Reaction to Paglia Reaffirms: Radical Feminism Equals Victimization

Written by Marilyn Assenheim on December 31, 2013

Saturday’s Wall Street Journal contained a fascinating interview with noted liberal scholar, and not-so-incidentally feminist lesbian, Camille Paglia. Ms. Paglia delved into what she considers to be heinous attacks on masculinity in America. She warned of the dire consequences if attempts to feminize men continue. To her credit, Ms. Paglia is a free thinker. But a free thinker, whether statist or Conservative, cannot be tolerated by the feminist cabal. Because Ms. Paglia doesn’t adhere to the strict tenet of “woman as perpetual victim of an uncaring society,” the lesbian contingent, never mind plain vanilla feminists, revile her. Feminist critics were keen to crucify Ms. Paglia’s carefully considered conclusions and her along with them.

One of the problems inherent with feminism (and just about any “ism” for that matter) is the utter, vitriolic absolute-“ism” that is practiced by its disciples. It is a glaringly apparent feature of every Balkanized group that our country has been fractured into. This fanatical stance toward any departure from politically correct canon is religious in its fervor. Another name for it is fascism. Freedom of speech is critical to any cogent communication. It derives from logical thought and facts, whether those facts are favorable or not, instead of relying on seething doctrine. One is entitled to one’s opinion but there is a difference between opinion and fact. Facts require verification. Lacking facts, today’s feminism, like all radical sects, intentionally confuses the two.

Too often feminism relies upon heated rhetoric, stemming from invalid interpretations of events, fueled by pious emotion. Paglia’s critics didn’t disappoint. Predictably, article content was twisted and phantoms were invented that weren’t in the article at all. The former, for example, insisted that Paglia considers domestic date rape less heinous than rape and sexual mutilations routinely occurring internationally. This was a perversion of what article expressed. What was said was that feminism refuses to recognize housewives or acknowledge that rape and sexual mutilation, acceptable in other cultures, is a true war on women. Such disregard makes feminism’s case look like what it is; pathetically transparent hypocrisy.

A bizarre invention was a derisive allegation of GOP intentions in choosing an “incompetent” Sarah Palin for the 2008 presidential ticket. Paglia’s interview never brought politics up. Mrs. Palin was, predictably, shredded. Sarah Palin has achieved heights, through her own efforts, which should be lauded by feminists. Conversely, feminist critics expressed vast respect for the feckless Hillary Clinton, who never accomplished anything or got anywhere except by clutching a man’s coattails. Feminism also demonstrates mystifying hero-worship for Bill Clinton. Rape seems to be on the A-list of feminism’s shibboleths. One can only marvel at the slavish devotion feminism confers upon Clinton, President serial-rapist. It’s a wonder feminism’s slogan isn’t “Put some ice on it.”

Paglia was falsely accused of “blaming the victims of rape.” Paglia stated that women should be mindful of what they do (e.g. flaunting provocative clothing) and be cautious if they participate in what might be considered inflammatory behavior. Male or female, everyone should be aware that their actions have consequences. That isn’t the same thing as granting a license for rape or blaming the victim of rape. How did the concept of personal responsibility become anti-feminist? A fit analogy would be that of a man entering a dangerous neighborhood, flashing money and a gold Rolex. His recklessness doesn’t excuse robbery but wouldn’t robbery be avoided if the “victim” exercised caution?

Not least of the canards was the presumption that upper-class gang rapes are “on the rise” and that such attacks are generated “because of socio-economic privilege.” The critic went on to ridicule sympathy for college boys whose lives are destroyed by allegations of rape. Rape, perpetrated by the upper-class, was proclaimed to be condoned by our society. If one is a Clinton or a Kennedy, maybe. But statistics prove the incidence of rape among lower socio-economic strata has always been astronomically greater than rapes perpetrated by “the privileged class.” Sanctimony doesn’t make lies any truer.

Attempts to neuter men are applauded by Paglia’s feminist critics; failure to do so is tantamount to “doing nothing.” Paglia’s critics would rather try to change men into women-lite than work at making brutish acts abhorrent.

Sadly for radical feminists, the world consists (largely) of two genders. In the face of this inconvenient truth radical feminism has adopted victimization as their arena of choice for disputing the moral high ground.

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Marilyn Assenheim
Marilyn Assenheim was born and raised in New York City. She spent a career in healthcare management although she probably should have been a casting director. Or a cowboy. A serious devotee of history and politics, Marilyn currently lives in the NYC metropolitan area.