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.