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Feminist Camille Paglia: Puberty blockers for trans kids are ‘a criminal violation of human rights’

Andy Cohen and Camille Paglia participate in an April event at New York Society for Ethical Culture in New York City. Paglia said during an interview with the Weekly Standard that the prescription of puberty blockers for transgender children is “a criminal violation of human rights.” (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Feminist author and professor Camille Paglia said during an interview with the Weekly Standard that the prescription of puberty blockers for transgender children is “a criminal violation of human rights.”

Asked about the potential for clashes between feminists and transgender activists during gender debates, Paglia said that although she describes herself as transgender because she donned “flamboyant male costumes from early childhood on,” she is “highly skeptical about the current transgender wave, which I think has been produced by far more complicated psychological and sociological factors than current gender discourse allows.

“Furthermore, I condemn the escalating prescription of puberty blockers (whose long-term effects are unknown) for children,” she continued. “I regard this practice as a criminal violation of human rights.”

Paglia said that “it is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender.”

“Biology has been programmatically excluded from women's studies and gender studies programs for almost 50 years now,” she said. “Thus very few current gender studies professors and theorists, here and abroad, are intellectually or scientifically prepared to teach their subjects.”

Paglia said that “the cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible.”

“Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one's birth gender for life. Intersex ambiguities can occur, but they are developmental anomalies that represent a tiny proportion of all human births,” Paglia said.

Paglia argued that “in a democracy, everyone, no matter how nonconformist or eccentric, should be free from harassment and abuse.”

“But at the same time, no one deserves special rights, protections, or privileges on the basis of their eccentricity,” she said.

She argued that “the categories ‘trans-man’ and ‘trans-woman’ are highly accurate and deserving of respect,” but she rejects “state-sponsored coercion to call someone a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’ simply on the basis of his or her subjective feeling about it.”

“We may well take the path of good will and defer to courtesy on such occasions, but it is our choice alone,” she said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Paglia, who has consistently been a vocal critic of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said that she voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 Democratic primary and for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the general election.

Paglia argued that Clinton’s sense of “Marie Antoinette-style entitlement” made her the wrong candidate for 2016, while Sanders’ “populist passion, economic message, government record, and personal warmth” may have allowed him to defeat President Donald Trump. She said that former Vice President Joe Biden may also have been able to defeat Trump.

She added that if Democrats are “to have any hope of retaking the White House,” they “must get off their high horse, lose the rabid rhetoric, and reorient themselves toward practical reality and the free country they are damned lucky to live in.”

Read the full interview here.

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