Old-Fashioned Feminism Rears its Ugly Head

I thought old-fashioned feminists were no longer as rabid as they had been in the early 70s when the sisterhood was spearheading the plight of women seeking equality.

They had a good cause to pursue, with the ferocity of a wounded, unprivileged gender who suffered under the yoke of men’s domination.

However, despite the ascendancy of women in the last four decades, there are still those feminists who claim that women are way behind in the order of things. This legion of protestors are easily provoked when other women feel comfortably attuned to a new gender relationship where rebellion is replaced by some sort of entente cordiale that works to the benefit of both men and women.


Camille Paglia, who has written seminal feminist works such as Sexual Personae, said Taylor Swift, the Grammy-award-winning singer and darling of the young generation worldwide, was guilty of ‘exhibitionistic overkill’. The author took issue with Swift’s association with ‘girl squads’, where groups of female celebrities pose together for photographs which are then uploaded to the internet. Swift is known as the ringleader of a posse of singers, models and actresses, including Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne, and frequently posts photographs to her 67.3 million twitter followers.


Paglia wrote in the Hollywood Reporter: ‘Squad as a pop term emerged from 1990s hip-hop. It once had a hard combative street edge but today it’s gone girlie and a bit bourgeois. Social media are its primary engine.’

The writer said that Swift reminded her of ‘the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth’, adding that she risked ‘presenting a silly, regressive public image by gurning with her friends for the cameras’.

She wrote: ‘In our wide open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting silly regressive public images – as in the tittering, tongues-out muggings of Swift’s bear-hugging posse. Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performer’s props, and exhibitionistic overkill.’

She concluded: ‘With gender issues like pay equity for actors and writers coming increasingly to the fore, girl squads can be seen as a positive step forward expanding female power in Hollywood where ownership has been overwhelmingly male since the silent film era. Girl squads ought to be mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint products.’

The use of horrid language, such as ‘Nazi Barbie routine’, to describe the antics, if she wants to call it that, of a harmless squad of young celebrities who are, I am sure, enjoying the fruits of their success, is in itself the kind of abuse perpetrated by envy. Paglia might be an accomplished writer of perhaps intellectual superiority but that’s no excuse for such a tirade of feminist hogwash.

It is time for women of her ilk, especially in civilised Western societies, to stop whingeing and celebrate instead the remarkable achievements they have deservedly obtained, sometimes against vast and deeply-rooted prejudices.

One response to “Old-Fashioned Feminism Rears its Ugly Head

  1. roryoconnor611

    Did you read the piece closely? You only a lot the same stuff the Entertainment people from MailOnline and CNN tore from it. I thought it was pretty thoughtful. A lot of feminism today would be you-go-girl with Swift’s act. Paglia provided a welcome kick in the ass.