Cooking brings out your feminine side
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Intervening about the gender problem
So once again the question: to what extent does gender differentiation determine the essence and being of the individual? There are mainly three kinds of methods by which an answer is sought: the philosophical one, which tries to solve the problem in a speculative way through gender metaphysics; the historical, which adheres to the institutions of the past in order to draw conclusions from them about what the sexes make of life by virtue of their particular peculiarities, and the physiological, which uses physical processes to create psychological phenomena according to the relationship between cause and Effect explained.
Georg Simmel has emerged as one of the most ingenious representatives of the first method since the publication of the "Critique of Femininity". He starts from the fundamental polarity of the sexes; In his remarks on "the relative and the absolute in the gender problem" he succeeds with the finest psychological analysis in subordinating the empirical appearance of the sexes in their diversity to his gender metaphysics.
That Simmel tries to portray the typically feminine as the typically masculine Equal rights contrasts it favorably from many of its predecessors; the women themselves tried to prove their equality by approaching the thoughts and actions of men! In Simmel's view, in this way women would always appear as the weaker, more insignificant being, as long as they had to fulfill the same tasks as he, to take the same position in the life of mankind. She can only claim the same human rank as man if she is a radical represents a different being from him. In the description of what it is in this radical difference, despite the new terminology, one soon recognizes the main features of the old norm, that of women, the self-contained, harmonious norm Be, to the man that which is split in the direction of will and instinct, adjusted to the work outwards Become as an entity. What is said about the female being suffers, compared with reality, like most generalizations from the confusion of a subjective idol with real appearances. That women can grasp the truth directly through instinct without logical evidence, that they want what they should, that their instincts are naturally in accord with the moral imperative: in how many variations do women - especially the Germans, those with Preference to be transformed into ghosts of philosophical speculation - these statements have already been heard! If they then wanted to imagine that they really have the truth within them as an instinctive fact that does not need any proof, what an unbearable infallibility conceit they would have to tear down! However, according to Simmel, all of their doing and being is always tied to their sexuality, from which they are physically more independent than the man, but are determined by them in all expressions of their being. From this it follows that womanhood, in spite of its inner absoluteness, has to leave the "supra-gender objective world, the theoretical and normative world facing the ego," the world, which is moved by ideas, to the masculine principle. The women would therefore not have a share in what is the highest and most distinctive of the human species - in the capacity to create ideas, the basic force of culture.
There is a particular irony in the fact that these remarks were refuted by a woman - in the treatise on "Woman and Objective Culture" by Marianne Weber - on a par with logic and psychological delicacy; she comes to the conclusion that "from the well-developed metaphysical idea of a radical polarity of the sexes" there is no logical path to the recognition of what the individual woman objectively, that is, in devotion to a thing or idea, regardless of whether it was created or created by it is merely grasped, capable of signifying.
The polarity that shows itself in all life phenomena is understood much too roughly, too superficially, too schematically, if one wants to see it in man and woman as empirical beings. In the personality itself, polarity works in many ways; the higher it develops, the more the general gender polarity takes a back seat to other properties (see Critique of Femininity, Perspectives of Individuality). Concluding words from a philosophical point of view Hermann Keyserling spoke about gender metaphysics in his "travel diary of a philosopher", where he says that one must not dwell on the opposition between man and woman, otherwise their truth will melt away like a cloudscape. “It looks like the polarity of the sexes is absolutely real. Looked at more closely and deeply, not only does its presupposed meaning hold up, but the fact itself does not hold down. It is not acceptable to see absolute absolute in the polar facts, as has happened again and again from Empedocles down to and beyond Schelling. What, in fact, denotes the fundamental peculiarity of the feminine in relation to the masculine? That this can only create after previous conception. If so, then not only are all artists women, all thinkers and philosophers, but also the most masculine among men: the geniuses of action ... Every human being is a synthesis of masculinity and femininity and, depending on the circumstances, can be male or female appear as a woman. "
Let us finally refrain from discovering something like a Platonic idea behind the empirical appearance of the sexes as an a priori law of its essence according to the difference between the sexes; after all, all such metaphysical attempts fail because of the empirical fact of individual differentiation. Whatever gets in the way of metaphysical speculation about absolute gender polarity, the deviation of individuality from the gender type, can be solved as a problem without contradiction by physiological theories. Modern physiology sees in the psychological peculiarities of the individual an effect of glandular correlation. This is to be understood as the interaction of all glands present in the organism, the secretion of which takes place inside. Their products, the so-called hormones, determine the chemical composition of the organism; it is also they which influence his psychological and intellectual performance to a great extent, as the example of the thyroid gland shows, the pathological change of which causes cretinism. The greater or lesser proportion of individual hormones in each case explains the individuality and its deviation from the fictitious type.
When applied to the differentiation of the sexes, one can draw the conclusion that the degree of sexuality of the individual is determined by the relationship in which the totality of the internal secretion stands to that of the sex gland. The most feminine woman and the most masculine man would be the result of a mixture of juices in which the sex hormones predominate disproportionately, or in other words: the extreme poles of masculinity and femininity are reached when the hormones of the sex glands have the greatest preponderance in the whole of chemism.
It was an old observation that the removal of the sex glands, or castration, brings about an approximation of the opposite sex type; this fact was experimentally extended by Steinach's experiments. They show that the physical and psychological properties accompanying the gender difference are the product of a gland which, when transplanted into an organism of the opposite sex, evokes all the specific symptoms of the sex that is its function. The male becomes feminized, the female masculine under their influence. In this gland, which Steinach gave the name of the puberty gland because it only begins to function at the age of puberty, the source of the two different basic substances that bring about gender differentiation should be sought.
However, this does not completely clear up the riddle of gender differentiation; Strangely enough, the basic chemical substances of the sex glands do not appear restricted to the sex they represent. According to Professor de Poehl, one of the most outstanding pioneers of glandular therapy, the specific product that he extracts from the sex gland of male animals, the spermine, is also detectable in the chemistry of the blood in the female sex, and according to Wilhelm Fließ's theory, these are found both polar substances in the male as well as in the female organism, so that if necessary the male basic substance can predominate in the female person, as well as vice versa.
These physiological results, from which the power of individual differentiation versus sexual differentiation becomes understandable, has been joined by a "new foundation of the psychology of man and woman", the one historical Factor of importance that has not been considered so far in this direction is used to explain: the effect of the position of power on the psyche. Dr. Mathias Vaerting and his wife Dr. Mathilde Vaerting, by making "the feminine peculiarity in the male state and the masculine peculiarity in the female state" the object of a psychological analysis, come to the surprising conclusion that the peculiarity of the sexes, which is supposedly so deeply rooted in the constitution, is merely an accompanying phenomenon Domination is. From this point of view, the Basic Law emerges, “that today's feminine peculiarity is determined in its main lines by the male state and has its exact and perfect parallel in the male peculiarity in the female state ... Single-sex predominance always points to the ruling sex the same position whether it is female or male. ”Using historical and ethnological examples, the authors show that everything we are accustomed to regard as fundamental distinguishing characteristics of the sexes, even those directly connected with the sexual constitution, such as those The inclination of women to domesticity, to care for children, to subordination to a stronger will, as, on the other hand, the disposition of men to lead an active, outward-looking or even warlike way of life is a mere consequence of power. "The ruling sex, whether man or woman, tends to assign the ruled sex to the house and family as the domain of its work." The division of labor is not a product of gender differences, but emerged exclusively under the pressure of single-sex domination. In the opinion of the authors, this predominance in its effects on the psyche of the individual is far stronger than the power of development of the innate disposition associated with the gender difference.
The examples from very different times and peoples are in fact of striking agreement and suitable to make such a far-reaching assertion, if not indisputably confirmed, at least credible. Not only that they show the men in the women's state entrusted with domestic-female occupations - such as cooking, washing, childcare - even notions such as the double morality that is customarily attributed to the needs of specifically male nature appear precisely in the female predominance reverse sense. Faithfulness and exclusivity are then regarded as the law of male life, while women reserve for themselves those freedoms which, under male rule, are considered the natural prerogative of men.
The reasons why the power relations between the sexes shift alternately in the course of human history could, according to the authors, be explained by the effects of the possession of power. That is not the supreme intelligence root cause of single-sex domination, it is theirs effect.
It is in the nature of power that it strives for ever greater expansion; this "law of overvoltage" leads to the abuse of power and the abuse finally leads to rebellion against an unbearable pressure. So it happens that the rule, which first creates subordination, finally encounters resistance and now, in a slow process of transformation, reaches a state where gender equality occurs, until in the further course the rule passes to the formerly subordinate sex.
The effect of power on the human soul - still far too little considered in all areas of life - is shown here from a new point of view through its application to gender psychology. But even if there is no doubt that possession of power can produce the same phenomena in the female psyche as in the male, even abuse up to the most repulsive cruelty, the evidence given for the pendulum movement between male and female rule assumed by the authors is still insufficient numerous, still sufficiently authenticated. The weakness of this whole conception lies primarily in the historical-ethnological evidence. Because the knowledge of human community life before the male state rule is extremely incomplete; Most of what was taught by Bachofen, Engels, and Morgan about a matriarchal age as a general phase in human development has been questioned, reinterpreted, or refuted by later researchers. And even suppose that the span of time into which the memory of mankind stretches back in relation to its age is vanishing, and that it has already gone through many phases of development of which it no longer knows anything - can be seen by the hand of historical facts the hypothesis of the pendulum movement between male and female predominance can hardly be maintained.
Given the current state of psychological sex differentiation, it appears improbable for a number of reasons. No matter how far the limits of individual constitution and their independence from gender differentiation are set, the fact remains that man and woman go through the whole of human history as unequal beings; and how little the typical characteristics apply in the individual case, they are nevertheless derived from the nature of the majority and symptomatic of them.
After the explicit recognition of an almost unlimited independence of individual differentiation from gender, it will not appear inconsistent to point out the inequality of the sexes that cannot be eradicated by any social or personal events. Their inherent inequality consists precisely in the unequal burden of the tasks of reproduction. This basic fact suffices to explain the difference in the historical development of the sexes without having to refer to any reasons derived from an absolute biological contradiction; but it also seems to rule out the assumption of an absolute predominance of the female sex.
Let us keep in mind once again: Nature has saddled the whole gravity of generative tasks to the female sex and allowed men to go out freely. She compensates the woman for this burden by placing the offspring in the most intimate and unquestionable communion with the maternal organism, while granting the man no certainty about his organic relationship to the offspring and yet at the same time appealing to him through a more or less strongly developed instinct she binds. It should be noted that culture, as a form of life peculiar to the human species only, reinforces the effect of this natural inequality; the life of the sexes in the animal kingdom is not nearly as influenced by the tasks of motherhood or by the uncertainty of fatherhood as that of mankind. With the beginning of culture, insofar as it is counted from the first development of the human intellect in community life, the world-historical process of the unequal position between the sexes also begins.
In the drama of the preservation of the species, nature assigns the male being the active role to which it appears equipped by aggressive impulses appearing as an instinct for control, while it makes the female being, as the object of conquest, fit for its sexual role through passive properties . The human species is no exception to the animal rule; it only moves away from this with growing culture, the concomitant of which is increasing individual differentiation. The suitability for the tasks of the preservation of the species is in the criticism of femininity as teleological Sex differentiation or primitive gender nature, because it represents the adaptation to the purpose of reproduction, denotes "the expediency of the physical constitution for the performance of the individual as a species."
With this teleological adjustment comes another inequality. The man sees himself as Sexual subject, the woman perceives herself as Sexual object - the meaning of this difference extends very far beyond its actual area. Because by assuming the role of the object as a person, which the male sexual feeling assigns to her, woman relinquishes all privileges that arise from the independence of being a subject and belong to the foundations of personality. By virtue of his subjective feeling, the man puts himself first, regards himself as the end of everything that happens; Woman, on the other hand, is pushed to the second place as a means for male ends, where she remains tied up by her own sense of object and is unable to develop within herself the egocentric consciousness, this most important accompanying phenomenon of male sexuality, which supports male superiority.
It is true that the nature of the primitive gender nature can also be changed by changing the living conditions, but in an unpredictable number of cases the individuality cancels out the typical gender perception, and culture itself acts in a variety of ways to change it. On the other hand, it is an unavoidable law, valid under all circumstances, that a woman, in order to fulfill her generative task, must submit to the complaints of pregnancy and childbirth with all their restrictive consequences, just as it is an irrevocable law that between no organic direct connection can be established between the father and his offspring, which would naturally authenticate his generation.
It is difficult to suppose that this natural inequality of the sexes should never have had its effects. No matter how great the difference in customs and institutions may be in individual peoples, in general the relation of the sexes is ordered according to primitive gender. However, the insecurity of fatherhood only asserts its effects at a higher level of development of the intellect, only when the relationship to offspring is one for the man cognitive Becomes fact. As long as the offspring were only ordered according to maternal line, because paternity was uncertain, women could enjoy a kind of privilege, although matriarchy did not include matriarchy in the sense of female supremacy over men; for there was always a male relative on the mother's side whom the children had to obey. The preference which women had through motherhood over the undeveloped awareness of paternity they had to lose as soon as the father asserted his full claims on the offspring.
But even assuming that matriarchy had meant real dominance of women, it was unmistakably not the overstretching of power that deprived the female sex of dominance: it was subject to the offspring with its maternal rights Father rightswhich the man paid for in full, while at the same time putting his stronger labor at the service of their care. And just as little was it, many millennia later, the overstepping of male power that drove the female sex to rebel against it, but rather that Development to personalitywhich also took place in women.
This rebellion as a conscious and systematic struggle of women did not begin until after male rule had long since descended from the height of its power, and its gradual moderation was not the work of female resistance. Rather, in the same proportion as the consciousness of personality grows both in the male and in the female psyche, submission to the law that imposes the second position on women, the position of the means, is loosened.
The meaning of Western culture culminates in the concept of personality; It is he who determined its development, its particular direction and produced effects which established their position in the world more profoundly than the means of power of civilization.
Medieval man only recognized himself as a race, people, party, corporation, family, or some other form of generality; In the age of the Renaissance, however, the subjective arises with full power, man becomes a spiritual individual and recognizes himself as such. (Burckhardt) This process takes hold of the women's world three centuries later and gives rise to the struggle for the rights of personality, which forms the ideal content of the women's movement. This is not to be understood, however, as if the women had not already had a share in the culture as personalities; only the scene of this specifically feminine development of culture is separated from the general public in a similar way as the domestic hearth. There is no doubt that the sociable aesthetic form that took shape in the salons of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a creation of the women involved. This form of social intercourse, which mediates an exchange of spiritual values from person to person, was based on the art of bringing one's own being to life through personal interaction - an art that is much more common in women than in men, so that it is referred to by many as the specific kind of feminine genius. The age of the salons, the focus of which were universally educated women, bears witness to the perfection of this specifically female cultural achievement; Lucka's fine word about the relationship of culture to personality and its significance for it fits these women. He calls personality (in the three stages of eroticism) "the self-conscious individual soul that produces the general, ideal (cultural) values from itself, fills itself with them again and assimilates itself to their higher form.
The change in living conditions, however, compels women to seek their share in culture in another area. There is no longer a word to be said about it; They cannot assert themselves under any conditions in their old culture and have to look for the essence of the personality like the man in the free responsibility for an action determined by ideas towards the general public.
For the man, the development to a free personality was in line with his natural teleological nature. His sexual subjectivism is related to personality consciousness, and his struggle for patriarchal privileges, his position in the patriarchal age, shows in primeval times the direction that he should take for the full development of the personality. For the woman, however, the development to an independent personality does not result from the teleological gender nature; it took place in opposition to this one. That is why it is the greatest event in cultural history with regard to the female sex. In a nutshell, feminine development is as follows: a woman becomes a subject from an object and a person from a thing. The path of this development is by no means over. There are still enough residues in views and morals, and not least in female as well as male emotional life, which contradict the concept of self-sufficient personality for women.
From the point of view of gender ideology in conjunction with personality interests, it may be possible, without restricting the free self-determination according to individuality, to find some directional lines that women as a whole would have to adhere to in their new position if they were to accept the inevitable, natural inequality of the sexes, which is decided in the difference in the generative load want to take into account.
The difference in the subject position of the man and the object position of the woman is ideally characterized most significantly by the concept of honor. What constituted the content of female honor so far was basically somatic - sexual intactness, in the unmarried woman virginity, in the married woman exclusivity. The lack of independence is particularly expressed in the fact that a male person had to be jointly responsible for the female honor or to be fully responsible for it. In the case of the married woman, the husband had to avenge the wounded honor by punishing the seducer, in the case of the unmarried the father or brother.
The male concept of honor also includes specific gender characteristics in itself. The fact that a man without psychological bravery is considered dishonorable and cowardice as insult has a sexual background - this can already be seen from the fact that the same mental disposition in women is interpreted as a need for protection and rather enjoys the fame of an attractive quality. In the male, however, physical bravery is a component of the primitive male sexual nature, which is based on the instinct for mastery; Lack of physical bravery also restricts the instinct for control, and bravery as an aggressive mental mood is just as much a prerequisite as it is a concomitant phenomenon.
On the other hand, however, the male concept of honor contains a meaning of high ideal value for the free personality. In the form of the word of honor, she has created an instrument through which she is able to prove her full power and self-importance by using it as a pledge. If the word of honor is stripped of its romantic, chivalrous meaning, which it attaches to conquered notions, something incomparable and immortal remains - the voluntary bond, the commitment of the personality in an act of will of inviolable force. The word of honor is beyond all conventional prejudices the expression that a person has the inner power to insist on his free resolution unconditionally and to maintain it despite all opposition. This makes the word - tellingly, it is called the masculine word - a full expression of what the free personality is. Indeed, there is nothing higher for the individual than the ability to be able to stand up for himself under all circumstances without external compulsion; it is the most noble and precious good possessed by the self-reliant person who feels himself to be an ideal center .
The fact that women are not trusted to use such a word clearly shows that they have not yet fully conquered the rights of personality. Nothing should be so important to women as to create an ideal instrument for themselves, through which they, like the man, can in any case as a personality rise above any doubt about their reliability. If the validity of the word of honor has an incomparable value for the man in his social relations, it gains a special and decisive importance for the women in those points where the natural inequality of the sexes has so far most disadvantageously influenced their position, where their independence was most at risk from male gender interests. We know that it is the insecurity of fatherhood that imposed the most sensitive restrictions on women in order to prevent counterfeiting by means of coercion. The barbaric clauses of fatherhood are no longer in use in Western culture; but their ultimate effects will only be completely overcome when the feminine word of honor has the same reputation as the masculine. There is no other means for women to counter this natural inequality in things of the offspring than to combine with the rights of personality the deep awareness that the content of their specific honor in relation to the man must be the safeguarding of fatherhood, because it is there is nothing worse for the position of the female personality than the falsification of the offspring. Just as the preservation of virginity has little to do with the female concept of honor, the preservation of exclusivity is inseparable from it. If women were to succeed in creating new norms of recognition that do justice to the interests of the female personality, generative reliability would have to be anchored in the consciousness of the female sex with the strongest suggestive means. The lack of instinctual certainty even among men on this point is shown, among other things, by the example of Rudolf Hans Bartsch, who in the figure of the "bright woman von Karminell" glorifies a forger of the offspring without this having caused any offense.
The objectification of women as a cultural process has only become a plan-conscious process through the women's movement. Their representatives have often been reproached for being abandoned by the good instincts of femininity; But if you look at her program from the point of view from which the conquest of personality is to be seen, one must rather be amazed at the accuracy with which she took up the social mission of women even where she had the most hidden roots in the problem of the female personality. All relationships, institutions, conditions in which the conception of women as a thing or a mere means continues to act somehow inhibit equality and thus at the same time the possibility of specifically female influences in social culture to dominate. It must be an indispensable task for every woman for whom personality has become the formative force of her life to examine the problems of private and community life from this point of view.
The question that has been discussed many times is whether a woman should not be able to dispose of her body as she pleases without degrading her personal honor, that is, even if she can do it of her own free will, sell it. Complete moral lack of prejudice seems to demand the affirmation of this question, and with this affirmation one also wants to justify the social rehabilitation of prostituted women in order to eradicate one of the most serious injustices of the prevailing social order in this way. Havelock Ellis says with reference to this: "To speak of a prostitute who sells is not only a forgivable rhetorical exaggeration, it is both imprecise and unjust." receive wages for services rendered.
However, this does not affect the essential and decisive factor why the fact of prostitution, even if one disregards all moral provisions, cannot undergo any social re-evaluation. As long as prostitution is to be understood as a fleeting sexual relationship in which the woman, in return for payment, serves merely as a means of satisfying a physiological need, it will be incompatible with the recognition of the female personality. Surely one does not believe that the usual distinction made by men between the respectable women whom one shows respect and the dissolute ones whom one owes no consideration is based only on a conventional prejudice! The woman who makes herself her business challenges all primitive and elementary impulses in the male psyche that are hostile to the female personality; it reduces the sexual relation to that level where the woman was only a willless instrument of the male superiority. But if one asserts that a woman, precisely as a free personality, is allowed to switch with her body at will, this view is based on a misunderstanding: if the position of women is to be socially realized according to the rights of the free personality, then the woman must not do anything herself what the personality denies in it, and in men the old conception of woman as a thing is capable of being emotionally or mentally justified.
From the personality consciousness, this first condition for the social equality of the female sex, emerges as the one great task of women in their new position the fight against the sexual evils from which the life of the civilized man suffers - a fight that women also from the reason for their generative burden must be concerned. Because not only the denial of the female personality in the essence of prostitution makes it appear reprehensible for women as a whole - since she is also the carrier of contagious diseases that extend to the offspring, she is dedicated to the generative task for all women whose lives are is a scourge and danger. In the bourgeois world, however, there is the view that the sexual integrity of respectable women is protected from the unrestrained violence of male sexuality by the prostitutes.The honorable women of the old style have let themselves be put up with by this argument to receive their husbands from the hands of the prostitutes - but the history of the women's movement gives in numerous documents a creditable testimony that they were already in a time in which the contact with this Area was considered a shameful violation of modesty and did not shy away from accepting the consequences of their point of view here as well.
The relationship of the individual to sexuality can be influenced from two directions: on the intellectual path through enlightenment and on the emotional path through changes in behavior in sexual matters. The intellectual way is the easier one; In the course of the last few decades it has led to an extensive literature, a new science, sexology, has emerged, associations and inquiries have done a work that should not be underestimated to combat ignorance and hypocrisy, in which men participated in an outstanding manner. But it should not be forgotten that the impetus for public discussion of these issues came from the women's movement. It was also women who first found the courage to stand up against the injustice, one-sidedness and concealment with which the authorities treated the victims of prostitution. One need only mention the name of Josefine Butler, who for many years led an indomitable struggle in England in this field and endured the most severe persecutions for her work.
Since the war this one task of women has faded into the background; the other great task calls for all forces in its service. It's the fight against war. It is unnecessary to repeat the arguments made by women against the social ills of the sexual field in view of the extensive literature on it. It is different with pacifism as a special problem of female activity. An attempt to shed light on the essence of war from the psychological point of view will show the reason why women have to fight war more than men.
We must recognize war as a phenomenon that is inseparable from the competition for power among peoples. But it is not his economic and political causes that come into consideration here, but those hidden roots with which he reaches deep into natural masculinity. Because the war is not just a political phenomenon, not just machination, it is also a matter of instinct. Could such a monstrous institution as the war have asserted itself through all phases of cultural development if it were only imposed on the peoples by a small group of rulers without being encouraged by their instincts? This is not to say that every man involved in war is also ruled by warlike instincts; especially in view of the general conscription, such an assumption would be completely untenable. Without a doubt, however, war is the state of life that is most suitable for rekindling the primordial war instincts of masculinity that were repressed under the influences of peacetime, and for bringing them to power with all their accompanying phenomena. Theoretically, war is the ultimate incarnation of manhood, the ultimate and most terrible consequence of absolute masculine activity. In addition to this highest increase in natural masculinity towards the outside world, the naturally feminine cannot assert itself as something equal; it must necessarily sink to the second level of the ruling living beings.
Of course, from the point of view of a higher human evaluation, this neglect is not justified; for the mental achievement to which the war condemns women - the steadfastness with which they have to wait and see from a distance the fate of men dear to their hearts - likewise demands a kind of heroism. But according to the values prevailing in the war, this has no further distinction to claim. Moreover, how different are the effects of passive heroism in the psyche from those of active masculine!
The man who puts his life on the line in combat may experience emotional sensations that bring with them a kind of intoxication, a peculiar tension and heightening of what can be called a somatic personality feeling. Even if the noble motives of the defense of a common cause, the sacrifice for the fatherland, are in the foreground of the consciousness, the lust for battle does not arise from this ideal sphere, but rather goes hand in hand with that re-awakening of repressed primordial instincts, which causes that for For many men there is indeed something liberating about the martial way of life, despite all the dangers and hardships associated with it.
Nothing like that accompanies the passive heroism of women, which is purely ethical and devoid of any somatic reinforcement. War does not offer women any of the equivalents that it may afford to masculine nature. Not even if they take on an activity beyond the passive heroism of renunciation, such as caring for wounded men who have become unfit for war or other social and economic tasks associated with the war that far exceed the level of merely passive tolerance and submission .
The very mission of preserving life, which falls to women through this assistance, reveals the profound contrast that exists between women and war. The law of war, its very essence, is Conquest by Destructionwhile the law of the feminine being according to its most original and most general function Life support is. Born life must be dearer to woman than to man, because nature has only burdened woman with the sufferings and difficulties which it costs to arise. That in all millennia of human history woman was unable to assert this essential opposition to war is explained by her secondary position, from where she was unable to enforce the law of her particular sexual nature.
An ever growing development of the rule of law on the line of individual freedom is the prerequisite with which the social position of women stands or falls. As soon as the rule of law is suspended, as is the case in war with the predominance of military force, women lose their equality from this point of view. Only under one Condition could then still be the requirement of equal rights for all citizens regardless of gender: if the female gender were also included in general military service.
This consequence has so far only been shown by the opponents of equality in order to reduce it to absurdity. In doing so, they disregarded the motherhood of women, their heavy burden with the tasks of procreation, which is to be regarded as a substitute for male military service.
There is no need to prove that the aggressive impulses which lead to the inclination of men to act warlike are almost entirely absent in the psychophysical constitution of women. The exceptions that emerged in individual women fighting on the front during the war confirm at best that gender differentiation does in fact not constitute a barrier to individual constitution. Perhaps these exceptions deserve attention for this confirmation as well as for the sake of their personal bravery - but they cannot be regarded as a laudable example, as a role model for women in general.
Indeed, where the imitation of male military service by women has become more widespread, as in the case of the Russian women's battalions, it means a gross misunderstanding of what humanity has to expect from women, an aberration of instinct of the worst kind.
For even the greatest appreciation of physical courage, bravery, contempt for death and all other high achievements that go hand in hand with the warlike disposition of male nature in the best case, cannot change the fact that war is the most terrible evil that dragging human society through the millennia.
The whole world of war, its origins in a level of thought at which man ceases to exist at the border of the tribe and the enemy is not considered to be an identical creature, stands in tragic contrast to the intellectual level of modern man. The high valuation of martial manhood also comes from a time of primeval conditions and feelings; and yet at the same time it receives its justification and justification from a quality that is still very common in the male being. There is an unmistakable connection between the bellicose impulses and a certain type of male sexual impulse. This connection already appears in the animal kingdom in the struggles of the male animals among themselves, even if these struggles are only an analogue of the duel and not of war. It is the same sexual impulses that at the same time determine the man's imperious feeling of superiority over woman - and how should there really be room for women as a self-legitimate being on an equal footing with men, as long as this type of male sexual impulses dominate?
During the war, a primitive state of manhood becomes master of the cultural influences and cultural formations of more recent dates. The misdeeds that are committed in every war beyond the legally regulated struggle show clearly what violence the instincts of primitive man can still attain as soon as the inhibitions of cultural life cease to exist; and it is not a coincidental phenomenon, but one closely linked to the military disposition, that rape is committed on enemy women in every war.
But apart from this extreme unleashing of brutality - the abolition of any customary sexual order, the destruction of conjugal life and all domestic love relationships must result in the worst evils. In addition to the wildness caused by feelings of hatred and revenge, by getting used to a way of life stripped of cultural heights, there is the darkest shadow that war throws far into peace, the lack of sexual ties - for the female sex perhaps the most serious damage that it does learns from the war.
This discussion highlights only a few of the most important reasons why, under any circumstances, when women consider their natural and social tasks from their own point of view, unconditionally repudiate war, must abhor it as the most terrible scourge of humanity. There are enough men who hold this point of view, men who take part in the working class in the pacifist movement and in all the endeavors connected with it; but if the fight against war is a matter of higher humanity for the man - for the woman it also means the condition of higher life possibilities for her own sex as a whole.
It may be left open whether the war is to be seen as an inevitable accompaniment of human conditions or even, as others think, as a kind of necessary discipline through which a regeneration of corrupted living conditions is brought about. Anyone who has got to know him from close up knows only too well that he is far less "a school of self-sacrifice and renunciation" (Moltke) than a hotbed of brutality and savagery, meanness and corruption. The question of whether the war can ever be completely eradicated by any social change does not need to concern us. One can even admit that the two great cultural tasks of women, the fight against prostitution and the fight against war, are utopian goals - that in no way detracts from their value as a guideline. For since human society has had a social organization at all, it has been fighting against many evils which it has not yet been able to eradicate without giving up the fight against them. But only when women generally understand that their mission in social life must be different from that of men, when they contrast the prevailing male values with their own, based on the natural inequality of the sexes, will they become involved in this political life open a new page in the book of world history.
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