Romantic Love, by Lester F. Ward (1903)

The Proposal. John Pettie, R.A. (1839-1893). Oil On Canvas, 1869.

The following essay is from the book Pure Sociology by Lester F. Ward 1903 [pp. 390-403] – PW

Romantic Love

It is the psycho-physiological progress going on in all races that have undergone repeated and compound social assimilation, that has laid the foundation for the appearance (in the most advanced races) of a derivative form of natural love which is known as romantic love.

It is a comparatively modern product, and is not universal among highly assimilated races. In fact, I am convinced that it is practically confined to what is generally understood as the Aryan race, or, at most, to the so-called Europeans, whether actually in Europe or whether in Australia, America, India, or any other part of the globe. Further, it did not appear in a perceptible form even in that ethnic stock until some time during the Middle Ages.

Although I have held this opinion much longer, I first expressed it in 1896.1 It is curious that since that time two books have appeared devoted in whole or in part to sustaining this view.2 There is certainly no sign of the derivative sentiment among savages. Monteiro, speaking of the polygamous peoples of Western Africa, says: –

The negro knows not love, affection, or jealousy. … In all the long years I have been in Africa I have never seen a negro manifest the least tenderness for or to a negress. … I have never seen a negro put his arm round a woman’s waist, or give or receive any caress whatever that would indicate the slightest loving regard or affection on either side. They have no words or expressions in their language indicative of affection or love.3

Lichtenstein4 says of the Koossas: “To the feeling of a chaste tender passion, founded on reciprocal esteem, and an union of heart and sentiment, they seem entire strangers.“ Eyre reports the same general condition of things among the natives of Australia,5 and it would not be difficult to find statements to the same effect relative to savage and barbaric races in all countries where they have been made the subject of critical study.

Certainly all the romances of such races that have been written do but reflect the sentiments of their writers, and are worthless from any scientific point of view. This is probably also the case for stories whose plot is laid in Asia, even in India, and the Chinese and Japanese seem to have none of the romantic ideas of the West; otherwise female virtue would not be a relative term, as it is in those countries. This much will probably be admitted by all who understand what I mean by romantic love.

The point of dispute is therefore apparently narrowed down to the question whether the Ancient Greeks and Romans had developed this sentiment. I would maintain the negative of this question. If I have read my Homer, Æschylus, Virgil, and Horace to any purpose they do not reveal the existence in Ancient Greece and Rome of the sentiment of romantic love.

If it be said that they contain the rudiments of it and foreshadow it to some extent I shall not dispute this, but natural love everywhere does this, and that is therefore not the question. The only place where one finds clear indications of the sentiment is in such books as “Quo Vadis,” which cannot free themselves from such anachronisms.

I would therefore adhere to the statement made in 1896, when I said, “Brilliant as were the intellectual achievements of the Greeks and Romans, and refined as were many of their moral and esthetic perceptions, nothing in their literature conclusively proves that love with them meant more than the natural demands of the sexual instinct under the control of strong character and high intelligence. The romantic element of man’s nature had not yet been developed.”

The Greeks, of course, distinguished several kinds of love, and by different words (έρως, άγάπη, Φιλία), but only one of these is sexual at all. For έρως they often used ‘AΦροδίτη. They also expressed certain degrees and qualities in these by adjectives, e.g., πάνδημος. Some modern writers place the adjective ούράνιος over against πάνδημος, as indicating that they recognized a sublimated, heavenly, or spiritual form of sexual love, but I have not found this in classic Greek.

Neither do I find any other to the Latin Venus vulgivaga. But whether such softened expressions are really to be found in classic Greek and Latin authors or not, the fact that they are so rare sufficiently indicates that the conceptions they convey could not have been current in the Greek and Roman mind, and must have been confined to a few rare natures.

Romantic love is therefore not only confined to the historic races, those mentioned in Chapter III as representing the accumulated energies of all the past and the highest human achievement, but it is limited to the last nine or ten centuries of the history of those races.

It began to manifest itself some time in the eleventh century of the Christian era, and was closely connected with the origin of chivalry under the feudal system. Guizot has given us perhaps the best presentation of that institution,6 and from this it is easy to see how the conditions favored its development.

 

 

REFERENCES

[1] International Journal of Ethics, Vol. VI, July, 1896, p. 453. [click thumbnail]
WARD
[2] “Antimachus of Colophon and the Position of Women in Greek Poetry,” by E. F. M. Benecke, London, 1896. “Primitive Love and Love Stories,” by Henry T. Finck, New York, 1899.
[3] “Angola and the River Congo,” by Joachim John Monteiro. In two volumes. London, 1875, Vol. I, pp. 242-243.
[4] “Travels in Southern Africa,” in the years 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806, by Henry Lichtenstein, English translation, Dublin, 1812, p. 261.
[5] Journals, etc., Vol. II, p. 321.
[6] “Histoire de la Civilisation en France depuis la chute de I’Empire Romain,” par M. Guizot, 3e éd., Vol. III, Paris, 1840, Sixième Leçon, pp. 351-382.

Marie Petti: Gynocentrism in 1922

petti-may-7-1922

Man Is A Mere Imposter And Woman Is Supreme, Says Ultra-Feminist Head
London, May 6. 1922

“Man is but one of a million humble fertilizers. Nature intended woman to reign supreme.”

Marie Petti, leader of a secret ultra-feminist movement that has sprung up throughout the British Isles, today voiced this slogan of the new organization. Although still clandestine, the organization is reported to have gained tremendously in membership and influence since first it was promulgated a month ago. It aims to restore womankind to its “rightful place.”

Miss Petti was asked by the United Press to state the beliefs on which her movement is based.

“Modern man,” she replied, “in his pose of superiority, is but a mere contemptible imposter, who must be subdued. Woman’s superiority has been scientifically established.

“At the beginning of organic life, woman, created man, and ruled him. He was a parasite, and a slave.”

“At best, man is but an afterthought of nature.”

At secret meetings of the new movement, a charter, based on data from the days before woman fell, is being drawn up, Miss Petti declared. She said at these meetings, any mention of the word man or anything masculine was hissed. [1]

_________________________________

 

London Women Would Oust Men – Clan of Man-Haters Seeks to Sweep Males Prom Face of Earth
London, Apr. 30, 1922

Tenets of Man-Haters
petti-may7-1922-quote
Mere man is about to be swept off the face of the earth if “ultra-feminists” have their way, Elliott O’Donnell, author and investigator of distinction, informs the International News Service. The tenets of the ”ultra-feminists” who are organized to unthrone man, are, according to O’Donnell, as follows:

“In the beginning there was only one sex, the feminine – man was a mistake, a mere afterthought.”

“There is no need for any sex other than the feminine.”

“Love between the sexes is only weakness, temporary madness.”

Life begins as female, life is feminine.”

“Parthenogenesis or virgin birth proves the oneness at the substance out of which all things are made.” [2]

petti-apr23-1922-headline-text

 
Sources:

[1] William M. Sweets, “Man Is A Mere Imposter And Woman Is Supreme, Says Ultra-Feminist Head,” syndicated (UP), The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), May 7, 1922, p. 1
[2] “London Women Would Oust Men – Clan of Man-Haters Seeks to Sweep Males Prom Face of Earth,” syndicated, Tulsa world (Ok), Apr. 30, 1922, p. 14

Originally published at The Unknown History of MISANDRY

Post-gynocentrism culture: a counterculture or subculture?

By Peter Wright and Paul Elam

Global Team - Americas

Post-gynocentric attitudes are entertained by an increasing number of people, and by groups like those focused on Men’s Human Rights Advocacy (MHRAs), Women Against Feminism (WAF), and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW). While they all demonstrate a reaction against gynocentric culture, it’s an error to conceptualize them as engaging in countercultural activity alone.

It should be noted that countercultural involvement is not always conscious and may be an unintended byproduct of committments that clash with the dominant culture. There are few examples of this better than Men Going Their Own Way. They demonstrate a new model for culture, and comprise a peaceful subcultural demographic that is at once countercultural, simply by going about their lives within the larger society.

Before we get to what ‘going about their lives’ means, let’s first make a few distinctions.

To clarify the distinction between subculture and counterculture, the following passages from Howard P. Chudacoff’s book ‘The Age of the Bachelor’ are instructive. Chudacoff asks if the values, behaviors and institutions typical of bachelors comprise a subculture — in other words, a subset of the general culture — or whether they are part of a counterculture that openly conflicts with the general culture. He begins by defining the difference between subculture and counterculture:

“A subculture exists as a reasonably benign component of a more general culture. The defining characteristics of a subculture may include such qualities as age, ethnicity, region or occupation. The elderly, the Irish, southerner’s, and carpenters are all subcultures. As well, a subculture may consist of people tied to each other by mutual special interests, such as bird watching, gun ownership or vegetarianism. According to one authority, the most important element in distinguishing a subculture is the degree to which values, artifacts and identities are shared among members. Such sharing is normally enhanced by the extent of conscious social separation between members of the smaller behavioral group and members of the larger society. Thus hair color can characterize a group but in itself is not a strong enough criterion for special separation — though certain cohorts of redheads or blonds might disagree. Youth or an interest in bird watching, by contrast, more likely would be sufficient qualities to create a subculture.

In an article published in 1960, J. Milton Yinger, a sociologist and leading authority on subcultures, separated the distinguishing characteristics of subcultures into four types: (1) aspects of life, such as religion, language, diet, or moral values; (2) duration over a period of time; (3) a common origin; and (4) a mode of relationship –indifferent, positive, or conflictual– with the surrounding larger culture. Yinger also distinguished between two types of subcultures: (1) those groups characterized by ascriptive qualities that differentiate the group from the larger society, qualities such as language and religion; and (2) those groups with norms that arise specifically from tension or conflict between that group and the larger society, separate norms common to groups such as youth gangs or homosexuals. He dubbed the second type “contra cultures” which he notes could develop a series of inverse or counter values that stand in opposition to those of the larger society. The term “contra culture” evolved into “counterculture” in the 1960s.

“According to Yinger, practically every person is born into a culture and is automatically a member of several subcultures, but an individual must actively and voluntarily join a counterculture. Moreover, conflict constitutes an essential element in the concept of counterculture, and such conflict differentiates a counterculture from a subculture. As sociologist William Zellner has written, “A subculture is part of the dominant culture, but some aspects of the subculture’s value system and life-style sets its members apart from the marger culture…” That is, a subculture normally does not pose a threat to the dominant culture. A counterculture, on the other hand, “is deliberately opposed to certain aspects of the larger culture.” Yinger has added that to understand a subculture, it is not necessary to understand its interaction with the larger society. But a counterculture’s identities a product of such interaction and can be understood only through that relationship. [Chudacoff, pp.12-14]

The title of this article asks whether post-gynocentric culture is better defined as a counterculture, or subculture? After reading the definitions above, the answer is unmistakably Both. Post-gynocentric culture defines itself in resistance to gynocentric culture and operates as a peaceful subculture based on human rights, equality, and greater freedom of choice than the larger culture currently prescribes – meta-ideological commitments that may, based on their increasing popularity, become principles of the culture at large.

The confluence should hardly be surprising. The Man Going His Own Way usually works, pays taxes, goes to school, socializes with friends, generally obeys laws and is indistinguishable on the surface from his cultural and subcultural counterparts.

However, his personal rejection of marriage, sex based chivalry or treating what relationships he has with women as a financial obligation – as well as his steadfast refusal of sex-based expectations on his values and actions — are all practiced in rejection and defiance of the culture at large. He is, through his personal choice, participating in counterculture, and as such is furthering advocacy by example of lifestyle and consciousness that is “deliberately opposed to certain aspects of the larger culture,” per Yinger.

The charge that post-gynocentric culture (including MGTOW, WAF and the MHRM) is merely a reaction to feminism can be dismissed. Post-gynocentric culture can’t be reduced to antifeminism any more than the black civil rights movement can be reduced to being anti-white, or the gay rights movement being reduced to anti-heterosexuality.

These are grossly oversimplified rationalizations — more symptomatic of cultural prejudice and backlash than credible explanations for the post-gynocentric culture’s existence. It may, however, be said that the drumbeat of reductionism characterized by these misperceptions adds momentum to the countercultural reaction.

Sources:

Howard P. Chudacoff, The Age of The Bachelor: Creating an American Subculture.
Peter Wright, Gynocentrism and its Cultural Origins
Peter Wright, A Voice for Choice
Paul Elam, What feminism is really about and why anyone who values freedom should fight against it
Paul Elam, Counterculture
Dean Esmay, Breaking the pendulum: Tradcons vs. Feminists
Dean Esmay and Paul Elam, On the MHRM, MGTOW, and Creating a Counter-Culture
August Løvenskiolds, Freedom from gynocentrism in 12 Steps

Post-gynocentrism culture

The following articles appear on A Voice for Men, the most comprehensive post-gynocentrism advocacy website on the internet. Each article presents a post-gynocentrism paradigm for individual or collective existence. – PW

How to end gynocentrism
Gynocentrism – why so hard to kill?
Freedom from gynocentrism in 12 Steps
Breaking the pendulum: Tradcons vs. Feminists
Why anyone who values freedom should be fighting against feminism
A Voice for Choice
Gynocentrism and the hierarchy of entitlement
The Counterculture
MHRM: counterculture or subculture?
On creating a counter-culture
A little blood in the mix never hurt a revolution

Non-gynocentric relationships

Post-gynocentrism relationships between men and women are possible and desirable for many people. The following articles explore how relationships can be revisioned as intimate friendships. – PW

friends

Hail to the V
The other Beauty Myth
Sex and Attachment
Love and Friendship
On the marriage question
Pleasure-seeking vs. relationships

The Marriage Boycott

The following articles describe the increasing post-gynocentrism phenomenon of marriage shunning by males, and the rationale behind it. – PW

No marriage
Marriage is a gynocentric custom
Slavery 101 – dating as taught to girls
Valentine’s Day: gynocentrism’s most holy event
Women complaining about lack of available slavemasters
Men not marrying
Men shouldn’t marry
Marriage is obsolete. Are women?
Men on strike: why men are boycotting marriage
Don’t give up on marriage? Request denied
Down the aisle again on the marriage question

MGTOW & bachelorhood

MGTOW philosophy

Perspectives on MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) – a significant post-gynocentrism subculture based on the principle of male self-determination.

MGTOW: on the origin of gynocentrism
How to tame men – gynocentrism style
Gynocentrism – why so hard to kill?
MGTOW – facts and fallacies
What are MGTOW against?
Early references to “Men going their own way”
Definition of MGTOW
Self-determination: phrase origins
A MGTOW Yardstick: Determination Of Self By Other (DOSBO)
On the nature of MGTOW self-determination
MGTOW: 12th century style
MGTOW movement of 1898
Authoring your own life
Don’t just do something, SIT THERE
The historical role of gynocentrism in societal collapse

Marriage shunning

The following collection of articles describe the post-gynocentrism phenomenon of marriage shunning by males, and the rationale behind it.
No marriage

Marriage is a gynocentric custom
Slavery 101 – dating as taught to girls
Valentine’s Day: gynocentrism’s most holy event
Women complaining about lack of available slavemasters
Men not marrying
Men shouldn’t marry
Marriage is obsolete. Are women?
Men on strike: why men are boycotting marriage
Don’t give up on marriage? Request denied
Down the aisle again on the marriage question

Post-gynocentrism relationships

Post-gynocentrism relationships between men and women are possible and even desirable for many people. The following articles explore how relationships can be revisioned.

friends

Hail to the V
The other Beauty Myth
Sex and Attachment
Love and Friendship
Pleasure-seeking vs. relationships
On the marriage question

Post-gynocentrism culture

Articles (mostly from AVfM) exploring post-gynocentrism culture. Each article presents a post-gynocentrism paradigm for individual or collective existence.

How to end gynocentrism
Gynocentrism – why so hard to kill?
Freedom from gynocentrism in 12 Steps
Breaking the pendulum: Tradcons vs. Feminists
Why anyone who values freedom should be fighting against feminism
A Voice for Choice
Gynocentrism and the hierarchy of entitlement
The Counterculture
MHRM: counterculture or subculture?
On creating a counter-culture
A little blood in the mix never hurt a revolution