Self-proclaimed feminist bisexual egomaniac and general blowhard Camille Paglia tries to dismantle Hillary Clinton in her Salon column today and mostly ends up contradicting herself. She disses Hillary's media persona, calling her debate tone a "tight-wound, self-righteous attack voice," but then also criticizes Hillary for not being strong enough. "Women had better toughen up if they aspire to be commander in chief," Camille writes. So which is it? Is Hillary too wussy, or is she too aggressive? It seems that Camille thinks Hillary should be more like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who she describes as "simple, centered and warm." Or maybe more like Hillary's top aide, Huma Abedin, who gets praise from Paglia for being "stylish" and wielding a designer handbag. (Didn't Camille hear? That handbag is a fake!)
California Senator Dianne Feinstein also gets some Paglia love for having "true gravitas — a rare quality in women." Then Camille opines that Dianne Feinstein should have been the first female nominee for president. (Because even though America might not vote for a woman, they'll jump at the chance to vote for a Jewish woman) Further on, Camille admits that Madonna didn't want to meet her after that Madonna — Finally, a Real Feminist story in the 90s, perhaps because the pop star was intimidated by her intellectuality. "I attributed Madonna's skittishness at the time to her uncertainties about her education (she had dropped out of college after one semester to seek fame in New York)."
So to recap! Women rarely have true gravitas, should be stylish and warm but not too aggressive or shrill, and Camille Paglia is smarter than Madonna. (Paglia also defends Norman Mailer's place in the sexual dialog of the 70s and calls him "pussy whipped.") I'd foment some righteous indignation about it but I'm too exhausted from the anger aroused by the rest of her column to deal with it.