Her speech is so fast, so insistent, so humming with confidence, it suggests someone who’s just snorted three lines of above-average cocaine, then returned to the party to regale her nearest acquaintance with some rapid-fire philosophizing. On Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect (1993–2002) in 1995, Camille Paglia is a tempest of theories, words unloading from her lips at a machine-gun clip. Maher, in his boxy suit, slouches slyly into his armchair. The pair sit surrounded by ruined Grecian columns, his talk show’s set a nod to ancient democracy. He chimes in occasionally, often just giggling, guiding the conversation when he can.
Maher quips that your average red-blooded American male likely views feminism as a “bunch of angry dykes who couldn’t get laid and they ruined for everybody.” Paglia, in the span of exactly twenty-four seconds, responds with this (time yourself – see if you can do it):
“The time for confrontation with men was real, it was there, late 60s early 70s, I was a forerunner, okay? I have kicked men, I have punched men, I have broken my umbrella over the heads of men, and so on, right? I am an open lesbian. I express my anger with men directly. I don’t have to get into a group and whine about men … ”