Remember when kissing Madonna was the raciest thing Britney had ever done?

Britney and MadonnaControversial feminist author and culture critic Camille Paglia is speaking out against Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and other “backstreet floozies”, telling US Weekly that their behavior is “degrading the entire pro-sex wing of feminism.”

She then offers an interesting (and by “interesting”, I mean “weird”) take on the famous 2003 kiss between Madonna and Britney at the 2003 VMAs, saying, “A great promise was contained in the moment when Madonna kissed Britney at the MTV Awards. She in a sense was saying,”I’m passing the torch to you.” It was a fabulous moment. Britney looked toned, in control of her career and it was up to her to take the next step. Literally from that kiss, from that moment onward, Britney has spiraled out of control. It’s like Madonna gave her the kiss of death! Britney is throwing it away!”

Um, okay.

Even more bizarrely, Paglia goes on to blame the out-of-control behavior on the women’s independence. “These are women who are clearly out of control because the old studio era is over. The studio system…guided and shaped the careers of the young women who it signed up. It maximized their sexual allure by dealing it out in small doses and making sure you don’t have — what has become here — a situation of anarchy.”

Extreme much, Camille? I wish these women would rein it in a bit, too, but giving up control of their careers to studios who are mostly looking out for their own interests is not exactly a good idea. There are plenty of women who have done just fine managing their careers on their own, thank you very much – like Susan Sarandon, Annette Bening, Halle Barry, Sandra Oh, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, and even Dakota Fanning (although someone should tell that kid she doesn’t have to be in every movie that calls for a precocious young girl).

I have mixed feelings about Paglia’s work in general, and she’s definitely driving the crazy train with comments like this last one, but I can’t say I disagree with the overall sentiments she’s expressing here. The Britney/Paris/Lindsay trifecta is definitely not doing women any favors lately with their ridiculous public behavior – although on the plus side, they make Rosie and George Michael seem downright well-behaved…

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