First of all, top of the morning, and a belated happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you!
Getting right to it: the always fascinating, but sometimes confused, Camille Paglia has plainly been reading this blog.
In these pages, at the time of the much-ballyhooed “Women’s Strike,” we made a few, acerbic comments. After confessing that he loves, admires, respects, even reveres women, our writer said something to the effect of, “Nevertheless, you don’t want to see what would happen if men were to go out on strike for a day.”
Sure enough, there was no measurable economic or other impact, other than a few journalists getting the vapors, as a result of the so-called women’s “strike.”
In a new book, and an interview with broadly.com, well-known feminist and iconoclastic philosopher, Camille Paglia reacted to the strike too. Here’s part of what she said (I’ve helpfully added red bullet points where Paglia makes a point we’ve made many times before.):
It is an absolute outrage how so many pampered, affluent, upper-middle-class professional women chronically spout snide anti-male feminist rhetoric, while • they remain completely blind to the constant labor and sacrifices going on all around them as working-class men create and maintain the fabulous infrastructure that makes modern life possible in the Western world. • Only a tiny number of women want to enter the trades where most of the nitty-gritty physical work is actually going on—plumbing, electricity, construction. • Women have played virtually no role in the erection of those magnificent towers in every major city in the world. • It’s men who operate the cranes or set the foundations or wash windows on the 85th floor. • It’s men who troop out at 2:00 AM during an ice storm to restore power to neighborhoods where falling trees have brought down live wires. • It’s men who mix the stinking, toxic cauldrons to spread steaming hot tar on city roofs. Last year in a nearby town, I drove by a huge, chaotic scene where • emergency workers in hazmat suits were struggling with a giant pipe break, as raw sewage was pouring into the street. Of course all those workers up to their knees in a torrent of thick brown water were men! • I’ve seen figures indicating that 92 per cent of people killed on the job are men—and it’s precisely because men are heroically doing most of the dangerous jobs in modern society. The bourgeois blindness of feminist leaders to low-status working-class labor by men is morally corrupt! Gay men, on the other hand, have always shown their awed admiration of working-class masculinity and fortitude. It’s no coincidence that a buff construction worker in a hard hat was one of the iconic personae of the gay disco group, the Village People, during the Studio 54 era!
We’ve been making and re-making all these points for a very long time now. It’s nice to hear a prominent woman finally make these points, none of which ought to be controversial in any way.
Professor Paglia is gay, but is not a hetero-hater like so many in the Gay movement. In nearly all her writings, she’s a staunch libertarian, who chooses for some mysterious reason, to call herself a Democrat, and to vote and campaign for the suffocatingly Big Government-happy, liberty-stifling Democrats. She voted twice for Obama, and her rationale was, essentially, that McCain in ’08 and Romney in ’12 weren’t sufficiently strongly libertarian for her. Despite her confusion, I love much of what Paglia does and says.
There’s one thing that’s absolutely certain: You can be who you are, and Paglia will not judge you. Unlike just about any leftist, she’d be a great neighbor.
Paglia is a big fan of some things of which we are not so much fans here at The Praetorian Writers’ Group. She’s a big booster of pornography, for example, and expresses great admiration for Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt. This should, and probably will, be a subject for a future post from these environs.
Here’s how she finishes the interview:
Freedom is my ultimate value. Hence I cannot stand feeling confined or trapped—as in long, sluggish airport lines. I fear being stuck for hours on the tarmac, as a file of 30 weather-delayed planes inches toward take-off. I’m a driver—I love my car, where I can be free as the wind! Air travel these days is like being caught in a mass flight of ragged, hollow-eyed refugees from war-torn Berlin.
Paglia says, “Freedom is my ultimate value,” then admits that she’s a Democrat, belonging to the party that has done far and away the most to limit Americans’ freedoms, and many of whose leadership have even admitted to wanting to abolish the First Amendment! In other words, Paglia has admitted that she supports the very party that, if it had its way, would outlaw the very words she said in this interview, and presumably her book!
Hence, the reason for our word, “confused,” above.
Nevertheless, life is complicated, and we have a lot of affection and admiration for the always fascinating Camille Paglia.
The entire interview with Paglia is well worth the read.