Sunday, March 22, 2015

Men and Marriage: Necessities of Love

"civilization is the subordination of male sexual impulses and biology to the long-term horizons of female sexuality." "It is male behavior that must be changed to create a civilized order." "women transform male lust into love; channel male wanderlust into jobs, homes, and families; link men to specific children; rear children into citizens; change hunters into fathers; divert male will to power into a drive to create."

"The prime fact of life is the sexual superiority of women. Sexual love, intercourse, marriage, conception of a child, childbearing--even breast-feeding--are all critical experiences psychologically." "they all entail sexual roles that demonstrate the primacy of women."

The role of motherhood is defined biologically. The role of fatherhood is defined culturally. [note: this is a biologically ignorant viewpoint. For a fun and beautiful read on the topic of biological fatherhood, I recommend The Emperor's Embrace by Jeoffrey Masson. While Gilder's view is overstated, there is likely a kernel of truth, so we'll see what he does with it. His claims may rely on the kernel of truth rather than the false overstatement.]

In successfully civilized societies, the dominance of men using money has successfully replaced the primitive dominance of men using muscle.

Women's financial independence = "women must . . . psychologically disconnect from their wombs and adopt the short-circuited copulatory sexuality of males. Women must renounce all the larger procreative dimensions of their sexual impulse."

Women's connection to childbearing and rearing will always be more important than men's connections. [and when technology makes this untrue?]

Gilder then present historical and anthropological evidences that boys and girls growing into men and women are different. He does this to support the idea that women's sexual roles are taken for granted, but men's sexual roles are uncertain and easily threatened. I can accept this point. I even have some quantitative evidence to support it.

He cites a study indicating that "males almost everywhere show greater sexual aggressiveness, compulsiveness, and lack of selectivity. . . . men are overwhelmingly more prone to masturbation, homosexuality, voyeurism, gratuitous sexual aggression, and other shallow and indiscriminate erotic activity."

I'm having a hard time reading this chapter. Gilder makes claim after claim that women are better than men for essential and biological reasons, and men only become good when someone grants them the status of manliness and they have sexual release in marriage. Otherwise men can't control their sexual impulses. He provides no quantitative evidence directly supporting these assertions, and the evidence he does give is open to multiple interpretations (some contradicting Gilder's). Hopefully chapter 2 has more substance and doesn't rely so heavily on his intuition and common prejudices.

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