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Camille Paglia

  • It's patriarchal society that has freed me as a woman.

  • Feminism, arguing from the milder women's view, completely misses the blood-lust in rape, the joy of violation and destruction.

  • There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.

  • Children are monsters of unbridled egotism and will, for they spring directly from nature, hostile intimations of immorality.

  • Poetry is the connecting link between body and mind.

  • We could make an epic catalog of male achievements. ... If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.

  • [On U.S. universities:] The bland leading the bland.

  • I sometimes call my new system 'Italian pagan Catholicism,' but it could more accurately be called 'pragmatic liberalism,' with roots in Enlightenment political philosophy. It is a synthesis of the enduring dual elements in our culture, pagan and Judeo-Christian, Romantic and Classic.

  • Education has become a prisoner of contemporaneity.

  • ... our major universities are now stuck with an army of pedestrian, toadying careerists, Fifties types who wave around Sixties banners to conceal their record of ruthless, beaverlike tunneling to the top.

  • Madonna has a far profounder vision of sex than do the feminists. She sees both the animality and the artifice. Changing her costume style and hair color virtually every month, Madonna embodies the eternal values of beauty and pleasure. Feminism says, 'No more masks.' Madonna says we are nothing but masks. Through her enormous impact on young women around the world, Madonna is the future of feminism.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Madonna I: Animality and Artifice," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Madonna's great instinctive intelligence was evident to me from her earliest videos.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Madonna II: Venus of the Radio Waves," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Contemporary feminism cut itself off from history and bankrupted itself when it spun its puerile, paranoid fantasy of male oppressors and female sex-object victims. Woman is the dominant sex.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Madonna II: Venus of the Radio Waves," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • I am radically pro-pornography and pro-prostitution. Hence I perceive Madonna's strutting sexual exhibitionism not as cheapness or triviality but as the full, florid expression of the whore's ancient rule over men. Incompetent amateurs have given prostitution a bad name.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Madonna II: Venus of the Radio Waves," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Hollywood, America's greatest modern contribution to world culture, is a business, a religion, an art form, and a state of mind.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Elizabeth Taylor: Hollywood's Pagan Queen," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • [On rape:] If it is a totally devastating psychological experience for a woman, then she doesn't have a proper attitude toward sex. It's this whole stupid feminist thing about how we are basically nurturing, benevolent people, and sex is a wonderful thing between two equals. With that kind of attitude, then of course rape is going to be a total violation of your entire life ...

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "The Rape Debate, Continued," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • You know what gets me sick and tired? The battered-woman motif. It's so misinterpreted ... everyone knows throughout the world that many of these working-class relationships where women get beat up have hot sex. They ask why she won't leave him? Maybe she won't leave him because the sex is very hot. I say we should start looking at the battered-wife motif in terms of sex.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "The Rape Debate, Continued," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Feminism ... does not see what is for men the eroticism or fun element in rape, especially the wild, infectious delirium of gang rape.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "The Rape Debate, Continued," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Teaching is a performance art.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Every year, feminists provide more and more evidence for the old charge that women can neither think nor write.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • My anti-liberal position should not be mistaken for conservatism ...

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • I'm someone who is on the record as being pro-pornography — all the way through kiddie porn and snuff films.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Crisis in the American Universities," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • ... before feminism was, Paglia was!

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Crisis in the American Universities," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Every revolution eventually needs a new revolution.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "Crisis in the American Universities," Sex, Art, and American Culture ()
  • Hollywood is the great thing that America has done and given to the world.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • in Stewart Brand, "Scream of Consciousness," Wired ()
  • My dream is to have someday a bank of TVs, where all the different channels could be on and I could be monitoring them. I would love that. The more the better. I love the tabloid stuff. The trashier the program is, the more I feel it's TV. ... Because that's TV's mode. That's the Age of Hollywood. The idea of PBS — heavy-duty "Masterpiece Theater," Bill Moyers — I hate all that.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • in Stewart Brand, "Scream of Consciousness," Wired ()
  • ... Judeo-Christians have got to respect the pagan truth shown in the popular culture of sex and violence. It's meaningful about the elemental forces of life, the brutality of life and nature.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • in Colin Covert, "I'll Talk, You Listen," Minneapolis Star Tribune ()
  • If men are obsolete, then women will soon be extinct — unless we rush down that ominous Brave New World path where women clone themselves by parthenogenesis, as famously do Komodo dragons, hammerhead sharks, and pit vipers.

    • Camille Paglia,
    • "It's a Man's World, and It Always Will Be," in Time ()

Camille Paglia, U.S. social critic

(1947)

Full name: Camille Anna Paglia.