For liberals, Bill Clinton is a rock star. Bill Cosby is a villain.
Camille Paglia – the self-described “dissident feminist” and vocal “cultural critic” who made her name in the 1990s – spoke with the liberal magazine Salon.com about the bizarre hypocrisy among the left when it comes to sexual abuse and former President Bill Clinton.
In an extended interview, Paglia was asked to weigh in on a news cycle that seems to echo many of the cultural topics she addressed in the 1990s.
“Right from the start, when the Bill Cosby scandal surfaced, I knew it was not going to bode well for Hillary’s campaign, because young women today have a much lower threshold for tolerance of these matters,” she said.
Of course, comedian Bill Cosby isn’t really the problem, according to Paglia. Clinton is the problem, and American women in the hypersensitive 21st century probably won’t be as tolerant of his misbehavior as they were in the ’90s.
“The horrible truth is that the feminist establishment in the U.S., led by Gloria Steinem, did in fact apply a double standard to Bill Clinton’s behavior because he was a Democrat. The Democratic president and administration supported abortion rights, and therefore it didn’t matter what his personal behavior was,” she said.
Someone give Cosby a Planned Parenthood shirt, and maybe the modern feminist movement will back off a little.
Paglia went on to explain that Cosby, like Clinton, was a “serial abuser” of women.
“The actual facts of the matter are that Bill Clinton was a serial abuser of working-class women – he had exploited that power differential even in Arkansas. My publicly stated opinion at the time was that I don’t care what public figures do in their private life. It’s a very sophisticated style among the French, and generally in Europe, where the heads of state tend to have mistresses on the side,” she said.
“So what? That doesn’t bother me at all! But the point is, they are sophisticated affairs that the European politicians have, while the Clinton episode was a disgrace.”
So, had Clinton taken Lewinsky on a couple of dates to the opera, or some bohemian performance art, it would have been more acceptable?
“So I say there is a big parallel between Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton–aside from their initials! Young feminists need to understand that this abusive behavior by powerful men signifies their sense that female power is much bigger than they are! These two people, Clinton and Cosby, are emotionally infantile–they’re engaged in a war with female power,” she said.
The two men might have a lot in common, as Paglia argues, but the way they are viewed by the liberal media couldn’t be more different.
Apparently abortion-supporting politicians who abuse women and “engage in a war with female power” get a pass. Comedians who share those same faults, however, aren’t quite so lucky.