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Paglia on Hefner

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 October 2017

This is interesting.

Camille Paglia on Hugh Hefner’s Legacy, Trump’s Masculinity and Feminism’s Sex Phobia

2017-10-03  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 22

  1. Ken Crawford
    3 October 2017 @ 12:11 pm

    A fascinating read. It reminds me that people with great insights can often be very blind in other areas. There was a lot in there that was very insightful (particularly with the ridiculousness of feminism), but her blindness to the corrupting nature of porn is quite a blind spot.

  2. Robin R.
    3 October 2017 @ 12:55 pm

    A lot of feminists think that pornography is corruptive. That’s her point.

  3. RR
    3 October 2017 @ 8:34 pm

    Pagalia makes some valid points about the ideological inflexibility of some feminists. I also think she is on to something with her discussion about the current problems between the sexes. Moreover, she is right that women do have agency in consensual sexual relations and as such should be treated like adults.

    With all that said, I think Pagalia greatly underestimates the negative influence of pornography. One can be “sex-positive” without endorsing pornography, which surely has contributed to the current problems between the sexes that she complains about. Finally, I fail to see any redeeming value in the life of Hugh Hefner. He strikes me as a rather pathetic man whose life’s work had a negative impact on society. As always, Pagalia makes some interesting comments. Nonetheless, Ross Douthat’s take on Hefner is better:

  4. smitemouth
    3 October 2017 @ 9:43 pm

    Paglia’s comments on porn may be related to what was published in the magazine. There is a big difference between what was in the magazine and what you can find with a simple google search now. Compared to free video on demand porn, the stuff I remember in the old Playboys is a little harder than the SI swimsuit issue and is in the tradition of nudes. What is available now is indeed corrosive.

  5. Greg Krehbiel GregK
    3 October 2017 @ 10:13 pm

    What feminism consistently fails to promote — in any of its manifestations — pro sex or anti sex or weird sex — is the one thing that is unquestionably to the benefit of women.


  6. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 2:00 am

    Does that include same-sex marriage?

  7. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    4 October 2017 @ 8:45 am

    Gloob howark nowart.

  8. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 9:05 am

    I’d say that happiness is not a gender-specific thing. It’s strictly an individual thing. One woman will be happy in this way, another one in that way. Some for men.

  9. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 9:06 am

    PS – I don’t understand Klingon.

  10. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    4 October 2017 @ 9:14 am

    That wasn’t Klingon. It was just nonsense. If you’re going to use nonsense words like same-sex marriage, so am I. 🙂

    You’re right that different things will make different people happy, and that one woman will be happy married while another will be happy single. But when you’re talking about a political / social philosophy like feminism, you’re usually talking about general rules for populations.

    For example, feminists have theories about how women would be better off it ___. Whatever those theories are, they probably don’t apply to every single woman, and are not intended to. They are intended to apply as a general rule.

    But feminists generally dismiss the pretty well-established general rule that marriage is better for women.

  11. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 10:10 am

    “Same-sex marriage” in this context could obviously equivalent to “same-sex union”. So let’s cut the BS.

    I’m saying that there are NO GENERAL RULES about what will make an individual of ANY gender happy. There are of course certain preconditions such as health. But beyond that, all you can say is that it is strictly an individual thing. This guy likes to hunt a lot. That one to read lots of books. This gal likes to go fishing. That one likes to be politically active.

    Before you cite any statistics on this matter, I will say in advance that I don’t trust what people by themselves. I’ve known too many people who say that they are happy simply because they think that they are suppose to say it.

  12. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 10:10 am

    *could obviously be equivalent

  13. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 10:11 am

    *what people say about themselves

  14. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    4 October 2017 @ 10:35 am

    Feminism is not about an individual. It’s (allegedly) about what is most likely to make most women better off. So you’re missing the point by continuing to harp on individuals.

    Paglia — criticizes feminist claims they know how to make most women better off.

    Greg — they’re missing marriage, which is likely to make most women better off.

    Robin — but there’s this person in Australia ….

  15. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 10:45 am

    Nonsense. I am not talking about an exception here or there. It is pretty obvious that one cannot state a general rule about what makes people happy. Very clever people – Plato, Aristotle, Crowhill – have tried, but these are just opinions with little or no empirical support. There simply is no general rule. Face reality, man.

    Yes, feminism is about women, and insofar as it makes pronouncements about gender-specific formulas for happiness, it fails as miserably as Crowhill and the rest of them.

    However, we can say that the best socio-politico-cultural climate for happiness (i.e. as a precondition) is to let individuals decide how to live there own lives. Insofar as feminism has promoted such a climate, it has contributed to the happiness of women.

  16. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 10:47 am

    *live their own lives……jeez

  17. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    4 October 2017 @ 11:03 am

    You’re saying there is no general rule about what makes people happy except that they’re better off when they decide how to live their own lives. I don’t see any reason to accept that. I think there are plenty of general rules about what makes most people happy. E.g.,

    + getting more sleep.
    + eating a healthy diet.
    + spending time with happy people.
    + listening to music.
    + letting go of grievances.
    etc. etc.

  18. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 11:22 am

    + not being dead

    etc. etc.

    I said that there were preconditions. It is rather trivial to enumerate those when you are making the disputable claim that marriage makes women happy.

  19. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 11:25 am

    + having eyes
    + having ears
    + having a mouth

    etc. etc.

  20. Greg Krehbiel GregK
    4 October 2017 @ 11:45 am

    The things I mentioned are not quite as trivially obvious as “not being dead,” or “having eyes,” and some of them might be disputable — like “letting go of grievances.” There are probably people who think they are happy for holding on to grievances.

    Some research supposedly shows that married people are happier. (Although some of it has more to do with “better off” than happier.) It’s social science, so it’s not that trustworthy, but it’s probably as trustworthy as claiming that listening to music or getting more sleep will make you happier.

    And BTW, my original claim was that marriage was to women’s benefit, not that it made them happier.

  21. Robin R.
    4 October 2017 @ 11:58 am

    They are not all trivial, true. Healthy diet is close to not being dead though.

    Being better off sounds like a financial thing to me. I’m in no position to measure that, but I would say that there is a lot more to being happy than just that. And as I said, the mere utterance “I’m happy” means very little to me. Otherwise I would sign on to scientology or something like that.

    True, you didn’t initially say anything about happiness. I guess I started raising the question whether marriage makes women happy because I’m hard put to think of what benefit you might be thinking of. Financial? Maybe. She can get herself a sugar daddy and be financially secure, not to mention a credit card for going on spending sprees. But that sounds like a very weak way to sing the praises of marriage. So I thought, “He must mean some kind of emotional benefit”. And the emotional benefit I had in mind would be summed up in the word “happiness”.

  22. Greg Krehbiel GregK
    4 October 2017 @ 1:36 pm

    I know that I’ve seen several reports on studies that allegedly show that married people are better off. I don’t recall what criteria they used to measure that, but I can think of several that would be more measurable than “happy.” E.g.,

    + above the poverty line
    + gets adequate health care
    + has a decent place to live
    + gets vacation time


    But I don’t know what measurements they used, and it’s possible all those studies are just BS.

    Still, I would strongly suspect that they are probably no more BS than whatever studies or statistics feminists rely on to say that women are better off following their agenda.

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