Controversial feminist author Camille Paglia defended the late Hugh Hefner from accusations of misogyny, ruminated on President Donald Trump’s embrace of “male identity,” and relaunched her attack on modern feminism in a wide-ranging interview published by The Hollywood Reporter this week.
Hefner, Paglia insisted, was “absolutely not” a misogynist but rather a man putting forth a “new vision of American masculinity” who sought to “represent the brute reality of sexuality.” And as for Donald Trump, who reportedly idolized Hefner, Paglia suggested that Trump understood the appeal of “sexual polarization … that long-ago time when men were men and women were women!”
“Trump supporters may be quite right that, in this period of confusion and uncertainty, male identity needs to be reaffirmed and reconsolidated,” added Paglia.
Paglia went to condemn modern feminists, and Gloria Steinem in particular, for making women “too thin-skinned, resentful, and high-maintenance” and driving men “away from women” and toward pornography.
Steinem, she claimed, “represents an attitude of malice and vindictiveness toward men” that has “made a certain rabid type of feminist rhetoric their religion” and led to “a period of sexual boredom and inertia.” Men and women being integrated into workplaces, Paglia further argued, had made “the sexes so bored with each other, all that’s left are these feminist witch-hunts.”
“For ideological feminists to go on and on about how we cannot have women treated as sex objects is so naive, so uncultured,” said Paglia.
“Their fanaticism has poisoned the public image of feminism and driven ordinary, mainstream citizens away from feminism,” she insisted. “It’s outrageous.”
Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.