Tag Archives: Camille Paglia

Why Are Feminists Afraid of Palin?

As blog administrators, we can see the search engine queries driving people to our site. “Why feminists fear Palin” is one of the queries I’ve seen in recent days, so I’d like to answer that question directly.

Feminism has a specific definition: advocating for the freedom and rights of women.

As a pro-lifer, Palin is against one of the key tenants of feminism: that women control their bodies without state interference.

Call yourself a pro-life feminist if you’d like, but that’s a contradiction in terms. There is no way around this requirement to be pro-choice if you are a feminist.

You can be a feminist if you believe life begins at conception. You just can’t advocate imposing that belief on other women via the state, forcing thousands of thousands of women to have unwanted children or back-alley abortions, and still call yourself a feminist.

I’ve never been a fan of wishy-washy multiculturalism, with its emphasis on inclusiveness and tolerance. I blame multiculturalism, in part, for the rhetorical troubles we are having today, right now, in our discussion of Palin.

Multiculturalism gave entire generations (including mine) the impression that eating Thai food was a way to fight for social justice.

It also gave the impression that feminism could stretch to mean anything, and include anyone. As the examples of Palin, Paglia, and Bruce all confirm, it can’t.

Feminism doesn’t mean whatever you want it to mean.

I pray women like these three think of another, more honest label for themselves, so I won’t ever have to mention their names and feminism in the same sentence again.

htg03

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Filed under election 2008, Social Justice

Everybody loves a traitor

I just raised my blood pressure significantly by reading Camille Paglia’s characteristically asinine, incoherent and grandiose column at Salon, about how great and feminist Sarah Palin is. What about all the conservative positions she has taken that directly conflict Paglia’s avowed libertarianism? That doesn’t matter, because Paglia just doesn’t believe anything she reads about Palin’s record since it’s all Left propaganda. I guess it’s easy to declare Palin a feminist if you decide to ignore everything she’s ever said or done. And although Paglia is pro-choice, Palin’s ultra pro-life position doesn’t bother her either, because the Left needs to accept that the Right has the moral high ground here. (And how is that pro-choice, exactly? Nevermind, I don’t even want to know.)

I suppose it’s not really a surprise that Paglia would trot out this tired pseudo-feminist nonsense. First Bruce, now Paglia. Who’s next, Kate Roiphe? Whenever the going has gotten rough in the last twenty years for the Right, they have latched on to women who would espouse all their values in seeming contradiction to their own best interests. During the 1980s culture wars it was so-called feminists like Paglia who insisted that women brought their troubles on themselves, in the 1990s it was ‘third wave’ lightweights like Roiphe who…oh wait, her argument was the same as Paglia’s, wasn’t it? Then we got Bush’s handmaiden, Condaleeza Rice, always on hand to make a good argument for bombing the shit out of brown people. The Right simply couldn’t function at this point without emissaries from oppressed groups spouting their nonsense.

As long as you can get huge amounts of attention from saying exactly what people think you wouldn’t say, there will be people like Paglia lining up to take the most ‘surprising’ and ‘interesting’ positions and calling them feminist or Left or progressive. If you espouse actual feminist positions, on the other hand, just try getting into the NYT. Who cares–you’re just another feminist woman on the Left, and mainstream papers aren’t much interested in printing feminist analysis anyway.

As for Paglia, I’m with one of her commentors, Francesca:

Why is this woman still writing for Salon? She is self aggrandizing, and deluded. Her voice is not meaningful to women. She is a total drag.

jke

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Filed under election 2008