torsdag 16 mars 2017

Camille Paglia i Tablet Magazine

Camille Paglia är en av få amerikanska "feminister" jag finner intressant. Har man läst hennes Sexual Personae så vill man ha mer. Och det får man i amerikanska Tablet i en intervju under rubriken "On Jews and Feminism". Jag klipper ut några viktiga avsnitt och med länken till intervjun kan man fortsätta på egen hand.

A primary criticism I have voiced of second-wave feminist ideology, in all its permutations, is its bitter, grudging attitude toward men, who are demonized as the source of all ills in the universe. In adolescence in the early 1960s, I discovered the great period of the 1920s and ’30s, just after American women had won the right to vote, when there was tremendous surge of ambitious, talented women like Amelia Earhart, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Thompson, and Katharine Hepburn, who simply wanted to prove that women could achieve at the same level as men. They did not vilify men. On the contrary, they openly admired what men had done and simply demanded equality of opportunity for women. That is my philosophy: I am an equity feminist. And on those same grounds, I oppose all special protections for women, which I view as counterproductive and infantilizing. Law and society must treat the sexes exactly the same, except in rare instances where biology imposes a handicap. (Hence a woman in an advanced state of pregnancy should not be compelled to perform dangerous workplace tasks.)


I trace the current unhappiness of so many professional women in the world (from my observations in North America, Brazil, England, and Italy) to huge systemic changes that no one in my view has adequately analyzed. What history shows is that there was, until very recently, the world of men and the world of women, and there was relatively little sustained interaction between those spheres. The Industrial Revolution, a capitalist phenomenon, created low-level jobs for women that allowed them for the first time to be truly self-supporting, freed from economic dependence upon father or husband. Over the past century, women have gained access to higher-status jobs, many with real power and authority over men. But the main issue is that men and women are working side by side in the workplace in a way they have never done before, except in outdoor field work during the agrarian era. This is something new in human experience, and I believe it is destabilizing sexual relations in ways that we have scarcely observed, much less analyzed.

och slutligen

Second-wave feminism, to which Betty Friedan gave birth with her co-founding of the National Organization for Women in 1966, was strongly powered by a fiery social activism whose roots can be traced to the unionizing movement of the early 20th century. One of the classic protest songs in my “Art of Song Lyrics” course is “The Death of Harry Simms,” about the 1932 shooting of 20-year-old Jewish labor leader Harry Simms Hersh in the battle for unionization of the Kentucky coal mines. I have described my principal mentors, poet Milton Kessler in college and critic Harold Bloom in graduate school, as more like visionary rabbis than professors. I have repeatedly acknowledged my debt to Jewish-American culture. For example, in my long 1991 attack on post-structuralism, “Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders,” I wrote: “It was from Jews (beginning at T. Aaron Levy Junior High School) that I learned how to analyze politics, law, business, and medicine, how to decipher the power dynamics of family relationships, and how to plan pragmatic strategies of social activism.”

Tack till Anders W.