I like Camille Paglia. She’s ornery and interesting, not subservient to the orthodoxies so stultifying to other public intellectual academic types of her acclaim.
Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie did an hour-long interview with the woman herself, and the whole thing is worth a watch (Or listen, as I did, while cleaning my house. How’s that for maximizing the intellectual potential of my gender conformity?). But here, for your viewing pleasure is Paglia on Hillary Clinton, coattail rider and enabler of a sexual criminal, as she puts it without compunction. It’s worth it just for the Rock-style eyebrow lift and Gillespie’s barely-contained reaction. I might make it my ringtone.
In this clip, she also makes reference to the power disparity between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, which has always been one of the more problematic things about the whole incident and feminists’ dismissal of Clinton’s sins. I was just thinking about it today as Monica Lewinsky spoke at TED. The subject of her talk was cyberbullying, with Lewinsky plausibly claiming to be one of the first victims of this unfortunate Internet pastime. This is the part that got me.
She began her speech by joking she was the only 40-something who did not wish to be 22 again.
“At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss. At the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences.”
Look, Lewinsky was an adult at 22. She did something wrong. It’s also perfectly predictable that a 22-year-old intern might do something dumb and wrong when encouraged by her boss who happens to be the leader of the free world. As Paglia puts it, the “disparity of power…was one of the most grotesque ever,” and it would have been utterly inexcusable to feminists and Hillary herself in any workplace, except it was exploited in the service of a Democratic president. Not to mention the trashing of Bill’s various accusers. Paglia’s always been on the right side of this issue, calling out feminists for one of their most high-profile blind-eye-turnings.
I recommend the whole interview, but the various subjects are conveniently marked and hyperlinked here for your picking and choosing.