Camille Paglia: Another Feminism (II)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
At the moment there is a crisis of gender roles and a debate focused on the needs of women throughout the Western world. Men are described as criminal rapists and everything male is discredited, to the point where it is said that men are incomplete women. Today’s young people see this as something terrible as they go through a period of chaos. Although the human being today has many luxuries and privileges, most people are still miserable.
Camille Paglia says that for thousands of years men and women had little contact because men went hunting or to provide food for the group in which they lived. Today they work together, but women say that men discriminate against them and harass them, although this anti-male rhetoric does not help children to become adults. The evils that feminists blame on men are not true but are the result of the system of professions in which we now live.
Camille Paglia says that when she was a little girl she wanted to be like Amelia Earhart or Katherine Hepburn, but she never identified only with their professional or public roles, because real life is also family and friends. For many people, their careers have become their identity. However, working class women do not give much importance to work because it is something that only serves to earn money and they have their real life at home during vacations when they forget work. But the upper and middle classes and the bourgeoisie in general always think about work, and that’s not healthy.
In her book entitled Sexual Personae, Paglia wrote that if civilization had been left in the hands of women, human beings would still be living in caves, given that large urban structures were the creation of men and then there were women who built on those structures and improved on them.
When one studies human civilization seriously one finds that women have always been second-rate artists who were paid little attention. Men are the ones who have changed styles and created the History of Art. All the great irrigation projects in Mesopotamia and the Pyramids of Egypt were men’s ideas.
Because men are capable of killing themselves and others to carry out their projects or their experiments, they always go beyond the conformity of the cave where the women were, perhaps to escape from the area where women were in charge. Camille Paglia says that it is very unkind to not acknowledge the achievements of men, because it is the structures they have created that have enabled women to escape the oppression of nature, have their own careers, identity and achievements.
At the end of her interview Camille Paglia said that in the most well-known agrarian societies, men looked at women as their peers because they did a lot of physical work, while in New York women were delicate, wore corsets and drank tea. Working women treat their men more as equals and speak to them more clearly than those middle and upper class women who are not able to deal with their office manager. This is because they are educated to behave in a bourgeois way, to speak softly, to please and to be passive.
That’s why Camille Paglia says that her ‘feminism’ comes from the street and she believes in strong women who are capable of growing and protecting themselves. She doesn’t believe in those who run to take refuge in the law or in a neighbourhood association.
Addendum: This important figure has been generally rejected by all the different groups in Western society for the simple fact that she speaks truthfully. Therefore I think it will be difficult for her extraordinary work to reach the heart of Western nations any time soon because, based on their traditional myths, they have preferred hypocrisy over the truth since the time when the first Christians of Ireland joined with the Freemasons and thought that that reality could not be questioned. As a result, they still believe they should show the entire world the only true path that there is.