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Camille Paglia: The Death of the Hollywood Sex Symbol (Guest Column)
Who killed the sex symbol?
It's no mystery that in the era of #MeToo, the rules of combat have changed on the sexual battlefield. Women will no longer tolerate condescending or degrading treatment that was once business as usual in the workplace or dating arena. But in this long overdue push-back against sexual coercion and exploitation, has something valuable been lost?
The sex symbol was arguably Hollywood's most brilliant artifact, propelling the young movie industry to world impact from the moment that Theda Bara flashed her coiled-snake brassiere in Cleopatra (1917). Sex was great box office. With its impudent populism, Hollywood crashed through stuffy proprieties lingering from the Victorian age and stationed itself at the bold forefront of the modern liberalization of sex. Movies were in sync with the radical new spirit of American women, who won the right to vote in 1920 and kicked up their heels throughout the flapper decade of the Roaring Twenties.
The great sex symbols of Hollywood were manufactured beings, engineered by trial and error, with the mass audience as their ultimate judge and jury. Decade by decade, the movie industry rediscovered primal archetypes that have animated myths around the world since the Stone Age. Major male sex symbols like Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Sidney Poitier have a mesmerizing natural authority onscreen, a supranormal power of personality and density of being that transcend their roles. Like their antecedents in ancient hero sagas, they inhabit and explore physical space, whose frustrations and dangers they endure but ultimately defeat.
The female sex symbol, however, commands emotional or psychological space. Her sensual beauty is an alluring mirage, hypnotizing and sometimes paralyzing. Never entirely present, she is attuned to another reality, an extrasensory dimension to which we have no access. There is an unsettling aura of the uncanny around the major female sex symbols, who channel shadowy powers above or below the social realm.
Joel Schumacher estimates he’s had up to 20,000 sexual partners
Turns out Joel Schumacher‘s box-office figures aren’t the only sky-high record he’s got.
The 79-year-old director of smashes like “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Batman Forever” and “The Lost Boys” recently gave a wide-ranging interview to Vulture in which he detailed some of the more fabled elements of his past, including his drug use and promiscuity.
“Have you ever guessed the number of partners you’ve had?” interviewer Andrew Goldman asked him, to which Schumacher responded, “It would be in the double-digit thousands, but that is not unusual.”
Ryan Russell, NFL free agent, comes out as bisexual
Watching his best friend die of cancer in his 20s, Russell decided he had to make a change in his life.
He announced that change Thursday, telling both ESPN and Outsports that he is bisexual.
Christian rock singer arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting pre-teen girls
A pastor who is a member of a Christian rock band was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 14.
Emanuel J. Rodriguez of the group 70xForgiven was set to play a gig at the Wood City Music Festival in Minnesota this past Saturday when he was arrested. Police in Omaha, Nebraska, had a warrant for Rodriguez and they asked police in Minnesota for help since he was going to play there.
Odell Beckham Jr hits back at homophobes mocking his Calvin Klein shoot
The American football star, who currently plays as the wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, has faced a string of anti-gay comments on his latest Instagram post, which sees him posing in his underwear for a new Calvin Klein campaign.
“Boy look gay as hell,” wrote one Instagram user, while another added: “He low key gay tho.”
Responding to the comments and rumours about his sexuality – which have followed him for years now – Odell re-affirmed that he is indeed straight and said he shouldn’t need to keep addressing his sexuality.
“Yallll chilllll mann damnnnn! It be a lot of y’all sayin sus and alll the other comments that realllly be a direct reflection of who u are! Im straight! Like beyond it,” he wrote.
“If I sit here and defend myself y’all gon say im tryna defend myself, if I sit there and say nothin yalll gon say ‘seee he didn’t say anything.’ I’m good wit me. Which is dumb straightttt… Period.
straightness is dead. gen z killed it
Who would have thought that a contestant on Love Island would catalyse a worthy debate on queer discourse? It seemed nigh on impossible, and yet here we are dissecting the semantics of sexuality through that aggressively heterosexual lens: a much loved reality television show populated by perma-tanned muscly blokes and impossibly beautiful women.
Placido Domingo Accused of Sexual Harassment
For decades, Placido Domingo, one of the most celebrated and powerful men in opera, has tried to pressure women into sexual relationships by dangling jobs and then sometimes punishing the women professionally when they refused his advances, numerous accusers told The Associated Press.
Regarded as one of the greatest opera singers of all time, Domingo also is a prolific conductor and the director of the Los Angeles Opera. The multiple Grammy winner is an immensely respected figure in his rarefied world, described by colleagues as a man of prodigious charm and energy who works tirelessly to promote his art form.
But his accusers and others in the industry say there is a troubling side to the 78-year-old Domingo — one they say has long been an open secret in the opera world.
‘Teenage Dream’ Co-Star Accuses Katy Perry of Sexual Misconduct
Notable Christian songwriter says he's no longer a believer: 'I'm genuinely losing my faith ... and it doesn't bother me'
Marty Sampson — an Australian worship music songwriter known for his work with Hillsong — said, "All I know is what's true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point."
Sampson wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post that "I'm genuinely losing my faith...and it doesn't bother me...like, what bothers me now is nothing...I am so happy now, so at peace with the world.. it's crazy." It also appears he's cleared his Instagram account of all posts.
Sampson added, "How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send 4 billion people to a place, all coz they don't believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most [judgmental] people on the planet — they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people...but it's not for me. I am not in anymore."
Montana boy, 13, slammed to ground at rodeo after keeping hat on during national anthem
A 13-year-old was seriously injured when a man at a Montana rodeo slammed him to the ground after the boy did not remove his hat during a playing of the national anthem, authorities said Tuesday.
Curt James Brockway, 39, was arrested on suspicion of felony assault on a minor following the alleged attack at the rodeo at the Mineral County Fair on Saturday.
Man Who Fractured a Kid’s Skull for “Disrespecting” the National Anthem Is Blaming Trump
Gay Irish strongman and his fiancé celebrated Pride where marriage equality is banned
McNaghten describes himself as a trailblazer in his sport. “I’m the first openly gay strongman to come out in the UK and Ireland, possibly even Europe,” he said.
But he takes the view that being gay is just one facet of who he is. “I want to be Ireland’s strongest man,” said McNaghten. “I don’t want to be Ireland’s strongest gay man.”
“The shock that people have that you’re gay — I don’t think it’s something that matters to me. I generally just think it’s gossip.”
Nearly 800 accuse Boy Scouts of failing to protect them from sex abuse as new lawsuit is filed
A lawsuit filed late Monday against the Boy Scouts of America says hundreds of former Scouts have come forward in recent months with accounts of sexual abuse, allegations from across eight decades that reach nearly every state.
Lawyers began collecting the accounts this spring as they prepared a suit, which they filed on behalf of a client who alleges his former scoutmaster plied him with drugs and alcohol before repeatedly sexually abusing him.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, the lawyers said they have nearly 800 other clients who were abused while Scouts. The suit says at least 350 abusers do not appear in the Boy Scouts’ disciplinary files, citing that as evidence that the organization has not adequately vetted its volunteers and hidden the extent of the sexual abuse scandal.
Institutional failings on display
FBI Busts 67 Sex Traffickers, Recovers 103 Child Victims
More than 100 models are calling out Victoria’s Secret over sexual harassment and abuse
Antigay, 14-Year-Old Vlogger Soph Threatens to Shoot Up YouTube
A racist, Islamaphobic, homophobic teen threatened to shoot up YouTube headquarters after the company terminated her account for posting a hateful, anti-LGBTQ screed in late July, according to Business Insider.
Responding to YouTube’s removal of her account last week for violating its three strikes in 90 days rule, 14-year-old Soph tweeted a picture of an assault rifle with the caption, “youtube headquarters here I come.” She later deleted the tweet saying that it was a joke.
The video that finally led to her removal from the site was entitled “Pride and Prejudice.” In it, she wore a short-haired wig and a t-shirt intended to be ironic.
“Unfortunately, as you know, last month was Pride, which meant we all had to endure 30-days of AIDS-carrying pedophile victims patting themselves on their backs for their lifestyles,” Soph said in the video. “I had an especially hard time considering that I live in California where there was a puddle of diseased load waiting for me whenever I dared to step out of my house.”
'Fake' anti-racism campaigns don't affect anyone, claims Evra
The former defender says leagues must take stronger action to fight racism in football
Patrice Evra says anti-racism campaigns in football such as Kick It Out are "fake" and ineffective in tackling the issue.
The former Manchester United, Juventus and France defender was on the receiving end of racist remarks from Luis Suarez in a famous incident during a clash between the Old Trafford side and Liverpool in October 2011.
Racism remains a big issue throughout world football, as has been highlighted by several recent high-profile incidents in England and Italy, where Moise Kean and Kalidou Koulibaly have suffered racial abuse.
‘The Rookie’ Star Afton Williamson Claims Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Assault Led to Series Exit
Mexican singer says he was trafficked and abused as a teenager
Luis Armando Campos says singing is his life. At 23, he's already had a very impressive singing career that started when he was just a child in his native Tampico, a port city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
"I was about 11, almost 12, when I first appeared on a local TV show in Tampico," Campos said.
In 2014, he was a semi-finalist in "The Voice Mexico." The international reality singing competition franchise took his career to new levels. Even though he didn't win, Campos has since toured Mexico with his music. But what his increasing number of fans didn't know, Campos says, is that while his career was taking off, he was forced to live a double life -- as a sex slave.
Monsters kidnap toddler in India before raping, beheading her