Feminist author and social critic Camille Paglia recently claimed that puberty-blocking treatments for children with gender dysphoria are “a criminal violation of human rights.”
In a recent interview with the Weekly Standard, Paglia, who teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, noted that she is “highly skeptical about the current transgender” movement. Though she describes herself as transgender (“I was donning flamboyant male costumes from early childhood on”), the openly lesbian academic draws the line where few feminists have dared to do so.
In a 2014 article, Paglia argued that “sexual orientation is fluid and can change.” And while she appears to stand by this belief, she acknowledges the biological limitations of sexuality.
“It is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender,” Paglia told the Weekly Standard. “Biology has been programmatically excluded from women’s studies and gender studies programs for almost 50 years now. Thus very few current gender studies professors and theorists, here and abroad, are intellectually or scientifically prepared to teach their subjects.”
Paglia’s comments are likely to spark outrage among LGBT advocates, but the 70-year-old is no stranger to controversy. Feminists like Paglia and AEI’s Christina Hoff Sommers have long clashed with the modern feminist and LGBT movements.
Both Paglia and Hoff Sommers belong to the “Second Wave” feminist movement, which emerged during the Sexual Revolution of the 1970s. Many modern or “Third Wave” feminists reject their views as not progressive enough.
In her book, “Who Stole Feminism,” Hoff Sommers notes the important distinctions between early feminists and modern feminists, who she claims “are promoting a dangerous new agenda that threatens our most cherished ideals and sets women against men in all spheres of life.” According to Sommers, the modern feminist movement seeks to undermine the accomplishments of original feminists, who successfully fought for true equality for American women.
According to Paglia, the modern feminist and LGBT movements demand that society bow down to progressive ideologies that have no basis in reality. In the case of transgenderism, Paglia believes that it is unethical to medically facilitate “sex transitions” that actively combat normal, healthy physical development.
“The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible,” Paglia told the Weekly Standard. “Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one’s birth gender for life. Intersex ambiguities can occur, but they are developmental anomalies that represent a tiny proportion of all human births.”