Undated photograph of Prof. Camille Paglia of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. (Image Source: Macleans)
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"There has been a collapse of perspective here that will surely have mixed consequences for our art and culture and that may perhaps undermine the ability of Western societies to understand or react to the vehemently contrary beliefs of others who do not wish us well"
In an interview with the Feminist Times in which "dissident feminist" author and professor Camille Paglia accused feminists of "cliquish, tunnel-vision intolerance...who seem unprepared to recognise and analyse ideas," there was another overlooked bombshell from the sharp-tongued academic on the subject of transgenderism.
Paglia, who describes herself as "a transgender being" who "would welcome the introduction of “OTHER” as a gender category in passports and other government documents," and libertarian who "believe[s] that every individual has the right to modify his or her body at will," argues that post-modernist gender theory is dangerous and may signal that we are nearing the end of Western Civilization [link ours]:
"Transgenderism has taken off like a freight train and has become nearly impossible to discuss with the analytic neutrality that honest and ethical scholarship requires...
I am concerned about the current climate, inflamed by half-baked post-modernist gender theory, which convinces young people who may have other unresolved personal or family issues that sex-reassignment surgery is a golden road to happiness and true identity.
How has it happened that so many of today’s most daring and radical young people now define themselves by sexual identity alone? There has been a collapse of perspective here that will surely have mixed consequences for our art and culture and that may perhaps undermine the ability of Western societies to understand or react to the vehemently contrary beliefs of others who do not wish us well. As I showed in Sexual Personae, which began as a study of androgyny in literature and art, transgender phenomena multiply and spread in "late" phases of culture, as religious, political, and family traditions weaken and civilizations begin to decline. I will continue to celebrate androgyny, but I am under no illusions about what it may portend for the future."
The author and professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia made the comments in response to her thoughts on gender which according to the interviewer is a hot-button issue among feminists.
In addition to her controversial comments on feminism and gender, in a statement that evoked images of a recent book-burning, that would likely bring the scorn and derision of her fellow feminists, Paglia also quipped:
"As for feminists being hounded off Twitter by other feminists, how trivial and adolescent that sounds! Both sides should get offline and read more—history, sociology, psychology, and the big neglected subject, biology. How can the greater world, much less men, ever take feminism seriously if its most ardent proponents behave like catty sorority girls throwing hissy fits at the high-school cafeteria?"
Late in 2013 we covered Paglia's outspoken defense of the manliness movement, another reflection of the enigmatic Paglia's ideology -- as a feminist critical of feminists and supportive of strong male figures, lesbian critical of lesbians and now transgender being critical of transgenderism.
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