By Suzanne Venker
There’s a reason the text version of Camille Paglia’s opening statement at the Munk Debate, “Resolved: Men Are Obsolete” garnered 10K likes on Facebook and received more than one thousand comments at Time.com: it hit a nerve.
It was a nerve that needed to be hit, and Paglia did it beautifully.
Not only was her choice of words fitting, she delivered them with the perfect amount of exasperation.
America must revisit its distorted view of gender equality, implored Paglia, and start being fair to the other half of the human race.
It’s time to stop pretending men are oppressors and to start recognizing the extraordinary contributions men have made to society.
Paglia says, “History must be seen clearly and fairly: obstructive traditions arose not from men’s hatred or enslavement of women but from the natural division of labor that had developed over thousands of years during the agrarian period and that once immensely benefited and protected women, permitting them to remain at the hearth to care for helpless infants and children. Over the past century, it was laborsaving appliances, invented by men and spread by capitalism, that liberated women from daily drudgery.”
She adds, “Every day along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, one can watch the passage of vast oil tankers and towering cargo ships arriving from all over the world. These stately colossi are loaded, steered and off-loaded by men. The modern economy, with its vast production and distribution network, is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role — but women were not its author.”
It is a truth rarely acknowledged: Men’s success in fields such as medicine, engineering and technology have done more to liberate women from the constraints of their former lives than a busload of feminists could ever hope to do.