Camille Paglia Connects the Transgender Fad with Cultural Collapse

What interests me, is — which culture is collapsing and which is ascendant? The modern West has many cultures, and the prevailing expression of liberalism isn’t anyone’s here, whether by upbringing or by a conscious choice.

As introduced in the YouTube video below: “Author, art professor, feminist, and cultural commentator Camille Paglia speaks on the current transgender mania, the wisdom of early medical & surgical intervention (calling it ‘child abuse’), and how the explosion of gender identities is a recurring sign of cultural collapse throughout the history of civilization.”

She calls out the social mechanism for drug-induced interruption of puberty and unalterable surgical sex changes:

I personally believe that anyone who collaborates in an intrusion to a developing child’s body and mind is guilty of child abuse. A crime against humanity, because such a child is not prepared to make such a decision […] I think that it’s become a fashion. The ‘transgender’ definition has become a kind of convenient label for young people who may simply feel alienated.

At the end of the video, she calls it evil. Or as put in this fantastic cover/parody of Eminem’s White America:

All I hear is: “Nazi, Nazi, time to end all this
White supremacist patriarchy”
From kikes and feminists,
Commies telling women that man is the problem
And chopping the dick off a toddler
Cause you think his gender is wrong
Is a commendable option

But this degenerate present
Has us reminiscing the past
When then the same Satanic shit
Was met with swastika flags

She goes on to describe feminism along Heartiste’s own definition, which is: “The goal of feminism is to remove all constraints on female sexuality while maximally restricting male sexuality.” Is she a reader? In her words:

The collaboration of the bureaucratic machinery has to do with the assault on masculinity… Everything is about expanding women’s rights, but it is also about terminating men’s, and defining men out of existence. Masculinity is by definition toxic, masculinity does not exist.

Paglia speaks rapidly, in the manner familiar to those who know highly intelligent people whose thoughts race ahead of their words. Based on a short conversation she and I had two decades ago, I can confirm that she is also exceedingly charming in person.

Here she makes the connection between sexual decadence and the broader cultural one:

I have always been fascinated with the subject of androgyny… I explored it in history. The more I explored it, the more I realized that historically, the movement toward androgyny occurs in late phases of culture, as a civilization is starting to unravel. You can find it again and again in… Greek art and all of the sudden see it happening. All of the sudden… the sculptures of handsome nude young men athletes that used to be very robust in the archaic period suddenly begin to seem like wet noodles.

The people who live in such periods, in late phases of culture, whether it’s the Hellenistic era, whether it’s the Roman empire, whether it’s the Mauve Decade of Oscar Wilde in the 1890s, whether it’s the Weimar Germany…

She said “Weimar.”

… people who live in such times feel that they’re very sophisticated, they’re very cosmopolitan. [Fey voice] Homosexuality, heterosexuality, so what, anything goes, and so on. But from the perspective of historical distance, you can see that it’s a culture that no loner believes in itself.

And then what you invariably get, are people who are convinced of the power of heroic masculinity, on the edges. Whether they are the Vandals and the Huns, or whether they’re the barbarians of ISIS, you see them starting to amass on the outside of culture, and that’s what we have right now.

There is a tremendous — and rather terrifying — disconnect between the infatuation with the transgender movement in our own culture, and what’s going on out there.

When you read mainstream liberal articles, at The New Yorker and such, you will pick up on an effeminate sensibility, along with an elegiac note in the prose. The barbarians aren’t always from another country.

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16 thoughts on “Camille Paglia Connects the Transgender Fad with Cultural Collapse

  1. Recently Jordan Peterson conducted a 1.5 hour interview with her, and they substantially agreed on most everything. It’s definitely worth a listen.

  2. Pingback: Camille Paglia Connects the Transgender Fad with Cultural Collapse | Reaction Times

  3. Zhe…
    Eating around the bushes.
    Butch is…
    Half-truthing it
    Sewing…
    Egalitarian stitches.
    DESIRE…
    For radical sexual autonomy
    The itchiest of itches!
    Homo = same
    Exact same = self
    No formulaic glitches.
    Late-stage androgyny
    Is to real eyes dyke “witches.”
    A wicked West
    Likes to tickle
    A barbarian’s britches,
    Burn bridges
    Walk ledges
    Hedging their vets
    And fantasizing animal riches,
    Stirring the pot
    On the edge of a cauldron…
    white (S)upremacy twitches.

  4. MGE…

    Per HBD and the dominance of the corporate web (over nation-state memetics), these “contracts” are of very limited and explicit application. This is “good” in the sense that these “contracts” ENFORCE selective self-annihilation. In both instances, self-abnegation becomes the “norm” and an ass speck of the “default elite” is further pocked-marked. With a strict pronoun enforcement will there be the case of the insane running the asylum. And in the case of HIV decriminalization, only the infectously criminally-minded individual gains more “freedom.”

  5. I thought a Catholic married father like PA wouldn’t exactly approve of Paglia’s moral nihilism and support for abortion, among other things. She is an ultra-shitlib and definitely what T-daddy would call a “radical self-annihilator”, albeit a sarcastic self-aware one.

  6. Paglia doesn’t fit neatly in the “ultra-shitlib” box, or any other for that matter, which is what makes her pretty interesting. She’s wrong on a lot, but she’s been pretty consistently right, for quite a while, in her appreciation for masculinity and her recognition of the overwhelming attacks against it in the mainstream culture.

  7. The alt-Right can be described as a synthesis of Pat Buchanan’s moral nationalism and Camille Paglia’s amoral sex realism.

  8. Feminism, multiculturalism, and homosexuality are common at the End of Empires. There is nothing “new” about what is occurring today.

    The degradation has been incredible. We’ve moved backwards in all but a few areas.

    The best way to see the past and compare it to today.

  9. Thanks for this particularly great post, PA.
    Camille’s point is well taken and happens to coincide precisely with that of my other favorite public intellectual, the classicist, Prof Victor Davis Hanson.

    The wisdom that each brings to interpreting where we presently are and where we’re headed in the modern west, (as well as the how and why), flow from their deep study of ancient history. Study of history surely imbues us with something that the leftist, SJW and Trigglypuff factions will never have: perspective.

    Prof Hanson’s view is that Rome fell to outside forces far less numerous and far less powerful militarily than those it had stood up to over the centuries before. If you read how stubbornly and seemingly hopelessly Rome resisted, right to its gates, Hannibal’s rampage through Italy you will see what he means.

    The reason the Rome of the early 5th century fell to these lesser forces was not so much its decadence and depravity as the malady that gave rise to these symptoms: the loss of belief by Rome’s political and intellectual leaders in traditional core Roman values. In other words, Rome ended up standing for nothing – so it could not stand at all. No-one fights, (nor should they), for an amorphous body politic that represents nothing.

    Camille is right to suggest that the present state of the west mirrors the malady of Rome.

    (Camille is such an original thinker, is so gutsy in speaking her mind against the shrill harpies of institutional feminism – and likes men and maleness – that I have decided to forgive her for calling Tay-Tay “Nazi Barbie”.

  10. Well I’d been thinking several times of OT recommending the Peterson/Paglia confab. Happily enough I had caught wind someplace that it was in the works sometime before it happened, so I anticipated it eagerly.

    For reading between the lines, Peterson gets in two particular Alt-Right points: 1) sneaking in that the only explanation for KultMarx behavior is an endeavor to recreate the Soviet Union (he words this in a canny way, but I believe he cmeans this in the same way Fay Weldon’s Conspiracy Theorist in “The Spa” speaks of the Gramsci Project); and 2) the veracity of IQ. Camille doesn’t expressly latch on to either topic, but neither does she murmur any dissent.

    Camille by now has reiterated this “Western Civilization is about to COLLAPSE!!” indictment in several venues, so I think it can safely be regarded as a real preoccupation and not just a passing provocation. She’s also given public notice (this may have been in the Brooklyn Public Library lecture on youtube) that the recent feminist essay collection was her publisher’s idea, not her own: she had a different collection she wanted to produce, but they deferred on publishing that “till next year”. Perhaps she wants to tackle more pessimistic themes (she’s also become a bit of an amateur archaeologist, taking walks in the woods searching for Indian arrowheads, which makes me feel a bit protective towards her– it sounds so quaintly sad in a way). But with Peterson she was quite lit up: indeed, I think he affected her on some womanly level. There was almost a coquettishness to her final, exultant cry: “I knew it! We agreed on EVERYTHING!!!”

  11. FP liked Victor Hanson too.

    …until, he discovered that Hanson didn’t recognize the same characteristics in Murka. A man who understands Rome, but not Murka.

    He can see the problems of Rome, but not those in his own country. And what is he doing about it?

    There’s a reason why comrade Stalin executed intellectuals. Most are sterile, and mere observers in life. It is not enough to observe and write; one must also act.

  12. Vic Tanny!

    Thanks for posting that, Ryu. I’m a bit wary to reveal too much personal info, but Vic was a family friend, He and my grandfather grew up together in the old neighborhood. When I was growing up they would always talk about what a great guy he was. One of my relatives followed him out West after WWII.

  13. — Thanks for this particularly great post, PA. (Stephen Ippolito)

    Thank you very much.

    — Pre-war Poland was Red Pill (walawala)

    If I could still talk with my grandparents, who were in their early 20s before the war and fought during it… they had so many stories. Alas, saw all four of them only once as an adult but we did a lot of catching up when we met in the ’90s…

    — Perhaps she wants to tackle more pessimistic themes (she’s also become a bit of an amateur archaeologist, taking walks in the woods searching for Indian arrowheads, which makes me feel a bit protective towards her– it sounds so quaintly sad in a way). But with Peterson she was quite lit up: indeed, I think he affected her on some womanly level. There was almost a coquettishness to her final, exultant cry: “I knew it! We agreed on EVERYTHING!!!” (Lucius Somesuch)

    I really enjoyed reading that.

    (PS: I keep suddenly hearing about this Jordan Peterson, but I know nothing about him, never read him or saw him speak.)

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