Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Camille Paglia's strange silence on Islam and women

Many years ago I read Camille Paglia's massive tome Sexual Personae. It was probably the most thought provoking and insightful book I've ever read. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say it changed my life.

It's truly massive in scope and looks at many different artistic genres over the centuries. It also has a lot to say about culture and really distilled what was so wrong with the creepily anodyne victim feminism that was so dominant then (and still is today, in many places).

Being a comedian and actor in Melbourne - easily the most left-wing and "right on" city in Australia - I was surrounded by women like this, as well as their tragically sappy "significant others". This was driving me crazy, so Camille Paglia's book was a real lifeline.

Being so provocative and feisty and such an advocate of the power of female sexuality, it's really strange that Paglia hasn't said much at all about Islam's appalling treatment of women and the alarming lack of feminist condemnation of it.

Maybe she fears being marked for death, or has succumbed to the politically correct view that criticizing Islam is a big no no for public intellectuals? Or perhaps she's just become detached from the big debates? There's also the possibility that she's planning to burst back onto the stage with another paradigm busting book that will deal with this and many other issues - though that seems unlikely.

Whatever the reason for her conspicuous absence from this particular debate it's very strange - as well as disappointing.

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading Sexual Personae now and was wondering about the same thing so that's how I ended up here.