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.