Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism by Camille Paglia

By Camille Paglia

From the fiery highbrow provocateur and considered one of our such a lot fearless advocates of gender equality, an excellent, pressing essay assortment that either celebrates smooth feminism and demanding situations us to construct an alliance of sturdy girls and powerful men.
Ever because the unencumber of her seminal first booklet, Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia has remained certainly one of feminism's so much outspoken, self reliant, and searingly clever voices. Now, for the 1st time, her most sensible essays at the topic are collected jointly in a single concise quantity. no matter if she's calling for equivalent chance for American ladies (years ahead of the founding of the nationwide association for Women), championing a extra discerning typical of attractiveness that is going past plastic surgery's quest for everlasting adolescence, lauding the releasing strength of rock and roll, or hard loose and unfettered speech on college campuses and past, Paglia can continuously count directly to get to the center of concerns huge and small.

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It must be stressed that my flamboyant media presence lasted scarcely four years and was boosted by the official book tours for three bestsellers in a row (1991–94). After that, like the Roman general Cincinnatus returning to his plow, I simply resumed my cherished seclusion as a teacher and writer. As I often say, I’m just a schoolmarm! The title of this book exalts freedom as an indispensable condition for the incubation and flourishing of individualism. My libertarian feminism, which takes the best from both liberalism and conservatism but is decidedly neither, places freedom of thought and speech above all ideology.

Barbra Streisand has never received due credit for her pioneering role in shattering female convention and laying the groundwork for second-wave feminism. Emerging from bohemian nightclubs where her campy patter and vintage costumes were shaped by gay male sensibility, Streisand embodied a scrappy non-conformism and confrontational toughness that strikingly contrasted with the emotional depth and elegant beauty of her singing. Her uncompromising ethnicity was career-risking: she refused to bob her prominent Jewish nose or moderate her harsh Brooklyn accent.

Our understanding of sexuality, a paradigmatic theme and indeed obsession of modern culture, has been clouded by its current politicization. Sex and gender have been redefined by ill-informed academic theorists as superficial, fictive phenomena produced by oppressive social forces, disconnected from biology. This hallucination has sowed confusion among young people and seriously damaged feminism. A gender theory without reference to biology is absurd on its face. But as a proponent of dynamic free will, I certainly do not subscribe to a wholesale biological determinism.

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