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.