Lorette C. Luzajic at Out Impact writes:
Most of us in those early ‘90s thought feminism was about going vegetarian and not shaving…
While many Sapphic sisters have been called spiteful names, few have been publicly insulted as “Hitler” or as “asshole.” But the controversial academic takes it all in stride. Those are probably some of the more flattering accusations she’s had hurled at her.
Problem is, too many of us bellyached and blamed the bold babe for blaming the victim. Meanwhile, we continued to play victim ourselves, instead of seizing our deepest powers in the first century of history where we had a hope in hell of equality. Some of us just weren’t smart enough to plow through her rigorous, expansive oeuvre, Sexual Personae, or open-minded enough to pursue her full essays on the rape topic. If I had done so then, I would have known sooner what I concluded two decades later on my own: that women’s sexual power is devastating to men; that it is an exhilarating tool to have; that it is a renewable resource; that I must be strong enough to protect it and shield it if I don’t want to share it, which means not traipsing around drunk and sending signals to every man in sight that I’m hungry if I’m not; that rape is indeed a crime of sex AND of power; and that rape should be properly punished in society and in court.
She’s that rare atheist who devoutly respects religion, which she views as a necessary constraint of civilization and the inspiration for great works of art. She’s queer herself and loves drag queens almost as much as she loves Madonna. She largely subscribes to biological determinism; however, she’s not in favor of gay marriage, believes that homosexuality is rebel love, and that the born-gay thesis is “a crock.”
She believes that politically correct speech and quotas have actually handicapped special interest groups and contributed to racism by watering down the quality of work, art, education, and other cultural contributions.
She was a TV junkie and devoted fan of Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn. She did not fit into socially constructed gender roles, and was fag hag to three gay men on campus. She still continued with her prankster sensibilities, often getting into trouble with college probation. One of these “pranks” was coming to the defense of a shy girl who was being rudely groped by a few drunken men, Camille knocked out one of the assailant’s teeth. By the time she was in graduate school at Yale in 1968, Camille was the only out-of-the-closet lesbian.
Camille herself, as crone, adrogyne, as her rigorous, vigorous celebrity, is among the important sexual personae of all time. Though she offends and stirs, much of the time she is simply telling truth that we are not ready to hear, that we don’t want to believe.
Like always, Camille’s tough as nails. She says, “The only thing that will be remembered about my enemies after they’re dead is the nasty things I’ve said about them.”
In the 1980s, I was similarly skeptical about media-trumpeted predictions about a world epidemic of heterosexual AIDS. And I remain skeptical about the media’s carelessly undifferentiated use of the term “AIDS” for what is often a complex of wasting diseases in Africa.
We should all be concerned about environmental despoliation and pollution, but the global warming crusade has become a hallucinatory cult. Until I see stronger evidence, I will continue to believe that climate change is primarily driven by solar phenomena and that it is normal for the earth to pass through major cooling and warming phases.
When a gay adult claims to have been gay since early childhood, what he or she is actually remembering is the sense of being different for some reason, which in boys often registers as shyness or super-sensitivity, leading to a failure to bond with bumptious peers. This disjunction, with all its painfully stifled longings, becomes overt homosexuality much later on. But retrospective psychohistory is out these days, and the only game in town is pin the tail on the oppressor.
And let me take this opportunity to say that of all the innumerable print and broadcast journalists who have interviewed me in the U.S. and abroad since I arrived on the scene nearly 20 years ago, Katie Couric was definitively the stupidest.