Saturday, July 12, 2008

Strindberg on Feminism

Some amusement for a quiet Saturday afternoon. August Strindberg on "the woman question", from his preface to "Miss Julie". I love the way he explains everything "mathematically"!

"I say Miss Julie is a modern character not because the man-hating half-woman has not always existed but because she has now been brought into the open, has taken the stage, and is making a noise about herself. Victim of a superstition (one that has seized even stronger minds) that woman, that stunted form of human being, standing with man, the lord of creation, the creator of culture, is meant to be the equal of man or could ever possibly be, she involves herself in an absurd struggle with him in which she falls. Absurd because a stunted form, subject to the laws of propagation, will always be born stunted and can never catch up with the one who has the lead. As follows: A (the man) and B (the woman) start from the same point C, A with a speed of let us say 100 and B with a speed of 60. When will B overtake A? Answer: never. Neither with the help of equal education or equal voting rights - nor by universal disarmament and temperance societies - any more than two parallel lines can ever meet. The half-woman is a type that forces itself on others, selling itself for power, medals, recognition, diplomas, as formerly it sold itself for money. It represents degeneration. It is not a strong species for it does not maintain itself, but unfortunately it propagates its misery in the following generation. Degenerate men unconsciously select their mates from among these half-women, so that they breed and spread, producing creatures of indeterminate sex to whom life is a torture, but who fortunately are overcome eventually either by a hostile reality, or by the uncontrolled breaking loose of their repressed instincts, or else by their frustration in not being able to compete with the male sex. It is a tragic type, offering us the spectacle of a desperate fight against nature; a tragic legacy of romanticism, which is now being dissipated by naturalism - a movement that seeks only happiness, and for that strong and healthy species are required."

8 comments:

Aashu said...

Nice one indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Especially for all of them who love their 'manlihood' and have an orthodox viewpoint towards the position of women in the society........After reading the wikipedia article on August Strindberg, it easily comes in mind that such a misogynistic man can't write anything better than this about women.............
Its good for people as oriental as me but I hope not many of women read out this............

Alok said...

He is actually a very important figure in the history of modern drama and a very respected figure, despite his repugnant views like above. Most of his plays are also critical of and explore the negative sides of women's liberation movement but they are much more subtle and complex than what he says here. I copied it here only because it is funny (despite his intentions)... there was also a personal side to his misogyny because of his troubled marriages and relationships to women in his life.

Adamgv said...

Women need to be empowered more in general. They need to use their looks for good rather than use them for personal selfish persuits. When you get a moment check out:

www.prettygirlssavetheworld.com .

Alok said...

hmmm.

Ubermensch said...

But is it not a problem that the woman have a smaller brain than a man?

--A Feminist from United nation of Kazakeeestan.

Alok said...

Didn't get it...

May be some arcane cultural reference I am not aware of :)

Ubermensch said...

No worries, it is a quote from Borat- a movie on the solemn tale of Europe between wars and post ww2- something you cherish.

Must see. ;)

No, part of feminist groupie inc who go on absurd overdrives have to dealt with such tingles. That, my friend, is real amusement.

Alok said...

yeah i have heard of him. will check sometime though this kind of comedy is not really my cup of tea.