Love in the new world, after the gender wars

Summary:  It’s vital to understand not just what’s happening in the gender wars but why. Here Allan Bloom explains the beliefs and goals of the social reformers leading the restructuring of American society. They’re quite frank in writings amongst themselves, but speak to the rest of us in more gentler and comforting terms.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Snow White fights sexism

Excerpt from Allan Bloom’s Love and Friendship (1993):
“The Fall of Eros”

The new program to reform society

Now there is a new illiberal tendency that strangely both contradicts and supports liberal tolerance and easygoingness: the imperial project of reform promoted by radical feminism. It wants to enter the bedroom and much more the psyche in order to alter male sexual taste and behavior. It is not so much acts but the meaning of those acts and the disposition of those who perform them that now count.

The new discussion of male sexuality — for it is almost exclusively males who are the subjects of this — produces a distinctly unlovely vision of erotic relations. Male lust, male treatment of women as objects — in general, machismo — are the themes of this new sexual education. It is an education directed not to the sublime or sublimation, but to control. The object is not the relatedness of male and female, but liberation from male oppression, or nature’s oppression, in order to provide women with power or choice, the great word of the movement, choice to make oneself whatever one wants to be, free from the patriarchal structures that are said to have kept even what appeared to be the freest women imprisoned.

Male and female are no longer to be reciprocal terms, and the male habit of supposedly forcing women into such reciprocity is what must go. Of course, rape was always forbidden, and there was a codicil to the liberal formula that limited the right to do anything in your own bedroom to “consenting adults.” But now we are alleged to have a much higher consciousness of what rape and consent mean. What used to be understood as modes of courtship are now seen as modes of male intimidation and playing on the weaknesses and anxieties of women.

The education of male sexual desire in the past was intended to make men into gentlemen, a term reciprocal to lady, a person whose chastity was priceless and needed protection. The new feminist women make no claim to chastity and even ridicule it. It is an affront to raise the question of chastity as a part of the criminality of rape. Whether it be a prostitute or Mother Teresa is unimportant, although not all juries have yet been persuaded of this. Rape is considered bad no longer because it assaults a weak and defenseless person’s modesty, which is necessary to her exclusive attachment to the man she loves. Rape is now bad because it deprives women of power.

 

Males are the rapists, the date rapists, the sexual abusers of children, the pornographers, the sexual harassers. Male and female sexual relations have to be adjusted to an abstract program of reforming them. There is no thought of the beauty of eroticism or love in any of this.

Boxing in the Gender Wars

Every relation is a power relationship

Supporting this unerotic treatment of eros is the hot new principle that all human relations, especially sexual ones, follow from the one motivating principle in man, the will to power. Everything is power relationships, crude power, the will to dominate, to have things one’s own way.

The relationship between government and the governed is one of exploitation. The teacher-student relation is a power relation with the teacher interested only in imposing his views and his person on the student. And above all, the relation between man and woman is a power relationship in which men have exploited and dominated women.

The coarseness of this interpretation is beyond belief, making Marx’s notion of economic relations seem a masterpiece of subtlety. Of course there is power in the government-governed connection, but can anyone who has experienced politics think that is the whole or even the central story? Can Lincoln and Roosevelt be understood not to have cared for the governed, for the just and the good?

And was Socrates merely deluded when he believed that his vocation was that of midwife, evoking only what is already within his students, respectfully trying in the first place to test their potentiality? If one compares Socrates to today’s more advanced teachers, one cannot help but be shocked by the latter’s insouciant indoctrination and abusive treatment of students, which have come to be seen as all too natural, justified by their suppression of the distinctions between knowledge and power, between teaching and propaganda.

The worst distortion of all is to turn love, a relation that is founded in natural sweetness, mutual caring, and the contemplation of eternity in shared children, into a power struggle. This is another one of those games that intellectuals can play.

Gender Roles

Society now seen as the war of all against all

But why would anyone want to do such violence to real experience? It is the war of all against all again, and the only possible peace is to be found in artificial constructs. This is the last stage in the attempt to found all human relations on contract, the discovery of complementary interests, rather than on natural inclinations. Abstract reason in the service of radically free men and women can discover only contract as the basis of connectedness — the social contract, marriage contract, somehow mostly the business contract as model, with its union of selfish individuals. Legalism takes the place of sentiment.

It is now asserted that the relation between men and women is not based on their pointedness toward each other and can properly result only from a haggle that conciliates their separate wills to power. All the rest was a long-standing set of myths made up by the phallocrats. The demands of the imperial phallus are the source of all the problems. Its imperialism is to be deconstructed and Plato’s interpretation of it in the Phaedrus as the wing that powers the flight from becoming to being is rank ideology not to be taken seriously.

The power and the pervasiveness of this view among the current intellectual elites are hardly to be believed by those who are not amateurs of those elites. It authorizes a veritable thought police, whose actions are legitimized by an almost religious guilty conscience about the harm that sex can do.

Smash The Patriarchy

The reform of society

The cure for sexism is a much more complicated affair than the cure for racism, because the sexual organs are naturally connected to human functioning, as skin color is not. This view reinforces the lack of sexiness in the liberal view, but it is in a radical tension with the liberal view’s laisser-aller {lack of restraint}. Radical feminists insist that the liberals’ consenting adults, especially the women, consent only because they are forced to by sexist education and public opinion. So we must in the first place reeducate the partners so that they no longer think they need each other. This will put off enjoyment for a good long time.

All the things that used to be thought to be natural must now be overcome in the name of abstract equality. As one says these days, “Gender is not a natural phenomenon, but a cultural one.” The de-eroticization of the world began in our materialistic science and has culminated practically in this last great movement of radical egalitarianism. The most secret and interesting parts of one’s body and soul are being subjected to the intense public light of the third degree.

It is difficult to say how people, particularly young people, react to this attempt, which has swept over the educational system, to dictate the character of erotic feeling and reflection. One can expect that nature will rebel, at least in a few, as it does against all attempts by one tyranny or another to suppress it.

… Nature is, in a way, always present, and that is a great source of hope, but if one is taught to interpret it perversely, and if all institutions and writings around one support that perversity, it requires a great effort of thought and sentiment to recognize it for what it is.

—————————–  End excerpt  ———————————-

Allan Bloom

About Allan Bloom

Bloom (1930 – 1992) was an American philosopher, classicist, and academician. He taught at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, Yale University, École Normale Supérieure of Paris, and the University of Chicago. Bloom championed the idea of education based on the “Great Books” of western civilization and became famous for his criticism of contemporary American higher education. Bloom denied that he was a conservative, saying that he sought to defend the ‘theoretical life’. {Paraphrased from Wikipedia.}  His major books:

Other posts in this series

  1. Women dominating the ranks of college graduates – What’s the effect on America?
  2. A better answer to “why women outperform men in college?”
  3. Update: women on top of men.
  4. What’s the future of the family in America? How will that change our government?
  5. Do we want to bring back traditional marriage? What is traditional marriage?
  6. The feminist revolutionaries have won. Insurgents have arisen to challenge the new order. As always, they’re outlaws.
  7. “Mockingjay” shows us a Revolution in Gender Roles. What’s the next revolution?
  8. The war of the sexes heats up: society changes as men learn the Dark Triad.
  9. The revolution in gender roles reshapes society in ways too disturbing to see.
  10. A look ahead at the New America, after the gender wars.
  11. Books to help us see the strange new world following the revolution in gender roles.

For More Information

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“You should be very very afraid of me”

I fight back

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Love in the new world, after the gender wars

  1. peterblogdanovich

    Legalism becomes a substitute for sentiment.

    How ironic. In our justice system, especially family courts but business court as well the trend is to suppress mindless heed of the black letter law and to ask instead what would be fair and reasonable. This is due to hard experience of the folly of mindless obeisance to human constructs. And now we want to bring that same mindless obeisance into the bedroom? Good luck with that.

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    1. peterblogdanovich

      In family court the judge has tremendous leeway especially when children are involved. What is best for the child trumps legalism here in California. Even in civil cases judges can rule based on principles of equity though in cases of contract law the four corners of an agreement are still important.

      What I have learned in my experience as a plaintiff, as a respondent, and as an expert witness in both state and Federal courts is stay away from the legal system if at all possible. To see social justice warriors eager to use this system on relations between lovers thinking anything positive can come of it is well and truly daft.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Peter,

      Thanks for that backgrounder on something few of us know. Interesting that the news media haven’t picked up on this. If you see anything about this, please point it out!

      My experience is as an arbitrator, where what you describe is the process. It works quite well, in my experience — and arbitration and mediation have a growing role in private despite resolution as our courts collapse under their increasing load.

      Like

  2. epagbreton

    “The worst distortion of all is to turn love, a relation that is founded in natural sweetness, mutual caring, and the contemplation of eternity in shared children, into a power struggle”

    Such ideologies that undermine this are terribly destructive as he says…to the amateurs succumbing to such madness
    What Bloom offers here is exactly the case. It is available for viewing if you take the time and know where to look. “Mutual caring”, How basic and existentially necessary in relating between men and women.

    Anecdotes abound and the literature will reveal his premise.
    Appropriate and timely
    Good one, FM
    Thx

    Breton

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. robertobuffagni

    An example of bklowback, or unitended consequences of the above mentioned things: BDSM becomes trendy, fashionable. Male/female erotica polarity becomes a) perverted b) specialized b) contractually defined. Encore un effort…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Roberto,

      That’s a fascinating thought. Bloom lightly discusses that in Closing of the American Mind. It’s thinking over my pay grade, but well worth exploring.

      For readers not familar with “encore un effort” (me too; I looked it up): It’s “one more effort”, from “Français, encore un effort si vous voulez être républicains” (“People of France, one more effort if you want to be Republicans” from Philosophy in the Bedroom by Marquis de Sade.

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    2. robertobuffagni

      I beg your pardon for Sade’s quotation without references, and I thank you for your kind words. I’ll add that Sade’s words from “La philosophie dans le boudoir” are part of a long digression in the book which is a proper political pamphlet, whose core tenets are: no God (Christian or otherwise intended) exists, man is a creature of desires, any desire is natural, Nature does not know the categories of good and evil: then, while homicide, which springs from a desire, is natural and not to be morally condemned, capital punishment, which originates in a moral judgment, cannot be justified and has to be abolished (N.B.: Sade wrote the book during the French Revolution, in the period of revolutionary Terror).

      In Sade’s thought, just like in contemporary mainstream, “liberal-progressive” thought, man’s nature = nature in material, scientifically researchable world: human nature is thought to be the final result of biological, genetic determination of man+social environment. Consequences: it becomes normal and commonplace to think that human nature can (and/or must) be modified by scientific and/or social engineering. See then all the various kinds of “New Man” hoped for (and politically enforced) by Communism, Nazism, and now Globalism, Gender Theory, etc.
      But “human nature” is not biologically and/or socially produced fact: it is a philosophical and/or religious concept. In traditionally rational thought (i.e., where reason is not intended as a simply instrumental mean to reach an arbitrary objective, but as a sensory organ to understand what reality as a whole is) human nature is the interface between man and transcendence, and as such is the fountainhead of symbols, culture, language; to make a long story short, the spring of humanity as a “metaxù”, a link, a connection between individual man, humanity and the spiritual kingdoms which transcend humanity (“Cosmos”, and/or a personal/impersonal God). “Transcendence”, in this line of thought, needs no expostulation of God (personal of not); think of Spinoza, Hegel, Stoic thought, etc.
      In other words, human nature is not fixed and immovable like a biological determination, not it is indefinitely modifiable like a social environment. Like individual conscience, it is finite, but open on the infiniteness; so that nobody can say: “these are the limits and boundaries of human nature, and forever will be” but nobody can say “a fixed human nature does not exist, and man is indefinitely modifiable”. It has its laws and foundations, which can be understood but can never be fully, exhaustively defined once for all times (because human nature is indissolubly linked to the infinite). To sum up: human nature = soul.
      Conclusion: man and woman share the same human nature, so that they are equal in dignity before humanity and God (if you believe in Him); but equality does NOT mean sameness. Man and woman experience their common humanity in deeply different ways, because in Man, the corporeal and psychic dimensions are inextricably bound, and being born a woman is NOT the same as being born a man: you share the same world, but you experience, feel, think, live it in deeply different ways, and forever will.
      If you pretend that men and women are the same, you do what the old Latin proverb says: “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret”, “you can expel human nature with a pitchfork, but just until it will come back”.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. robertobuffagni

      Thank you very much for your attention and your kind words. About Sade, I always mused about a coincidence: he was direct descendant of Laure de Sade, Francesco Petrarca’ Muse, whom Petrarca heartrendingly sang in his “Canzoniere”, the most important and beautiful collection of lyrical love poems in Italian, and probably all European literature….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Salient

    Dont be surprised how quickly men can make of these issues a mainstream issue, when they organize to do it. This is an article from today in the Daily Mail: “The denigration of men: Ridiculed, abused, exploited“:

    The triumph of feminism has made today’s men second class citizens, argues a deliciously provocative new book And it’s time the chaps fought back

    1. Men are responsible for many great achievements but getting a raw deal
    2. New book claims men have been unfairly undermined by modern feminism
    3. Men are doing more, working harder and getting none of the credit, it says

    It already has 2000 comments. I have never seen anything like this in the mainstream media, something is changing, rapidly. It begins:

    Men are brilliant. Seriously, we are. We invented philosophy, medicine, architecture, cars, trains, helicopters, submarines and the internet. Not to mention the jet engine, IVF, electricity and modern medicine.

    We’ve led all the industrial revolutions and sent rockets into Space. We’ve fought wars with tin hats and bayonets and won them. The world we live in would be nothing without Alexander Graham Bell, Sigmund Freud, Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare and Albert Einstein. The geniuses Leonardo da Vinci, Stephen Hawking, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Charles Darwin and Michael Faraday have all contributed immeasurably to our modern lives.

    So why is it that, today, there has there never been a worse time to be a man? Rubbishing the male of the species and everything he stands for is a disturbing — and growing — 21st century phenomenon. It is the fashionable fascism of millions of women — and many, many men, too. Instead of feeling proud of our achievements, we men are forced to spend our time apologising for them. When people chide us for not being able to multi-task or use a washing machine we join in the mocking laughter — even though we invented the damned thing in the first place.

    The article continues detailing the state of affairs in excrutiating detail. I predict that 2015 will be the year Male’s Liberation go mainstream.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website Post author

      Salient,

      “I predict that 2015 will be the year Male’s Liberation go mainstream.”

      I agree. Society is moving into stage two (mockery) by the schema union leader Nicholas Klein explained in 1918:

      “My friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.”

      Like

  5. Salient

    Editor,
    There is also another type of mockery, the mockery that comes after the riducule, from which there is no coming back.

    @MeninistTweet has 750k followers in Twitter. Its very popular among 14-24 yo males. Read a bit of it and you will realize that this will get very nasty before it gets better.

    How nasty you ask? I will give you a few example of how nasty I think it will become, Imagine a Dapp on Ethereum or TorHiddenService Site called HoeFax or SlutFax, a database like Carfax but on certain type of women. Imagine Ashley Madison gets hacked deep.

    You get the idea…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Salient

    Editor,

    PS. and one more thing, based on this state of affair, I predict thet you will see significant rise of Murder-Suicide perpetrated by men, and a significant increase in school/college mass shootings, because when the truth is revealed, a small percentage will not be able to handle it in a non-physically violent manner. By significant I mean a 7-10% annual rise in nations like the US and UK.

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  7. Pingback: Welcoming the Bride Modern Style | Globalist Media

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