Dear Camille Paglia: An ardent anti-feminist urges the controversial academic to go that extra mile and drop the sisterly tosh and Sixties rhetoric

Forgive me, please. I shan't be coming to the National Theatre on Monday to hear you discuss your book Sex, Art and American Culture.

One reason why I can't face it is the quality of the company which will assemble there. If you think American feminists are infantile dunderheads, incompetent academics, spoilt yuppies, trendy ideologues, white upper-middle-class puritans (most of these are your own expressions), wait till you meet our crew. Most of them are so thickened in the mental arteries that the flash of a radical idea, like some of yours, wouldn't jolt them if it was administered with a cattle prod.

But the chief reason why I shan't be with you on Monday is that I can't bear to hear somebody who is half-right coming on as if she has received the gift of divine infallibility.

Being the nearest thing to a complete adult that American feminism has produced, you are a demi-wonder. Some of your remarks are as cultured as the wisdom of my favourite publican, such as when you said: 'Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist's' Likewise, you were not alone when you thought that 'The girl in the Kennedy rape case is an idiot She's the one who should be charged - with ignorance. Because everyone knows that Kennedy is spelled S-E-X. Give me a break, this is not rape' - though few of us who feel this way would call ourselves feminists, as you do.

We are with you, too, when you declare that women's studies have proved 'a disaster' for academic life, that Naomi Wolf 'cannot write a coherent paragraph' and that the date-rape fantasies of today's young feminists are a pernicious delusion.

You're almost grown. Why can't you come all the way? Why do you have to go on talking sisterly tosh out of the other side of your mouth, such as when you say that Madonna and Cher are embodiments of 'women's cosmic sexual power'. Puh-leez] Give me a break, as you would say.

You still believe, don't you, that your Sixties generation of women 'rebelled against and shattered those paternalistic rules' of previous generations because you were so much smarter, sassier and stronger than your mothers? You really should be leading your sisters out of this collective infantilism.

Others are opening the way. Deborah Hayford Weiss wrote to the magazine Atlantic Monthly this month to say that cultural and economic trends over centuries had led to changes in the social status of women and that those trends would continue 'when feminism has come to be regarded as just another ideological ripple in the great century of ideologies. The claims of feminism are like the claim of the rooster that he has caused the sun to shine.' I'm with her.

The crowing of that old rooster gets wearisome. You ought to come down off that feminist perch. Then you might be perfectly divine.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Service Technician

    £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

    Energy Sales Co-ordinator

    £20000 - £25000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Energy Sales Consultant

    £25000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

    Bid Writer – Energy Markets

    £35000 Per Annum DOE: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Com...

    Day In a Page

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
    Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

    Hollywood targets Asian audiences

    The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

    Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
    Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

    Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

    Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
    10 best girls' summer dresses

    Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

    Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
    Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

    Westminster’s dark secret

    Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
    Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

    Naked censorship?

    The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
    Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

    Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

    As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
    Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

    David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

    Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil