Post-Feminist Stress Disorder
What is good newspaper writing? More specifically, what is good editorializing? As described at College Media Advisors’ website, Gail Collins, Editorial Page Editor of The New York Times, states that a successful editorial author focuses on a topic that is significant to the audience. The writer must also arouse curiosity with a fresh take on a subject and her opinion must move the readers. Notably, the essayist must reveal a forceful perspective, but she is not mandated to acknowledge opposing counterarguments. (“Gail,” 2005). Enter Camille Paglia. In her unforgettable editorial, “On Date Rape,” Paglia fulfills all of Collins’ requirements with the intent to strike discord with the audience in order to engage them (Cooper 165). Presenting an unconventional and unyielding point of view, Paglia gives no quarter to her opponent’s beliefs. Paglia’s editorial is a success because her willful use of logical fallacies, backed by a polarizing opinion, riles up her opposition and elicits their emotional responses.
Camille Paglia, in “On Date Rape,” argues that women are responsible for rapes that take place during dates. She believes date rape happens because women are idealistic regarding the definition of feminism, unrealistic about the physical differences between men and women, and naive concerning the results of the physical attraction that exists between opposite sexes. Paglia concludes that date rape occurs because women are stupid and live in a fish bowl (165).
Paglia’s words are meant to enrage the feminists she disdains. In a Free Inquiry interview, Paglia describes her rhetoric as verbal tackle football saying, “I modeled my hits - my one-line attack sound-bites - on those great crisp hits…you can hear all the way in the back row” (Madigan 5). Early in her essay, Paglia hits hard with a hasty generalization that denigrates the new crop of feminists, who live a “double-standard” by expecting “freedom” without “risk” (165)....