Camille Paglia: Taylor Swift ‘should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine’


Much like 14-year-old Rowan Blanchard, noted feminist writer Camille Paglia has some thoughts about #SquadGoals, specifically regarding the biggest Squad Goaler of them all, Taylor Swift. Paglia wrote an essay for The Hollywood Reporter about her complicated relationship with the idea of “squads” and whether or not they’re “the blossoming of an ideal­istic new feminism.” Most of the piece reads like a (slightly half-assed and out-of-touch) history of the representations of female friendships in entertainment, but then Paglia basically says that Squads have the power to offer genuine female companionship, mentorship and friendship, but only if those squads don’t fall into the Taylor Swift Squad Model. You can read the essay here. Here’s the Taylor Swift portion:

Young women performers are now at the mercy of a swarming, intrusive paparazzi culture, intensified by the hypersexualization of our flesh-baring fashions. The girl squad phenomenon has certainly been magnified by how isolated and exposed young women feel in negotiating the piranha shoals of the industry. A dramatic example of their vulnerability was the long-lens pap photo of Taylor Swift sitting painfully sad and prim on a Virgin Islands taxi boat after her tumultuous 2013 holiday breakup with pop star Harry Styles.

Given the professional stakes, girl squads must not slide into a cozy, cliquish retreat from romantic fiascoes or communication problems with men, whom feminist rhetoric too often rashly stereotypes as oafish pigs. If many women feel lonely or overwhelmed these days, it’s not due to male malice. Women have lost the natural solidarity and companionship they enjoyed for thousands of years in the preindustrial agrarian world, where multiple generations chatted through the day as they shared chores, cooking and child care.

In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift’s bear-hugging posse. Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video “Please Welcome to the Stage.”

Girl squads ought to be about mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint projects. Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.

If women in Hollywood seek a broad audience, they must aim higher and transcend a narrow gender factionalism that thrives on grievance. Girl squads are only an early learning stage of female development. For women to leave a lasting mark on culture, they need to cut down on the socializing and focus like a laser on their own creative gifts.

[From THR]

To be fair to Taylor Swift for a moment, I do think that she’s actively interested in mentoring the younger girls in her squad. She often seems genuinely like a big sister to people like Zendaya and Lorde. But… Paglia is also correct about Taylor “wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props.” Taylor is all about Taylor. Taylor’s squad is all about Taylor. Taylor will be your friend if she can show you off on stage, on a red carpet or on social media. Taylor is all about the image of female friendship rather than the reality.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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156 Responses to “Camille Paglia: Taylor Swift ‘should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine’”

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  1. QQ says:

    PFFFTTTTTTTTTTFFFF I really did Spit water all Over, I wasn’t Ready for this or the Delight it brought

    • Lizzie McGuire says:

      Princess Rainbow Brite Swift keeps getting attacked…damn you internet, Jared Leto & Camille Paglia!

    • mia girl says:

      OK maybe I was under a rock the day the video Paglia reference went viral, so I looked it up.

      QQ if you haven’t seen, you may want to –

    • dana says:

      co-sign. any human over 13 knows you don’t lend friendships out like popsicles and expect true kinship. And Tay’s instant sqad from the Victoria Secret roster feels and looks disingenuous. Ask where they all are in 5 years. And as for the intellectual conversations being had, modeling 101, boyfriends, lipstick shade? When you build walls instead of bridges, they always come tumbling down.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        5 years? It’s been like 3 months and quite a noticeable amount of her ‘squad’ has ducked out.

        You never see Lena Dunham anymore, Cara DeLevigne is gone, Karli is absent, Samar is out, never actually saw her hang out with Haley. It’s actually amazing how fast it all came crumbling down.

      • WinnieCoopersMom says:

        LOL TS has been touring overseas..hard to do the squad thing from the other side of the globe ;)

      • aemish says:

        Great post!

    • EOA says:

      Please. Camille Paglia hates women, and has hated women for decades. That she is now taking it out on Taylor Swift is nothing to celebrate.

      • Kath says:

        I totally agree with you. She’s an idiot, as evidenced by the pointless (and offensive) use of the word “Nazi” to get attention.

      • Lissanne says:

        I made the mistake of buying Paglia’s book, Sexual Personae, back when it was first published and she was getting a lot of notice. I managed to get through one chapter, She just strings words together and thinks she’s actually come up with an important idea. And yes she hates women.

  2. Lora says:

    Its a bad week for taylor, huh?

  3. Liz says:

    I’m actually feeling a little sorry for Swift as she seems to have so many people writing pieces about how she chooses to have friends is wrong. isn’t that her business?

    • FingerBinger says:

      I don’t want to feel sorry for her,but Swift is becoming a punching bag.

      • Loulou says:

        I mean… Nazi Barbie? Really?

      • Misti64 says:

        Stuff like that remind me why I’m no liberal. Camille Paglia, Hilary Clinton and their ilk can go hang.

      • Lilipad says:

        Calling someone a “Nazi Barbie” has nothing to do with being a liberal and everything to do with the person’s own insecurities… Not being a liberal because someone else you know and don’t like is a liberal feels a little silly. It’s like saying, I’m not going to eat chocolate because Donald Trump eats chocolate (but wait, I like chocolate… still not going to eat it, nope!).

      • Dangles says:

        Clinton a Liberal? Only if you compare her to Donald Trump.

      • Liv says:

        What a stupid remark. Agree with all of you, she can’t do anything right. Of course she’s showing off friends on stage, but let’s not forget that people like Timberlake asked her to get on there with her…

      • EOA says:

        Misti64, Paglia isn’t a “liberal.” Her shtick is to pretend like she is a radical feminist, but in reality, she is so radical that she is a reactionary.

        Hillary Clinton has done nothing that can be compared to Paglia.

      • Kc says:

        @eoa – agree. I have read some of Paglia’S essays – I find that they make me think. I rarely agree with her (and I am a very proud feminist) but find her readable.

    • annaloo. says:

      I agree. I think she was criticized for being too boy crazy and always with a boyfriend, and now that she has friends- and perhaps they are props – we don’t like that either. I’m not saying she has done this flawlessly as she is a typical narcissistic celeb, but at the end of the day, it’s our clicks and our magazine buys that determine who floats to the top of the media and people respond to Taylor. There’s something ingrained in all of us that respond to the Nazi Barbie – the Gwyneths, the Paris Hiltons, the Christie Brinkleys, the Marilyns, the blondes, the blondes, the blondes… we should hold a mirror to ourselves. It’s not Swift’s responsibility to make the public respect, demand or hold up other forms of feminism or groups of women – it’s ours.

      • Allie says:

        The thing is she keeps pushing whatever image she has in our faces. She could date lots of guys (or girls) and hang out with every celeb in the world, if she kept it more private. But ever date, romantic or friendship, was posted on social media or she called the paparazzi for it or she put them up on stage with her. So yes, she should be criticized if she wants people to talk about these situations. She’s the one that keeps talking about feminism and girl power.

      • Erinn says:

        But is she REALLY pushing it? I mean, she instagrams and stuff – but so do regular people. I think a lot of her ‘pushing it’ is actually just the media picking up fluff pieces on her, because they know it brings clicks. I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as Taylor just yelling “LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT MEEE” – I think partially she’s at the level of fame that she’s a big household name (young and old know who she is) and she is a polarizing person. There are times where stories are written to just rip on her for no real reason, and because she’s so exposed the people that don’t like her to begin with take delight in assuming the worst. There’s a lot of innocuous things that she does – that people really just read sooooo far into. Some of it – she absolutely brings on herself. But there’s a certain point where the joke just gets tired, and it becomes mean spirited for no real reason.

      • Kitten says:

        High-fives, Erinn.
        You said everything so perfectly. The valid criticisms of her get lost in all the silly projection and discussions about “mean girling”.

        Wanna be on my #squad? ;)

      • annaloo. says:

        I think when a celeb puts something out there, it ultimately remains someone’s choice as a consumer of information whether they look at it or not. No one makes anyone look at one’s Instagram or any of their social media ..I personally don’t look at Taylor’s instagram, I don’t read Gwyneth’s Goop, I never watched a Simple Life, etc…thankfully, we can – for the most part and to use an overused word – ‘curate’ our own lives for personal exposure. Yet we are here talking about HER. She is the center of this conversation, which in the name of fame is the total point. My point is WHY we respond, WHY do we give women like her – tall, skinny, Barbies that calculate fame essentially – this attention over and over? At some point, maybe we have to ask ourselves as the consuming public if it is that we like to be persecuted by the slender blonde mean girl from high school, or we like to feel insecure by a Hollywood- manufactured teutonic defined ideal of beauty that has essentially been with us since the early part of the last century? What is it in US that respond to this? What is it about the skinny, leggy blond girl that we give so much power to that she’s a dominant? Barbie was no accident, Barbie – and all her incarnations in female popstars, moviestars, even the sports stars we pay attention to – was a cultural phenomenon of the iconic queen bee blonde…but why? Even Beyonce – a woman of color – in her throne sits with blonde weave atop her head photoshopping her thigh gap. What is it in us that we give this form of female appearance power to upset us, to fascinate us, to dictate trends and we follow with clicks, clicks, clicks? Why do we give Taylor (or her media image) this power to upset us?

        *Also please know, I have nothing against blonde hair and skinny per se.. I am going with Paglia’s point calling Swift a Nazi Barbie..I am merely asking why this figure is so often worshipped, reviled and given so much power over women and how they think of themselves.

      • Susan says:

        I’ve just read a couple of comments from chicks like Erin and I want them in my girl Squad!

      • justagirl says:

        @annaloo. I don’t read it as Paglia condemning Swift’s looks, for being white & blond…it’s a pointed reference to Swift’s “Nazi Barbie routine” of using ‘friends’ and random celebrities as stage props.

        That’s exactly what all those stage pics look like, model-perfect young women, almost always white, all together they are like a “Nazi Barbie collection” of perfect-specimens.

        Paglia isn’t using Nazi Barbie as a general descriptor for all blonds like Gwyneth, Christie Brinkley, Marilyn, etc. The issue is that hundreds of thousands of little girls are consuming these images of the “Nazi Barbie collection” – too-perfect, too-similar, no room for diversity.

        It’s a very unhealthy aspect of Swift’s brand of girl-power. While companies like Dove are getting props for positive ‘love your body’ messaging, young girls are in fact picking up several opposite & negative messages from Swift, in a very insidious way.

      • Kitten says:

        Dove? You mean their “real women have curves” campaign? Barf.

        PLEASE do not hold a slogan that insinuates that millions of women are not “real” i.e. “womanly enough” because they don’t fit the body type that Dove is promoting. Women (can we just forget the “real” part b/c wtf does that mean?) come in all different shapes and sizes, y’all.

        BTW, I hope all the people who came down like a ton of bricks on Thom Yorke for saying that sites that allow people to illegally download music are similar to the Nazis seizing privately-owned art are applying the same level of rage at Camilla Paglia for making a comparison that is far more offensive.

      • Anne tommy says:

        Not a huge Taylor fan by any means but I think the Nazi Barbie comment is offensive. Paltrow’s father was Jewish of course so above posts including her in the group is another little bit of offensiveness to add to the mix. Swift is far less sexualised than Miley Cyrus and many others.

      • annaloo. says:

        @Anne Tommy – you are absolutely correct, and I apologize for the offense. My point was more towards the Patrician-Anglo female phenotype/material wealth status that is deified and vilified by society

        @justagirl – yes, and no. I think your points are completely valid and applicable regarding the level of stage propping Swift’s friends/squad, but I could not help but feel that paglia’s quote (along with Rowan Blanchard’s points) umbrellas the societal worship of a specific type of woman.. anytime you mention Barbie, that will draw lines of definition. At least to me it did.

      • ISO says:

        Yeah but notice she only poses with her sexy “friends”. It’s just not plausible. Everyone has a range of friends. I don’t know anyone, however glamorous, who only has bratz dolls and not sunshine family friends.

      • Frank says:

        Maybe taylor should just try being herself and not worry about what people think. She overdoes everything that’s the problem

    • LAK says:

      I genuinely think that Taylor’s female friendship schtick is as cynical an exercise in image/business manipulation as her previous schtick of multiple dating for the revenge songs.

      In otherwords, it’s not personal, it’s business. And if you, or it, doesn’t fit anymore, she’ll spit you out and move on.

      Don’t forget the female squad thing only started after Tina Fey/Amy Peohler made fun of the romantic revenge songs multiple dating. Having hit a wall with that schtick and being made a laughing stock, she had to come up with something new.

      And after that quote about women who don’t support other women going to hell (as if she does, can we ask Katy Perry or Nicki Minaj?) she cynically set out to give a visual presentation of said quote. Good for business and image. For now.

      • mia girl says:


      • lucy2 says:

        Agree completely. I said in the other post too, I think there’s something false about the female friendships she has, and I think you’re right that it’s all business.

        Beyond that, I don’t like the term “Nazi” being thrown around, especially regarding a frivolous topic like pop stars. Let’s save it for those who truly deserve the comparison, like Trump.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        All of this.

        We’re not smacking down every effort she does going, “Bad Swifty!” were noticing that every thing she does carries an essence of shallow falsehood.

        Same with Kim K, every few go rounds people begin to pity Kim again and say how we’re all so mean and never give her a break…only for her lying and manipulation to be exposed once again and confirm why people treat her the way they do.

      • Saphana says:

        spot on. now she is getting crap for her Pr antics again she will drop it and start something else.

      • antipodean says:

        Prophetic words LAK, FOR NOW!

      • arabella says:

        YES, that’s exactly what I was thinking. It all seems so contrived and such a response to everyone else’s criticism about her revenge songs. The squad also seems a lot more like mean girls than a true camaraderie. I do think Nazi Barbie is going a little far though

      • Elisa the I. says:

        @LAK: you’re spot on – this is about business and TS / her management is excellent at it. Seriously, who looks to pop culture for truthfulness, authenticity, true friendship etc.? This is about PR, about a carefully crafted image that is adapted according to need.

  4. mia girl says:

    The top picture could literally be the movie poster for
    “Mean Girls Part Deux”

    • Bettyrose says:

      But what made Mean Girls so great is that we all lived it. Paglia’s romanticized view of female friendship throughout the ages conveniently ignores that women have always battled each other for alpha status and grouped themselves into hierarchical cliques, with the most conventionally attractive (based on the standards of that time period/culture) at the top. If anything has changed, and I don’t think much has, it’s that girls understand the value of their sexuality to social status at younger ages, but the routine is the same.

      • Cricket says:

        Yes! Agree 1000%! And the movie Heathers also portrays this as well. As said in that movie ” there’s a new sherif in town” when one squad leader leaves, another is right there to take her place as if it’s mindless assimilation.

  5. Leah says:

    “Obnoxious nazi barbie” is probably the greatest quote ever about Swiftie!

    • minx says:

      Meh, I think “Nazi” should be reserved for actual, you know, Nazis.

      Godwin’s law.

      • MelissaManifesto says:

        Exactly. People who know what Nazis are and/or have relatives who have dealt with them only use the word when it’s literal. It’s not just something you throw around to describe someone you don’t like even when they are narcissists.

      • Lex says:

        I find the term “feminazi” to be excrutiatingly offensive… Yes, women fighting to be equal to men is exactly comparable to the extermination of millions of people based on their ethnicity…..

      • boredblond says:

        +100..behavior she finds objectionable should not be linked to a murderous regime..if she thinks they’re all in the group for the exposure, then say so. Who cares? This group doesn’t seem to be harming anyone or having an effect on female friendship.

    • Elisa the I. says:

      No, it’s one of the worst. And it’s a sad day when people don’t realize that. :(
      IIt’s the ultimate irony that the author is demanding that women should support, mentor each other etc. while tearing TS down, who is – along with Rihanna, Katy Perry, Adele – one of the most successful FEMALES in the music industry. I just can’t, ugh.

      • MandyMillJ. says:

        Thank you so much, Elisa, because I don’t get it either. Let’s support women and fly our feminist flag in the air, but let’s tear down Taylor Swift no matter what she does. Besides being like almost every celeb out there, what exactly has she done that is so horrible? It is laughable that this woman is all about supporting women and in the same breath tearing one down. I see groups of celeb women taking pics together all the time and most people support them, but not Taylor, but again at this point it doesn’t matter what she does, she will get torn down. I actually used to dislike her a lot, because IMO she is just annoying, but the bash her for every move has made me pull for her more.

      • Leah says:

        I can see what you are saying most definitely, its not a great word to use when you put it like that. But picking out the word nazi on its own sort of changes the context. The nazi barbie thing was a good way to explain the extreme focus on looks and fame in Taylor squad. I didn’t read it as she was calling her a nazi quite literally.
        Elisa the I
        Feminism doesnt mean we can’t be critical of other females, that we should blindly support everything they do simply because they are female. If i don’t think what kardashians or swifty stand for is good for my younger teenage sisters i should be able to express it without being excused of being unsupportive. I don’t need to support everything a woman does.

      • Elisa the I. says:

        @Leah: I get what you are saying and of course everyone has a right to form and should express their opinion.
        Again, I’m not a fan of TS music at all, but I applaud her incredible determination to succeed with what I think is an average talent. I find it aspirational. And seriously, what has she done that’s so bad? Selected a squad of friends (who benefit immensely from this friendship) according to her own wishes? Seriously? Writing lame love songs about her exes? Seriously? Being white, thin and tall – which she can’t change (she seems naturally slender)? Seriously? Being focussed, as a popstar, on looks and fame? Seriously? I’m clutching my pearls. You are aware that this is a gossip site that deals daily mostly with looks and fame?
        And of course you should tell your teenage sisters that this is about excellent PR, that this is a carefully crafted image and public TS is most likely NOT private TS (just like any pop star, actor, politican etc.).
        Katy Perry and TS are the highest paid musicians (male + female) in 2015. I also don’t care for Katy Perry’s bland pop music either, but I’m proud that 2 women are so successful at what they are doing.
        Just to explain where I’m coming from: I live in Vienna and when I walk through the streets there are hardly any named after “successful” women. We recently had provincial elections in Austria and in one of the provinces the government is all male (in 2015!). Or take a look at the ongoing nominations for the Golden Globes etc. : the directors are exlusively men. The list is endless. :(
        I don’t get it that TS is criticized in such a way (ironically mostly by women) when finally there are some women on top.

      • Ennie says:

        Elisa, +1 and +1

  6. RocketMerry says:

    I’m glad Karlie Kloss sort of escaped The Squad.
    I’m beginning to feel sad for Tay Tay; must not feel good to always be THAT calculating about everything, and then have everyone noticing and pointing out how ridiculous her entire public social life is.

  7. Zaid says:

    I think people are not getting what squads really are lol it’s not that serious.

    • Elisa the I. says:

      “…Girl squads ought to be about mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint projects…”
      The author sounds like she is totally out of touch with reality.

      • Flyingpixie says:

        Exactly. And to then glorify male relationships and friendships, as if they would pass this ridiculously high barometer — Plain stupid.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I’m older and maybe it’s that, but yeah, this is sort of ridiculous. “Girl squads” should be this, shouldn’t be that…who cares? Are we twelve?

      • Kitten says:

        ^^^This times 8 billion.^^^

        The only people who I would think *might* have a slight interest in this would be moms of young women who look up to Swift. But really, that’s where good parenting comes into play.

        Additionally, cliques among teenage girls and even young women will ALWAYS exist. Of course with those cliques comes the potential for bullying and cruelty to those that are not a part of them. The way people are talking you’d think that Taylor Swift invented this concept. lol

      • minx says:

        Exactly, it’s ridiculous.
        Who cares?

      • Zaid says:

        During my time around the net I discovered squad means your close group or friends. You could se a ridiculous video of 3 monkeys dancing and teens these days would go like ‘me and the squad at da club’
        Really, is nothing serious.

        Media just gave the squad title to Swift and now it spoils the fun for the rest.

  8. Cindy says:

    “Nazi Barbie” lol.
    I don’t mind Taylor Swift but I can never unread that. Too perfect.

  9. Allie says:

    Zendaya said shortly after the VMAs that she barely spent any time at all with Taylor but that she was a nice girl. I think that’s basically the exact description of Taylor and her squad. She doesn’t spend that much time with any of them, just a few publicity shots, but will be nice so she can continue on with her good girl reputation. I completely agree that the squad must be all about Taylor. You can see the examples when Taylor posts stuff on her friends birthdays. The girl from 5th harmony and lily Aldridge both had Taylor front and center near the cake, with the birthday girl more on the side.

  10. Fluffernutter says:

    I don’t necessarily disagree with the statement the author is making, but the way she writes is so pretentious and try hard. Gag.

  11. SBS says:

    “Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history”…… Yes, obviously the answer is to be more like men! Also, I have no deeper feelings for TS, good or bad, but Nazi Barbie… I’m sure she could have chosen some other ‘mean name’ to call her.

  12. Narak says:

    “For women to leave a lasting mark on culture, they need to cut down on the socializing and focus like a laser on their own creative gifts.”

  13. aims says:

    When I think of genuine friends, I don’t think how I can exploit the friendship. My inner circle if not my prop or work it to my benefit. A true sisterhood is the one of support, and encouragement. There’s nothing uplifting about Taylor’s girl group. I’m so glad her sh*t is being called out.

  14. lizzie says:

    it is easy to sit back and criticize other people’s art and productivity in the entertainment industry. that is what camille paglia does. she is a troll masquerading as a feminist. i don’t love taylor swift but i don’t think this essay holds water. swift is an extremely controlling and shrewd business woman but an obnoxious nazi barbie? that isn’t even hyperbole, its just BS! if the friends she is trotting out as performance props didn’t want to be there – they wouldn’t be. her friends benefit from the exposure of being in her squad more than she does for sure.

    • Kitten says:

      But she was mean to Katy Perry and hurt the feelings of her ex-boyfriends and stuff!!! Also she has BLONDE HAIR and BLUE EYES!!!

      Surely that’s enough of a reason to compare her to Anti-Semitic fascist Germans who tried to exterminate the Jewish Nation and further the Aryan race.

      • Velvet, Crushed says:

        Paglia is very wrong to misapply the term “Nazi” as she did — particularly as someone who has touted the rigor of her own intellectualism for so long — but I don’t think she is mistaken in sensing that entwined at the root of both Swift’s social exhibitionism and music is a weirdly sanitized aesthetic. Fortunately or not, Paglia’s own thinking patterns pertaining to gender and socialization can be criticized for being far more sinister and destructive than Ms. Swifts shenanigans.

      • Kitten says:

        @ Velvet-Fair enough observation and you will get no arguments from me.
        If Paglia had phrased it the way you did, without the obnoxious and unwarranted hyperbole, maybe I would have given her a couple points.

        Nah scratch that. No points ever for Paglia because she sucks.

      • Velvet, Crushed says:

        You are kind, @Kitten. I take it from your remarks below that you’ve already caught on, but I would advise against holding out any hope for Paglia. Also, I regret my missing apostrophe.

  15. Freddy Spaghetti says:

    If anyone but Camille Pagilla had written this, I would be cheering. But given the things she’s said about lesbians and modern feminism, no.

    • Naya says:

      What has she said?

      • Freddy Spaghetti says:

        For starters, “Leaving sex to feminists is like taking your dog to the taxidermist.” There’s tons of stuff, just try Google.

      • Masha says:

        In the article above she says
        “Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.”

        Some other choice quotes by Camille

        “If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts”

        “Any woman who stays with her abuser beyond the first incident is complicitous with him”

        “Despite hysterical propaganda about our “rape culture,” the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides.”

        “My position on date rape is partly based on my study of The Faerie Queen, as detailed in a full chapter in Sexual Personae: in 1590, the poet Edmund Spencer already sees that passive, drippy, naive women constantly get themselves into rape scenarios, while talented, intelligent, alert women, his warrior heroines, spot trouble coming and boldly trounce their male assailants”

        “Male urination really is a kind of accomplishment, an arc of transcendance. A woman merely waters the ground she stands on”

        “Without strong men as models to either embrace or (for dissident lesbians) to resist, women will never attain a centered and profound sense of themselves as women.”

      • Kitten says:

        Thank you for that, Masha.

        I CANNOT with this woman.

      • lunchcoma says:

        Thanks, Masha. I’ve always found her terrible, but it’s good to have quotes at hand as evidence!

    • Jessica says:

      What did she say about lesbians and modern feminism?

      I’m asking because when I tried Googling for the answer and started to read an article about her I got annoyed. So I don’t want to continue to Google but I would like to know what she said.

    • Pedro45 says:

      Camille Paglia is NOT a feminist.

  16. Andrea says:

    This article is exactly why some women do not like the title feminist. The reason women don’t bond as they used to is because of social media. Times are changing. But the same applies to men. In regards to Taylor using her “celebrity squad” as props. Well it is a concert, you pay to see a performance. When my husband gets together with his male friends, no mentoring is involved. They hang out, talk, tell jokes, drink, smoke….etc. But I do the same with my female friends.

  17. Kitten says:

    Oh noes champagne tears.
    Forgive me but I just cannot muster up any f*cks to give about rich celebs being “mean” to other rich celebs.

  18. Tw says:

    I don’t know who Ms. Paglis is……but I like her.

    • Velvet, Crushed says:

      Um… One brief glance into what she’s written in the past will quell your approval of her, I would hope.

  19. LisaH says:

    The dumb in that article was so strong I had a visceral fight or flight reaction, like I suddenly needed to run far away fast.

  20. Nancy says:

    Taylor sitting in a dark room, in a onesie, turning the light off and on Glenn Close/Fatal Attraction style, stroking her cat, perhaps just a tad too hard and much too long. No one will better me, no one will Katy Perry me….who is this Camilia person…oh I remember…drat that Joe Jonas. I am the queen so bow down…….oh mommy make them go away….be still Taylor, bake your cookies, Abigail is on the way. But mom I want a Jack and Coke….be still Taylor….wait till the lights go off.

  21. Cynthia says:

    As much as I think Taylor Swift is pretentious, can the girl live?

  22. TreadStyle says:

    Just glad there r people out there that will actually call Taylor out. Most people have to be careful & apologize for any slight bc they r afraid of her control w in the industry (all industries!). She has used people as prop friends for a lot longer then the squad thing happened!

  23. Morgan says:

    Taylor just can’t win. How dare she be young and famous and have young famous friends? How dare she be so tall and skinny and blonde? Everyone knows “real” women don’t look like that. Geez. My friendships in my 20′s were primarily focused on talking about stupid stuff, boys, and bad television… pretty sure there was no mentoring involved. Somehow we all grew up just fine without “nurturing each others’ creative gifts.”

    • Laura says:

      Agreed! I think Taylor Swift is a genuinely decent person – with flaws, past mistakes, etc just like the rest of us – and it drives me crazy how once she reached a certain point of success, it was time for people to tear her down. I’m proud of the image she portrays – there is nothing slutty, rude, or nasty about her, unlike some other acts that are in the same age range/genre as her. Is she perfect? Of course not. None of us are. But she has my support and even at the ripe old age of 36, I’d be delighted to be a part of Taylor’s “squad”!

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Dumb phone.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Fans playing the “Our Swifty isn’t like those “loose women” card over and over doesn’t help the Taylor Swift cause, since one of the criticisms surrounding her is that she’s been placed on a purity princess pedestal and has played into it with virgin vs. whore anthems, bullying of Camilla Belle, and comments in interviews. Not that I’m team Camille paglia on this at all. Between her and Taylor, Taylor is actually the more progressive and harmless person because Paglia is a misogynistic man worshipping rape apologist.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      Ehhh……..I’m now in my twenties (barely) have one really good friend, and I’d say we have more than a basic friendship. Me and my one really good female friend both try and push each other, ask each other about our goals, and give suggestions about how to meet that. Like my friend was a general major at college. She didn’t know what she wanted to do. So over various months of talking to her about mundane things, we filter in some serious talk–she wanted to get a job that was better than what most people our age could get around where we live i.e. being a waitress or Walmart.

      My family makes our dog food, and she absolutely LOVES her dogs to the point of it’s like a child-parent relationship. So I told her she should look into selling home made dog food. She did–found out everything you have to do/get to sell that sort of thing i.e. insurance. And then, going off of that, she changed her major from general to business with the goal of owning a pet store.

      My friend does the same with me and my writing (self pubbing)……

      I do see the point that the writer is making–maybe on all stages, but dudes do get together and stick with one another. It’s the frat boy/country club mentality of rich people. They get together–they all came from the same stock in life, they all went to the same schools, and now they’re working together and all playing golf. Those are the people who get promoted.

  24. InvaderTak says:

    1.) Again with the inappropriate use of Nazi. CP should know better.
    2.) That article seems to be trying really hard to make a mountain out of a molehill. The girl squad trend is just that; A TREND in celebuland. It really doesn’t carry that much weight now, and I don’t see how it could have an impact on feminism as a whole in the long run. Enough with the editorializing. If it wasn’t Swift with her “squad” then it would be something else.

    • OhDear says:

      The first thing I thought when reading the headline was “Godwin’s Law violation!”

    • SBS says:

      Totally agree about inappropriate use of Nazi. Definitely not a word that should be thrown around as some sort of attention grabbing insult.

  25. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    “Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog Women.”

    Oh yeah, let’s all study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding..? I think it’s also sometimes called war. And rape. And football. Let’s all spend time together in which we talk about nothing but tits, farts and how much we like ketchup. I really do love most men, but come on – could she roll out any more stereotypes or misogynistic imagery? I have true, loving, always there for me friends despite the fact that no, we don’t mop together, that old but not forgotten female bonding necessity that was lost with the Swiffer. What a boat load of crap. You want to see petty jealousy and turf wars? Work for mostly male lawyers for 25 years. Some men have true and devoted friendships, as do some women. Some men are competitive a-holes who think about nothing but themselves. Same for women. She is on my last nerve.

    • Erinn says:

      Yeah this article is a load of horseshit.

      I don’t know how she can complain about Taylor and then turn it into “BE MORE LIKE MEN”. I’m also unsure of what men she’s looking at – because I work in a team of 95% men. They are not all bro-ing out, and mentoring each other. They’re just as clique-y as anyone else. They snipe behind each others backs, they are constantly trying to get a leg up on the other.

      This is a human issue. This is not just a female issue. And it makes me so angry that it’s being thought of as something brand new. MOST people have a group of friends – they might be kind and friendly enough towards others – but you have your own group that you consistently go to, or spend time with. There’s nothing wrong with that until you start acting like your group is superior to others, and being mean to others just because they’re not part of the group. All that’s new about it is the name.

    • InvaderTak says:

      This. It really is an awful article. I hate to say this, but she really is way out of touch. Another issue with it for me personally was that she just assumes that all women have the opportunity, skills and desire to have a “squad” of female friends. I am a huge introvert, and I always have been. I do not WANT a huge group of friends and I am not unhappy that I don’t have one. I have 1 truly wonderful friend and that’s enough for me. I have a few drinking type buddies and am friendly co workers and that is all I want. I am buying C-mas presents for all of 3 people outside of my immediate family; those 3 people are my friend, friend’s SO (who is a drinking buddy type friend to me) and friend’s kid. AND THAT’S HOW I’M HAPPY. She can take the idea that there is some universal female bonding need and shove it. I’ve read a few articles about girl squads, gal pals, etc and they never ever talk about us real introverts. Pop culture feminism strikes again.

      Edit: also second what Erinn said.

    • Elisa the I. says:

      Amen, sister!

    • Alicia says:

      “I really do love most men…”

      Yeah, saying this would likely be more believable had it not followed this…

      “I think it’s also sometimes called war. And rape. And football. Let’s all spend time together in which we talk about nothing but tits, farts and how much we like ketchup.”

      Such misandrist tripe.

  26. Kasia says:

    Taylor mentioring Lorde…Lorde’s music is million times more mature and sophisticated than Taylor’s music will ever be. Lorde herself seems much more mature than Taylor.

  27. Nanea says:

    Sorry, Ms Paglia, but I can’t take anyone seriously who mentions “Nazi” when it is entirely inappropriate and out of the (historical) context, just because someone is too lazy to come up with a proper term or too intellectually challenged to formulate an original thought.

    While I think Taylor seems to like to put herself front and center even when the situation doesn’t call for it, she is most certainly not a maliciously devious person, or someone who has committed atrocities in an unimaginably grand scale.

    • Velvet, Crushed says:

      Consider sending your very valid criticisms to Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, which has provided Paglia with an academic platform for far too long.

  28. SBS says:

    It seems like the “I hate Taylor Swift” bandwagon is so big now that even the frivolous use of the word Nazi, by a woman who thinks women should act more like men, is seen as a good thing because it’s used to put Taylor down.

  29. Susan says:

    While I perhaps may be a tiny bit of a Taylor apologist….her timing for the end of her tour, the Adele super train, etc….could not be better. Whether you you like her or loathe her or somewhere in between….the inevitable backlash has begun. And she called it.

  30. lunchcoma says:

    Well, I’ve been wishing Camille Paglia would retire her misogyny, pedantry, and Madonna stanning for years now, but that isn’t happening either.

    • Saks says:

      This. I can’t with her victim blaming and twisted retoric.

    • Kitten says:

      This is how much Taylor Swift is hated around here–to the point where people are actually siding with Paglia.

      • Jegede says:

        Kitten, you’re posts have here have been making me laugh, smirk.

        All the things to prepare for a Friday night!!

      • wrinkled says:

        It has been pathetic, to say the least.

      • Jegede says:

        Edit – *your not you’re*

      • Leah says:

        Can only speak for myself i came back to find myself pretty much alone in laughing at her comments evidently, so i don’t feel like theres as much hate against Swift as you imagine.

        Let me be clear I don’t side with Paglia, i certainly don’t hate Swift she barely enters my mind when i am not on this site. Paglia is a troll. But much like people find Noel Gallagher funny when he trashes various pop cultural individuals i find some of what she says funny. Perhaps thats frivolous of me, depends how seriously you take Paglia or Swift. I don’t find myself particularly invested in either so i don’t take at seriously as you do.
        Also you have to realise that when someone enters the pop cultural psyche like Swift has done in the past year, everyone and their mother comes out of the woodwork with an opinion.

  31. Colleen says:

    Women have been maliciously competitive since the beginning of time. This girl is an idiot.

  32. Jo says:

    In my opinion,the people who are shading Taylor are the trash and pathetic.Jealous of what she have huh …

    • Alana says:

      I am on the fence with this. I find Swift harmless and Idk why some people are so against her. I feel like they are jealous a lot of times too. She is young, pretty and successful. She seems like a smart person to me, but I guess if you are successful they will always be someone hating. She doesn’t promote anything bad and she is benign. I’d rather have young girls looking up to her than Kylie Jenner.

    • Kitten says:

      I don’t think it’s jealousy per se but TS was pretty well-received around here for quite a while… I do believe the people who always disliked her are rejoicing in the backlash and enjoying seeing her knocked off her pedestal.

      Meh. That’s just celeb gossip. I get it. I still wait for the day that Chris Pratt does something that makes everyone hate him lol. I’ll be there with bells on, baby! ;)

  33. Jaded says:

    Camille Paglia is a faux-intellectual at best. Two of her most nonsensical quotes:

    “Teenage boys, goaded by their surging hormones, run in packs like the primal horde. They have only a brief season of exhilarating liberty between control by their mothers and control by their wives.” Or how about….

    “The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men, but rather their conqueror, an outlaw, who controls the sexual channels between nature and culture.”

    How does she think this crap up?

    • Kitten says:

      I reread that second quote 8 times and it still makes ZERO sense to me.
      RE: the first one quote- Well of course! Us womenz are just out to control poor men! Poor poor will they ever escape our domineering ways!

    • SusanneToo says:

      A lot of crap has fallen out of her mouth over the decades. Some people eat it up just like some people eat up Ayn Rand.

  34. Reine_Didon says:

    People feeling sorry for TS ?! She was absolutely untachable for years. If one had the bad luck of expressing a dislike of a song or an attitude he would have thousands of Internet swifties stoning him ! I am actually glad that we finally realize she is not some mystic creature and one has the right of being in disagreement with her music or public image (including her “squad” power exhibitionism).
    Free speach !

  35. Reine_Didon says:

    I also agree with Miss Paglia. TS is nowhere near feminism. And her choosing her girl squad members from the girls most adequate with the body image media is selling (Gigi, Kendall, Cara) or the most famous is indeed elitist. It doesn’t help teens love or believe in themselves more in any way. It simply shows us how TS is as successful in her business as she is in her social life, she has all the “in” girls of the moment in her circle. It doesn’t promote friendship neither as it promotes her and is part of PR plan.
    And we should not be criticized for busting her PR plan. Not everyone is obliged to be under her spell !

  36. Meg says:

    what will taylor do for her next album? if she can’t write about ex boyfriends, or do the opposite which is prove to you she’s a girls girl by shoving her female friendships in your face, what will she do? she can’t just release an album after writing one facebook post like adele did-taylor isn’t adele

  37. OrangeCrush says:

    Regardless of what anyone says about TS or about what her motivation is behind her squad, I’ve always been a bit jealous that she seems to have so many female friends. Even if it’s just “hey, come hang out with us for the night” kind of stuff, it seems sort of fun and lighthearted and very early-20s to me. I’m so ridiculously shy and introverted that I’ve only had one or two really close friends, and I marvel at women who have a huge circle of female friends to hang out with.

    …I’ll just go read a book by myself now…

  38. mar says:

    I think Taylor is empowering for women and girls. Just because she has so much success people are ripping into her. She writes, produces , performs, she has a real talent and she has confidence. There are 100more crazily famous celebs that deserve to be called out for their no talent famewhore ways, and this is who everyone is hating on now?

  39. word says:

    Yeah really how come none of Taylor’s friends are overweight? Same with the Kardashian/Jenners, they are never seen with any overweight people, even if related to them by blood ! What gives?

  40. word says:

    It seems more like Taylor and her Minions if you ask me. Taylor is always in the middle of any photo as to make sure people know who’s the Queen. If it was really a “squad” of equal friends, they wouldn’t take pics the way they do. Even the line up of who gets to take pics standing next to Taylor and who has to stand at the end is probably thought through beforehand. It doesn’t seem natural at all. I do think Taylor is a very generous and kind person to her fans, that is for sure. But this whole “squad thing” she is doing just doesn’t seem organic.

  41. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Typically, I don’t care much for Taylor Swift..but, I’m all for the camaraderie of female friendships & even for the shoving it in our faces. Do they all look like Barbies? Yes, they’re in the entertainment industry – I could go off on a whole other tangent on THAT topic. But I won’t for now. I like that she’s showing solidarity among women. So often the media shows bickering among women entertainers, so I like this. Is it real? No idea. I don’t follow TS closely. But if I had daughters, I’d want them to reach out & be nice to everyone. Maybe I’m just extra Pollyanna & optimistic today, hehe.

  42. Myst says:

    ‘…obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine..’ Brilliant! TS has become a caricature of herself.

  43. Dena says:

    Nazi? Really? I feel bad for everyone who supports this woman… I honestly thought women should support other women. But i guess I was wrong. Or am i? Btw my late uncle and grandparents fought against the Nazis. This is beyond disrespectful.

  44. Hannah says:

    Paglia knows exactly what she’s doing with the use of the word nazi, and is using it to get a reaction.
    She also knows that people who fixate on that word would never get her point anyway. She doesnt mean actual nazis, she means the ideals of nazism with chosen elites blindly adored by brainwashed followers.
    For those of you who are fretting about poor persecuted Tay tay Pagila did a a negative piece on miley a few years ago.

  45. Sam says:

    I’m sorry but why is it wrong for someone to have a lot of friends? No one said she’s best friends with all these people except the media. She’s probably close with most of them but not all of them. And sure Taylor posts stuff on social media but don’t we all? Is it her fault that the media talks about it? Case in point just this past week I saw several hundred articles about how Blake Lively has officially joined the squad because Taylor Swift made it Instagram official. Like what? Huh. Okay. I’m sure they’re great friends because they’re both like the same people (they even look the same too!) but the constant media attention on it was too much. And this happens with all of Taylor’s friends. So who is really to blame here. Taylor or the media?

  46. Emily C. says:

    Camille Paglia is not a feminist. At all. Never has been. She might sometimes call herself a “feminist” to get sound bytes, but her entire schtick is about how terrible women are, and it always has been. She’s a noted anti-feminist troll.

    I don’t like Taylor Swift, but comparing her to a Nazi? SERIOUSLY? This is something we’re supposed to cheer? Oh how dare she be tall and blonde, I guess that makes her just like people who espoused a philosophy based on exterminating millions of people and enslaving millions of others. WTF?

    • Alicia says:

      Let it be known that Emily C. gets to decide who does or doesn’t get to be in the Feminist Club. Sorry, Camille.

  47. JMS says:

    Paglia is brilliant and awesome. But this is one of the few instances where she is wrong. Swift is harmless.

  48. Betsy says:

    Camille Paglia, ugh. “Taylor uses her friends for publicity!” Much like you use needlessly provocative statements, Camille? Paglia likes one person – herself.

  49. Shasta says:

    Can we stop using the word ‘Nazi’ in terms that don’t describe actual Nazis? It’s highly offensive.

  50. Ann says:

    Paglia is a rape-apologist. Men can’t “help” themselves and women are stupid when they’re being raped because it’s all their fault. F* her!

  51. Karen says:

    Zendaya has herself said that she doesn’t hang out with Taylor. She was just someone who was in the spotlight at the time and Taylor decided she wanted her in the music video. I also suspect the color of her skin played a part.

  52. RhymesWithSilver says:

    As a person who reads mostly non-fiction historical accounts, I’m finding it pretty unsettling how many “intellectuals” out there have this notion of female solidarity and egalitarianism in the deep past. Have any of them actually read anything about women in the past? I keep turning up this idea; some people place this magical, mythic time before the advent of suburbs, or before industrialization, or before Rome, or before agriculture. It was always *just* before whatever social institution we hate came on the scene. Oh yes, when we were all hunter-gatherers, I’m sure society was rather different in general. But given what we know about modern hunter-gatherers, I’m sure women had real friends and fake friends and social pecking orders and catfights and bonding experiences in ALL times.

    Also, how am I supposed to get anything out of “laser focus” on my own creative talents without a social network? Swift seems fine, whether or not all those ladies are her real friends or just business associates. My only worry for Swift is that she’s going to burn herself out completely. The woman never stops.

  53. Norman Garza says:

    I’m really appalled by how easily people use terms like “Nazi”, “Fascist”, “Brownshirt”, “Communist”, “Stalinist”, “Appeaser”,”Marxist”, all these loaded words that people think know exactly what they mean. People these days use them like they chew bubblegum to describe people who they don’t like. I don’t particularly like Taylor Swift but I don’t hate her either. I find her music annoying in it’s lyrics and ubiquity and I find her “squad goals” a boughten allegiance and an adult “high school clique” of whom no one is allowed to be more famous as her. But she is no “Nazi” she does not act or behave like one. To me the use of the word “Nazi” to describe one who isn’t one means that you have lost the legitimacy of your argument and you are just throwing in words for arguments sake.