Affirmative Consent

Feminist Camille Paglia on Yes Means Yes: 'Drearily Puritanical, Hopelessly Authoritarian'

Not impressed with campus feminism.


In a recent interview with Spiked, feminist author Camille Paglia criticized the paternalistic notions underlying new campus affirmative consent policies:

Ella Whelan: Are you therefore concerned by the push for affirmative-consent or, as they're otherwise known, 'Yes means Yes' laws?

Paglia: As I have repeatedly argued throughout my career, sex is a physical interaction, animated by primitive energies and instincts that cannot be reduced to verbal formulas. Neither party in any sexual encounter is totally operating in the rational realm, which is why the Greek god Dionysus was the patron of ecstasy, a hallucinatory state of pleasure-pain. 'Yes means Yes' laws are drearily puritanical and literalistic as well as hopelessly totalitarian. Their increasing popularity simply demonstrates how boring and meaningless sex has become – and why Hollywood movies haven't produced a scintilla of sexiness since Sharon Stone uncrossed her legs in Basic Instinct. Sex is always a dangerous gamble – as gay men have known and accepted for thousands of years. Nothing in the world will ever be totally safe, even the plushy pads of an infant's crib, to which feminist ideologues would evidently wish to reduce us all.

Paglia had much else to say about the state of modern feminism and overblown concerns about an epidemic of sexual assault on university campuses. For more on this subject, watch Reason TV's March 2015 interview with Paglia here.

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  1. Ugh. Camille Paglia, typical anti-intellectual, promoting a populist moral-panic over the non-event of campus political activism. Nothing to see here…

      1. I think that qualifies as a micro-aggression

          1. I always thought a micro-aggression worked more like this

            *note the faggy voice they give the elephant; so much ugh

  2. Sex is always a dangerous gamble

    Which is why I always get hard when I hear this.

    1. Kenny Rodgers looked old in 1978. He was only 40.

      1. Kenny Stabler is another guy who I can think of that looked to be 70 when he was in his 40s. I guess some success is hard on you. Well, it lets you buy a lot of drugs and alcohol anyway.

        1. Kris Kristofferson would be another

  3. I say ‘yes’ to Taylor Swift

    Cherry lips, crystal skies
    I could show you incredible things
    Stolen kisses, pretty lies
    You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
    Find out what you want
    Be that girl for a month
    Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
    Screaming, crying, perfect storm
    I can make all the tables turn
    Rose gardens filled with thorns
    Keep you second guessing like
    “Oh my God, who is she?”
    I get drunk on jealousy
    But you’ll come back each time you leave
    ‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

    1. Basic af.

      *hands you a pumpkin iced latte while trying to avoid spilling any drops on your Uggs*

      1. Uggs are so 3 years ago. The thing is Wellingtons, now.

        1. Ugh. Wellys, please.

          1. Welly?

            So this mouse wakes up in the jungle one day and he is STONKER! So he goes up to Miss Rhino and says “Oooh, I’m stonker, how about a little of the ol’ Welly?” The Rhino laughs and lumbers off. He tries again with Miss Lion and she yawns and leaves. Finally he approaches Miss Elephant – “Oh, stonker I am! How a bout a little of the ol’ Welly?” She laughs and says “sure” and continues eating some leaves. The mouse gets on a branch behind her and starts at it. A Chimpanzee, sees this and throws a coconut at the mouse but misses him and hits Miss Elephant on the back of the head. “Ouch” she says….”Suffer, baby” says the mouse.

            /British NOC in NE Afghanistan 2004

            1. Never heard that before. Was Wellington known for his, um, Welly?

            2. I had no such juvenile prurience in mind when noting that the preferred colloquial term for ‘rubber boot’ in British-English remains “Welly”, and not “wellington”, which is more often used in the context of breakfast foods


              that “rubber boot” is also a euphemism for lady-naughty-bits does not surprise me. British slang puts most American urban-argot to shame for its multi-layered inscrutability

              When i heard the joke about the mouse and the elephant, the punchline was supposed to be an exaggerated “YEAH! TAKE IT BITCH” while the joke-teller grinds his hips lewdly and smacks the hypothetical elephant-ass. I like those kinds of jokes.

              1. I can also imagine the joke being told, and then getting to the punchline, and everyone laughing… then finally the silence, and one person asks…. “so…..what’s a Welly?”

                1. Fortunately I had hung around enough RAF Regiment and Green Howards, Sherwood Forresters, etc to just understand it…

        2. *barfs*
          (Some landed on those boots)
          (You can’t tell the difference)

    2. BLOCKED.

      Now we got bad blood.

    3. That song and video was horrible. Still would TS though.

  4. Paglia has always had a Ron Paul-like problem. 95% of what she says is intelligent and persuasive, but the other 5% is simply bat shit crazy, so nobody listens to the 95%.

    1. That’s a good point. However, i think ron paul was batting closer to 80/20, and she does a tad-bit better, but still suffers the same problem.

      1. But even the crazy shit is always thought provoking and interesting. We could do a lot worse than have more people like Paglia. I agree she can be crazy but she is love her or hate her a no shit free thinker worthy of respect. And that is getting sadly rare in this country.

  5. Look at that face. Is that the face of someone who is having sex or any other type of fun frequently? No. Misery loves company and I’m sure this fugly bag fantasizes all day long about ways to stop others from having fun because she has no hopes of doing so herself.

    1. Well, I might have read the article first. Someone who isn’t me, please have sex with this nice lady.

      1. Crusty Juggler to the white courtesy phone, Crusty to the courtesy phone please…

      2. She’s a lesbian, so you’re off the hook.

    2. I know it’s hard to believe (or perhaps we just don’t want to imagine), but old, ugly people have sex too.

  6. Who cares what that Taylor Swift hating hag has to say about anything?

    1. Someone evidently does.

  7. I know the left in general seem to have written her off as a crazy aunt. But do many feminists even really care about Camille Paglia now?

    1. or facts?

  8. “Puritanical” is exactly the right word.

    Progressives are prudes. The rise of the Moral Majority predated the Aids crisis and middle America coming out of the closet. People have forgotten what being prudish about heterosexual activity looks like.

    This is it.

    I went to a coed boarding school with a sharp fundamentalist focus in high school. I know all about what it’s like to be told that our sex drive is inherently evil.

    For those who became politically aware after middle America started coming out of the closet and gay rights became a mainstream thing, imagine all the things social conservatives say about gay people–that it’s a choice rather than genetic, and why that matters, etc. Well that’s basically what progressives and social justice warriors are doing to heterosexual men. I’ve even seen it attached to environmentalism, too, which is what using the slur “breeder” for heterosexuals is really about.

    They want to publicly shame people for having normal sexual desires, and they want you to be ashamed of what you do in private, too. If that isn’t puritanical, then I don’t know what is. Yes, the progressives and social justice warriors are puritanical prudes. Shame on them.

    1. Puritanical tendencies knows no political affiliation has been my experience.

    2. The more radical ones argue that the recent push for marriage is nothing more than prudish normalizing. (I believe Paglia argued this as well) There’s probably some crackdown on drag queens and other convention defying groups within the gay movement as well.

      1. I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment. The idea that “the gays are going to ruin marriage”–the exact trope that Conservatives pushed through out the Bush administration–has it exactly backwards. The gay culture has historically been a counter culture, and quite transgressive. Same sex marriage will likely be step towards its assimilation into the mainstream.

  9. I don’t want to be the last to know again. So, I humbly ask… are we having a libertarian moment?

    1. Please, don’t. I’m getting really tired of Winston’s bitching.

    2. I suppose that depends on how you define it.

      If you define it as the authoritarians and socialists scraping libertarianism out of the bottom of their shoes like we’re dog shit, then, yes, the statists are having a libertarian moment.

      I will say this. I think the battle lines are moving.

      The sides aren’t likely to be defined by issues like abortion and gay marriage in the future. They may be dominated more by responses to climate change treaties and issues like freedom of speech–and doesn’t that auger well for libertarians in the future?

      Maybe what we have is more of a libertarian opportunity than a libertarian moment.

      1. I think this is one of the best posts I’ve read in a while. Also, it just occurred to me that there is no letter c in your last name.

  10. I wonder if Ms. Paglia has seen the new Gaspar Noe film ‘Love’. Two hours of non-stop exxxplicit sex. IN 3D!

    (Noe did ‘Irreversible’ and ‘Enter the ‘Void’)

    1. I caught the film at an art house theater at the last moment when distributors in the US refused to carry the film.

    2. “Enter the Void” was a strange movie. If the point of a movie is to make you remember it, then I guess it worked.

      1. I thought it was really interesting.

  11. “Yes means Yes” is a cute inversion of “No means No,” but the former actually means something, whereas I’m not sure “Yes means Yes” means anything out of its hothouse-cultivated context.

    There was an actual problem of “No” not being understood as “No, I don’t want to have sex with you.” No one has ever had a problem understanding “Yes” as “Yes, I want to have sex with you.”

    But I see why “yes means yes” is the popular phrase. “Enthusiastic contest” as a standard makes the majority of people who have ever had sex into rapists and/or victims of rape, and 3rd wave feminism hasn’t softened our brains enough to accept that.

    1. I’m going to get a shirt that says “No Means Maybe” and see how long it takes me to get into it with one of these militant speech enforcers.

      1. Well, “no means maybe” is often true. People like to play games with potential sexual partners.

        1. Was it Back to School where Sally Kellermans charactor told the one kid trying to get laid that No means Yes?

          1. No looked it up. it was Meatballs III that evidently I must have seen some part of but don’t remember.

  12. Y’all (Hyperion!) need to get rid of your visceral reaction to the word “feminist”. It doesn’t always mean what you think it means.

    1. Yeah, it’s just the 99% that give the rest a bad name.

    2. At best, it means whatever the speaker wants it to mean, like “artisinal” or “millennial”

      1. Both of those words do have actual meanings. You could say that about any word. The fact that a word means different things to different people doesn’t render it meaningless. I think that most people (that view “feminism” in a positive light) think of feminism as simply believing that women should not be constrained to traditionally feminine roles in life.

    3. Camille Paglia is an interesting character. She recently referred to Taylor Swift as an “obnoxious Nazi Barbie” and said that she represents “a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth”. Looks like another Jewess is upset at the shiksha’s beauty, I thought, but it turns out her parents are from Italy. Strange.

  13. Camille Paglia is an interesting character. She recently referred to Taylor Swift as an “obnoxious Nazi Barbie” and said that she represents “a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth”. Looks like another Jewess is upset at the shiksha’s beauty, I thought, but it turns out her parents are from Italy. Strange.

    1. ” Looks like another Jewess is upset at the shiksha’s beauty, I thought, but it turns out her parents are from Italy. Strange”

      Check out the cosmopolitan over here.

  14. Yeah man that sounds pretty solid to me dude.

  15. Nothing in the world will ever be totally safe, even the plushy pads of an infant’s crib

    Of course, the current thinking on SIDS-related deaths is that baby cribs should not have padding because it decreases the oxygen flow and may be a big factor in SIDS deaths. So even crib padding is unsafe.

  16. She is exactly accurate, and to all of you who think she’s an A-hole – here’s your contract, get used to it…..t1200.png.

    1. I added one too many periods. remove the last one png. to png (hey, I’m a girl, we have periods!)

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