YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

November 26, 2017

The Sex Scandals: where do we go from here?

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 10:08 pm
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Biggest Sex Scandals (radaronline.com)

Where we are now: women still emerging with horror stories about male sexual harassment in the media and politics; so far the debate has to do with male perversity and female victimhood. The melodrama continues with predictable finger pointing and sensational firings or demands for (political) resignations. (On melodrama’s categories see https://clarespark.com/2013/08/09/melodrama-and-its-appeal.)

What is missing? 1. The nature of sexuality, both female and male; 2. competition among women for the favors of potential husbands, a competition inflamed by all elements of popular culture, but especially mass media.

Have feminist movements helped or hindered the cause of female independence? What would a more constructive feminism look like?

Conservative women point to such 19th century classics such as Little Women (1868) and similar tracts supporting “domestic feminism” (the notion that women gain power by embracing the comparatively matriarchal domestic sphere or other agencies of uplift). Some radical or liberal feminists find power in invading what were once were male clubs, including the imitation of what is taken to be male aggressive and promiscuous sexuality.

No commentators, to my knowledge, point to built-in “pedophilia”—the glorification of “innocence”—- usually ascribed to early childhood (as if youngsters were not sensual beings). Add this consideration to the partly changing life expectancy, and you get mass amnesia: we may forget that biology fits both male and female to reproductive capacity after puberty (see https://clarespark.com/2013/05/02/teen-age-sex/.)

Is it any wonder that many adult males are attracted to [nymphets]? Is it any wonder that women try to prolong youthfulness/sexual attractiveness well into middle-, even old, age?

JFK and Marilyn (alternet.com)

How should we “take responsibility” for our actions when we are the playthings of our biological inheritance?https://clarespark.com/2013/05/02/teen-age-sex/

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Sex scandals: where do we go from here?

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 9:58 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Biggest Sex Scandals (radaronline.com)

Where we are now: women still emerging with horror stories about male sexual harassment in the media and politics; so far the debate has to do with male perversity and female victimhood. The melodrama continues with predictable finger pointing and sensational firings or demands for (political) resignations.

What is missing? 1. The nature of sexuality, both female and male; 2. competition among women for the favors of potential husbands, a competition inflamed by all elements of popular culture, but especially mass media.

Have feminist movements helped or hindered the cause of female independence? What would a more constructive feminism look like?

Conservative women point to such 19th century classics such as Little Women (1868) and similar tracts supporting “domestic feminism” (the notion that women gain power by embracing the comparatively matriarchal domestic sphere or other agencies of uplift). Some radical or liberal feminists find power in invading what were once were male clubs, including the imitation of what is taken to be male aggressive and promiscuous sexuality.

No commentators, to my knowledge, point to built-in “pedophilia”—the glorification of “innocence”—- usually ascribed to early childhood (as if youngsters were not sensual beings). Add this consideration to the partly changing life expectancy, and you get mass amnesia: we may forget that biology fits both male and female to reproductive capacity after puberty.

Is it any wonder that many adult males are attracted to [nymphets]? Is it any wonder that women try to prolong youthfulness/sexual attractiveness well into middle-, even old, age?

JFK and Marilyn (alternet.com)

How should we “take responsibility” for our actions when we are the playthings of our biological inheritance?

rainagain blog

November 18, 2017

Is Little Women still relevant?

Louisa May Alcott stamp 1940

Madelon Bedell’s populist-progressive scholarly “Introduction” to Alcott’s now classic Little Women (1868) evades the mixed messages that modern women receive for an explanation of Alcott that will not please 1. lesbians (who are convinced that the obviously autobiographical character of “Jo” and her attachment to “Marmee” as proof that Alcott was one of them) or to 2. Freudians (who would see Little Women as minimizing the attachment to Father, especially in her choice of a much older intellectual husband, but also her choosing to educate poor boys, not girls at the conclusion of the book). [On mixed messages delivered to women, see https://clarespark.com/2017/10/27/moral-chaos-of-womanhood-the-harvey-weinstein-scandal-and-lolita/.%5D We are asked to surmount the contradiction between virgins and whores all why we knock ourselves out to “realize our potential” –but as what?)

Bedell does however throw bones to anti-capitalism, the fashionable feminist theory of “domestic feminism” (i.e., women get power and status in the revitalized domestic sphere), unconscious motivation AND to behaviorism. It is as if Bedell wants to please everybody—a typical female tic that I recognize within myself.

L’il Friends of Kelly

But perhaps the greatest lapse in this College Edition is Alcott’s obvious connection to sentimental reformism of the American antebellum period, which Bedell ignores in her Jazz Age-style dismissal of the moralism of Alcott’s life and art, an attachment to melodrama that persists today as political figures portray themselves in the archetypes of Christianity* (Alcott mentions in passing, the large nose of a Rothschild, while emphasizing “Amy’s” turned up nose. See https://clarespark.com/2015/06/15/hillary-clinton-and-second-wave-feminism-looking-backwards/, https://clarespark.com/2015/11/07/the-change-of-heart-explanation/, and https://clarespark.com/2013/08/09/melodrama-and-its-appeal/.)

What would an unconfused feminist write today? Is such an outcome even possible, given the overriding value placed on family/state cohesion and stability?

*Ann Douglas denounced Protestant reformism in her widely reviewed The Feminization of American Culture (1977), but she let Catholicism off the hook. Now I view her as being an apologist for a Christian consensus (in the spirit of Rerum Novarum, 1891) and a rehabilitator of the happy family that, as a feminist, she should not have done. See https://clarespark.com/2012/09/22/materialist-history-and-the-idea-of-progress/.

Madelon Bedell, biographer of Alcott family

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