Barack Obama | Camille Paglia | Gay Rights | News

Camille Paglia: Gay Activists 'Childish' for Demanding Rights


Camille Paglia is never at a loss for an opinion about anything. Here's she's interviewed by Canada's Xtra about her break-up with her partner, how long-term lesbian relationships are challenged, Obama, and gay activists who are "childish" for demanding rights when the President has so much on his plate.

I've actually never experienced her on camera before, but something about this reads Mink Stole to me.


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  1. No - gay USA shouldn't wait any longer - she can call you children if she likes - fuck her (oh........was that childish too?).

    Surely it takes less time to get an issue out of the way (and we are WAY in their way at the moment what with DOMA, ENDA, DADT- than it does to keep putting it off?

    Excuses (like Paglia) waste oxygen.

    Posted by: Glynn | Jun 25, 2009 12:55:45 PM

  2. ASFSAF: Its Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

    Posted by: Lan | Jun 25, 2009 12:59:34 PM

  3. I'm sorry, but this woman isn't stable. Her ex probably dropped her because she wouldn't shut up, even during sex. Neurotic, in the truest sense.

    Posted by: Keith | Jun 25, 2009 1:00:32 PM

  4. Strange how much Cammille Paglia looks like Terry Schiavo in that picture. I think Camille is working with the same level of intelligence, too.

    Posted by: Jersey | Jun 25, 2009 1:02:44 PM

  5. I've never understood what was supposed to make her interesting. Her intellectual ruminations always seem based on her private life and over-generalized to everyone else.

    Lesbians can't keep the spark alive. Same gender parenting is too confusing if they're both equally involved. And we should keep the drumbeat of activism and pressure going, but doing so is childish.

    What's childish is her lifelong obsession with pop idols and her attempt to make that something serious.

    Posted by: adamblast | Jun 25, 2009 1:06:18 PM

  6. I think this President actually does look at issues and makes decisions, unlike the previous one. I do think he knows the LGBT issues are at a boiling point is trying very hard to avoid making the same mistakes that Clinton did right out of the box. Further, me thinks the vast majority of the bellyaching is coming from the middle/upper middle class privileged elite of the Gay community and/or malcontents who have done little in the way of activism other than bitching on Towleroad.

    I don't think the vast majority of the minority Gay community is anywhere near at the same point as White males are in relation to what the President is doing and how he is doing it. Most of us are a little bit more interested in the economy, etc.. I am not saying rights are not important, but, feeding yourself and having a home trump Doma right now. Btw, I despise DADT and rail about it constantly.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Jun 25, 2009 1:07:36 PM

  7. great! now, if all of us were to take to the media and denounce her for the self-serving and self-servicing fraud she is, perhaps we could all be more productive.

    Posted by: nic | Jun 25, 2009 1:09:50 PM

  8. No surprise here. She's famous for laying at least some of the blame on a victim as a rule.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jun 25, 2009 1:14:49 PM

  9. Wrong, wrong, wrong.... easier for gay men to have a "romantic fling" than it is for lesbians who are in a relationship together?, it's betrayal for lesbians or gay men in a committed monogamous relationships, no different honey!!! How can this woman speak for men, fine if she wants to offer her perspective on how she feels as a woman but shut up when it comes to men...

    Posted by: Matt | Jun 25, 2009 1:15:28 PM

  10. 2/3 of what Paglia says is total nonsense, but I do respect her for just following her own freak flag and not repeating the conventional bromides.

    I don't agree with much of what she says here but I agree about Obama. It's not of course that he literally doesn't have time - but the President only has so much political capital. That's just a reality and right now he's using all his power to get health care passed, not to mention cap and trade. I don't think there's any reason for gay activists to wait -- in fact we are pressing on many different fronts, state and federal, and in many small ways the Obama administration is cooperating. THe problem with DADT in the first months of 1993 was not only that we ended up losing the battle, because it was begun so sloppily, but that it set the Clinton administration back so much -- the point is, success builds on success, and if Obama is seen after his first year as someone who can't pass on anything, there's not going to be any progress, neither on health care or gay rights.

    But overall as much as I care about marriage and other issues, it's not my priority. I think universal health care is much more important (to gays and lesbians as well as everyone), global warning (what good marriage if the world ceases to exist?), even immigration reform -- these are more urgent issues to me. (Not to mention increasing peace in a very violent world and bringing our entire economic system back from the brink of collapse.

    Posted by: michael | Jun 25, 2009 1:19:25 PM

  11. She's certainly brilliant. Some of her work is quite insightful. But when intellect is prostituted for the sole purpose of gaining notoriety or money, and it seems that this is again the case, it makes her seem buffoonish and utterly irrelevant.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jun 25, 2009 1:22:22 PM

  12. As a community, we must take a broader view of world events if we want to be taken seriously.

    Every gay person I know says the most important problem facing us right now is lack of marriage equality, or DADT.

    Except those gay folks who have been laid off. They need a job.

    Except those gay folks fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. They need the wars to end.

    Except those gay folks whose home was just foreclosed. They need affordable housing.

    Except those gay folks from Iran, they're not thinking about anything else right now.

    Our total equality is important, but so are about 50,000 other things. From one proud homo to all my angry brothers and sisters on this beautiful Pride week: come off it.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Jun 25, 2009 1:29:37 PM

  13. Finally...I am so glad I finally found someone who agrees with me. It's so embarrassing to me to watch gay groups in the news bitching and moaning about LGBT rights (as well as other social activist groups) when we have a horrendous recession going on and an unwinnable war still waged in the middle east...two issues which are FAR more pressing than gay marriage or DADT.

    Posted by: Robbie | Jun 25, 2009 1:32:03 PM

  14. What she is missing (and others on here) is that the LGBT community was quite patient with Obama and made few demands until that interminable DOMA brief. It was a terrible miscalculation on the part of the administration and lead to the tactics we are currently seeing. If the DOJ had not filed that brief, Paglia would be right. However, they did file a brief only slightly modified from what the Bush administration would have filed and now they have hell to pay. Paglia is dead wrong. It is not selfishness, but self preservation that is driving the current actions of the community. Once again Paglia is the lone (and wrong) voice in the wilderness and I think she is selfish for continually pushing her views on us. She is not a leader of any sort in my eyes.

    Posted by: Yet another John | Jun 25, 2009 1:33:16 PM

  15. "I don't think the vast majority of the minority Gay community is anywhere near at the same point as White males are in relation to what the President is doing...."

    Hi, Derek:

    Actually, I receieved worse criticism on my favorite black gay blog for standing by my President. Those of us who still support the President were called "House Negroes" (as opposed to the much more noble "Field Negroes". I had to hold my tongue due to my respect for the host of that blog (Rod 2.0) and I respect his insistence on civility. But, Honey, you know how much I wanted to cuss them...well....well...

    A fuckin' feeding frenzy over the last two weeks--that's what it was. Hysterical Homo Hyenas! Anyway, I did what I've done ALL my life when I've come across....unpleasant gays: I fled....just stay away.

    But you know, I think many "activist minded" gays would be surprised to know just how "ordinary" gay folks are not angry with the new President.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 25, 2009 1:42:59 PM

  16. well, all i can say is that once upon a time, some people thought ms. paglia may have had something positive to contribute to the conversation. but, wow, this woman is frantically dog paddling to the banks of safety of public discourse and acceptance. not unlike ann coulter, her extreme views are bogging her down in the muck and mire of her own creation. welcome to the turbid and torpidity of the river which you decided to pollute. polemicism serves no one.

    you two beatches stop it, unless you want to be vilified further.

    Posted by: nic | Jun 25, 2009 1:44:56 PM

  17. I THINK SHE'S BRILLIANT!and....she is sadly right about gays in America.

    Posted by: doro | Jun 25, 2009 1:49:22 PM

  18. I don't understand the vitriol towards Camille in the comments. You may disagree with her opinions, but if you're going to comment, the least you can do is create a reasonable response in order to further the dialogue. Instead, most are simply attacking the messenger.

    I think she's right in saying that gay and lesbian parents would do well in not defining their family in a heterosexual framework and vocabulary. Kids are smart and can recognize that their family is different than the rest of their friends.

    And while she does generalize the differences between male and female sexuality, generalizations and stereotypes exist for a reason. Her saying that it’s easier for a gay couple to deal with sex outside the confines of a monogamous relationship isn’t a put down. She’s expressing envy. Comments denying the existence of that model only serves to stunt our growth as a community.

    What is this obsession by the majority of homosexuals – at least on here – to try and force themselves into a hetero-normal framework? Physically and emotionally we are different from our straight counterparts. Physically and emotionally we are different from our lesbian counterparts. And that’s ok. Society should have room for all of us to peacefully coexist. But before that can ever happen, we have to accept and admit our differences.

    I also want to respond to Pete who said, “She was the one that wrote an article saying essentially that Mathew Shepard was running around picking up tricks like all gay men and he should have expected something like would happen.” That is such a simplistic reading of her article. She related the story of Matthew Shepard to illustrate how the liberal media – in her opinion – have simplified and hijacked the gay debate, forcing detractors underground because their position is not given credence in the mainstream media, only to manifest their opposition in more violent ways.

    As far as Obama goes, I’m of the generation that knows that time is on our side. Without donations and boycott fundraisers if you want, I don’t have a problem with that. But it is very difficult to listen to interviews with gay activists complain about the lack of movement on gay issues and not feel like they’re whining. Just sayin…

    Posted by: NOLAPHILLY | Jun 25, 2009 1:51:40 PM

  19. In 2009, Camille Paglia is as relevant to critical, socio-political, and academic thought as the band A Flock of Seagulls is to popular music.

    She's never been pro-gay rights, has always been a predictable reactionary, and in the last couple of decades has often spent her energy just slightly revising what she's heard on Rush Limbaugh that week (she's a huge fan of Rush) into slightly more pretentious, but intellectually lazy, rabble-rousing.

    Come to think of it, though, Flock of Seagulls had more realistic hair in the '80s than Paglia's current 'do. They win.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Jun 25, 2009 2:04:28 PM

  20. I am always impressed with her erudition, wit, and energy. She is a woman who has suffered a lot for her opinions and has emerged stronger for it. I love it when she calls the gay community on its foot-stamping sense of entitlement, which puts their pants in a twist! The childish name-calling that goes on only proves her right.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Jun 25, 2009 2:06:34 PM

  21. This reminds me why I don't mix pain medication and cocaine any more.

    Posted by: kansastock | Jun 25, 2009 2:08:35 PM

  22. "me thinks the vast majority of the bellyaching is coming from the middle/upper middle class privileged elite of the Gay community"

    Derek, why would you discount someone's opinion or desire for equal rights based on their socioeconomic bracket? Isn't that the exact same thing that's been done to poor people throughout history? Rich people asking for SPECIAL rights is abhorent, rich or poor people demanding EQUAL rights is democracy and fairness. Thank God for anyone who fights for equality!

    @Jeffrobb -- are you saying that equal rights for an oppressed minority only come after EVERYTHING else in the world is perfect and under control? Because that day NEVER comes. It's never happened, ain't gonna happen...and it's not necessary for everything else to stop before equal rights can be addressed. That is a 100% fallacious argument. It's just a rationalized way of saying "sit down and shut up".

    @Derrick from Philly - you have the right to stand by your man, just as Sean Hannity and Elisabeth Hasselbeck stood by theirs and excused all of his incompetance and lies, but don't kid yourself into thinking that everyone who wants their rights is "activist minded" (I assume that's a euphemism for rich, spoiled people) and not just "ordinary". I'd be willing to bet you anything that you have far more money and resources than I do...if I had anything to bet with.

    Posted by: paul c | Jun 25, 2009 2:13:03 PM

  23. Paglia is completely enamored of political big men, like Fraudbama. She has a job where she does not face discrimination and she and her partner enjoyed health benefits, etc. Those of us who aren't so lucky are therefore "childish" for standing up to Papa Fraudbama.

    Posted by: Alex M | Jun 25, 2009 2:16:14 PM

  24. "I love it when she calls the gay community on its foot-stamping sense of entitlement, which puts their pants in a twist!"

    @Gabe R L -- Yeah Gabe, nothing screams "foot-stamping sense of entitlement" like people who want EQUAL rights. Where do those queers get off thinking that they should have equal rights in the United States of America? It's not like they pay taxes which in turn pay the salaries and immense benefit packages of the very (slimy) politicians who actively deny them what every single other person in this country is given at birth without having to lift a finger.

    The fact that we now actually have gays arguing against equal rights and for Obama's continuance of oppression of selected citizens (that would be us) is shocking and beyond pathetic.

    Posted by: paul c | Jun 25, 2009 2:21:04 PM

  25. "She related the story of Matthew Shepard to illustrate how the liberal media – in her opinion – have simplified and hijacked the gay debate, forcing detractors underground because their position is not given credence in the mainstream media, only to manifest their opposition in more violent ways."

    Yeah, because the anti-gay rights side was never adequately represented in the media-- particularly back at the time Paglia wrote that article. Puuuh-lease. There's been nothing MORE "politically correct" than being anti-gay in the '90s, including the massive over-representation of the views of Robertson, Dobson, Falwell, etc. in the mainstream media: you don't get to pretend to be "delightfully" un-P.C. (Like Paglia did and does) when you represent the majority anti-gay sentiment you'd find in pretty much all the polls in the '90s (and that has only been decreasing slowly to the present levels, though there's STILL a lot of anti-gay sentiment)-- but during that decade, Paglia tried to have her cake and eat it too, pretending to be "un-P.C." when she actually represented a majority viewpoint and one, in fact, overly promoted and covered in the mainstream media where your chances of seeing a far right anti-gay conservative rather than a progressive or GLBT-sympathetic minister or activist were about 20-1.

    And so we either drag Shepard's reputation through the mud like on that offensive ABC's 20/20 "blame the victim" episode-- something that, one might notice, is never done to some of these missing and murdered blonde women who fascinate the media to no end-- or else we risk creating some sort of violent backlash of pent-up mayhem from those who don't get an adequate amount of "queer bashing" on their t.v.? Give me a freakin' break.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Jun 25, 2009 2:25:51 PM

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