Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Camille Paglia on AIDS pisses me off

Camille Paglia, who bills herself as an anti-PC feminist, has some interesting views on HIV, AIDS, and the homosexual community. They're interesting because they come from someone who says she's a sex radical, is bisexual, likes S&M, and is raising a child with a woman who runs the "Museum of Sex" in Philadelphia. Well, what does she say about HIV?

In her book "Sex, Art and American Culture", a collection of essays, she declares that people of her generation, the generation of the 60's, need to take responsibility for AIDS because they transgressed certain moral laws that brought the epidemic on. She's not religious about it, she just believes that, um, radical sex transgressed something that it shouldn't have transgressed. But wait, I thought she was pro-S&M? The gay community, and the radical sexual liberation participating and S&M parts of the gay community in particular, were devastated by HIV, and were condemned by preachers and moralists across the board for having brought it on themselves for transgressing God's Law and basic moral standards. And Camille Paglia seems to have jumped on board.

An interesting feature of the AIDS epidemic in the '80s that isn't talked about, that I didn't really know about until it was mentioned in a World AIDS Day speech, is gay men with HIV becoming homeless due to either illness, medical expenses, work discrimination, lack of family support, and literally dying in the streets. In New York City there were over a thousand people at one time who fit this bill, with the speaker, who started an organization dedicated to help house these people, estimating that at one time at the peak there were three thousand people in New York City with AIDS who were dying in the streets, homeless, forgotten, terminally sick.

This isn't a joke. It's these people that Paglia is condemning for bringing it on themselves.

She sits pretty in Philadelphia, known for its often vapid frankness, teaching literature and basking in her radical chic while being disconnected and isolated from the phenomenon that she so cheaply condemns.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

She does not such thing. She is very logical about it and nowhere is religion or god mentioned. What she IS saying is that when human beings go extreme in certain ways involving their bodies it can result in unwanted effects. The bath house scene involved promiscuous sex with strangers and many involved in hundreds and thousands of anonymous encounters paying no attention to how changing of bodily fluids do affect us. This is the same even when heterosexual sex is involved as show the spread of syphilis and gonorrhoea in places where brothels were in abundance. She may sit in whatever house in Philly and have whatever child with whomever, but she is and never was anti-gay or a religious condemn ant in ANY way. Read again, read it correctly instead of demising her. It´s the same as when she talks about "date rape"- she never blames anyone, she merely discussed responsible behaviour and the results of irresponsible acts. I am bisexual and radical myself, but I still think that continuing a certain behaviour while knowing it could be dangerous whether it is conjugal sex or dancing half naked at a sorority house and then act surprised when you got you as grabbed. It merely about being smart.