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Free women

Camille Paglia claims feminism has been hijacked by ‘upper-middle-class professional women’

By WITW Staff on March 15, 2017

Famed feminist and professor Camille Paglia has released a new collection of essays, titled Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, and Feminism, in which she criticizes the modern feminist movement for what she views as an overemphasis on the opinions of educated white women, and puts forth an argument that “women can never be truly free until they let men too be free.”

Since the 1990s, when Paglia famously criticized feminist responses to date-rape by arguing that “feminists have told young women that before they have sex with a man, they must give consent as explicit as a legal contract’s,” Paglia has been no stranger to controversy. More recently, the sex-positive and staunchly feminist author has unapologetically attacked Madonna (whom, years ago, she praised as “the future of feminism”), described Taylor Swift as an “obnoxious Nazi Barbie” and Gloria Steinem as a “mummified fascist.”

In an interview with Broadly’s Mitchell Sunderland, Paglia refused to back off of her criticism of the modern feminist establishment — and instead doubled and tripled down. She condemned what she describes as the “pampered, affluent upper-middle-class professional women who chronically spout snide anti-male feminist rhetoric” and the movement as a whole for catering too much to the interests of “privileged white middle-class girls at elite schools can’t seem to express themselves forcefully enough even to manage their own dating lives.”

Second-wave feminists, Paglia argues, fail to understand the sacrifices made by working-class men who perform “constant labor” in order to “maintain the fabulous infrastructure that makes modern life possible in the Western world.” And in the end, Paglia concludes, many had failed to notice “the real source of oppression” in modern American society — “nanny-state college administrators who subject you to authoritarian surveillance and undemocratic thought control.”

Paglia holds nothing back throughout the interview and heaped criticism on women such as Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg, whom she derided as “insufferably smug and entitled,” before explaining why she found the Facebook COO’s bestselling book to be “utterly dishonest.”

Read the full Q&A at Broadly.


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