War on Men
Is there a "War on Men" to go along with the left's assertion that there is a "war on women"? If you look at the gender learning gap, the fact that boys are falling behind in education, the gender mess in Massachusetts, the attacks on the boys scouts, manhood, football and suicide, you would have to agree that something is going on, whether orchestrated or by accident. Follow the debate below.

Camille Paglia on Hugh Hefner's Legacy, Trump's Masculinity and Feminism's Sex Phobia

10/4/17
from The Hollywood Reporter,
10/2/17:

The pro-sex feminist, cultural critic and author tells THR why Hef's art of seduction is needed today and how Gloria Steinem is not a role model for young women.

Was Hugh Hefner a misogynist? Absolutely not! The central theme of my wing of pro-sex feminism is that all celebrations of the sexual human body are positive. Second-wave feminism went off the rails when it was totally unable to deal with erotic imagery, which has been a central feature of the entire history of Western art ever since Greek nudes.

Hugh Hefner absolutely revolutionized the persona of the American male. In the post-World War II era, men's magazines were about hunting and fishing or the military, or they were like Esquire, erotic magazines with a kind of European flair. Hefner reimagined the American male as a connoisseur in the continental manner, a man who enjoyed all the fine pleasures of life, including sex. Hefner brilliantly put sex into a continuum of appreciative response to jazz, to art, to ideas, to fine food. This was something brand new.

What do you think about the fact that Trump's childhood hero and model of sophisticated American masculinity was Hefner? Before the election, I kept pointing out that the mainstream media based in Manhattan, particularly The New York Times, was hopelessly off in the way it was simplistically viewing Trump as a classic troglodyte misogynist. I certainly saw in Trump the entire Playboy aesthetic, including the glitzy world of casinos and beauty pageants. It's a long passé world of confident male privilege that preceded the birth of second-wave feminism. There is no doubt that Trump strongly identified with it as he was growing up. It seems to be truly his worldview. But it is categorically not a world of unwilling women. Nor is it driven by masculine abuse. It's a world of show girls, of flamboyant femaleness, a certain kind of strutting style that has its own intoxicating sexual allure — which most young people attending elite colleges today have had no contact with whatever. I instantly recognized and understood it in Trump because I had always been an admirer of Hefner's sexual cosmos. I can certainly see how retrograde and nostalgic it is, but at the same time I maintain that even in the photos that The New York Times posted in trying to convict Trump of sexism, you can feel leaping from these pictures the intense sizzle of sexual polarization — in that long-ago time when men were men and women were women!

My 1960s generation was the gender-bending generation — we were all about blending the genders in fashion and attitude.

The unhappy truth is that the more the sexes have blended, the less each sex is interested in the other. So we're now in a period of sexual boredom and inertia, complaint and dissatisfaction, which is one of the main reasons young men have gone over to pornography.

With the sexes so bored with each other, all that's left are these feminist witch-hunts. That's where the energy is! And meanwhile, men are shrinking. I see men turning away from women and simply being content with the world of fantasy because women have become too thin-skinned, resentful and high-maintenance.

And American women don't know what they want any longer. In general, French women — the educated, middle-class French women, I mean — seem to have a feminine composure, a distinct sense of themselves as women, which I think women in America have gradually lost as they have won job equality in our high-pressure career system.

(And I'm speaking here as a Democrat who voted for Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein!)

Ultimately every culture seems to return to sexual polarization because it may be in the best interest of human beings, whether we like it or not. Nature drives every species to procreate, although not necessarily when there's overpopulation!

Do men need a kind of Hefner for today to give an example of how to interact with women in a sophisticated manner? Yes. Women's sexual responses are notoriously slower than men's. Truly sophisticated seducers knew that women have to be courted and that women love an ambiance, setting a stage. Today, alas, too many young women feel they have to provide quick sex or they'll lose social status. If a guy can't get sex from them, he'll get it from someone else. There's a general bleak atmosphere of grudging compliance. Today's hook-up culture, which is the ultimate product of my generation's sexual revolution, seems markedly disillusioning in how it has reduced sex to male needs, to the general male desire for wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am efficiency, with no commitment afterwards. We're in a period of great sexual confusion and rancor right now. The sexes are very wary of each other. There's no pressure on men to marry because they can get sex very easily in other ways. The sizzle of sex seems gone.

This may be one reason for the ferocious pressure by so many current feminists to reinforce the Stalinist mechanisms, the pernicious PC rules that have invaded colleges everywhere. Feminists want supervision and surveillance of dating life on campus to punish men if something goes wrong and the girl doesn't like what happened. I am very concerned that what young women are saying through this strident feminist rhetoric is that they feel incapable of conducting independent sex lives. They require adult intrusion and supervision and penalizing of men who go astray. But if feminism means anything, it should be encouraging young women to take control of every aspect of their sex lives, including their own impulses, conflicts and disappointments. That's what's tragic about all this. Young women don't seem to realize that in demanding adult inquiry into and adjudication of their sex lives, they are forfeiting their own freedom and agency.

For ideological feminists to go on and on about how we cannot have women treated as sex objects is so naive, so uncultured. It shows a total incomprehension of the history of art, which flows into the great Hollywood movies and sex symbols of the 20th century. The whole history of art is about objectification. That's what an art work is: it's an artifact, an object. Because of our advanced brains, it is the nature of human beings to make sex objects — objects of worship. Turning a person into a beautiful thing does not automatically dehumanize her.

When we worship beauty, we are worshipping life itself.

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