Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson,Ph.D

1/5/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In spite of Camille Paglia's obvious differences with the Catholic Church, her cultural criticism, extending from the fine arts to popular culture, is worthy of study by Catholics who want to practice cultural apologetics

The present culture is robbing men of their masculinity, according to feminist scholar Camille Paglia in a recent interview. As a result, "What you're seeing is how a civilization commits suicide."  Anyone who has been around the academy in the past 30 years will have noticed the deep roots put down by feminist and gay theorists.  Their complaints about the dominance of men and the normativity of heterosexuality have permeated every part of academic culture, so much so that it has seeped into primary and secondary education as well. 

Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, will begin broadcasting in February on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, will begin broadcasting in February on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson,Ph.D

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/5/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Deal W. Hudson, faith and culture, gay, lesbian, evangelizing culture, church and culture, arts, music, politics, education, television, literature, entertainment, conversion, evangelization, missionary, internet, masculinity, male, men and women, gender, male psychology, Camil



WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - The present culture is robbing men of their masculinity, according to feminist scholar Camille Paglia in a recent interview. As a result, "What you're seeing is how a civilization commits suicide."  Anyone who has been around the academy in the past 30 years will have noticed the deep roots put down by feminist and gay theorists.  Their complaints about the dominance of men and the normativity of heterosexuality have permeated every part of academic culture, so much so that it has seeped into primary and secondary education as well. 

Paglia is herself a leading feminist scholar and a self-professed lesbian, but she will have nothing to do with the enforced denigration of traditional masculine traits: "Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It's oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys," she says. "With schools eliminating recess,"  she argues, "they're making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters."  This is bad news for the future. As Paglia famously said in her book, Sexual Personae (1990), "If civilization had been left in female hands," she wrote, "we would still be living in grass huts."

Such opinions have branded Paglia a maverick in the academy. She's seen as a feminist who does not follow the politically correct party lines such as looking down upon traditional male role models as, say, that of a soldier. "Military service is no longer revered by the general public," she points out. As a consequence, very few of the men and women who wield serious corporate and financial power have military experience, as they would have had in previous generations.  This lack of experience has civilizational consequences: "These people don't think in military ways, so there's this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we're just nice and benevolent to everyone they'll be nice too. They literally don't have any sense of evil or criminality."

Indeed, what military service teaches is that human nature is such that every person should be in a "protective mode at all times."  The impact of this naiveté is being felt throughout society, such as in politics where politicians "lack practical skills of analysis and construction, to women on the street who dress provocatively as if they weren't at all vulnerable to violence."  At the core of this academic denial of masculinity is a refusal to acknowledge a real biological difference, a hormonal difference, between men and women. Feminists view all gender differences as social constructs, nurture as it were, not the product of nature. 
 
In other words, the world is a dangerous place, but the promulgation of "female values" of sensitivity and cooperation, rather than the traditional male values of strength and leadership, have made men susceptible to intimidation and a lack of honesty about issues such as sexuality. That is why so many men have retreated to the fantasies they can stream on their laptops.  And women have suffered too: "Our culture doesn't allow women to know how to be womanly," and, according to Paglia, "like men, women are turning to the easily accessed Internet pornography."

The one place where Paglia finds the refreshing presence of old fashioned manliness is sports radio, of which she is an avid listener: "If we had to go to war," the callers "are the men that would save the nation."

For all her criticism, Paglia has not forsaken her allegiance to feminism, but hers is a feminism that doesn't teach the nonsense of -- no gender differences - making false promises - women can "have it all" -- or denigrate the women who stay at home raising children. The women's movement, according to Paglia, should start putting its energy in confronting issues such as rape in India and Muslim honor killing rather than fume over "some woman going on a date on the Brown University campus."

In spite of Camille Paglia's obvious differences with the Catholic Church, her cultural criticism, extending from the fine arts to popular culture, is worthy of study by Catholics who want to practice cultural apologetics.

SUMMARY:

1. Camille Paglia, a feminist scholar, is an outstanding example of cultural criticism unfettered by the rigid ideology of her colleagues.

2. Paglia explains how educational institutions, at all levels, are stripping their male students of a traditional masculinity and denigrate previously accepted exemplars of manhood, such as those who serve in the military.

3. Paglia rejects the foundation of this assault on masculinity - the assumption that there is no biological/hormonal difference between men and women, that traditional differences were socially constructed rather than a product of nature.

© Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, will begin broadcasting in February on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholics Come Home Launches Beautiful New Television Series for E.W.T.N. Watch

Image of Tom Peterson, the founder and CEO of Catholics Come Home

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I am happy to report to my readers that Catholics Come Home has produced a stunning and inspiring television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (E.W.T.N.). It began airing on Labor Day weekend. The series was filmed on location in various cities ... continue reading


Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 3:1-9
1 And so, brothers, I was not able to talk to you as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2014 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter