While I appreciate commentators who eschew popular opinion and conventional wisdom, priding oneself in being a contrarian-for-the-sake-contrarianism doesn't necessarily mean that someone is right. Which is probably why I never really got into Camille Paglia's work, although it should be mentioned that her hey-day was well before my time and maybe I'm just missed something, being a young'n and all.
Here she is saying that Chaz Bono "mutilated" his body by transitioning. (Update: video fixed.)
What I find particularly interesting is her statement at the end about how she could have been trans if she were born a few decades later. She sounds a lot like this guy:
For the first time since we've met, Ted isn't looking directly at me. "Here's where I really am on this issue," he half whispers. "I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual." After a weekend of Ted trying to convince me of his unambiguous devotion to his wife and kids, I'm at first too surprised to say anything.
"So why not now?" I ask finally.
"Because, Kevin, I'm 54, with children, with a belief system, and I can have enforced boundaries in my life. Just like you're a heterosexual but you don't have sex with every woman that you're attracted to, so I can be who I am and exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied."
"But what does it have to do with being 54?"
"Life!" he says. "We live an ordinary life."
There is the theory about virulently homophobic men, that they're in fact worried that people will find out that they're gay or bi so they say terrible things about gay people between visits to cruisey public bathrooms.
Does that apply to trans men as well? I don't think I've ever read about a cis man who said that he questioned his gender identity when he was younger but came to the conclusion that he wasn't a woman, but every now and then I come across a cis woman while reading LGBT and feminist media with such a narrative.
That may not apply to Paglia, who isn't hiding the fact that she questions her gender identity. On the other hand, she seems to blame her transphobia on that questioning.
Anyway, does she think she's Chaz Bono's shrink? Does she even know him that well? I mean, I'm a blogger and even I think she's making an awful lot of assumptions about what's going on in Bono's head. Is she projecting a lot of her own problems onto him? She seems to see a lot of herself in Bono, especially where she implies she could never transition because it's a fad for the younger generation, as if Bono is 19-years-old instead of 42.