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Feminism Past and Present: Ideology, Action, and Reform Author(s): Camille Paglia Source: Arion, Third Series, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Spring - Summer, 2008), pp. 1-18 Published by: Trustees of Boston University Stable URL: . Accessed: 17/11/2013 11:41
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has attracted archaic. as is too often alleged. the crone. Hillary is in the news.213 on Sun.1 SPRING/SUMMER2008 ference. however well reviewed.183. as she collects woman to run for presi? not. mythic stereotypes?the witch. the first dent: she has a long line of strong-willed precursors begin? in 1872 and Belva Lockwood in ning with Victoria Woodhull has been an explosion acrimony over the candidacy sites and to books that. the ball-busting nutcracker. has progressed much farther than any woman candidate before her. which has languished in relative obscurity for almost a decade. for complex rea? sons. of international publicity and of Hillary Clinton. the shrew. Leonora Fulani. Patricia Schroeder. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Feminism Past and Present: Ideology. University. Bella Abzug. After a long pe? feminist debate has been mainly confined toWeb is back Controversy will continue formany years over the degree to which sexism has or has not hindered Hillary's campaign. and Reform CAMILLE PAGLIA Xeminism riod when There 1884 and extending toMargaret Chase Smith. did not find a readership beyond that of other feminists. However. and This content downloaded from 181. the current pres? idential campaign has restored gender war to the center ring.Action. recently seized themo A lecture delivered The Legacy on 10 a con? as the keynote address of April 2008 at Harvard Future of Feminism. and. Has she been treatedmore severely by themedia than her male op? state primaries like trophies. ARION 16. win or lose. The for National Organization Women.15. Shirley Chisholm. Patsy Mink. ponents? Has she herself opportunistically played the gender card? There can be no doubt that Hillary. and Elizabeth Dole. the bitch. she is blazing a trail for ambitious women who come after her. Hillary.

senators. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . there was a major intervention by Gloria Steinern.15. which puts special pressure on women seeking that role. I quite frankly find ridiculous. the doyenne of American feminism for nearly four in an incendiary New York Times op-ed de? fending Hillary declared that "gender is probably the most restricting force inAmerican life"?another highly question? decades. This content downloaded from 181. governors. The us has embarrassingly lagged behind other nations in never having had a woman leader. fractured by identity politics.213 on Sun. notably in regard to healthcare reform. but this is forces.2 FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT ment ment to proclaim.183. her past professional perform? ance. women Democrats are supporting Barack Obama have been called "traitors" are undermining feminism. it can be argued that Hillary is an imperfect feminist candidate insofar as her entire public life has been partly due to the special demands of the presidency. furthermore. Education. In the blogosphere and in likeme who reader letters on news sites. Women are ra? tional creatures who can vote in each election on themerits. has been uneven. It has been much easier forwomen to become prime minister. and even a woman who female women there is no longer a need. In any case. the leader of a party who assumes office when her party wins an election. if there Speaker of theHouse?that ever was one. for lockstep gender solidarity. in a press release about Hillary entitled "Ig? norance and Venom: The Media's Deeply Ingrained Sexism. Earlier this year. has inade? quately prepared women for seeking the presidency?which iswhy for nearly twenty years I have been calling for young feminists to study military history. as a professor of humanities and media studies. Steinern portrayed Hillary as a noble vic? tim of sexism and in effect lobbied for all women to vote for her merely because she is a woman. who able generalization. My defense would be that have have been advancing so rapidly in politics?we mayors. The us president symbolizes and unifies a vast na? tion and must also serve as commander-in-chief of the armed tied to her husband's career." state? that "Media misogyny has reached an all-time high"?a that.

Where has feminism been. was a co-founder of the Independent Wo? bias in reporting during the Anita Hill case. Crowley. itwas during the two Clinton presidencies that feminists began to lose ground discourse crop about gender for twenty years. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a riot of alternative points of view. Most of outspoken conservative women arrived on the scene in the '90s?Laura Ingraham. Throughout the 1990s. soft annihilated. The old Pat Nixon stereotype of conservative women as dowdy. who came across as repressed. who had attended elite colleges and in some cases had worked in the Republican administrations blurred conventional of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. This content downloaded from 181. Hence. men's Forum. startlingly sexier and more glamorous than their dour feminist adversaries. news stories regularly reported how few young women were then willing to identify themselves as feminists. who Thomas' nomination for the Supreme Court in 1991. funny.15. Barbara Olson. and deferential was nists. who died in the attack on the Pen? tagon on 9/11. Barbara Ann Malkin? Monica Michelle Coulter. humorless and Old Guard femi? were dogmatic. who expectations about female self-as? sertion. feminist leaders were routinely consulted by themedia on every issue facing women? Ironically. inwhich North? eastern women journalists were directly and perhaps inap? propriately involved. These women.183.Camille Paglia 3 Hillary re-energize Clinton's feminism candidacy than has done more since the to awake enormous and con? anything testified against Clarence troversy over Anita Hill. were aggressive. therewas unexpectedly. and where is it going? And why did feminism recede after its high visibil? ity during the culture wars of the 1980s and early '90s? when TV and theWorld Two technological innovations?cable Wide Web?broke the hold that American feminist leaders had had on media Suddenly. Olsen. an association of conservative and libertarian women that was first formed as a response to liberal media losing the TV wars to a spunky new breed of issues-oriented women. a new as key players in the public arena. ar? and ticulate.213 on Sun. it's time to reassess. spoken.

or can there be a feminism based on conservative or religious principles? While praxis (that is. we need to unite as human beings rather than as quarreling gen? ders. feminism as an organized movement began in the mid-nineteenth century. inspired by themovement to abolish slavery?just as the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s was there are scattered texts. what is or is not permissible to think or say about gender issues? And is feminism intrinsically a movement of the left.15. Feminist commentary on this development?which seemed out of touch predictably labeled "reactionary"?has with the times. and who defines it? Who confers legitimacy or authenticity? Must a feminist be a member of a group or conform to a dominant ideology or its dieval or Renaissance backwards? Who subsets? Who declares. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . are we exporting modern ideas is or is not a feminist. showing up even in children's was toys. a program for action)? Is feminism perhaps so Western in itspremises that it cannot be exported to other cul? tureswithout distorting them?When we find feminism inme? stonecraft. There was a resurgence of popular interest inmilitary regalia and history and in traditional masculinity. or a use military force in Iraq?a haunt her and that has made dacious What writers.213 on Sun. Code Pink. from which protest women's Christine de Pisan to Anne Bradstreet and Mary Woll stimulated by the civil rightsmovement. Perhaps whenever survival is at stake. lack of rights and social status. an ideology. in both prose and poetry.183. The legacy of 9 /i i has certainly presented a problem forHillary Clinton in her political aspirations. and on what authority. precisely is feminism? Is it a theory. gender issues were even further sidelined by questions of life and death and the clash of civilizations in an era of terrorism. The necessity at this time for a woman candidate to look strong and to for the fateful war show command of military issues certainly ledHillary to vote resolution authorizing President Bush to decision that has come back to her a constant target of that au? and ingenious female guerrilla group. which targeted seg? in regation and the disenfranchisement of African-Americans This content downloaded from 181.4 FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT After 9/i i and the invasion of Iraq.

the drive to win votes for women?were appliances such as automatic washers and dryers that most middle-class Westerners now take for granted. that women not therefore automatically be defined as a movement of the left. Capitalism's emancipation women is nowhere clearer than in those magical laborsaving revolution. An? many early American feminists were Quakers: was a for the of farmer. but much earlier in the first appearance of the individual voice in Archaic po? etry. feminist theory has failed to acknowledge how it owes to the Western much tradition of civil liberties grounded in ancient Greece. Sappho of Lesbos. pansion liberty oppressed no to it is linked coincidence that femi? democracy: always nism was born in America and that that became the early model for British feminism. can? This content downloaded from 181. not simply in the flawed democ? racy of classical Athens. one of whose finest practitioners was the world's first major woman writer. the Third. where men and women were treated as equals. thony.183. Indeed. It is no coincidence that so Susan B. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Itwas inQuaker meetings.213 on Sun. daughter Quaker example. with its slave economy and its se? vere circumscription of women's lives. which transformed the economy.15. and Lucretia Mott was a Quaker minister. feminist theory has failed to acknowledge how much the emergence of modern feminism owes to capitalism and the industrial the Jim Crow South.Camille Paglia 5 therefore keyed to the ex? an to of And feminism was group. The quest for suffrage. the social conservatism of most of the suffrage leaders was shown in their attraction movement.motivated by religious idealism and paradigms. and gave women for the first time in history the formed or influenced by religion. feminist history has insufficiently acknowledged opportunity to earn their own livings and to escape depend? of ency on father or husband. whose led to the fourteen socially disruptive years of Prohibition af goal of banning alcohol to the Temperance in the us finally first learned the art of public speaking. Feminism was degree to which the founders of the woman suffragemove? ment?that is. In general. Second. expanded the professions.

sang hymns. alcohol was that is. They were motivated by a contrary goal to res? from "vice. Itwas one of the first examples for social action. obstructed entry.213 on Sun.15. which led in turn to the neglect or physical abuse of wives and chil? dren. can be seen here was a persistent element in feminism that would resurface of the 1970s suffrage who es? leaders reacted punitively to Victoria Woodhull. move women mobilizing the impulse to regulate private behavior that However. The nineteenth-century crusade Anthony's nun-like devotion to the cause and in her prickly resentment of the way her colleagues were pulled in an? other direction by the needs of family and children. By the end of her life." that is. York. but her obsessive focus on a single issue was not a model for the balanced life. was a public adherent of eugenics. was called the "Women's Crusade" or "Women's Temperance women gathered in groups where they prayed. Many or close. Anthony was revered and universally hon? ored.6 FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT ter World War seen as a woman's One. Sexuality outside of traditional marriage was seen as a danger that had to be curtailed by moral norms. the clutches of prostitu? tion.183. and gener? saloons had to ally made nuisances of themselves. issue that Susan B. The pre? eminence of ideology over the personal can also be seen in cue women in the virulent anti-pornography and '80s. In the nineteenth century. working-class men were problem: alleged towaste themeager family income on alcohol." outside saloons. Temperance. There are other omissions perhaps or elisions in the standard fem? inist narrative: Margaret S?nger. of selective breeding thatwas adopted by the to purify the human This content downloaded from 181. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . flaring into public view in the 1870s. who was the fostermother Parenthood and a bold pioneer of reproductive rights and who was jailed in 1916 for opening a birth con? of Planned trol clinic inNew the philosophy Nazis as part of their brutal campaign race of undesirables. Anthony and oth? poused free love?an ers felt would tar the entire movement it and doom politically. in history of Holy War.

the right to vote was finally passed in 1920 after a se? ries of increasingly intense protests: beginning in 1907. Nine? American women theWestern home and in the public sphere. there were massive parades in New York and Washington with women horses. This content downloaded from 181. whereas the East was still ruled by the genteel per? sona of the "lady. followed six-hour fracas.213 on Sun. where men and women worked side as labor. The nineteenth amendment to the Constitution granting force their way into the House of Commons. the public image of American feminism was dam? aged by the tactics of women protestors outside theWhite icallymore aggressive. teenth-century satirical cartoons portrayed suffrage leaders as mutant pseudo-males. itwas considered a scandalous affront to propriety. There was a mass arrests and imprisonment. But theNortheast. a lavish pageantry that American from their British counterparts.15. more drawn tomilitant confrontation and direct action. they tried to barged into government meetings. feminists had borrowed British feminists. Feminists in London broke windows and In 1910. governments of Massachusetts. Pennsylvania. Even in 1915. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . It the frontier states. Huge who showed enormous courage and daring in their demand not just for the vote but for reform of laws preventing women from entering contracts or owning property. were paradox? Ladies and gentlemen in the East and Deep South seemed not to belong to the same species. by Barbaric methods of forced feeding were later employed against jailed feminists in both England and the us.When women suffragists first gave speeches in the streets.183. In 1917. held out. It is intriguing that the first states to give the right to vote after the Civil War were in the nation's intel? territories." with her code of delicacy and decorum. the state New York.Camille Paglia 7 sacrifices were made by the First Wave feminists. flaunting male trousers and cigars and threatening to dethrone men from their positions at was lectual and cultural capital. banners. and New Jersey rejected the woman suffrage amendment. and floats. led by Emmeline Pankhurst. that first viewed women by side doing manual equals.

The disillusionment following the cataclysmic First World War produced a flood of anti-authority senti? of that protest movement would come the infamous studio production code. religion. Feminism may have dissipated as a polit? ical movement. Amelia Earhart. sign called then Hostile crowds finally banned by the police as a threat to public and order. which weakened a ernment. Babe Didrickson. and after tions were World War One sarily anti-woman in both England and the us was not neces? per se but in some cases may have been a response to what had become an ideological began to gather daily.183. dignified vigil formonths. Out partly responsible for the revolutionary change inwomen of that decade. Clare Booth Luce.15. The 1920s and '30s were a glory period for exceptional. but women's achievement and public visibility This content downloaded from 181. city officials.8 FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT House. there was as mammoth cultural impact from African-American jazz that so well as from Hollywood movies. of the lively. Second. And indeed. and Katharine Hepburn. became more provocative. which ruled Hollywood with an iron hand until the early 1960s. smoke. ac? complished women. One "Kaiser Wilson. But male passersby kept in that turned abusive and then violent when the messages. The demonstra? time of war. Holding placards demanding votes forwomen. they a silent.213 on Sun. the signs were immediately ripped to pieces and the women themselves buffeted. teach? ers. and did wild Roaring dances like the Charleston disassociated themselves from the feminist label. feminists had begun to seem it can be argued that the like unpatriotic subversives. such as Dorothy Parker. a new medium transformed sexual expectations and behavior that demands for the regulation of the industry came fromministers. during. Dorothy Thomp? son." president Woodrow Wilson drank. and the family. Hence upsurge of anti-feminist rhetoric before. sexually adventurous women Many of the the prestige of father figures in gov? ment. journalists. cursed. safety Dismayingly. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the suffragemovement was only Twenties who comprehensible extremism and fanaticism in some suffragists. and women's civic groups.

But and homemaking as women's highest Second Wave This content downloaded from 181. movies. flexing her biceps. centuries-old. which leftwomen painfully isolated in their comfortable homes. path-breaking women as "male-identified" and allegedly indifferent to the needs ofwomen male pendence from domineering parents or spouses as well as from capricious or dictatorial bosses and co-workers. They had lost the companionship.Camille Paglia 9 were very strong.15. the rise of fascism in Europe.Domestic issues came to the fore. In the late and advertisements pro? television. less outspoken women struggling to establish their inde? as a group.women had to take over their factory jobs: this was the heyday of Rosie the Riveter. With so many wed? dings. there was an avalanche of births?the baby-boomers who 1940s pressure was unjust. In other Second Wave goals. While men step aside. That Two. Iwould maintain that inspiring fe? role models are always crucial to demonstrate what per? were at the front.183. it too many feminists extrapolated their discontent to con? demn all men everywhere and throughout history.and place-specific. words. It was this homogeneity against which feminism correctly and admirably rebelled. Postwar domesticity was a relatively local phenomenon. was sonal ambition and initiative can accomplish and tomodel an attitude of pride and self-respect that may be invaluable to other.213 on Sun. instruction. women were expected to The beckoning promise of that period inwomen's history cancelled by the Great Depression. The problem was not just sex? was the postindustrial social evolution from thework? ism. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and the outbreak of World War Two. but afterWorld War a deep longing shared by both men and are now sliding downhill and '5os. moted motherhood ing-class extended family to the middle-class nuclear family. multi-generational community of women. the ideology of Second Wave feminism was or should have been time. and shared labor of the joyous. It is depressing that Second Wave feminism would initially dismiss those enterprising. But when the veterans returned. there was women for the normalcy of family life. toward retirement. and gender roles re-polarized.

the first political Organization feminism was launched by Betty Friedan's The Feminine book. three-year research project on my fem? inist idol. Friedan co-founded the National forWomen. alienated by the sexism of theirmale fellow radicals in the antiwar movement. was obscured by herself and others. For example. more militant women. as she had portrayed herself. Iwas an adolescent ab? firebrand in her native Australia. We had been animated hood from child? by the can-do spirit inherited from our parents who had lived through the Depression and war. Second. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the outpouring of testimonials in theAmerican and British media her importance but exaggerated the rightly acknowledged role she had played inwomen's lives. who were already heading with determination toward college and careers when she arrived on the scene. Friedan felt that mili This content downloaded from 181. When Friedan died two years ago.15. Amelia Earhart. but had been a leftist labor ac? tivist in the 1950s. a split opened within now which force Betty Friedan out of the group she had co sorbed in an eccentric. Friedan's debt to Simone de Beau voir's magisterial 1949 book. before Friedan's book was published. who was already a me Nor did Friedan produce in the snow belt of upstate New York: in the early 1960s. tion. Younger. published in 1963. of the late 1960s was only one important strain among many other elements that characterized my feisty generation. the older. Two major points were missing in early assessments of Friedan: shewas not simply a housewife. Three years later. Almost would immediately. Its analy? sis of the anomie felt by suburban housewives struck a chord Second Wave group devoted towomen's issues since suffrage had been won nearly fiftyyears before. who Like the nineteenth-century suffragists who feared that sex? clashed with ual issues would derail themovement. The organized women's movement FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT with a broad audience. Friedan did not produce Germaine Greer.213 on Sun. It is categorically untrue that Friedan single-handedly opened the door formy baby boom generation of professional women. Mystique.183. married women of Friedan's genera? were often uncomfortable with homosexuality. The Second Sex.

a section of the Educational Amendments.With had made her name her flowing blonde tresses. women ath? letes such as Billie Jean King played a central role. Playboy. The passage by the us Congress in 1972 of Title IX. sex." Meanwhile. politics. tant lesbians mass-market would permit alternate viewpoints." women drive mainstream away from feminism. stole the media spotlight because of her telegenic good looks. Like Mar? tina Navratilova adopted after her. who through infiltrating a Playboy Bunny club for an expos? forNew York magazine. and jazz. but virtually from the start. played a crucial early role in normalizing the image of feminists. hip aviator glasses. Steinem's male-bashing was overt: she famously said. the blunt. She was a tireless.15.183. a descendant of New England Puri? Despite her Smith College education.Camille Paglia n in her words) would ("the lavender menace. Hugh Hefner. In the first ferment over the revived feminism. however.. In 1972. the firstglossy. peri? patetic activist. Steinern. Steinern founded Ms. she made feminism seem reasonable and unthreatening. Its name enter the language and transform how women are ad? dressed to this day. she played the role of stern guardian of a victim-centered ideology that did not tans. which Steinern excoriated. hot-tempered King a startlingly aggressive style on the tennis court that Steinern also role men played in her private life in Manhattan. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . radically expanded campus This content downloaded from 181. thus limiting its reach over time. feminism with partisan Democratic unapologetically aligned inspired a generation of women to play competitive sports. wine. Friedan her? selfwas pitifully marginalized when Gloria Steinern.213 on Sun. for example. had been progressively forward-thinking in refining the postwar macho image of the American male toward a more sophisticated European model of pleasure-loving connoisseur of food. "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a she kept from public view how vital a bicycle. Steinernwas neither an intellectual nor a theorist. and soothing voice and manner. had laid the groundwork for the sexual revolution. magazine devoted to feminist issues. a jour? nalist whom she had brought into the movement.

neither students nor teachers can negotiate the tangle of nature and culture that produces human sex differences. but sometimes at the expense of too often cut by ruthless college administrators. There has been no honest study of the institutionalization of women's studies and of the effects it assembled hap? hazardly and piecemeal. an ideological bias that neither women's studies nor its successor.15. Republi This content downloaded from 181. This was an epochal expansion of women's reproductive rights.183. As a new field. which began to infiltrate American humanities departments via Johns sex differences to language alone. The victim centered agenda of the current women's movement was has had on feminism.Wade 1970s feminism. would distort and weaken it. Poststruc? Hopkins turalism is uniformly social constructionist. however.The second event was the creation by Phyllis Schlafly.which I support without qualification.12 FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT sports programs men's programs In the 1970s. which legalized abortion in all fifty states. Furthermore because so many of the firstwomen's was studies professors came from literature departments. a lawyer. Women's studies was adopted wholesale. women's and Yale universities in the early 1970s. has been able to shed. But without a grounding in basic biology. eager to gain a reputation for seriousness.213 on Sun. which were studies courses women's and programs were forwomen created in profusion. gender studies. two major events marked was the Supreme Court's Roe v. Unfortunately. like wrestling. In the real world. I submit. like the equally new film studies. without due consideration of what the scholarly study of gender ought to entail. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . science completely excluded. was woe? fully vulnerable to European poststructuralism. Academic feminists at the elite schools soon devoted volumes of labyrinthine theory to their interrogation of gender assumptions?a project that for revolutionary action which would have they mistook Utopian social results. denying that gender has any basis in biology and bizarrely attributing all studies. First ruling in 1973. abortion would come to dominate American feminism and eventually.

and it died. ithard? attitudes.15. News magazines took up the theme up with a vengeance. who writings of Catharine MacKinnon asserted that pornography causes rape and that it should therefore be banned. Mac? activism led to the passage Kinnon of and Dworkin's in and ordinances Minneapo? Indianapolis anti-pornography lis that were later declared unconstitutional. This was an impor? was promoted on campus and tant social issue. and mother of six. of STOP ERA. But this defeat did not stimulate self-analysis among feminist leaders. which was becoming increasingly dogmatic. divided between simplistically After a ten-year struggle. early '90s was an increasing campus focus on rape. They now saw the world ened their oppositional feminist and anti-feminist. Cen? tral to the women's studies curriculum were the polemical and Andrea Dworkin. then under the fashionable spell of Jacques Lacan. on the contrary. MacKinnon's shown by the way she was virtually canonized in a 1991 cover story of theNew York Times Sun? in the late '80s and A parallel phenomenon day Magazine. Feminist leaders. yet theway it was women once off turning again into helpless victims. a chasm had opened up between academic feminism. a group de? voted to defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. unworthy of modern women thinkers.213 on Sun. and mainstream feminism.183. which was way through state legislatures. trapped by their own toilets Rights Amendment ber of states. demo nized Schlafly without adequately responding to the concerns that she had raised?which included basic questions about be drafted or whether unisex politics." What hyster? ical agitprop. the Equal failed in 1982 to pass the requisite num? By the 1980s. ideology. and is a typical sample of their pro? rank with Nazis and pornographers cultural dominance was and TV talk shows specifically date rape. which was geared to action.Camille Paglia 13 can activist. This was a slowly wending its watershed moment in American whether women would would be mandated. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . because Schlafly's grassroots organizing would lay the foundation for the future revival of conservatism. This content downloaded from 181. Here "The nouncements: Klansmen in promoting hatred and violence.

17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . including what was clearly an organized campaign of vilification: the president of my university had not bothered in This content downloaded from 181. there was a huge reaction. where sadomasochism and butch-femme role-playing. In themid-'80s. the explicit sexual imagery and semi-nudity used by Ma? fication" of America. electrified a younger started the process of liber? generation of women. term first used by spite her early puritanism about beauty. granola-eating. was published by Yale University Press in 1990. While both academic and mainstream feminists have al? to foster a diversity of viewpoints. When to read it. "lipstick" drastic switch from the image of the lesbian feminist as a drab. while Susan Faludi adopted the Steinern party line about the sys? temic anti-feminism of popular culture. De? political ideologue. broadcast to theworld through the new medium of cable TV.14 FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT in her pioneering music videos. Naomi Wolf eventu? ally espoused a pro-sex position close to my own. have been recently lamenting as the "porni feminism. Christina Hoff Sommers. Sexual Personae. a revolt against the tyranny began in the 1980s in San there were pitched battles over lesbian But a sea change was coming in feminism. that 700-page tome on art and culture was compared by Gloria Steinern. Madonna donna alization that led to what many commentators. to Hitler's Mein Kampf When an op-ed Iwrote on date-rape for in Jan? New York Newsday uary 1991 was reprinted via syndication across the us. and over the question of hormones. I saw as a factor in sex differences. which was claimed which sexist. the reality ways was far from that.213 on Sun. then a philosophy professor at then dubbed Clark University. Within MacKinnon-Dworkin Francisco.183. By the early had gained national attention?a lesbianism '90s. earth-shoe-wearing feminists of the '90s?a The Third Wave Rebecca Walker?took different stances on these issues. In the late 1980s. who clearly issues. on both the leftand the right.15. hit a wall at academic conferences when she tried to initiate debate with other feminists on fundamental my first book. I came close to fistfights with other femi? nists in the early 1970s over hard rock music.

Katie Roiphe pub? have sues. exploitation of the young Monica Lewinsky. on campus rape ideology. Iwas lished her 1994 book. Suddenly. the arguments presented sexual harassment during Anita Hill's testimony were dropped and reversed?even though Jones. most moments in contemporary feminism. the president took the enlightened line that faculty members able. three years later. which This content downloaded from 181. it may also be one reason that feminism has seemed to fall below the radar. When.Camille Paglia 15 the right to express themselves freely on all public is? also lucky enough to have tenure. the vicious attacks on her by the older women of the feminist establishment were outrageous and unconscion? amoral Philadelphia was besieged with calls from around the country calling forme to be fired frommy teaching job. pornography moved to the thrives on diversity. The stridency of old-guard feminism was intensifying even as feminism was losing the war. That. inmy view. The Web. The Morning After. Fortunately. Web.15. then and now. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a formerArkansas about Clinton's state employee. feminists also lost the While the Web is a spectacular re? ability to track and stop it. source for feminist networking and discussion. because Web true believers. would be far more hesitant to express heterodox views. from the lawsuit filed by Paula Jones in 1994 through the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998. a furtive series of squalid encounters in taxpayer-funded office space inwhich there was a gross disparity of power. which became a near-universal When tool by the mid-'90S. The openly partisan tactics and special pleading of feminist leaders during Clinton's impeachment crisis killed their credi? bility and damaged core feminist issues. Younger teach? ers. was making farmore serious charges against Clinton than Hill ever did against Clarence Thomas.213 on Sun.183. was one of the lowest. Iwas appalled by President feminists usually claim makes informed consent impossible. Al? though I had voted for him twice. sites can become far-flungniches attracting only There was one last grand act formainstream feminist lead? ers in the '90s: their staunch defense of Bill Clinton.

to correct concrete abuses of women and children in Third World inmore nations. First of all. where motherhood and family are still valorized and where the independent ca? reerwoman is less typical or admired. A Return to a storm when itwas published nine which created Modesty. The writings of conservative opponents of feminism. Second. Without such diversity. glib There is no such animal. That is true feminism! My final recommendation for reform is a massive rollback of the paternalistic system of grievance committees and other bureaucratic contrivances which have turned meddlesome American college campuses into womblike customer-service resorts. years ago but whose influence can be detected campus chastity clubs.183." which became a media tag line in the '90s and is often attached to me. The doctrinal disputes wars of the older generation (including me) must be and turf Feminism certainly has an obligation to protest and. ifpossi? ble. In conclusion.213 on Sun. One thing is clear: the feminism of the future will be cre? ated by women who are young now. there is no one leading issue that can galvanize women across a broad spectrum. At present. students feminists.16 FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT I reject the term "postfeminism. I say more power to all these chaste young who in today's As a vet? women are defending their individuality and defying groupthink and social convention. eran of pro-sex feminism who still endorses pornography and prostitution. Certainly among current dissident points of view is the abstinence movement. are getting indoctrination.15. as an evangelical Protestant phenomenon and also as an ar? gument set forth in Wendy Shalit's first book. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . cles of turmoil and retreat. every such pro? gram must be assessed by qualified faculty (not administra? tors or politicians) for ideological bias. as well as of dissident must be included. my proposals for reform are as follows. Feminism lives but goes through cy? set aside. science must be made a fundamental component of all women's or gender studies programs. not education. including here at Harvard. The feminists of my baby-boom generation fought to This content downloaded from 181. But feminism might look very different traditional or religious societies.

Camille Paglia 17 ministrators whatever and academic committees have no competence to investigate crimes. including sexual assault. Hooliganism tolerated. With freedom comes personal responsibility. it should be reported to the po? lice.15.213 on Sun. But we must stop seeing everything in life through the narrow lens of gender.183. This is not to absolve young men cannot be from their duty to behave honorably. so that the civil liberties of both the accuser and the ac? tear down the intrusive in loco parentis rules that insultingly in their dormitories at night. Ifwomen expect equal treatment in society. theymust stop asking for infantilizing special pro? tections. This content downloaded from 181. If an offense has been committed. College ad? confined women cused can be protected. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

183. 17 Nov 2013 11:41:59 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .15.?si '4 This content downloaded from 181.213 on Sun.