Camille Paglia: Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Hollywood Are Ruining Women
It’s staggering that 22-year-old Taylor Swift earned $57 million and Katy Perry $45 million. How is it possible that such monumental fortunes could be accumulated by performers whose songs have barely escaped the hackneyed teenybopper genre? But more important, what do the rise and triumph of Swift and Perry tell us about the current image of women in entertainment?
Despite the passage of time since second-wave feminism erupted in the late 1960s, we’ve somehow been thrown back to the demure girly-girl days of the white-bread 1950s. It feels positively nightmarish to survivors like me of that rigidly conformist and man-pleasing era, when girls had to be simple, peppy, cheerful and modest. Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds and Sandra Dee formed the national template -- that trinity of blond oppressors!
As if flashed forward by some terrifying time machine, there’s Taylor Swift, America’s latest sweetheart, beaming beatifically in all her winsome 1950s glory from the cover of Parade magazine in the Thanksgiving weekend newspapers. In TV interviews, Swift affects a “golly, gee whiz” persona of cultivated blandness and self-deprecation, which is completely at odds with her shrewd glam dress sense. Indeed, without her mannequin posturing at industry events, it’s doubtful that Swift could have attained her high profile.
Does Camille post on DL? Because this is exactly what we've been saying about Swift and Perry for awhile now:
[quote]Swift has a monotonous vocal style, pitched in a characterless keening soprano and tarted up with snarky spin that is evidently taken for hip by vast multitudes of impressionable young women worldwide. Her themes are mainly complaints about boyfriends, faceless louts who blur in her mind as well as ours. Swift’s meandering, snippy songs make 16-year-old Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit “It’s My Party (And I’ll Cry if I Want to)” seem like a towering masterpiece of social commentary, psychological drama and shapely concision.
[quote]Although now 28, Katy Perry is still stuck in wide-eyed teen-queen mode. Especially after the train wreck of her brief marriage to epicene roué Russell Brand, her dazzling smiles are starting to look as artificial as those of the aging, hard-bitten Joan Crawford. Perry’s prolific hit songs, saturating mainstream radio, hammer and yammer mercilessly. She’s like a manic cyborg cheerleader, obliviously whooping it up while her team gets pounded into the mud.
[quote]Does Camille post on DL?
Just who did you think misshelenbedd is in real life?
Would love to see her turn her anti-blonde-WASP vitriol on Ann Coulter.
You overestimate MHB
^I thought MHB was David Dean Bottrell?
There's a good deal of racism in Paglia's piece as well.
I sometimes feel like I'm the only gay man who hasn't dated Taylor Swift.
Who are we ? Who on DL writes with that much intelligence and style ?
Camille Paglia earns her controversy. Who has read her books? She may have dumbed down her writing in her last two books, but she is an academic provocateur with things to say. She wants people to think. Hss any one ever had a superior/nutty professor in University?
Yeah, she has courted controversy and fame in her publishing career, but I doubt that many out here have read one of her books. Don't cherry pick. Break, Blow, Burn is a loving and inspired introduction into poetry, what makes it great and why it is important.
Sexual Personae is a bit of a turgid mess, but with stimulating theories and examples on the role of beauty and sex throughout history and art. Yeah, we talk of this on DL too, we talk of nothing else. Read one of her books. Acknowledge a superior intellect when encountered. That sure as hell doesn't happen on DL. Ms. Paglia is a brave woman with an iconoclastic mind. She is a modern academic, but never leaves her vast credentials behind. No way did she make those statements regarding Swift and Perry without some illuminating context. What is quoted is still true enough to put some fags in a twist that "we" said it first. WE on the DL is only used as an attempt to bully and degrade or to shore up insecure opinions.
Too many of the dudes out here are more concerned with being "entertaining" and competitive than enlightening. Read a book and not just a review. Read something by someone that you may not agree with.
Caftan, earings, Mary, cuntiest cunt, tinymeat, douchebag, hawt, collapse is complete, seriously, eldergay.....is not the language of scholars.
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
You go girl, Mary at r12!
Camille Paglia makes a good point. I don't have much of an opinion about Taylor Swift. But Katy Perry is an annoying female version of a douchebag.
I can't be as concise and witty as you, R14 but thanks for proving a point.
I saw her speak at the Skirball Center about a month ago. I got to ask her about her love of Real Housewives (she is a self-professed fan). I have tremendous affection for her and consider her fairly brilliant if deeply flawed, and always interesting.
R15. Plagiarism is a crime. --R3.
Paglia is totally right.
Sure, she's right enough this time, but most of the time Paglia is dead wrong, often quite offensively so. She denies that people are born gay, and uses that as her reasoning why there shouldn't be any discussion of homosexuality in schools. She's also idiotically contrarian just to get attention, such as being a global warming denier. She's a hack.
I loved your post R12.
Freepers love Paglia too r22, since she often makes "contrarian" anti-gay quotes which freepers can then use, saying even a "lesbian activist" agrees with them. Such as:
"Homosexuality is not 'normal.' On the contrary, it is a challenge to the norm; therein rests its eternally revolutionary character Queer theorists - that wizened crew of flimflamming free-loaders - have tried to take the post structuralist tack of claiming that there is no norm, since everything is relative and contingent. This is the kind of silly bind that word-obsessed people get into when they are deaf, dumb, and blind to the outside world. Nature exists, whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single, relentless rule. That is the norm. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction. Penis fits vagina; no fancy linguistic game-playing can change that biologic fact."
On supporting ex-gay therapy:
"...ACT-UP's hysteria made me reconsider those vilified therapists and ministers who think change of homosexual orientation is possible and whose meetings are constantly disrupted by gay agitators. Is gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the thought that some people may not wish to be gay. Sexuality is highly fluid, and reversals are theoretically possible. However, habit is refractory...a phenomenon obvious in the struggle with obesity, smoking, alcoholism, or drug addiction... Helping gays learn how to function heterosexually, if they so wish, is a perfectly worthy aim. We should be honest enough to consider whether homosexuality may not indeed be a pausing at the prepubescent stage when children anxiously band together by gender."
Tons more of her anti-gay comments at the link, defending homophobia is one of her favorite topics. Any gay person who has "tremendous affection" for someone who says this crap, has more than a few screws loose.
I couldn't be less of freeper. As liberal as it gets. I just thought R12's post was interesting. I made no endorsement of Paglia, as I'm not familiar enough with her work to do so.
R12's post is bullshit, she's made her living making idiotic, contrarian quotes which are often offensive, right-wing and anti-gay.
[quote}Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
False. It is the highest. That's why knuckle dragging freepers don't get Steve Colbert and Jon Stewart. Just simply Do. Not. Get. the humor at all.
[quote]She may have dumbed down her writing in her last two books
Her LAST TWO???!!!
She's a Right wing cunt!
[quote]Would love to see her turn her anti-blonde-WASP vitriol on Ann Coulter.
Why would she. She is Coulter.
None of that is true.
Camille Paglia is the Ann Coulter of academia.
I don't care much for Paglia or her politics but what she has to say about Chihuahua Face and White Minaj is pretty damn accurate.
Yaddah, yaddah, BLAH...
Camille Paglia has another brain fart...
Paglia gets it right one time out of 20, not bad for a right wing pundit, but when she's wrong she's so obviously, and obnoxiously, wrong that she invites the worst scorn you can heap on her.
I do give her props for opposing the Iraq war, but her "the gods have sent us an omen" bullshit way of doing so made it hard to take her seriously. Even when confronting an obvious truth she wants to get all silly-academic about it. And anyone with a brain in late 2002/early 2003 was against that debacle anyway.
I missed her column against the hedge fund billionaires paying themselves a billion dollars a year.
Oh, that's right. There wasn't one.
Isn't Paglia a big champion of Madonna?
The American Music Industry is DEAD!
Well, whatever other failings she has, she's not wrong when it comes to Swift and Perry. Taylor Swift looks like she fell right out of Pleasantville and Katy Perry is about 13 years too old to still keep pretending she's a teenager.
I don't always agree with Paglia, but I loved her saying that Swift is a boring dipshit who basically can't carry a tune in a bucket and the almost 30 year-old Perry looks ridiculous acting like she's still a teenager. Paglia is right about this. I love it when celebrities of questionable talent who are pushed on us as the greatest thing ever by the media and hyped 24/7 are (truthfully) called out for the annoying no-talents they are.
I can only dream Auntie Camille is posting on DL. As others have said, she's deeply flawed. Yet she says enough things that are absolutely on point to make me want to read her again and agin.
Go back to stalking Daniela Mercury, or stroking yourself over Sarah Palin's "powerful clarity of consciousness", and spare us your tiresome liberal exotification, Camille.
And while you're at it, shut up about the fucking Doors, you wet-brained boomer. They were a glorified bubblegum band with about four good songs. Mo Tucker said they were bullshit and she was right.
Also, Morrison and Reed were slumming upper-middle class kids, about as "real" as the Banana Splits. As a VU fan, I'll give Reed credit for being really good at it.
Katy Perry should have gone gone for an army of Ghost Writers so she could pretend to be a songwriter just like Taylor Swift
The worst part about Taylor Swift earning so much money is that she can't carry a tune. She owes her entire career to Autotune.
Autotune and Kayne West's sympathy-generating idiocy.
Kayne made and supports Taylor Swift
Drake made and supports Justin Bieber
....anyone notice a general theme running here?
Thank you, r40.
Paglia is as big a fraud as the pop starlets she disses.
Paglia is actually a bigger fraud; she just seems lesser because of her lack of success.
[quote]"Any woman, gay or straight, who cannot respond to penises or who finds them hideous or laughable has been traumatized by some early experience. She is neither complete as a woman nor healthy as a person. We can no longer allow, without protest, obsessives and neurotics to preach a mutilated brand of feminism to trusting young women...Lesbians who use dildos but shun penises must start admitting that they operate sexually not just for women but against men."
(more of Paglia at R23's link)
Such important work in that highly respected academic journal The Hollywood Reporter! And where does Camille teach now? Pixar College or someplace?
Any man, gay or straight, who cannot respond to vaginas or who finds them hideous or laughable has been traumatized by some early experience. He is neither complete as a man nor healthy as a person.
[quote]Although now 28, Katy Perry is still stuck in wide-eyed teen-queen mode.
And Madonna was 28 when she made up her mind that she was keeping her baby.
But Madonna was playing a character in one video, it wasn't her entire public persona like Katy Perry is doing.
I LOVE YOU r53.
I have never paid attention to Katy Perry until the autism telethon on Comedy Central when her segment with the little autistic piano playing girl made me cry like a baby. Perry did everything right.
[quote]And where does Camille teach now? Pixar College or someplace?
She's been teaching for years at The University of the Arts in Philly.
I love the fact that CAmille is a pro-penis woman. You go girl. I like he fact that she admits what she does. Everybody loves the wang. Even so called bulldykes. That's why they wear plastic ones and what gay male porno.
Perry looks like an even more demented version of Zooey Deschanel. Taylor Swift look like a twink with a wig!
Like it or not Camille, you nosy shrew, people are entitled to their own attractions and repulsions. You can "operate sexually against", whatever the hell that means, or choose not to operate sexually at all.
You'll find a million screeds echoing Paglia on the Tumblr MTF tag. According to them, a lesbian who refuses to consider sleeping with a penised lady is "transphobic". There is no right to be considered fuckable, and there is no responsibility to adjust one's sexuality in order to accommodate others' identities. Deal with it.
There's a huge contingent of bossy "sex-positive" folks like Paglia and Susie Bright who believe we all must prove how sexually open and uninhibited we are. It's just the flipside of fundie moralism. They make sex about as appealing as eating your canned vegetables.
Paglia wrote in Sexual Personae and in Tramps and Vamps - something to the effect that current concepts of human beauty have been the greatest force of change in human history. She digresses all the time, but her theme is consistent.
She talks BIG. It is not a crime. She is interesting and polarizing to even fine minds. Try to read one of her books. She is an academic with some very out there ideas. She is stimulating and worthy of debate.
I disagree that she is a hack.
"Break, Blow, Burn" is a friendly and passionate attempt to entice people to appreciate poetry.
"Sexual Personae" is a strange and revolutionary book. Pissed everyone off.
She speaks not so much about hedge funds because she is a teacher of literature and art history. Duh. Current culture views get her sound bites, but why underestimate her true academic credentials? She is a nutty professor.
It takes huge nut to compare Emily Dickenson to Madonna.
You don't need a large education to be bright, but one needs a strong mind to do more than pick, pick, pick.
There is no evidence on this thread that anyone has read one of her books!
Camille may be nutty, but she does make some good points. Here she is on the decline of newspapers and magazines.
I haven't read the door stopper, but read her next two or three. The one thing I learned is that she led an incredibly dull life during her beloved sixties. One wonders why she felt the need to include her mini-memoir of the time, except to say she was there, man.
I like that Velvet Underground & Banana Splits have been brought into this discussion.
Katy Perry is tits on a stick.
Taylor Swift is Republican Tits on a stick.
Any serious musician or producer would be embarrassed to be associated with either of them.
Katy Perry promotes the US Pentagons recruitment campaign.