December 12, 2015
Paglia: ‘Rape culture’ is a ridiculous term – mere gassy propaganda, too rankly bloated to critique
Gloria Steinem, with her media-savvy aviator shades and blonde-streaked locks, pushed the far more pioneering Betty Friedan offstage to take charge of the nascent women’s movement in the US. At the start, Steinem was great – she normalised the image of feminism and made it seem like a rational cause rather than the ravings of frigid sexual freaks. But, by the mid-1970s, Steinem was ruling the roost like the Stalinist politburo. Dissenting voices like mine in feminism were banned from her magazine, Ms., which became the glossy Pravda of the movement – anti-male, anti-sex, anti-pop. My wing of pro-sex feminism was driven underground and wouldn’t surface again nationally until the early 1990s. Steinem has always been a networking careerist, packaging herself as a saintly, self-sacrificing humanitarian while privately schmoozing with the rich and famous and the media elite. She told the world, ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’ – even while she was never without a man on the chic Manhattan party scene.