- The Washington Times - Friday, March 2, 2001

Creed of victimization

"That feminism is not yet out of the woods … is shown by the garish visibility of Eve Ensler and her 'Vagina Monologues,' which have apparently spawned copycat cells on many campuses… .

"The perversion of feminism that Ensler represents turning Valentine's Day, the one holiday celebrating romantic harmony between the sexes, into a grisly memento mori of violence against women has been well demonstrated… . That the psychological poison of Ensler's archaic creed of victimization is being spread to impressionable women students is positively criminal.

"The buffoonish hooting and hollering incited by Ensler's supposedly naughty play is really the hysterical desperation of aging women who have never come to terms with the cruel realities of nature and cannot face the humiliating fact that, despite their accomplishments, they will always be culturally swept away by the young and beautiful."

Camille Paglia, writing on "The Bush Look," Wednesday in Salon at www.salon.com

Swimsuit hegemony

"To Laurel Davis, authoress of 'The Swimsuit Issue and Sport; Hegemonic Masculinity in Sports Illustrated,' the magazine is able to attract buyers by creating a climate of hegemonic masculinity. This is not, we are led to believe, a good thing… .

"The problem with this sort of talk, however, is that is not confined to academia. The idiocy of ivory-tower feminism has long since escaped into the suburbs, where its poisonous sense of entitlement, sexual paranoia, and deep, deep puritanism has found a natural, and receptive, audience… .

"In such an environment, it can be no surprise that the soccer matriarchy now takes a very dim view of the SI girls. To see this, you only had to look at the disgusted expression on the face of a very different goddess, Katie Couric, during a recent edition of NBC's 'Today' show.

"What was wrong? … Prim Katie was having to introduce a segment on the swimsuit issue. A cringing Matt Lauer looked apologetic: he felt the Couric pain. So who was left to defend the spot, and, with a benign chuckle, hint that, why yes, he was looking forward to seeing the models? Step forward Al Roker, weatherman and sage, a suitably safe figure to handle this toxic topic."

Andrew Stuttaford writing on "Covered Girls," Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

NASCAR nation

"The death of Dale Earnhardt on the last lap of the Daytona 500 a week ago was one of those Two Nations moments, when you realize how huge is the gulf that separates this country's urbanites from its rustics. You could tell which parts of the country fit in where by looking at the newspaper headlines.

"[T]he Richmond Times-Dispatch … published a special section two days after the event. USA Today showed itself to be the newspaper of the Sun Belt with its huge banner headline … 'NASCAR Legend Dies on Daytona's Last Lap,' along with a reverent picture captioned (Diana-style) 'Dale Earnhardt, 1951-2001.'

"At the Northern end of the continuum you have the New York Times, which ran the story in its very bottom corner, beneath 'Pakistani Tale of a Drug Addict's Blasphemy.' The headline was 'Stock Car Star Killed on Last Lap of Daytona 500.' I love that 'stock car star' as if to say, 'Well, you probably wouldn't recognize his name, but take my word for it, a lot of people will.'

"God knows who writes the Times' headlines, but it's probable the one they had in mind was more along the lines of: 'Inexplicably Treasured Cracker With Mustache Immolated in Bizarre Folk Ritual.' "

Christopher Caldwell, writing on "Crashing on Deadline," in the Feb. 28 issue of New York Press


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