Vamps and Tramps
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "Rape is an act of desperation, a confession of envy and exclusion. All men- even, I have written, Jesus himself- began as flecks of tissue inside a woman's womb. Every boy must stagger out of the shadow of a mother goddess, whom he never fully escapes....Women have it. Men want it. What is it? The secret of life..."(Vamps & Tramps p. 32) - Camille Paglia
The mixed critical response generally concurred that too much was written on too wide a variety of topics. The book included a theoretical manifesto about sex, "No Law in the Arena", as well as transcripts of her previous TV and film appearances, including her 1993 collaboration with Glenn Belverio in his short film "Glennda and Camille Do Downtown," which played at the Sundance Film Festival and won first prize for best short documentary at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.
The book was a bestseller and exposed a wide readership to her scathing views on contemporary matters such as feminism, academia, the Clinton presidency, the life of Jacqueline Kennedy, and the career of Barbra Streisand. Paglia explains her title thus:
- "I want a revamped feminism. Putting the vamp back means the lady must be a tramp. My generation of Sixties rebels wanted to smash the bourgeois codes that had become the authoritarian totems of the Fifties. The 'nice' girl with her soft, sanitized speech and decorous manners had to go. Thirty years later, we're still stuck with her — in the official spokesmen and the anointed heiresses of the feminist establishment...Equal opportunity feminism, which I espouse, demands the removal of all barriers to woman's advance in the political and professional world — but not at the price of special protections for women which are infantilizing and anti-democratic."