Will Camille Paglia Watch The Documentary Where Chaz Bono “Mutilates” His Body?

This May, the Oprah Winfrey Network will air Becoming Chaz a documentary about Chaz Bono’s transformation from a biological female body to a male one. It seems like a quality flick, but considering the recent comments of openly lesbian “dissident feminist” thinker Camille Paglia, we have a feeling she won’t approve of it. As a cis-gendered academic, she knows all about gender reassignment. In fact, she once thought she was born into the wrong gender as well, but it was just a phase. And had gender reassignment surgery been a socially accepted option in the 60s, why (gasp!) she might have had one herself! What else does this staggering mind of cis-gender intellect have to say about Chaz? Let’s see…

Through her natural gift of clairvoyance Ms. Paglia knows that Chaz’s unhappiness has nothing to do with wanting a sex change. She’s also worried that the film will influence kids who feel born in the wrong gender to consider getting one too. After all making films about your trans experience makes it seem hip and cool to all the kids who watch the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Ahem, sorry to whiz in your ivory tower Camile, but it’s not like hospitals have drive-thrus where you can just order a bunch of hormones and a sex change like a value meal. Many GRS candidates go through counseling to ensure the surgery is right for them and even then it’s a long process involving a gradual change and hormone therapy. Also Chaz was no kid when he decided to transition—he was 39.

Yes it’s unfair of us to judge Ms. Paglia’s views on this issue through a 54 second video. Just as it’s also unfair of her to assume she knows all about Chaz and his motivations. But Paglia sure didn’t become a controversial intellectual just by handing out warm fuzzies to everyone, did she?

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  • Fitz

    In our house, we call her “Cammie”, cuz she is just so darn cute!

    It’s a shame that her ideas come through so poorly… she has something to say, but she is too stupid to focus on her ideas.. she would rather that SHE were famous than her writing.

    I can’t wait to see this film. But I do worry about pressure on all the little young butch dikes. Or is that stupid? I really don’t know. I just know that I love my lovely laddies of the left with their pickups and bad hair cuts and folk music. :) I have always felt very comfortable with them. PLUS, they are always happy to help babysit the dog or walk you home if you don’t feel safe.

  • divkid

    any grudging respect i may once have had for this “fearless” dissident “feminist” freethinker evaporated the time i saw her strop out of an interview for british tv because she was being politely but robustly pressed to defend one of her controversial views and frankly wasn’t up to it, so she threw her toys out of the pram and walked — petulantly.

    as shameful as it was pusillanimous.

    she’s a spent force; just another a rent-a-quote, contrarian-for-the-hell-of-it, demi-intellectual, prostituting her intellect for the prospect of the next book deal or research grant.

  • Cam

    “just another a rent-a-quote, contrarian-for-the-hell-of-it”

    My FAVORITE comment of the week. lol

  • Yaël

    We had to read/discuss her work in college, and I never could make heads or tails of it. She was just too edgy for me, maybe, trying to cram all her pet peeves into one paragraph and getting all high and mighty with indignation.

    In the US & Canada, at least, no one gets SRS without a long process of transitioning, and that includes a sign off from a physician saying the patient meets the criteria. It’s not a nose job, fer cryin’ out loud!

  • Marlene

    Paglia’s nothing more than another one of those second-wave, know-it-all feminist hypocrites.

    They rightly demanded the ability to refuse to conform to their parents’ outdated sensibilities and expectations, but then at the same time, wants to force everyone to conform to *their own* sensibilities!

    Sorry, Cammie… but Chaz isn’t “mutilating” his body, because he doesn’t worship the vagina like you do! Nor are male-to-female transsexuals threatening *your* worship of the vagina, either, nor are we bringing some so-called “male privilege” into your precious “womynspace”, either!

  • Shannon1981

    And this is why I hesitate to call myself a feminist. Man hating people like her. Trans folks do not ‘mutilate’ their bodies. Genderqueer people like me are not ‘confused.’ Let Chaz and everyone else do what they need to do to be themselves, for cryin’ out loud! It isn’t your body, what business is it of yours?

  • Lucky Luke

    Chaz had an illness. Now he’s cured and happy! That’s all.

  • divkid

    she’s not the man hating variety; if anything she’s notorious for fetishising the hegemony of male power and the glorious efflorescence of civilisation and culture she sees as exclusively stemming from it.

    she’s also incredibly pro-sex, and porn, even the more hurty kind; mainly coz it antagonises the mainstream feminists.

    she’s kind of the anti-feminist feminist, anti-lesbian lesbian, anti-democrat democrat… you get the idea?

    well, only you don’t because she’s deliberately hard to pin down. a protean, loud mouth opportunist who is none the less an interesting and compelling personality as all hucksters necessarily are

    she would probably like to be thought of as an enfant terrible — which to my mind is a fancy french way of saying: intellectually dishonest contrarianist asshole.

  • alan brickman

    Camille is not the evil here..society is…

  • alan brickman

    Chaz should still lose the weight..

  • Joe

    maybe Camille should think about doing a little “body mutiliation” on that old mug of hers. Ick.

  • ben pin wang

    When are we going to admit that every person is only allowed to speak for him/herself?If the idea feels right to a person, the person will do it, otherwise, will not. Camille didn’t do it because she knew it wasn’t right for “her”. That’s all. Don’t speak for anyone else, Camille. The ideas needs to be out there for people who needs it, and they know who they are.

  • Tori

    @Shannon1981: Don’t hesitate. Feminism is a beautiful and empowering thing for both women and men. Anything can be used wrongly or taken to the extreme.

  • Tallskin

    Camille is a bit of nutjob.

    She stormed out of an interview with the BBC a decade or so ago because she didn’t like being seriously grilled and having to account for her opinions.

  • Shannon1981

    @divkid: This is the only article I’ve read on her…so apologies if I got it wrong. Googled her after reading this, and I kind of got the idea that she was man hating and nutty, and that she was perhaps upset with Chaz Bono’s transitioning because we were losing one of our own? IDK. Either way, she seems kinda crazy.

  • missanthrope


    Paglia is far from man-hating, actually she worships and set’s males and masculinity on a pedestal.

    There is a wide-range of feminism, actually feminism should be plural, because there are strands of feminism that are so different from eachother that they are almost different ideologies to themselves. I’d encourage you to investigate feminism instead of thinking it as a monolith and dismissing feminism because of stereotypes surrounding feminists that is more about superficial myths instead substantive ideas that feminism holds.

  • no thanks

    Leave it to ultra ridiculous queerty posters to completely miss the boat.

    Camille Paglia doesn’t have to defend her opinions to this crowd. What aspect of surgically removing your breasts or altering your genitals is NOT mutilation?

    I’m all for gender re-assignment and surgery to help trans people feel the way they should have been born feeling, welcome in their own body; but let’s call a spade a spade. This is a complete assault on the body. I say the ends justify the means if it brings relief to the patient, but there are many people out there who are confused and in need of counseling before gender re-assignment.

    I think what Paglia is trying to say is that gender re-assignment is not trivial and that the sensationalizing of Chaz’s story threatens people who are merely confused about their gender identity and not truly transgendered.

    You all need to calm down. Just because people have critical opinions of what exactly goes into changing someone’s gender does not mean they are not the ally of trans people.

    Oh, and by the way, I said it before and I’ll keep saying it; until trans people stand on their own separately from gays, they will never find acceptance. Our two movements have much to leverage together, and much to lose if we continue to homogenize our groups.

  • John

    How is removing your breasts or penis not mutiliation?

    Why must we pretend it’s some benign procedure? And that it solves all the problems of those with gender identity issues?

    This is not a issue to be taken lightly. Or portrayed simplistically in a documentary.

    A lot of people – including Paglia – have, at some point, felt they were the wrong gender. Imagine if they were presented the option of removing their penis or breasts? I don’t see why her viewpoint is all that controversial.

  • Johnny Dollar

    @Lucky Luke:
    Chaz had boobs, had them removed.
    Still has a vagina.
    Not cured, just okay now because all the world is paying attention to the little girl/boy/it that wanted attention.
    I predict Chaz will commit suicide in a year or less.

  • Johnny Dollar

    eat my lunch…lick my diaper

  • JudeThom

    Pagila is on the money. Right on! Chaz is the nut case!
    As Pagila says, Chaz has many issues in her life. All
    this PC Marxist blind ideology stating that changing your
    sex is “so cool” or “so right” is so off the path. What
    is Chaz now but a huge overblown fat circus freak. Poor
    Cher must be so embarassed. Poor Cher! Poor sick Chaz!

  • JudeThom

    Time to take ‘transgender’ out of the LGBT label!!!!

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