Walking The Walk

Posted: June 13, 2011 in Feminism
Tags: ,

http://dianepernet.typepad.com/diane/2011/06/camille-paglia-on-slutwalk-in-the-sunday-times-june-12-2011-by-glenn-belverio.html

This is a statement made this last weekend by Camille Paglia, the grande dame of post-structuralist feminism and agent provocateur. It was made in relation to the feminist ‘slutwalk movement’ that has erupted across the ‘West’ (for want of a better word) recently. I just LOVE what she has to say. And as for a recent comment here at QRG that Paglia is ‘dotty’ and has lost it. I say… eat my shorts!

CAMILLE PAGLIA, statement on Slutwalk

THE SUNDAY TIMES (London), 12 June 2011

Prostitutes, strippers, pornographers—these are my Babylonian ideals.  In books such as Vamps & Tramps, I fought for pro-sex feminism against the prudes and philistines of the feminist establishment.  The swift global spread of Slutwalk strikingly demonstrates the energy and aspirations of young feminists.  But its confused message is a symptom of the sexual chaos and anomie of the Western bourgeoisie.

Don’t call yourself a slut unless you are prepared to live and defend yourself like one.  My creed is street-smart feminism, alert, wary, and militant—the harsh survival code of streetwalkers and drag queens.  Sex is a force of nature, not just a social construct.  Monsters stalk its midnight realm.  Too many overprotected middle-class girls have a dangerously naive view of the world.  They fail to see the animality and primitivism of sex, historically controlled by traditions of religion and morality now steadily dissolving in the West.

The sexual revolution won by my 1960s generation was a two-edged sword.  Our liberation has burdened our successors with too many sexual choices too early.  Their flesh-baring daily dress is a sex mime to whose arousing signals they seem blind.  Only in a police state, and not even there, will women be totally safe on the streets.  Honorable men do not rape.  But protests and parades cannot create honor.

Slutwalk’s overflowing emotion is a cry of distress, less about sexual violence than the spiritual disconnection of men and women in this garish, tech-driven, careerist age.  When it devalued motherhood, Western feminism undermined women’s most ancient claim to dignity.  Sluttishness as fact or metaphor cannot restore that lost mythic power.

Comments
  1. Tim says:

    Delcining morality,
    spiritual disconnection of men and women,
    the evil age of technology,
    devalued motherhood,
    ancient claims

    This is either a pessimistic or conservative opinion.

  2. Scott says:

    Sexual Personae is a book I’ve adored since I was 19, and while I’ve never owned a copy, its been an unspoken reference point for my thinking and feeling about culture and sexuality. Marrying as it does Freudianism and a passionate Catholic aestheticism, I’m not sure how I couldn’t have responded to it. Strange to say, I’ve spent a decade and a half not buying it, for reasons that are enigmatic to myself. So its a fillip to read your post – I was *literally* searching on amazon for Sexual Personae when I read it.

    Paglia is right that Slutwalking (of which she clearly approves) clearly doesn’t grasp that sex is a force of nature. But nor does it grasp that sexuality is about socially coded signals about availability and sexual economics (indeed, Deborah Orr’s brilliant Guardian article is the only place where any analysis of the symbolic value of dress has been acknowledged in any way). Of course, rapists, like abusers in general, can and do read invitation in even the most “innocent” of gestures, so its not entirely the fault of the symbolic order. To say the least.

    Yet much as I support the Slutwalkers for their stand against rape (this is primarily an anti-rape movement – it has very little in my view with reclaiming the word “slut”), I do have reservations. Its revealing that the chosen dress of the “sluts” is a frumpy middle-class postmodern Victoriana – not very “sluttish” at all, by the standards of any given nightclub. Like stitch-and-bitch and some forms of contemporary burlesque, this is very much about middle class women trying to reclaim some versions of femininity outwith the male gaze. Which is fine. But “protests and parades cannot create honor”, and these in particular really aren’t that interested in sex. I won’t be watching when they march in Edinburgh this week. I’ll be reading my Camille Paglia.

  3. billsnshits says:

    I’m more familiar with her later writing. In there at least, she’s pretty hard paleoconservative thinking. She says she hates “stupid labels” but I instinctively characterize her as a social liberal who is a bit timid, prefers her liberalism in privacy and basically has some weird belief in an ideological complex of Reaganomics, strong police, free speech and self censorship out of civic duty. Basically, a catholic.

    But how does one react to a letter like this? It’s written behind a paywall for a conservative paper. Ergo, NONE of the slutwalkers will ever read it. But paleoconservatives (tradition, security, morality) will.
    It condescends to the slutwalkers, damning them with faint praise as “feminists”. Then it says they are too dumb to know what they want, dismissing their original demand as either neurotically childish or non-existent.

    Isn’t the whole thing a blown up reaction against a figure of daddy (the original belching, bumbling cop who blurted the words “shouldn’t dress like SLUTS” to the LAW STUDENTS in toronto) ?
    Isn’t the slutwalk fad a reaction against unnecessary prudery among the middle class, from hypocritical sexual repressives in the older generation, couched in a pretext of protective concern, for middle class girls who don’t need it?

    If one thing has been mind numbingly consistent in the slutwalks, it’s been the appallingly banal and clear and obvious statement that “what you wear shouldn’t excuse men to rape you”.

    The whole disappointment for deviants and real rebels has been that the slutwalks have made such an unrefusable demand. They should have asked for MORE. You can already basically walk around a safe neighborhood, even alone, in any city in the western world, wearing short shorts and any top you like (bustier, bikini, tube). Hell, you can probably get away with no top in most of them. And here’s the big surprise: you will go un.mo.lested.

    They haven’t been “acting” slutty. They touch nobody. They keep to their group. They stay on the main roads and on campus grass fields. This is just a banal normalization of what a true blue catholic would prefer remain taboo terms (“slut”, “sex”, “underwear”). It’s an issue of vocabulary, not behavior. Like porno slang. “Everybody” uses it, yet how many are really getting into “weird” sex in the general pop.?
    This is not about a naive desire to overturn “nature’s cruelty” that paglia describes in sexual personae.

    But conservatives of every stripe, left right and center, have a problem with girls (not to mention gays) not being quite, just QUITE as thoroughly or passionately timid as they were twenty years ago, so they get blow back from these girls. Which entitles them to, what? Placating letters of servility from the likes of paglia?

    Given paglia’s endless promotion of that book in her later work, you end up looking at it at some point (I think the first link to something she said, presented me with what I found to be a prime repertory element, “as I wrote in sexual personae…”). I’ve read some of it (it’s so long and academic sounding!). It’s very creative and she shines in her criticism. But that doesn’t entitle her to a free pass today on telling people whom it is that might have the right to some label or other. I hate battles over labels anyway. They mean a different thing to everybody.

    I don’t dispute that slutwalks are a bourgeois, whiny phenomenon. But the other extreme, that of proud prudery that only “accepts” any deviation as an tantalizingly exotic “other”, only to try to marginalize and extirpate it from city and village, is hardly without its own navel gazing hypocrisy.
    Just because Paglia decries the careerism factor in the slutwalks “angst”, doesn’t mean she’s someone who has any sentiment of socialism or any concern for social justice. Quite the opposite, it seems a perfect mirror of a common strategy among right wing pundits: play it just hip enough to appeal to centrists, while downplaying your radical right wing agenda. Whether paglia is played by them, plays them or is just a little brainwashed, is completely beyond my knowledge.

    • billsnshits says:

      And I don’t mean to knock catholics or single them out. You could probably describe almost any group as largely based on tradition, security, morality.

  4. Scott says:

    I’m very fond of an intelligent conservative myself.

    • billsnshits says:

      I didn’t say conservatives are stupid. I said (of social conservatives) they are overbearing and prudish. Many prudish bullies have also been brilliant minds.

  5. billsnshits says:

    While I appreciate the points of commonality and difference between what I wrote and Scott (who beat me by one minute), I’ll point out that wearing victorian underwear as outerwear with peekaboo cuts, does not a victorian make. S/M leather is often in an adapted victorian style, hardly a sign of conservative victorian prudery. Nobody is putting on a red leather corset and 12 inch heels, to sit down and whip the afternoon tea.
    Well, maybe the queen.

  6. Scott says:

    My point wasn’t that this version of Victoriana was about conservative prudery, quite the contrary, The Victorian period itself has become an often kitsch signifier for “sexuality” itself (S/M clearly plays within this rubric, for example). My point was simply that this version of sexuality is an ideologically highly revealing one: its high on nostalgia and low on indicating just how sexual display actually operates in everyday society. Like I say, go to any cheap nightclub. As for frumpy: I’ll confess, thats my own value judgement. But then I’m not into S/M. Unlike, it seems, the Queen.

    • billsnshits says:

      I was trying to keep a respectful tone about her majesty and exclude her from the possible circle of reference to sadomasochism, as this is a UK blog and not-so-recent events on BBC have revealed that any suggestion of a lewd nature, pertaining to her royal highness, is inflammatory and unappreciated. If you want to suggest that the ancient institution has some kind of modern taint upon it, let that be upon you. I insinuate no such thing. Whatever the queen may wear, it is always and only for queenly purposes, I submit.
      A little more of such tradition and we’d have less of these confused slutwalks to contend with.

  7. Scott says:

    I don’t think you can claim that Camille Paglia is a social conservative of the type you describe either, bill. She’s a consistent sex-positive feminist (and atheist, by the way), so whatever her catholicism or interest in ancient models of sexual nature, she’s certainly no prudish bully. She is paleo, but merely in the sense that she excavates civilization for its repository of mythic types that remain relevant despite the rational belief that we’ve in any way mastered sex. She’s a woman of “Babylonian ideals”, remember.

    I’ve always liked her.

    • billsnshits says:

      I didn’t really intend to posit that paglia was herself a social conservative. Merely that she placates social conservatives who are bullies. Her social conservatism is more a repression of the self than an imposition upon others.

      However, your babylonian reference got me thinking as I was trying to fall asleep. Isn’t it mentioned in Herodotus that in ancient babylon (if he referred to babylon and whatever he took to be babylon) in the religious temples of the time, virgins would wait to be deflowered by the public? And the humor of it was that ugly women would cruelly be forced to wait for years until someone tasteless or drunk enough would have them? And only then, once their virginity was taken, were they allowed to leave the temple and get back to living, laboring, marrying and rearing?
      Sounds like a dirty joke taken too seriously. Sounds sexy too. But this exotification of the “whore of babylon” is most prominently a judeo-christian tradition. And considering the jews were once captured in babylon, a historical sense for revenge by slanderous tales may easily have made its way into the bible. Entirely justified, in my opinion, btw. What is slander, compared to captivity?
      I know you said “mythic” types and that is a good precision: paglia trades in types from art, her excavations are of art and nothing like archaeological rigor. Though she boasts about careful and supported archaeology, she comes off as an over confident literalist in the great american tradition of uberconservative bible reading.

      What’s more, and this is where my feigned objectivity really falls apart, to hear someone recycling orientalist and ultraorthodox prejudices, even if they are as fond fetishes, when that someone basically supports the war on terror premise of “be afraid of al qaida, they’re comin’ fer ya’ in teh war of civz”, is really just too evocative of awful contemporary politics to consider a pure intellectual.
      No, it’s not enough. I no longer accept the concept of inconsequential ideas. Things have relations and even when we are passive, bourgeois chatterboxes, we are acting. There’s no such thing as pure intellectualism. There may be pure whining when nobody cares or hears but there’s no pure thinking.
      Good grief, I must sound like a deranged sleeper cell or something. My existentialism is just predicated on conspicuous outrage, then. Which, I guess, is why I’m so sympathetic to those dumb sluts.

      • billsnshits says:

        Oh and also that paglia’s proclivity for endless conflict between liberals and conservatives in order to produce great art, hence the necessity of an “enemy” of harsh oppression like a stern schoolmaster guiding their pupil to informed rebellion, comes off as really deranged, sadistic pervyness. I can see how that would work, but again it’s just a play on the catholic shame/absolution cycle. And I’ve seen that movie already. Can’t we move on?
        And, I wonder if anyone notices, we kind of have it now and it’s not working.

        It just seems petty in an era of hate speech and hate crime laws, a totalized surveillance state, wars abounding, meaninglessly polarized politics, paranoia about child porn, to say that “everything goes” and hence we’re too permissive and coddled and hence we don’t realize what the dangers in the world really are. We really have to go back to the 50s to understand sexual repression? THAT’s the only dynamic tipping point for the human race?

  8. Scott says:

    Oh, and if i may quibble with quiet riot girl… Camille Paglia is probably a post-feminist, as well as a feminist. She’s certainly an agent provacateur (but provoking on whose behalf?). What she can never ever be meaningfully described as is a post-structuralist. She despises your beloved Foucault, for instance.

  9. elissa says:

    Her seeming conservatism is a rail against Rousseau’s romanticism and his rather naive concept of the “noble savage”. At the other end of the spectrum you have Hobbes and the ever coercive Leviathan, leaving the fat middle well occupied by the romantic, university educated, modern day slut. Which leads to her great disdain for post modernists, paraphrased in the immortal “…beauty has no place in modern art because it is rooted in crass experiences…” And with the denial of beauty and ugliness, and once the variations within a genre are well exhausted, what remains is “conspicuous outrage”, or as you ever so delicately coined Quiet Girl, “concern porn”.

    Thorstein Veblen was one who theorized there are three pecuniary canons: conspicuous consumption, conspicuous leisure and conspicuous waste. Fake sluts are nothing if not conspicuous in outrage, leisure and waste.

    And yes, she despises French philosophers with an axe – only you, mon cheri, are man enough to embrace both without flinching.

  10. Clarence says:

    Maybe I’m missing something as a “literalist” or “pragmatic” American, but I think you people are missing something about the slutwalks, at least something in the USA and Canada versions.

    The slutwalks really are , at least in part, about reclaiming the word “slut”. The original founder of the first Slutwalk said as much herself, and there is a conservative religious critique of it which can be found at various places such as here http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/lay-down-your-arms/

    I’ll quote a bit at length: “If you doubt this, consider the case of the slutwalks. Many (most?) have completely misunderstood what these are about. The stated point of the global demonstrations is to stop excusing rapists based on how women act or are dressed. However, note that there isn’t even a single case in the western world they can point to where a forcible rapist was let off or shown lenience because the woman he raped was a slut. If they had such an example, rest assured we would have heard all about it for months*.

    So what is the global slutwalk temper tantrum really about? One respected man judged women in a minor gathering. Note that the officer who made the comments isn’t high ranking; when the feminists howled he was reprimanded and forced to attend “further training”. He didn’t even judge them in an overt way. The context of his statement acknowledged that there was such a thing as a slut, and that it isn’t a good thing to be one. Here are the exact words from a CBC article on the first slutwalk:

    In January, Toronto Police Const. Michael Sanguinetti told a personal security class at York University that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

    This is what the global temper tantrum is all about. A respected man acknowledged the existence of sluts. To men this is a throwaway comment. To sluts, it is a scathing indictment. It burns their souls and demands comfort to make the pain go away. ”

    The article basically says the goal of the slutwalks is to get social approval for female sexual promiscuity.

    Now, I wanted to lay that out there because I agree that’s part of it, maybe a big part of it. I’m not religious and I’d marry a certain type of loose woman – I certainly want no “prude”. But I have to face the reality on the ground as to what the walks are all about, and I think we all have to remember that certain aspects of “sluthood” (drinking to oblivion, sometimes not knowing your partners name in the morning) can lead to all kinds of bad consequences for women (less so for men), and certainly doesn’t increase one’s physical safety.

    BUT:

    There’s a part you have all missed: at least in Canada and USA the slutwalks are expressly linked to the “rape culture” meme. They are also tying this into the “street harassment” movement, with groups such as “Hollaback NY” participating at some of these marches. They literally view male wolf-whistles and staring at them as acts akin to rape, and this must be fought. So it’s not just about reclaiming slut and shaming any man who won’t commit to such a woman or any woman who dares to have an idea of what a “lady” should be like. No, it’s worse. It’s about controlling male sexuality. It’s pretending that clothes do not matter, deportment, behaviors do not matter, all women deserve sexual respect, and sexual respect is defined in only the most stringent, neo-puritanical terms. ANY pushback to this is considered evidence of rape culture. So no, it doesn’t really matter to them whether clothing choice makes one safer in avoiding rape, the marches certainly are’nt about rape; no they are about female social status and part of an effort to redefine what is acceptable cultural and legal expressions of MALE SEXUALITY.

    • elissa says:

      Yes. If it really was for social approval of female sexual promiscuity, then I would support that.

      And I’m not sure if the aspect of sexual status seeking was ignored. Those of us that disagree with the parades, mock them relentlessly, also called negging – or the chinking the armor of the status seeker, with a blow torch. Having said that, I do believe that some of them really believe in what they are doing, at least at the “belief” “level”. Which then all turns to the larger subject of intelligence – having a goal, having the fuel of desire, and having confidence in your knowledge to possess a viable belief. The last part is what gets mucked up by leisure. The real root of the problem is leisure, I’m afraid.

  11. Elise says:

    Meh, same old from Pags. Not only did I know this would be her reaction to Slutwalk (when I saw a post about it on that site where you interviewed Mark), practically THIS SPEECH IN HER VOICE went through my head! (Argh, Paglia is my superego!!) She’s been saying this sort of thing about middle-class young women dressing like sluts in the streets longtime. And I think she’s right. Besides, women dressing like sluts, whether in pop music or in the bar, is a really old meme, so get with it, young feminists. Unfortunately for Western feminism, at a certain point, slut ceases to signify female freedom and power and just signifies slut. If we want to express our sexuality, we’re going to have to do go back and do a lot more work.

    So what do your shorts taste like?

    • 😀 I think it shows she isn’t being dotty but quite sensible, even if a true Paglia devotee could have predicted her speech. Someone else analysed it and pointed out all the Paglia memes in it – drag queens, Babylon etc!

      I liked it. But then I had been reading all the pro-slutwalk stuff and getting thoroughly depressed.

  12. elflojo84 says:

    “Honorable men do not rape. But protests and parades cannot create honor.”

    Yes! A great way of putting it

  13. Well I’m on page 9 of Sexual Personae and I don’t know if I’ll persevere through the whole thing but this quote was interesting:

    “Hence The sexes are caught in a comedy of historical indebtedness. Man, repelled by his debt to a physical mother, created an alternate reality, a heterocosm to give him the illusion of freedom. Woman, at first content to accept man’s protections but now inflamed with desire for her own illusory freedom, invades man’s systems and suppresses her indebtedness to him as she steals them. By head-magic she will deny theere ever was a problem of sex and nature. She has inherited the anxiety of influence.”

    • elflojo84 says:

      I’m interested in the ideas of the book, but not sure I could struggle through 200 pages of prose like that!

  14. Dave Weeden says:

    Prostitutes, strippers, pornographers—these are my Babylonian ideals. In books such as Vamps & Tramps, I fought [… etc. Translation: it’s all about me! I wrote a book! I did!] But its confused message is a symptom of the sexual chaos and anomie of the Western bourgeoisie. [What is ‘sexual chaos’? Is it a bad thing? ‘anomie’ is simply vacuous and pretentious, but so was the rest of this paragraph, carry on.]

    Don’t call yourself a slut [they’re not; they’re dressing as they want to dress, which is like sluts in the eyes of reaction: no more, no less. But why think beyond the title?]unless you are prepared to live and defend yourself like one. My creed [me again! this is another good bit! I get to talk about me!] is street-smart feminism [how bloody teenage], al ert, wary, and militant—the harsh survival code of streetwalkers and drag queens. [Poseur alert, neenaw] Sex is a force of nature , not just a social construct. [Not being raped isn’t about sex; and how society conducts itself, and whom it protects most certainly is a social construct.] Monsters stalk its midnight realm. [Unbelievable. Someone tell her that Private Eye doesn’t pay for Pseud’s Corner.] Too many overprotected middle-class girls have a dangerously naive view of the world. [Unlike Camille, the thinking girl’s Sean Bean.] They fail to see the animality and primitivism of sex, historically controlled by traditions of religion and morality now steadily dissolving in the West. [Primitivism sounds like a social construct to me, but hey ho.]

    The sexual revolution won [!!!??1] by my 1960s generation was a two-edged sword [pointless cliche; doesn’t mean anything, but swords! hey Freud, over here mate!]. Our liberation has burdened our successors with too many sexual choices too early. [But I thought sex was primitivist not socially constructed, so how the hell did this happen? It’s a force of nature even the Hoover Dam couldn’t reign in, never mind some running bitches of the bourgeoisie] Their flesh-baring daily dress is a sex mime to whose arousing signals they seem blind. [Here on, it’s just words. Camille owns a dictionary. Shame she doesn’t realise that it gives definitions.]

    I thank you.

  15. Sarah AB says:

    QRG – I didn’t like the Camille Paglia stuff AT ALL (though I did rather like Sexual Personae). Perhaps I’m fairly well disposed towards SlutWalk because I haven’t read as much about it as you though! Thinking further about the conversations I’ve joined in with on Harry’s Place and Socialist Unity, I think an underlying problem is that there is such confusion in people’s minds between female sexual attractiveness – as manifested through dress and makeup – and sexual delinquency. Women are rewarded and punished for the same things in a confusing way. Clearly modern mores can be confusing for men too – see the Socialist Unitythread for debates on how much men have to do to ensure their partner’s consent.
    http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=8213

    • billsnshits says:

      The descriptions of the courtship/make-out process on that forum are remarkable. You’ll never hear that kind of thing on tv or on the street as people hold back from subtle, suggestive analysis out of embarrassment.

      But one poster there really voices the line of the most hard core interpretation of the slutwalks slogans.
      The sustained pushback he gets, trying to demonstrate how obviously ridiculous such “anti-sex” positions are, does reveal a belief that it’s worth pushing back. That is, it isn’t a small opinion held by a few wackos.

      Maybe the slutwalkers just don’t know jack about romance, period. Maybe they’re all overprivileged virgins.

      What about a communication strategy staged as counter protest:
      consentwalks, where men (and women, for the sissies in the slutwalk parade) offer to teach or to be instructed in the art, social engineering, law, whatever people want to focus on, of consensual courting.

      How many paraders would keep their slogans, when they realized what they actually mean,
      after a few minutes of stopping on the sidewalk to try the consentwalk workshop:

      “hello, may I address to you?”
      “no, you may not address to me”
      “Sorry to bother”
      (goes on to next session)
      “helo…”
      “yes you may address me”
      “may I talk to you”
      “yes you may talk to me”
      “may I comment on the tailoring quality of your torn hand stocking?”
      “you may comment on it”
      “it is well made”
      “…”
      (dumb, passive, silent waiting on the part of the girl. he continues)

      “may I shake your hand in ambiguously sensual greeting?”
      “you may shake my hand in ambiguously sensual–wha?! no.”
      (goes on to next session)

      Just have 50 men and women, all well dressed, as a counter protest station at some point along the parade.

      I think men’s rights are too busy licking their wounds at how women will exterminate them. And the rest of the world doesn’t care enough to notice the slutwalks.

      • billsnshits says:

        Or maybe I’m a pollyanna twit and all the parades are just hundreds and even thousands of gail dines clones, with a penis guillotine in one hand and a severed penis they caught, to be used real soon in a tv spot about how real men don’t rape…or else.

        (btw, they’re so incestuous at the guardian, with journalist photos in place of names. No wonder left wing media hypocrites can’t debate anything, they treat their world as the set of “Cheers” where everybody knows your name)

      • Haha, that consentworkshop would be hilarious!!

        • elflojo84 says:

          Here’s an idea, if we’re going to cut out the ambiguous business of non-verbal communication from the sexual world the whole process will be simpler so we might as well all cut to the chase. I fully support the feminists ideas, adn henceforth will approach every girl I like the look of and ask her if she wants to fuck me.

          Can’t see Cath Elliot complining about that!

  16. elflojo84 says:

    Yeah I can’t stand being told I should ask for permission to touch a girl. Have these people ever HAD sex?? Do they understand how totally unsexy it is to ask befroe you do something? Yes, grabbing a girls fanny straight away would be harrassment. That’s why you start with a light brush on the arm and guage the reaction, go on to put yoru arm round her shoulders a little later; if she seems receptive at that point, wait a while and move in for the kiss; etc etc. It’s called flirting. It’s how we interact sexually. The reductum ad absurdium you use illustrates it perfectly, at what point do you have to start running every new development by her? And at what point do you have to stop? Feminists, rightly, always point out that rape within a relationship is just as bad as if not worse than stranger rape – but by their own logic, combined with the obsession with verbal consent, that means a couple who have been married fifty years must still ask permission for every step of the way every time they have sex.

    The first comment on that thread was complaining about how kissing shouldn’t be an indication that “sexual touching” might be OK because “How many women and girls have been enticed into a kiss or even a snog only to suddenly find they are being molested and are then to frightened to withdraw from the kiss perhaps fearing what comes next or thoroughly shamed and intimidated”.

    Well, relatively very few. The fact is that for a lot of girls a kiss does indicate that they want to be touched, and for a lot it doesn’t. How do I tell the difference? Reading signals and knowing her personality in the lead up to the kiss; or failing that firm physical / verbal indications that I misread them. If there really are girls who are actually too scared to say no when a guy they’re kissing moves his hands down to her bum then I feel desparately sorry for them. But they must be one in several thousand, the rest of the world shouldn’t be expected to radically alter their established methods of interaction to allow for a tiny minority of people with severe issues.

  17. […] that men and masculinity are problems seems to underpin most gender campaigning these days, from SlutWalks to anti-Street Harassment projects, to the masculinist movement. The average, contemporary man […]

  18. […] there is certainly a measure of hypocrisy in the movement (check out Camille Paglia’s statement on Slutwalk and Chelsea Fagan’s essay for two insightful critiques), what is so disappointing […]

  19. […] disagree with their conclusion. And I think feminist firebrand Camille Paglia would too. She was critical of the ‘victim feminism’ that underpinned the SlutWalks. Other […]

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