Randomly generated spam comment, or Camille Paglia?


Random spam generator?

Random spam generator?

It’s increasingly difficult to tell them apart:

Sex crime springs from fantasy, hallucination, delusion, and obsession. A random young woman becomes the scapegoat for a regressive rage against female sexual power: “You made me do this.” Academic clichés about the “commodification” of women under capitalism make little sense here: It is women’s superior biological status as magical life-creator that is profaned and annihilated by the barbarism of sex crime.

Surprise!  It’s Camille Paglia.

This paragraph appears towards the end of an article entitled “The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil,” in which she assures us that the campus evil we know exists everywhere are merely “wildly overblown claims about an epidemic of sexual assaults on American campuses.”   Misguided attempts to get young men to stop raping young women “are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or iPods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder. Despite hysterical propaganda about our ‘rape culture,’ the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides.”  Right.  Now who’s engaging in “hysterical propaganda,” again?

Paglia is like a Chatty Cathy who, when you pull her string, spouts random sentences from a book she wrote a quarter century ago, Sexual Personae.  Except now she’s exploiting a campus crime story–whose victim hasn’t been found, and whose family members are probably desperate with worry and grief–to sell her stale ideas again.  Worse, she’s counseling college-age women to ignore the rapist in their Sociology class and instead worry about “extreme sex crimes like rape-murder” which “emanate from a primitive level that even practical psychology no longer has a language for. . . .There is a ritualistic symbolism at work in sex crime that most women do not grasp and therefore cannot arm themselves against.”

AAAHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!  I’m typing this under my desk and screaming and peeing my pants and running away and falling down in my ridiculously high heels and falling into the basement with all of the chainsaws in it and climbing up to the attic with the guy in the hockey mask and razor fingers, I’m so scared!!!

Never mind that the opportunistic hook for Paglia’s spammy screed–the abduction of Hannah Graham from the University of Virginia–is unsolved, we don’t know what happened to her, and no one has located her yet.  But let’s anyway go ahead and pre-blame the possible victim for whatever might have happened to her, because campus women today “assume that bared flesh and sexy clothes are just a fashion statement containing no messages that might be misread and twisted by a psychotic. They do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature.”  

Ladies, the savage nature of men is entirely out of your control and is a constant throughout human history inspiring great art, music, and philosophy as well as acts of great brutality.  Except when you wear skimpy clothes and take classes about sexism, imperialism, and racisim, which are not at all about the “savage nature of men,” then of course it’s your fault.

13 thoughts on “Randomly generated spam comment, or Camille Paglia?

  1. “The constant nearness of savage nature,” “regressive rage,” a “primitive level,” “ritualistic symbolism”–what is this, *Heart of Darkness*? Notice how this regression, according to Paglia, at least gives men the ability to discern (and rebel against) “women’s superior biological status as magical life-creator.” I’m sure that’s what is really going on in sex crimes.


  2. I think opportunistic is the key word in all of this.

    “There is a ritualistic symbolism at work in sex crime that most women do not grasp and therefore cannot arm themselves against.”

    That’s right ladies, all the world’s a stage you are decorative vessels upon it. Lucky you!

    First she says that that sex crime isn’t really sex crime and then she says it’s a massively important ritual that my weak lady brain can’t possibly comprehend. I know I’m not really supposed to understand this but darn, it’s confusing.


  3. I can’t believe people keep publishing her. She can’t write and her arguments are terrible and unsupportable.

    I remember watching Paglia and Susan Faludi “debate” on Crossfire. I was pretty sure Paglia had just sniffed a lot of coke. She couldn’t stop snuffling and she was talking about a million miles per hour. She was about as logical as someone hopped up on coke as well.


  4. (Lurker commenting)

    I’ve never felt quite the same about Camille Paglia since reading an interview with her in which she was asked about trans people..and of course she said something ridiculous and transphobic, but she also said [I paraphrase] that of course, most women would want to become men if they had the option and if she had really had transitioning as an option when she was young she would absolutely have done it. Which is bizarre. Since then, I’ve chosen to regard her as someone whose…erm…ideas stem from her own deep unhappiness about gender stuff and she doesn’t bother me as much.

    Hearing about her does take me back to the heady days of my teens in the nineties, though.


  5. I see she’s updated her message to blame women for their own rapes because they were using technological gadgets in public. That’s real 21st-century thinking right there.


  6. As of yesterday, it’s beginning to look like Hannah Graham’s probable abductor (and the probable abductor/murderer of another young woman in similar circumstances a few years ago; information is scanty, but apparently there’s a “forensic link”) had, while a college student (and member of the football team), been accused of sexual assault on two different college campuses. Details are vague, and, indeed, we still don’t really know what happened in either case (or, rather, any of the five cases to which he might be linked — apparently there’s another rape in Northern Virginia that may be connected), and no one case proves a general pattern. However, it’s beginning to look like this case might come closer to supporting the argument that one reason for taking rape seriously is that there are, in fact, relatively few men who rape, but, given current patterns of enforcement/prosecution, each one tends to end up being responsible for a number of rapes before he is caught/stopped (if he is caught/stopped at all).

    It’s also worth noting that the accused is far from the “alienated loser consumed with his own failures” of Paglia’s imagination; in fact, by the accounts of his friends and neighbors in Charlottesville, he seems to have appeared to be quite a charming, friendly guy, and, from what we currently know, it looks like his encounter with Graham began in that mode (however it may have ended; that’s the part we don’t know). In other words, he has been, and probably still operates more like, the apparently-nice guy in the Sociology class than the animal lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce on the young woman whose dress arouses his baser instincts, that Paglia imagines.


  7. CC–thanks for the update on the suspected perp. And yes: one reason to take rape seriously on campus is that rapists with college degrees can and will take their sociopathy with them into the wider world. (Or, back to campus as an older predator, as it were.)

    I have to say, per Sweddy’s, quixote’s, and Frowner’s comments, that I thought twice before giving any attention to her (and Time’s) clickbait. After all, it’s like raising toddlers, right? If you take the tantrum seriously, they have no reason to stop their irrational outbursts.

    But I thought that the simultaneous dismissal of REAL crime and the evocation of the unstoppable darkness within the heart of MAN was just too crazzy.

    A Twitter friend (Ondine LeBlanc from the Massachusetts Historical Society, on Twitter @oleblanc) got a little obsessed with Paglia’s column yesterday, and pointed me to an article on Salon about her and her violent fanboys.

    Side comment: Isn’t Ondine LeBlanc the coolest, most elegant name you’ve ever read? It almost has to be a fictional name in a noir novel, it’s too cool.


  8. That Salon article seems like the beginning to a short story or novel. If this were fiction instead of reality, you could easily see one of her obsessed fans kidnapping her and keeping her in a house of horror. It would be an ironic psychological thriller. See, if I had her belief system (which I do not), I wouldn’t want violent fanboys knowing I existed. Is she (the fictional she) right and she should have kept quiet, or is it not her fault and she should be able to speak her mind (like the rest of us) without danger?

    I agree to folks above: Who keeps publishing the crazy as if it’s not crazy?


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