Camille Paglia on Obama, Hillary, etc.

“Hillary’s authentic contribution to feminism is to have demonstrated for the first time that a woman can win state primaries — even if she needed her husband’s help as well as racially divisive tactics to do so. This welcome development will surely encourage big donors to support future presidential campaigns by women, who (like Elizabeth Dole) were previously forced to drop out early for lack of funding. Obama’s meteoric success will also benefit female candidates, who can hope to break out of the pack as suddenly as he did. Past predictors of electoral success have been exploded, and all bets are off.

…Hillary’s sex helped her more than hurt her. What the media repeatedly claimed was her success in debate was predicated on her silencing of her male competitors, who were bullied into excess caution in dealing with a woman. Not one Democratic male dared attack or rebut her with the zest shown by all the Republican candidates jousting with each other. Hillary had to be coddled with elaborate deference — or the delicate little woman would squawk bloody murder (as she did when she petulantly complained about always being given the first debate question). All of this rubbish was resurrected last week in the thousand mawkish excuses found by the media and her crooning acolytes for “giving her time” to withdraw from the race. No man would have been treated in that overconcerned way — as a frail vessel of quivering emotion. Yet another blot on feminism, courtesy of Clinton, Inc.

And here’s another whopping female advantage: Hillary could jet around the country with an elaborate, color-keyed wardrobe and a professional hair and makeup crew, who plastered and insta-lifted her with dewy salon uber-ointments and cutting-edge technology before every appearance. No male candidate has ever had that theatrical privilege. (John Edwards, in contrast, was heaped with scorn for his simple yet pricey haircuts.) When the mega-prep for some reason failed — as on a frigid morning in Iowa — the resultant photo of Hillary in realistically wrinkled 60-year-old mode caused repercussions around the world. Golda Meir, with her robustly lived-in face and matriarchal jowls, would have given ever-primping Hollywood Hillary a derisive Bronx cheer.

There can be no doubt that Hillary’s travails have reignited the feminist wars, which sputtered out in the mid-’90s after the rousing triumph of the insurgent pro-sex wing of feminism to which I belong. Grab your swords and saddle up, ladies! The spectral Steinem is clinging to Hillary like a limpet. Oh, and there’s Susan Faludi wispily brooding in Steinem’s papoose. Get ready to rumble: Male-bashing feminism is back with a vengeance. (Salon)

Point worth pondering, even though dedicated contrarian Paglia delights in skewering nothing more than feminist ideology. BTW, given how it transformed society in the last three decades, what would be so bad about finally introducing some male-bashing rhetoric to one of the last public bastions of sexism, the Jurassic political scene?