Women's liberation is one thing, but the permeation of anti-male sentiment in post-modern popular culture - from our mocking sitcom plots to degrading commercial story lines - stands testament to the ignorance of society. Fair or not, as the lead gender that never requested such a role, the historical male reputation is quite balanced. For all of their perceived wrongs, over centuries they've moved entire civilizations forward, nurtured the human quest for discovery and industry, and led humankind from inconvenient darkness to convenient modernity. Navigating the chessboard that is human existence is quite a feat, yet one rarely acknowledged in modern academia or media. And yet for those monumental achievements, I love and admire the balanced creation that is man for all his strengths and weaknesses, his gifts and his curses. I would venture to say that most wise women do.
Ô, Wanderess, WanderessWhen did you feel your most euphoric kiss? Was I the source of your greatest bliss?
Our lips were for each other and our eyes were full of dreams. We knew nothing of travel and we knew nothing of loss. Ours was a world of eternal spring, until the summer came.
Ô, Muse of the Heart’s Passion,let me relive my Love’s memory,to remember her body, so brave and so free,and the sound of my Dreameress singing to me,and the scent of my Dreameress sleeping by me,Ô, sing, sweet Muse, my soliloquy!
When a Wanderess has been caged, or perched with her wings clipped, She lives like a Stoic, She lives most heroic, smiling with ruby, moistened lips once her cup of Death is welcome sipped.
A woman must prefer her liberty over a man. To be happy, she must. A man to be happy, however, must yearn for his woman more than his liberty. This is the rightful order.
When no possessions keep us, when no countries contain us, and no time detains us, man becomes a heroic wanderer, and woman, a wanderess.
What is a Wanderess? Bound by no boundaries, contained by no countries, tamed by no time, she is the force of nature’s course.
Scent is such a powerful tool of attraction, that if a woman has this tool perfectly tuned, she needs no other. I will forgive her a large nose, a cleft lip, even crossed-eyes; and I’ll bathe in the jouissance of her intoxicating odour.
I’d loved women who were old and who were young; those extra kilos and large rumps, and others so thin there was barely even skin to pinch, and every time I held them, I worried I would snap them in two. But for all of these: where they had merited my love was in their delicious smell. Scent is such a powerful tool of attraction, that if a woman has this tool perfectly tuned, she needs no other. I will forgive her a large nose, a cleft lip, even crossed-eyes; and I’ll bathe in the jouissance of her intoxicating odour.
Ô, the wine of a womanfrom heaven is sent, more perfect than allthat a man can invent.When she came to my bed and begged me with sighsnot to tempt her towards passion nor actions unwise, I told her I’d spare her and kissed her closed eyes, then unbraided her body of its clothing disguise.While our bodies were nude bathed in candlelight fineI devoured her mouth, tender lips divine;and I drank through her thighs her feminine wine.Ô, the wine of a woman from heaven is sent,more perfect than all that a man can invent.
Of all the nasty outcomes predicted for women's liberation...none was more alarming than the suggestion that women would eventually become just like men.
For throughout history, you can read the stories of women who - against all the odds - got being a woman right, but ended up being compromised, unhappy, hobbled or ruined, because all around them, society was still wrong. Show a girl a pioneering hero - Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, Frida Kahlo, Cleopatra, Boudicca, Joan of Arc - and you also, more often than not, show a girl a woman who was eventually crushed.
Some of the New York Radical Women shortly afterward formed WITCH (Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell) and its members, dressed as witches, appeared suddenly on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A leaflet put out by WITCH in New York said:WITCH lives and smiles in every woman. She is the free part of each of us, beneath the shy smiles, the acquiescence to absurd male domination, the make-up or flesh-suffocating clothes our sick society demands. There is no joining WITCH. If you are a woman and dare to look within yourself, you are a WITCH. You make your own rules.
Women’s liberation did not see the female’s potential in terms of the male’s actual, the visionary feminists of the late sixties and early seventies knew that women could never find freedom by agreeing to live the lives of unfree men.
The conventional public opposition of 'liberal' and 'conservative' is, here as elsewhere, perfectly useless. The 'conservatives' promote the family as a sort of public icon, but they will not promote the economic integrity of the household or the community, which are the mainstays of family life. Under the sponsorship of 'conservative' presidencies, the economy of the modern household, which once required the father to work away from home - a development that was bad enough - now requires the mother to work away from home, as well. And this development has the wholehearted endorsement of 'liberals,' who see the mother thus forced to spend her days away from her home and children as 'liberated' - though nobody has yet seen the fathers thus forced away as 'liberated.' Some feminists are thus in the curious position of opposing the mistreatment of women and yet advocating their participation in an economy in which everything is mistreated.
It is a formidable list of jobs: the whole of the spinning industry, the whole of the dyeing industry, the whole of the weaving industry. The whole catering industry and—which would not please Lady Astor, perhaps—the whole of the nation’s brewing and distilling. All the preserving, pickling and bottling industry, all the bacon-curing. And (since in those days a man was often absent from home for months together on war or business) a very large share in the management of landed estates. Here are the women’s jobs—and what has become of them? They are all being handled by men. It is all very well to say that woman’s place is the home—but modern civilisation has taken all these pleasant and profitable activities out of the home, where the women looked after them, and handed them over to big industry, to be directed and organised by men at the head of large factories. Even the dairy-maid in her simple bonnet has gone, to be replaced by a male mechanic in charge of a mechanical milking plant.
If you are what you eat, then why aren’t you what you desire?Desire stands in the great no-man’s land of human activity: the zone of most conflict, fear, and anxiety. It scares us. We are often asked to hate it—by those who claim to have given it up for “better” things, and who often, hypocritically, haven’t.
The revolutionary woman knows the world she seeks to overthrow is precisely one in which love between equal human beings is well nigh impossible. We are still part of the ironical working-out of this, our own cruel contradiction. One of the most compelling facts which can unite women and make us act is the overwhelming indignity or bitter hurt of being regarded as simply ‘the other’, ‘an object’, ‘commodity’, ‘thing’. We act directly from a consciousness of the impossibility of loving or being loved without distortion. But we must still demand now the preconditions of what is impossible at the moment. It is a most disturbing dialectic, our praxis of pain.
An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls — even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls — without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison