You probably won’t see her on Fox News. And she doesn’t have a column in National Review. But a lesbian academic trained at Yale, Camille Paglia, who describes herself as a “notorious Amazon feminist,” is an unlikely prophet of cultural doom. And maybe that’s why we should listen to what she has to say.
In a wide-ranging interview in the Wall Street Journal, Paglia says most feminists today deny the basic differences between the sexes, and as a consequence are setting us up for a huge fall. “What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,” she says.
How? Well, Paglia says, many members of the cultural elite have no experience in the military and in fact disdain military service, a traditionally male province. “These people don’t think in military ways,” Paglia says, “so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind…. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.”
Friends, as our friend Chuck Colson would say, this isn’t primarily a knowledge problem. It’s a worldview problem. Paglia says modern feminists pass that misunderstanding onto the rest of us at the earliest opportunity—in kindergarten.
“Primary-school education is a crock, basically,” Paglia warns. “They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.” As the Journal article relates, “she sees the tacit elevation of ‘female values’—such as sensitivity, socialization and cooperation—as the main aim of teachers, rather than fostering creative energy and teaching hard geographical and historical facts.”
And the same thing happens, she says, all the way to college. “The PC gender politics things,” Paglia says, “the way gender is being taught in the universities… is all about neutralization of maleness.” Another prominent feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers, who first alerted us to the ongoing “war against boys” in the culture, agrees, saying, “Boys are languishing academically, while girls are soaring.”
Male neutralization, Paglia says, includes the idea that men and women are biologically the same and that gender is nothing but a social construct. And this is why we shouldn’t be surprised that California schools have started to allow kindergartners with supposed “gender identity” issues to go to whichever bathroom they choose.
Paglia warns us that men have “no models of manhood” in our culture, adding: “Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now.” The culture, this feminist admits, needs men and it will die without them. Wow.
So what to do about it? Paglia suggests a “revalorization” of traditionally masculine trades, such as construction, electrical, and plumbing work, which pay well enough but don’t come with the PC cache of a college degree. Well, that’s a start, but what I’d really like to see is a “revalorization” of traditionally masculinevirtues.
We have too many guys, even in the church, afraid to be men. We need men not afraid to be strong risk-takers, to be courageous, to take responsibility, who are self-controlled, gentle leaders and willing providers. We need these real men in our homes and the public square, in churches and in neighborhoods. Remember, God made us male and female. We need both.
Now I realize I may be walking on thin ice here, because virtue is not gender specific. Women can also be strong! I pray my own daughters will be bold risk-takers for the kingdom—but as women, not as men.
Come to BreakPoint.org for some strong Christian resources and good reads on masculinity, what it means to be a man—for men and for boys. . . because we need strong women and strong men. In fact, Western civilization depends upon it. Just ask Camille Paglia.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.
Publication date: January 9, 2013.