Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"America has two great traditions: love of nature and love of the conquest of nature.  Feminism is especially related to the latter.  It is very American in its love of the conquest of nature.  The pill is an example of conquest over a nature which tied women to the family and dependence on males.  What is difficult is to respect nature and at the same time have the passionate desire to conquer it.
So I see the liberation of women as part and parcel of the American tradition.  It's the specific ideology of contemporary feminism -- of abstract equality and the notion of a very specific female essence unrelated to the male essence that I find problematic...
Its partisans argue that all literature antecedent to the feminist movement is sexist, from Plato to the Bible to Huck Finn.  If all literature is sexist then, of course, it can't be taken seriously.  Sexism has become the absolute evil.  You hear kids today saying, 'Well, you know Aristotle had this weakness of not taking women into account' -- already knowing it all and judging it unworthy before knowing anything!  Aristotle's very definition of a barbarian is one who treats a woman like a slave.  Nature is his standard, and it was his first standard which grounded equal treatment of women.  I have yet to find a better one."

(Allan Bloom in interview, p194 "Essays on Closing of the American Mind, by Robert L. Stone)

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