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mobile or address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, mobile phone. From the fiery intellectual provocateur— and one of our most fearless advocates of gender equality—a brilliant, urgent essay collection that both celebrates modern feminism and challenges us to build an alliance of strong women and strong men.

Free women, free men

Now, for the first time, her best essays on the subject are gathered together in one concise volume. At once illuminating, witty, and inspiring, these essays are essential reading that affirm the power of men and women and what we can accomplish together. Read less. .

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Print length. Publication date. March 14, See all details. Next. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Camille Paglia. In stock soon. Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays.

Christopher Lasch. Customers who bought this item also bought. The Anarchist Handbook. Michael Malice.

Only 1 left in stock - order soon. Special offers and product promotions Amazon Business: Make the most of your Amazon Business with exclusive tools and savings. now. These chunks are fiercely erudite, freewheeling and sex-drenched. Her exegeses are prickly and acute, the Helen Vendler-meets-Patti Smith grad seminar you wanted but never quite got.

Her prose can be electric. She is most on point when she analyzes pop culture, de, and art—managing to put an intellectual spin on lowbrow entertainment and turn more obtuse academic topics into something relatable and enthralling.

Before President Donald Trump thrust the nation into debates about liberals forgetting white working class Americans in the Midwest and South, the failures of contemporary feminism, and free speech on college campus.

Paglia was discussing all these topics. Whether you agree or disagree with Paglia and many people have made strong arguments in disagreementshe has always understood the country while other experts did not. The wider ificance of Free Men, Free Women is the promise, implicit in its approach, to help pave a path forward for those now reeling from the unintended consequences of the continuing culture wars.

The author eloquently illustrates the dangers of narrowly defining a feminist according to what issues they support. Instead, she argues for feminism to become an umbrella of people with differing political views, sexual orientations, and religions who seek to strengthen women, without the need to demean men.

Intriguing and thought provoking for readers interested in different perspectives of feminism. A regular contributor to Salon. All rights reserved. The background from which and against which our ideas of God were formed, nature remains the supreme moral problem. We cannot hope to understand sex and gender until we clarify our attitude toward nature. Sex is a subset to nature. Sex is the natural in man. Without society, we would be storm-tossed on the barbarous sea that is nature.

Society is a system of inherited forms reducing our humiliating passivity to nature. We may alter these forms, slowly or suddenly, but no change in society will change nature. We are merely one of a multitude of species upon which nature indiscriminately exerts its force.

Nature has a master agenda we can only dimly know. Human life began in flight and fear. Religion rose from rituals of propitiation, spells to lull the punishing elements. To this day, communities are few in regions scorched by heat or shackled by ice.

Civilized man conceals from himself the extent of his subordination to nature. The grandeur of culture, the consolation of religion absorb his attention and win his faith. But let nature shrug, and all is in ruin. Fire, flood, lightning, tornado, hurricane, volcano, earthquake—anywhere at any time. Disaster falls upon the good and bad.

Civilized life requires a state of illusion.

Without it, culture would revert to fear and despair. Sexuality and eroticism are the intricate intersection of nature and culture. Feminists grossly oversimplify the problem of sex when they reduce it to a matter of social convention: readjust society, eliminate sexual inequality, purify sex roles, and happiness and harmony will reign. Here feminism, like all liberal movements of the past two hundred years, is heir to Rousseau. The bubble of these hopes was burst by the catastrophes of two world wars. But Rousseauism was reborn in the postwar generation of the Sixties, from which contemporary feminism developed.

It assumes that aggression, violence, and crime come from social deprivation—a Free sex women neighborhood, a bad home. Thus feminism blames rape on pornography and, by a smug circularity of reasoning, interprets outbreaks of sadism as a backlash to itself.

But rape and sadism have been evident throughout history and, at some moment, in all cultures.

This book takes the point of view of Sade, the most unread major writer in Western literature. Sade follows Hobbes rather than Locke.

Free women, free men : sex, gender, and feminism

Aggression comes from nature; it is what Nietzsche is to call the will-to-power. For Sade, getting back to nature the Romantic imperative that still permeates our culture from sex counseling to cereal commercials would be to give free rein to violence and lust. I agree.

Society is not the criminal but the force which keeps crime in check. The rapist is created not by bad social influences but by a failure of social conditioning.


Feminists, seeking to drive power relations out of sex, have set themselves against nature. Sex is power. Identity is power. In Western culture, there are no nonexploitative relationships. Everyone has killed in order to live. Each generation drives its plow over the bones of the dead. Modern liberalism suffers unresolved contradictions.

It exalts individualism and freedom and, on its radical wing, condemns social orders as oppressive. On the other hand, it expects government to provide materially for all, a feat manageable only by an expansion of authority and a swollen bureaucracy. In other words, liberalism defines government as tyrant father but demands it behave as nurturant mother. Feminism has inherited these contradictions.

Free women, free men: sex, gender, feminism

It sees every hierarchy as repressive, a social fiction; every negative about woman is a male lie deed to keep her in her place. Feminism has exceeded its proper mission of seeking political equality for women and has ended by rejecting contingency, that is, human limitation by nature or fate. Sexual freedom, sexual liberation. A modern delusion.

We are hierarchical animals. Sweep one hierarchy away, and another will take its place, perhaps less palatable than the first. There are hierarchies in nature and alternate hierarchies in society.

In nature, brute force is often the law. In society, there are protections for the weak. Society is our frail barrier against nature. When the prestige of state and religion is low, men are free, but they find freedom intolerable and seek new ways to enslave themselves, through drugs or depression. My theory is that whenever sexual freedom is sought or achieved, sadomasochism will not be far behind. Romanticism always turns into decadence.