Camille Paglia has exploded onto the scene again and condemned some of the changes brought about by the #MeToo movement as “counterproductive,” while claiming that women who are speaking up about past harassment and abuse would do better to stay silent. In a blistering Op-Ed for The Hollywood Reporter, the controversial author argued that there’s “no excuse” for educated, middle-class women to not speak up the moment harassment or abuse occurs in the workplace, and casts a doubtful eye on the practice of bringing up allegations from the past.
“Working-class women are often so dependent on their jobs that they cannot fight back, but there is no excuse for well-educated, middle-class women to elevate career advantage or fear of social embarrassment over their own dignity and self-respect as human beings,” wrote Paglia. “Speak up now, or shut up later! Modern democracy is predicated on principles of due process and the presumption of innocence.”
Paglia went on to argue that employers should not give women “special protections” in the workplace — an allusion that appeared to refer to protections against sexual harassment. Such protections, Paglia believes, are unfair because they treat women as more “vulnerable, virtuous or credible than men.” She further questioned whether it was even inherently possible for women and their “female sensitivities” to fit into workplaces “shaped by entrepreneurial male bonding … without reducing productivity and progress.”
The firebrand also took shots at attempted boycotts of the work of actors and directors accused of sexual misconduct or worse by dismissing expectations that artists should be good people too as “a sentimental canard of Victorian moralism,” before proceeding to suggest that women are inferior at creating art. Today’s Hollywood women, she concluded, set a poor example — according to Paglia, young girls would be better off learning about how to behave around men from “the witty, stylish, emancipated women of 1930s and ‘40s movies.”
And that’s hardly all Paglia touches on in the piece, which she finishes off by explaining why she believes “endless sexual miscommunication and bitter rancor lie ahead” for society.
Read the full Op-Ed at The Hollywood Reporter.