EDUCATION

Feminist cultural critic says modern feminists are “whiny”

IMG_5975Morgan Stringer
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Modern feminists are “whiny,” according to a self-described “dissident feminist” who spoke last week at the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Camille Paglia, a social critic and professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, spoke at the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Convocation Sept. 16 at the Ford Center.

Paglia expressed her admiration for Southern women and culture.

“Southern women have a personal power that Northern women never had or lost,” Paglia said.

She also spoke about the positive qualities of three Southern female cultural figures – the “old, fierce Appalachian woman,” the “matronly mammy figure,” and the “charming Southern belle.”

Paglia criticized the mainstream feminist movement. She believes it has been taken over by “radical, Northern, middle-class, whiny women.” She said modern feminists “whine” to authority figures and college administrators to restrict free speech.

“Modern feminists want to go on slut walks, wear short skirts, and say, ‘Don’t look at me,'” Paglia said. “They want everyone else to fight their battles for them. . . In a democracy, strong speech must be countered by even stronger speech.”

Paglia also addressed the challenges women face in the workplace. She said the current career system was created by and for men. She believes women should consider challenges of the workplace, and consider if and when to have children.

She’d also like to see a strong third political party in the United States and believes the Libertarian Party is gaining popularity with young people and the ’60s generation who identify with the movement.

“Many students heard questions regarding gender roles for the first time at the honors convocation,” Dr. Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, dean of the honors college, said.

“I thought it was interesting,” said sophomore Parker Durham. “You don’t see many feminists around here.”

Dillon Hall, a freshmen in the honors college, didn’t agree with many of Paglia’s ideas.

“I disagreed with a lot of her opinions, but I respected them,” he said.

Sullivan-Gonzalez said the honors college chooses speakers to provoke thought.

“Professor Paglia came out swinging on many of these fundamental queries,” he said. “She accomplished her mission.”

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