Camille Paglia is scared, channeling Rush and Patrick Buchanan, and very, very wrong.

Camille Paglia is scared, channeling Rush and Patrick Buchanan, and very, very wrong.

When she has made this point in the past, Ms. Paglia””who dresses in androgynous jackets and slacks””has been told that she believes “women are at fault for their own victimization.” Nonsense, she says. “I believe that every person, male and female, needs to be in a protective mode at all times of alertness to potential danger. The world is full of potential attacks, potential disasters.” She calls it “street-smart feminism.” – An Interview with Camille Paglia [Wall Street Journal]

Camille Paglia is sounding very much like Sarah Palin.

Camille Paglia is sounding very much like Sarah Palin.

IT’S A cross between Patrick J. Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh, with Camille Paglia declaring a “war against boys.” The feminization of America is Limbaugh’s theme song. The demise of Western civilization through our changing cultural shifts a rallying cry for the right, written by Patrick J. Buchanan.

Camille Paglia is having a very public breakdown. The penultimate proof comes early, where she’s quoted as saying that being born gay is “the biggest canard.”

“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. – Camille Paglia

Men have kept “‘raunchy’ thoughts and sexual fantasies to themselves” or shared them with their mistresses for centuries. As someone who’s excavated the sex and dating worlds from the trenches, it’s preposterous for Paglia to posit that the secret sex lives of men is a new thing, even if the web is. Playboy in brown wrappers, men’s clubs, cigar rooms, her theory collapses in on itself as fast as it was uttered.

Camille Paglia blames statistics that reveal “almost one in five high-school-age boys has been diagnosed with ADHD, boys get worse grades than girls and are less likely to go to college” on women’s rise. Girls being equal is just too much for the boys, with our rise comes the inevitable emasculation of American men.

We’ve been hearing this forever, just not from so-called feminists, some of whom seem to be having an identity crisis now that girls are finally attaining more and more power.

The entire job market has shifted under men, with manufacturing having left the country, as well as women having a choice of career opportunities that forces men to compete with us, too. This isn’t a “war against boys,” it’s the very definition of capitalistic competition, only this time it’s from the opposite gender. Men haven’t adjusted well, because people like Paglia are making excuses for the boys faltering in a job and economic playing field that now includes lots of girls competing, too. That we are jumping at our options, which we’ve worked to have for over 50 years, isn’t surprising. Why boys haven’t adjusted to the brave new world they face is.

Why everyone is so shocked American boys and our society clings to dead traditionalism, and more haven’t adjusted to a phenomenon that’s been building since the 1970s, is the issue. It’s not like there wasn’t plenty of warning.

Where is the feminization of males in the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey? Is it found by men admitting that they could do more to satisfy their lady, which happened on “Katie,” Couric’s now-canceled show? Paglia claims “the only place that you can hear what men really feel these days is on sports radio.” Craig Carton has a morning talk-radio sports show on WFAN. He admitted to Couric that men are failing their women where sex is concerned, which he concluded after reading Fifty Shades.

“It literally proves that the average guy is either not good in bed or not satisfying his woman to the point where she could be satisfied.” – Craig Carton

Camille Paglia spends time ripping Taylor Swift, who, love her or hate her, writes all of her own material, and is a world success.

“I’m a fan of Taylor’s. Not just her work but her ethics and that she writes her hits herself,” Ed [Sheeran] told Billboard.com. “She’s probably the only woman in her position in the industry who writes 100 percent of her hits. It’s a very cool thing.” [source]

Criticism for the sake of it doesn’t make it wise or right, especially when you’re deriding one of the world’s top female artists who is doing what men have done and succeeding just like them, while looking decidedly feminine and fiercely sexy while doing it.

Paglia is as scared of the modern era as Rush Limbaugh, Patrick J. Buchanan, and Suzanne Venker, Phyllis Schlafly’s daughter.

“The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service””hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster,” she says. “These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.”

What really gives Camille Paglia away is her inability to deconstruct her own heroines. Amelia Earhart remains one of them, which any female can appreciate, but Paglia never quite deals with who Amelia Earhart was in her personal life.

Amelia about shared responsibility in marriage: “Marriage is a mutual responsibility and I cannot see why husbands shouldn’t share in the responsibility of the home. By that I mean something more detailed — and for as long as it takes them to get used to the idea, perhaps more arduous, ever uncomfortable to the men — than merely keeping a roof over the collective head, and coal in the furnace.” [George Palmer Putnam. Soaring Wings: A Biography of Amelia Earhart. 1939. pg. 83. – Source]

Amelia about women working: “For the woman to pay her own way may add immeasurably to the happiness of those concerned. The individual independence of dollars and cents tends to keep a healthy balance of power in the kingdom of the home … It is fortunately no longer a disgrace to be undomestic, and married women should be able to seek, as unrestrictedly as men, any gainful occupation their talents and interests make available.” [George Palmer Putnam. Soaring Wings: A Biography of Amelia Earhart. 1939. pg. 84. – Source]

Paglia is also very wrong about Katharine Hepburn. As groundbreaking as her acting career was, Hepburn chose abuse, neglect, and humiliation in her personal life, through the only man she ever loved, Spencer Tracy, a devout Catholic traditionalist who would never acknowledge her. In one scene recounted in many books of Hepburn’s life, at one point the drunkard Tracy left Hepburn outside his hotel door, lying in a heap. Hepburn never was able to admit she deserved more, while Camille Paglia is too scared to analyze what this means.

Camille Paglia has reduced herself to shoveling drivel you’d expect to hear uttered from Sarah Palin.

It also won’t help boys meet the challenges of a new era where they have to share the spotlight with girls.