“Ms. Paglia argues that the softening of modern American society begins as early as kindergarten. “Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys,” she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. “They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.”
“She is not the first to make this argument, as Ms. Paglia readily notes. Fellow feminist Christina Hoff Sommers has written about the “war against boys” for more than a decade. The notion was once met with derision, but now data back it up: Almost one in five high-school-age boys has been diagnosed with ADHD, boys get worse grades than girls and are less likely to go to college.”
Interesting stuff from a very vocal, secular feminist, Camille Paglia. This interview occurred in late December in 2013, but remains interesting. Culture in general does seem more friendly toward traditional feminine modes of being more than male ones. While feminine qualities have been lauded in recent years, masculine ones have been denigrated, leaving many western males with an identity crisis.
Elsewhere, at Q-Ideas, Rebekah Lyons responds to third-wave feminism with a call to gospel selflessness. Admirable, no? Who could disagree that this is not a gospel call – an anchor in kingdom ethics? Yet her talk left me uneasy. One woman responded like this:
“Third wave feminism has morphed into a broader movement that is more inclusive of other minority groups as it sees the elevation of the status of others as tied to our own equality as women. Hence the fight for LGBT rights. It also preoccupies itself with liberating women from harmful societal myths and common beliefs that create such things as rape culture and a society that normalizes or justifies domestic abuse.
“As for being a kind of ‘power grab’, it’s kind of vital in the fight to protect women and children from domestic abuse to enable them to become self-sufficient and independent and to create a culture that assists them in this endeavor.”
To which I said :
While I found myself sympathetic too her emphasis on servanthood, I agree that there are unresolved issues, both in the church and in the wider culture. And arguing that some women are after power seems irrelevant to the issues of justice – some men are also after power. How does the church respond in those instances (often with a promotion and more responsibility). ANd frankly I wonder if we overplay the call to serve — to serve is to willingly offer ourselves, not to demand that others follow our example. That’s simply oppression. And service is not the only important quality in our call, and maybe not even the ultimate one – Jesus said, “I call you friends.” Honestly, I found myself wondering if she has really grappled with the issues. It’s so easy to speak like she does if you are white, wealthy and comfortable. It’s easy to say what she says from the center, not so easy from the margins.