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In Defense of Women

Henry Louis Mencken

Buy this book at Amazon.com or try Amazon.co.uk in England, Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.de in Germany, Amazon.fr in France, Amazon.it in Italy, Amazon.es in Spain. ASIN=B009LBEPZK, Category: Philosophy, Language: E, cover: PB, pages: 234, year: 1923(2012). Zu Facebook hinzufügen Zu Twitter hinzufügen Zu Delicious hinzufügen Zu Google +1 hinzufügen Zu Google hinzufügen Zu Mister Wong hinzufügen

See the about 22 reader reviews at amazon.com by clicking on above link.

Online: In Defense of Women (fullbooks.com) or In Defense of Women (eldritchpress.org); here are some quotes selected by IBS:

    Devolution is quite as natural as evolution, and may be just as pleasing, or even a good deal more pleasing, to God. [°°°]
    The universe seems to be in a conspiracy to encourage the endless reproduction of peasants and Socialists, but a subtle and mysterious opposition stands eternally against the reproduction of philosophers.

    Per corollary, it is notorious that women of merit frequently marry second-rate men, and bear them children, thus aiding in the war upon progress. [°°°]
    Again, there are the leading feminists, women artists and other such captains of the sex; their husbands are almost always inferior men, and sometimes downright fools. But not paupers! Not incompetents in a man's world! Not bad husbands! What we here encounter, of course, is no more than a fresh proof of the sagacity of women. [°°°]

    The first-rate woman is a realist. She sees clearly that, in a world dominated by second-rate men, the special capacities of the second-rate man are esteemed above all other capacities and given the highest rewards, and she endeavours to get her share of those rewards by marrying a second-rate man at the top of his class. [°°°]

    He may want a cook and not a partner in his business, or a partner in his business and not a cook. But in order to get the precise thing or things that he wants, he has to take a lot of other things that he doesn't want--that no sane man, in truth, could imaginably want. [°°°]

    The most effective lure that a woman can hold out to a man is the lure of what he fatuously conceives to be her beauty. This so-called beauty, of course, is almost always a pure illusion. The female body, even at its best, is very defective in form; [°°°]

    As Shakespeare* has put it, there must be some mystery in love — and there can be no mystery between intellectual equals.
    I daresay that many a woman marries an inferior man, not primarily because he is a good provider (though it is impossible to imagine her overlooking this), but because his very inferiority interests her, and makes her want to remedy it and mother him. Egoism is in the impulse: it is pleasant to have a feeling of superiority, and to be assured that it can be maintained. If now, that feeling be mingled with sexual curiosity and economic self-interest, it obviously supplies sufficient motivation to account for so natural and banal a thing as a marriage. [°°°]

    As woman gradually becomes convinced, not only of the possibility of economic independence, but also of its value, she will probably lose her present overmastering desire for marriage, and address herself to meeting men in free economic competition. [°°°]

    Now that women have the political power to obtain their just rights, they will begin to lose their old power to obtain special privileges by sentimental appeals. Men, facing them squarely, will consider them anew, not as romantic political and social invalids, to be coddled and caressed, but as free competitors in a harsh world. When that reconsideration gets under way there will be a general overhauling of the relations between the sexes, and some of the fair ones, I suspect, will begin to wonder why they didn't let well enough alone. [°°°]

    Women may emancipate themselves, they may borrow the whole bag of masculine tricks, and they may cure themselves of their present desire for the vegetable security of marriage, but they will never cease to be women, and so long as they are women they will remain provocative to men. [°°°]

    Devolution is quite as natural as evolution, and may be just as pleasing, or even a good deal more pleasing, to God. If the average man is made in God's image, then a man such as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God, and so God may be jealous of him, and eager to see his superiority perish with his bodily frame. [°°°]

    Thus the average woman is under none of the common masculine illusions about elective affinities, soul mates, love at first sight**, and such phantasms. She is quite ready to fall in love, as the phrase is, with any man who is plainly eligible, and she usually knows a good many more such men than one. Her primary demand in marriage is not for the agonies of romance, but for comfort and security; she is thus easier satisfied than a man, and oftener happy.

interview with HLM; links to part 1 of 8 parts. you'll find the rest by searching mencken ii, iii, iv,...

*) HLM remained unmarried, like-wise IMP whom he knew, but they couldn't marry because of - see above - Shakespeare ;)))

**) here HLM contradicts with

"Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?"
-- Hero and Leander by Christoper Marlowe

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;

And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?

More related quotes from CM:

"While money doesn't buy love, it puts you in a great bargaining position."

"All places are alike, and every earth is fit for burial."

and another one from E. v. Hartmann:
"It is illusion when we believe that in health, youth, freedom, sufficient income, love (sexual enjoyment), pity, friendship and family life, honor, reputation, glory, power, religious edification, pursuit of science and of art, hope of a life hereafter, participation in the furtherance of culture, - we have sources of happiness and satisfaction."


The French translation of this book is harder to find.
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