Camille Paglia: Bring on the Revolution
October 28, 2016 2 Comments
Emily Hill had a chance to interview Camille Paglia for the Spectator recently in London. As usual, many oxen were gored, and I found it quite refreshing. I often disagree with Professor Paglia, but I always enjoy a clear position, argued vigorously. Some bits…
[…] It’s only on turning to Hillary Clinton that she perpetrates an actual murder: of Clinton II’s most cherished claim, that her becoming 45th president of the United States would represent a feminist triumph.
‘In order to run for president of the United States, you have to spend two or three years of your life out on the road constantly asking for money and most women find that life too harsh, too draining,’ Paglia argues. ‘That is why we haven’t had a woman president in the United States — not because we haven’t been ready for one, for heaven’s sakes, for a very long time…’
Hillary hasn’t suffered — Paglia continues — because she is a woman. She has shamelessly exploited the fact: ‘It’s an outrage how she’s played the gender card. She is a woman without accomplishment. “I sponsored or co-sponsored 400 bills.” Oh really? These were bills to rename bridges and so forth. And the things she has accomplished have been like the destabilisation of North Africa, causing refugees to flood into Italy… The woman is a disaster!’
She sounds here, more conservative than me, but in a lot of things we do agree, we’re both pro-freedom to do pretty much what you want, her standard of ‘scaring the horses’ may be somewhat higher than mine, however. In any case on Hillary Clinton I surely agree, her career is more like something out of Mad Men than anything to do with feminism, however defined. And yes, I too rather liked Bill Clinton, until the whole Lewinski thing showed that he too lied about everything.
Paglia’s feminism has always been concerned with issues far beyond her own navel and the Hillary verdict is typical of her attitude — which is more in touch with women in the real world than most feminists’ (a majority of Americans, for example, have an ‘unfavourable view of Hillary Clinton’ according to recent polling).
‘My philosophy of feminism,’ the New York-born 69-year-old explains, ‘I call street-smart Amazon feminism. I’m from an immigrant family. The way I was brought up was: the world is a dangerous place; you must learn to defend yourself. You can’t be a fool. You have to stay alert.’ Today, she suggests, middle-class girls are being reared in a precisely contrary fashion: cosseted, indulged and protected from every evil, they become helpless victims when confronted by adversity. ‘We are rocketing backwards here to the Victorian period with this belief that women are not capable of making decisions on their own. This is not feminism — which is to achieve independent thought and action. There will never be equality of the sexes if we think that women are so handicapped they can’t look after themselves.’
Exactly what I believe.
Paglia says she has absolutely no idea how the election will go: ‘But people want change and they’re sick of the establishment — so you get this great popular surge, like you had one as well… This idea that Trump represents such a threat to western civilisation — it’s often predicted about presidents and nothing ever happens — yet if Trump wins it will be an amazing moment of change because it would destroy the power structure of the Republican party, the power structure of the Democratic party and destroy the power of the media. It would be an incredible release of energy… at a moment of international tension and crisis.’
All of a sudden, the professor seems excited. Perhaps, like all radicals in pursuit of the truth, Paglia is still hoping the revolution will come.
I think Ms. Hill may have a point, Paglia, like a lot of us, may well think it time for The Revolution 2.0, or as a good Lutheran would put it, a Reformation. Besides, I have to respect a person who shares my hero worship of Katharine Hepburn and Amelia Earhart, even if I’m not as taken with Germain Greer.
via ‘The woman is a disaster!’: Camille Paglia on Hillary Clinton. Do read the whole thing.