The Wall Street Journal talks to Camille Paglia about “a feminist defense of masculine virtues.” Oh god no, not this crap again.
This self-described “notorious Amazon feminist” isn’t telling anyone to Lean In or asking Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. No, her indictment may be as surprising as it is wide-ranging: The military is out of fashion, Americans undervalue manual labor, schools neuter male students, opinion makers deny the biological differences between men and women, and sexiness is dead.
They’re joking, right? Surprising? What on earth is surprising about any of that? It’s been Paglia’s shtick for decades.
The fact that the acclaimed book—the first of six; her latest, “Glittering Images,” is a survey of Western art—was rejected by seven publishers and five agents before being printed by Yale University Press only added to Ms. Paglia’s sense of herself as a provocateur in a class with Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. But unlike those radio jocks, Ms. Paglia has scholarly chops: Her dissertation adviser at Yale was Harold Bloom, and she is as likely to discuss Freud, Oscar Wilde or early Native American art as to talk about Miley Cyrus.
Chops shmops. She discusses all the things, sure, but it’s just discussing. She doesn’t make a case for anything, she just slaps it down and moves on to slap down the next thing. She makes assertions.
By her lights, things only get worse in higher education. “This PC gender politics thing—the way gender is being taught in the universities—in a very anti-male way, it’s all about neutralization of maleness.” The result: Upper-middle-class men who are “intimidated” and “can’t say anything. . . . They understand the agenda.” In other words: They avoid goring certain sacred cows by “never telling the truth to women” about sex, and by keeping “raunchy” thoughts and sexual fantasies to themselves and their laptops.
Is Paglia aware that those laptops are connected to the Internet?
It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that the Wall Street Journal is taking it seriously.