If I don't mention that the title comes from a Living Colour album, is that ok?
Paglia's lecture/product concerns multiculturalism. You can probably guess what her take is.
Multiculturalism is in theory a noble cause that aims to broaden perspective in the US, which because of its physical position between two oceans can tend toward the smugly isolationist. It is no coincidence that much of the primary impetus toward multiculturalism began in California, because of its Hispanic heritage and its pattern of immigration from Mexico, Latin America, and the Pacific rim.
This is the bit where the black people in the audience start making polite coughing noises.
Wait, "black people", "audience", "Camille Paglia lecture". Sorry.
In this first decade of the new millennium, I remain to be persuaded that college students are graduating even from the elite schools with deeper or broader knowledge. They are certainly well tutored in sentiment--that is, in how to project approved attitudes of liberal tolerance, though how well these will survive the test of adult life remains to be seen.
Most people would just say "political correctness". For her speaking fees, you get the fifty dollar words.
Mind you I agree with the notion that children find it easier to just regurgitate whichever political viewpoint their instructor is espousing, but that's hardly limited to multiculturalism. When the professor says Fortran is the greatest computer language ever designed, you shut the fuck up, write your programs, and wonder why the hell older people in a fast-changing field would be given a) tenure and b) an intro class to teach.
On the other hand, in one of my women's studies classes, one of the middle-class, suburban white girls who made up the majority of the students (yeah, go figure) ended a (perfectly correct) condemnation of rape camps in the former Yugoslavia with (paraphrasing) "We should do something."
I was PMSing that day, and it was my first semester after getting back from Gulf War I, so I looked around the room, noted that very few people in it were likely to either volunteer for the service or end up getting drafted if bad came to worse, so who the fuck did she mean by "we".
You could hear a pin drop, until the instructor said, very slowly, "Ooo-day, does anyone want to address that point?"
No one did. Go figure.
Think I got a B in the class, but I blew off studying for the final.
When people drone on and on about the oppresive, silencing forces of political correctness, they're usually just saying they're too chickenshit to speak up and possibly take their lumps for doing so.
Or that they want to use racial slurs and resent having this opportunity, which their ancestors took for granted, removed from their Invisible Knapsack. Aww, pole sana.