The thrid of Camille Paglia
's books, chronologing her career
from the publication
of her second book, Sex, Art, and American Culture
in 1992, up to Vamps & Tramps: New Essays
in 1994. This compilation
s, book review
s, and cartoon
s expounds further on Paglia's thoughts on feminism
, sex and sexuality
, and popular culture
. But if you read nothing else, take note of 'No Law in the Arena
: A Pagan Theory of Sexuality
'No Law in the Arena' is the first essay by Paglia I ever read, and I have been hooked ever since. Divided into six parts, this essay truly is a great review of her thoughts on sexuality and sexual behavior:
- Part 1: 'Intoduction: The Horses of Passion' brings the reader up to speed on the Paglian view of sexuality: "Sex, I have argued in my prior books, is animality and artifice, a dynamic interplay of nature and culture."
- The second section, 'Sex Crime: Rape' discusses Paglia's view of the modern feminist dilemma with their approach to rape. For her, rape is a problem of biology, and it is society which holds back the biological responses. She places a lot of blame on the white upper-middle class, saying, "The sex education of white middle-class girls is clearly deficient, since it produces young women unable to foresee trouble or to survive sexual misadventure or even raunchy language without crying to authority figures for help."
- Section 3 'Sex War: Abortion, Battering, Sexual Harassment' Paglia takes some hefty punches at modern feminism. "What I am calling for," she says, "is a massive restoration of psychology to feminist thought." She wants a renewal of Freudian thought in the feminist rhetoric.
- The fourth part 'Sex Power: Prostitution, Stripping, Pornography' takes the main focus off of feminism and places it on the prostitutes, the strippers, and pornography to demonstrate what Paglia feels is true sexual power. She asks the questions of why these institutes remain in culture no matter the attempts to halt them. She does not find these institutes to victimize women, but instead to empower them.
- Section 5: 'Rebel Love: Homosexuality' begins Paglia's look at the theory of sexuality. She opens with "Homosexuality may be the key to understanding the whole of human sexuality." Working from the Stonewall generation up through drag queens and a culture of masculine glorification to the post-Stonewall generation, Paglia chronoicals the changing face of homosexuality. From the sexual freedom of Stonewall to the AIDS crisis, she finds this 'rebel love' is a change in the view of the masculine identity.
- In the conclusion: 'Citizens of the Empire' Paglia makes a call for society to recognize its pagan roots.
From the back cover:
From America's premier intellectual renegade: A sizzling new book on everything from pop to politics to pagan sexuality.
With her brilliant bestsellers Sexual Personae and Sex, Art, and American Culture, Camille Paglia became America's first internationally recognized public thinker since the 1960s. Her best work combines Olympian learning with dazzling rhetoric and a common sense that's as invigorating as a double espresso. In this unfettered new book of essays, never before published in book form, Paglia brings her visceral intelligence to bear on subjects that range from Bill and Hillary to Madonna, from Frankenstein to the novels of D. H. Lawrence, and from feminist icon Catharine MacKinnon to First Amendment flasher Howard Stern.
Vamps and Tramps: New Essays gives us Paglia as a bold transgressor of intellectual boundaries, conflating biology, homoeroticism, and culture into "A Pagan Theory of Sexuality." There's Paglia the omnivorous commentator, whose curiosity encompasses Germaine Greer and Princess Di. And not least of all, we see the prankish provocateuse who trades outrageous true confessions from the gender front with Lauren Hutton and dishes all of downtown with drag queen Glennda Orgasm.
The Culture Wars
Masters and Mistresses
Memoirs and Adventures
On Literature and Art
Satires and Short Takes
- The Year of the Penis
- No Law in the Arena
- No Law in the Arena: a Pagan Theory of Sexuality
- 1. Introduction: The Horses of Passion
- 2. Sex Crime: Rape
- 3. Sex War: Abortion, Battering, Sexual Harassment
- 4. Sex Power: Prostitution, Stripping, Pornography
- 5. Rebel Love: Homosexuality
- 6. Conclusion: Citizens of the Empire
Paglia, Camille. Vamps and Tramps: New Essays. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.