that it neglects the Marquis de Sade, whom she reveres. There is something in this book to disgust, titillate, and enrage even the most jaded reader.
Paglia’s opening bombardment is aimed squarely at the feminists; she blasts every one of their sacred assumptions. On equality of the sexes: “My theory is that whenever sexual freedom is sought or achieved, sadomasochism will not be far behind.” On nature as a benign force corrupted by men: “Men, bonding together, invented culture as a defense against female nature …. The very language and logic modern woman uses to assail patriarchal culture were the invention of men.”
On patriarchy: “Feminism has been simplistic in arguing that female archetypes were politically motivated falsehoods by men. The historical repugnance to woman has a rational basis; disgust is reason’s proper response to the grossness of procreative nature.” On the feminist argument that sex crimes are caused by pornography and the denigration of women: “Serial or sex murder, like fetishism, is a perversion of male intelligence …. It is the asocial equivalent of philosophy, mathematics, and music. There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.” […]
One could perhaps write a book about this next paragraph…filled with metaphor: the phallic nature of ICBMs in geopolitics, as well as the ballistic physics of a male pee stream. Me? I just like the idea of having graves of certain people as new places to take a piss. I get the decidedly different nature of pee projection vs. squatting over a target. But in my world, both will do.
Men have always dominated art, science, and politics throughout history because of their physiology: “Men are anatomically destined to be projectors.” Men are the great conceptualizers throughout history because of male urination: “Male urination really is a kind of accomplishment, an arc of transcendence. A woman merely waters the ground she stands on. Male urination is a form of commentary… To piss on is to criticize.” Men are the supreme Apollonian conceptualizers, for male urination leads directly to male concentration and projection. [em-phas-is]
It’s a pretty interesting read, 22 years after I read it the first time.
The next I recall even more. It was Virginia Postrel’s: Interview with the Vamp (1995). These quotations are selective. She’s so all over the map socially and politically (like all truly independent thinkers, such as myself) that I’m making the conscious decision to basically quote those things I most agree with or that support the theme of the post best. You have the link to read it all.
Hurricane Camille swept into American culture five years ago with the publication of Sexual Personae, a learned 800-page treatise on sex, art, and literature through the ages. After two decades of rejection and obscurity, Camille Paglia was famous. Her demanding master work wasn’t exactly accessible to the educated lay reader, but it became a bestseller–as have her subsequent reader-friendly essay collections Sex, Art, and American Culture and Vamps & Tramps.
The secret to her celebrity is Paglia’s own persona–a blend of comedienne, scholar, controversialist, self-promoter, and performance artist. Her speeches are events, designed as much to entertain as to provoke and inform. And, as she herself has remarked, the times have been friendly to comic-serious iconoclasts who capitalize on their egomania: Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Ross Perot, Camille Paglia. The public is sick of pious discourse.
But not of ideas. Amid Paglia’s tirades and comic turns are serious thoughts about art, scholarship, politics, and civilization itself. Some are fully developed, others mostly attitude. But they are all interesting.
Despite the detractors who deride her as a conservative antifeminist, Paglia is clearly a woman of the left–How many conservatives use “white middle-class” as a term of derision?–and an unreconstructed advocate of women’s achievement and independence. She has, however, been tempered by time and experience, forced to recognize the constraints of nature and the limits of radical change.
[…]”I know this is going to be extremely controversial, but I feel that minority designations are short-sighted and they have outlived their usefulness. They should be dropped.”[…]
…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. I want to see more African Americans everywhere, but I do not want to see any kind of quota system. The way the Ivy League just absolutely, servilely pursued candidates because of the nature of their gonads, not the nature of their mental life or of their intellectual accomplishments: Every single humanities department faculty in the Ivy League was polluted and destroyed by affirmative action in the ’70s and ’80s, and we are paying the price for it now. […]
Leftism should be about the people. That’s how it began. Instead, what it has become in the last 20 years is a white upper-middle-class elitism which preaches to the people and says, “Oh, you don’t agree with us? You’re homophobic, you’re so uneducated. You’re in the darkness. You need us to bring light and truth to you.” I hate that paternalistic, condescending kind of stuff that’s coming out of this lawyer-heavy elite structure of the Democratic Party in Washington. […]
In the first chapter of Sexual Personae, I made a defense of capitalism. I feel that capitalism has a very bad press with the pseudo-leftists who clog our best college campuses and that in point of fact capitalism has produced modern individualism and feminism. Modern capitalism has allowed the birth of the independent woman who is no longer economically dependent on her husband. I despise the sneering that our liberal humanists do about capitalism even while they enjoy all of its pleasures and conveniences. I just despise it. […]
At the same time, I think that the way that the welfare state has developed is just atrocious. It’s part of the condescension and paternalism and the guilt of the affluent white upper-middle class to say: “Oh, they’ll be taken care of.” And so we have that huge culture of dependency which is suddenly, shockingly being broken, just like affirmative action. I never dreamed of the speed with which these issues which have been so long suppressed have come to the fore, and it seems like anything is possible now. […]
I despise bureaucrats. I despise administrators. That has been one of the most pernicious effects of the post-war years in academe. There has been an overgrowth of an arrogant master class of administrators on college campuses who are being paid twice the level of the salaries of the faculty and regard themselves as being in charge and everyone else as being their lackeys. What the Republicans are doing in Washington, looking at the federal government, I want people to be doing on the college campuses–to have a thoroughgoing review of this parasitic class of administrators. […]
Aside: that was in 1995, right when the Republicans had trounced the Dem establishment in the November ’94 elections, took large majorities in the Senate and House………and proceeded to stupidly talk about abortion and prayer in schools (yawn), and then went on to literally make a federal case out of a guy getting a BJ and then lying about it when confronted (duh)—the perpetual STUPID PARTY. I have never been mistaken enough to think otherwise, since. Fuck The Republican Party Forever. Fuckwits. Out with the old. Burn that bridge.
…But I think that many conservatives, like many priests, seem to like me. I don’t think it’s because they agree with my views but because they are just invigorated by my discourse. I’ve constantly said, about Rush Limbaugh, for example–even though he and I don’t agree politically, I have always respected him because I feel that he is a principled thinker–I think that any true intellectual finds it stimulating to listen to a principled thinker, a person who has a vigorous independent mind, a new way of approaching contemporary issues. It helps you to reexamine your assumptions and firm up your assumptions. And I think that’s what’s missing from our culture right now. […]
Ha! Zeus forbid anyone doesn’t tow the party catechism! Honesty in this next paragraph:
I love television. I love soap operas. I love The Young and the Restless. It’s my favorite show. I love everything about television. The ads. I love the glitzy part of TV. I love Hard Copy. I learn a lot of things from Hard Copy. You’d be surprised. Television to me is the culture. […]
I’m also very aware why very masculine men are not represented in academe. Very masculine men cannot sit still long enough. And so all the ideology of feminism is coming out of these women who are married to wordsmith men, who are not that combative or confrontational to begin with, because the really masculine men, the high-testosterone men, are so restless they can hardly sit still in class.
I’m very, very worried about this new kind of bourgeois imperialism which predicates the ultimate human type as someone who is good at sitting still at a desk.
Here’s the part of the interview I remembered the most, because it’s as obvious as the fact that an encountered pile of dogshit will stink. It also makes all modern ideological, scripture promoting feminists look as stupid as a similarly aromatic pile:
Reason: Schools have rewarded that for a century.
Paglia: Well, here’s the point. My father’s generation, the Italian immigrants–my father was born here but my mother was born in Italy–they were leaving school earlier. The boys who were really restless were leaving school at 14.
Reason: People who were leaving school at 14 were not becoming college professors.
Paglia: I know that. What I’m saying is that in terms of ideology, sexual politics, we’re getting a biased view.
People of the white upper-middle-class professional elite have very little direct contact with working-class men, even though the working-class men are everywhere around them and are keeping everything going. They are the ones who are the janitors, the construction workers, the plumbers, the police and firemen, and so on. It’s everywhere.
But the world that those men have created works so well, they maintain it so assiduously, that there has been a contempt on the part of these complacent, pampered, coddled upper-middle-class people who are spouting a lot of this rhetoric. There’s this arrogance that masculinity isn’t something that we need anymore–this is the Gloria Steinem line: Masculinity is something that is pernicious and is the cause of all wars and destruction and violence and battering against women, and slowly we’re going to be programming it out of our youth.
I said it in the Playboy interview: All it takes is one natural disaster for that entire artificial world to come crumbling down, and suddenly everyone will be screaming and yelling for the plumbers and the construction workers. Only masculine men of the working class will hold the civilization together. [em-phasius, meng]
A final bite. It’s a very long interview, worth every second of your precious Internet time, and it’s why 18 years later I sometimes refer to it because it’s always on my mind.
…Next, one of my major criticisms of Naomi is that she has drifted from any kind of ethnic affiliation. I have constantly said this about her, Susan Faludi, or Gloria Steinem: that these women are not identifiably anything. Feminism has become their entire metaphysical, religious, and cultural world view. But feminism is not sufficiently developed as a system yet–at least it wasn’t before me! What I’m trying to do is add aesthetics and psychology to the very narrow kind of ideology that these women are fanatically promulgating.
We’re still waiting. Too many fuckwits and dumbasses—especially some of the younger set—who act and write as though they invented the thing, when people like me already had a bead on it long before they were wetting diapers.
I saw Camille’s writings referred to as “misogynist” as far back as 1991. Can you guess how, 22 years later, that term makes me belly laugh—to the point of embracing it—as I’m a sucker for good company? If Camille was “misogynist,” it was only to be of help to the totally lost. Frankly, I just characterize it as simple righteous embarrassment. Justly so. It is, after all, torture to be associated with moron too stupid and steeped in regurgitated ideology to recognize it.
For her, that turns on feminism. For me, it turns on religion.
I’ll finish off with an edited comment from a reader a few posts back. While I don’t necessarily buy off on everything she says, and have not verified all of the assertions, I know some of them to be true based on previous verification over some years. Most importantly, I like how it signals the proliferation of independent thinking…the self-determined view and independent ideology formation that now abounds in the free flow of information.
…Or, you could perhaps speculate that because women actually did not invent mineral mining, electricity, electronics, integrated circuits, manufacturing, technology in general, computers, networks, the Internet or just about anything to do with any of it—they’re “developers”—fuckwit feminists didn’t see any of this non-academic, non-cloistered, non-approved-for-dissemination speech coming. They counted on all the beta males they installed and promoted, too stupid to realize that beta males will always let everyone down (ask any man). As usual, they look like they always do (which is predictable because they literally have nothing else): the privileged, entitled, control freak, crybaby, high maintenance, net drags to everyone that they all are. Did I say pathetic?
So, a commenter:
…It’s men’s human rights stuff that is seen as fringe….and you’re a man that isn’t scared of strange fringe things.
If you want to buy an excellent book about all of this, buy Warren Ferrell’s The Myth of Male Power .
That GirlWritesWhat youtube link talks about the spheres of influence men & women have and had—how women weren’t just constantly oppressed before they got the vote. Or, at least if they were, their husbands were too, just as badly. It also makes an argument that feminists can’t really refute the charge that, if the patriarchy really did exist, how’d it take so damn long to overthrow it?
80% of suicides are male. Did your readers know that? I bet if 80% of suicides were female, people would hear about it. [Ed: hell, just compare the hysteria over the world’s absolutely number one threat, BREAST CANCER!!!! vs. lowly prostate cancer that effects roughly similar numbers, almost always of opposite gender—except male breast cancer, of course, because they probably deserve it.]
(Yeah, a counter-argument to all this men’s right activist stuff is Not All Feminists Are Like That… GirlWritesWhat and others have addressed this issue.)
In western countries feminist activists have made it such that in a lot of places, if you get married, the kids technically belong to the wife. She can use no-fault divorce and she gets the kids even if she’s a bad mother. You pay child support, and the family courts get a cut of the money. If you don’t pay, you go to what is essentially debtor’s prison. To add insult to injury, lawyers are encouraging wives to make false abuse allegations so they can more easily get full custody (joint custody means the kids grow up with a father and are less likely to be a drain to society… but it also means the family courts get less money).
One guy set himself on fire in a New England somewhere because he was ordered to pay more monthly than he made [Ed: In my line of financial work over 20 years, I have seen this sort of thing over and over: dad bings home $3,000 per month, all but $200 is garnished from his wages in child and spousal support]. Result: social conservatives and feminists complaining about how men aren’t “manning up” to start a family, choosing to stay single & play computer games or whatever.
Also, in Canada, the guy that had the only men’s domestic violence/rape shelter. Committed suicide as he spent years trying to get gov’t funding, but got none. About half of domestic abuse victims are males; many times physically abusive people will pair up with other physically abusive people.
Ever heard of hypergamy? Briffault’s Law? Remember that OKCupid post you did where they found that most women think men are ugly? It seems women tend to naturally try to aim higher than is attainable; aim out of their league. This, along with no-fault divorce that allows a very hypergamous woman to ditch her husband easily is probably why 70% of divorces are initiated by women.
Also, 2/3rds of college students are female. A side effect of hypergamy is that you rarely ever see stay-at-home dads—because many women find it hard to respect men that make less than them.
…Because of the weird notion that boys and girls are just a blank slate, boys and girls are being taught to act like girls…
False rape allegations aren’t treated seriously, and in some places they effectively place the burden of proof on the accused. Women making false rape accusations aren’t really punished. Neither are women who beat their boyfriends or husbands dissuaded; but often encouraged (in some cases, the male victim gets arrested when the batterer lies, and her word is taken over his automatically). And how about criminal sentences: when a women gets convicted of violent crime, they almost always get lower sentences than males for the same crime.
Ever heard of a White Knight—i.e. a man that will throw other men under the bus to protect a woman, or women, no matter how bad they act? Related to the concept of the disposable male…
Ever seen an action movie where the woman was portrayed as a coward for abandoning or hiding when the bad guys started fighting the male hero? Until society begins depicting women as somewhat cowardly and morally tainted for failing to protect themselves the way men are, men will always be seen as somewhat more disposable.
Titanic: women and children first.
…Also, the utility to others thing is a reference on how people will work themselves to the bone and then death. Women workaholics do this, too, but for the longest time, being a good husband meant you sort of had no choice but to do this unless you had already made lots of money.
When I say boys are taught to act like girls, here’s an anecdtoe from a podcast that talked about this: a classroom of kids went camping and were given notebooks to write their feelings about nature, etc. (something girls tend to be better at, since their verbal skills develop faster). All the girls obeyed, but the boys were bored, so they piled up their notebooks and made a bonfire.
Reaction by the teachers? “Boys will be boys”? Nah…they basically freaked out enough for it to make the news and were convinced that the boys were gonna grow up to be psychopaths.
Thankfully, this will end up only one way or everyone will rightfully die of the consequences, because it’s the nature and the natural animal order of things. The commies were stupid enough to think you could ideologically, socially engineer a bunch of ants & bees out of men & women.
Female feminists are far dumber. Largely because for the most part in reality—because male productivity marches on and on—they’re largely being humored; it’s as though if they didn’t exist, you’d have to invent them…they’re just sooo cuuute!
“Women & children first?” It used to be that the innocent primary latter part drove that ideal, from which sprung a natural corollary where the important role of the former in the life of the latter made it not only obvious, but something nearly all men just naturally embraced almost automatically and reflexively.
Nowadays? Just save the kids. Raise them yourselves. Nice work, ladies.