Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:14 pm

Part 1 of 2

The Nature of Woman and her Significance in the Universe

The further we go in the analysis of woman's claim to esteem the more we must deny her of what is lofty and noble, great and beautiful. As this chapter is about to take the deciding and most extreme step in that direction, I should like to make a few remarks as to my position. The last thing I wish to advocate is the Asiatic standpoint with regard to the treatment of women. Those who have carefully followed my remarks as to the injustice that all forms of sexuality and erotics visit on woman will surely see that this work is not meant to plead for the harem. But it is quite possible to desire the legal equality of men and women without believing in their moral and intellectual equality, just as in condemning to the utmost any harshness in the male treatment of the female sex, one does not overlook the tremendous, cosmic, contrast and organic differences between them. There are no men in whom there is no trace of the transcendent, who are altogether bad; and there is no woman of whom that could truly be said. However degraded a man may be, he is immeasurably above the most superior woman, so much so that comparison and classification of the two are impossible; but even so, no one has any right to denounce or defame woman, however inferior she must be considered. A true adjustment of the claims for legal equality can be undertaken on no other basis than the recognition of a complete, deep seated polar opposition of the sexes. I trust that I may escape confusion of my views as to woman with the superficial doctrine of P.J. Mobius - a doctrine only interesting as a brave reaction against the general tendency. Women are not "physiologically weak- minded," and I cannot share the view that women of conspicuous ability are to be regarded as morbid specimens.

From a moral point of view one should only be glad to recognize in these women (who are always more masculine than the rest) the exact opposite of degeneration, that is to say, it must be acknowledged that they have made a step forward and gained a victory over themselves; from the biological standpoint they are just as little or as much phenomena of degeneration as are womanish men (unethically considered). Intermediate sexual forms are normal, not pathological phenomena, in all classes of organisms, and their appearance is no proof of physical decadence.

Woman is neither high-minded nor low-minded, strong-minded nor weak-minded. She is the opposite of all these. Mind cannot be predicated of her at all; she is mindless. That, however, does not imply weak-mindedness in the ordinary sense of the term, the absence of the capacity to "get her bearings" in ordinary everyday life. Cunning, calculation, "cleverness," are much more usual and constant in the woman than in the man, if there be a personal selfish end in view. A woman is never so stupid as a man can be.

But has woman no meaning at all? Has she no general purpose in the scheme of the world? Has she not a destiny; and, in spite of all her senselessness and emptiness, a significance in the universe?

Has she a mission, or is her existence an accident and an absurdity?

In order to understand her meaning, it is necessary to start from a phenomenon which, although old and well recognized, has never received its proper meed of consideration. It is from nothing more nor less than the phenomenon of match-making from which we may be able to infer most correctly the real nature of woman.

Its analysis shows it to be the force which brings together and helps forward two people in their knowledge of one another, which helps them to a sexual union, whether in the form of marriage or not. This desire to bring about an understanding between two people is possessed by all women from their earliest childhood; the very youngest girls are always ready to act as messengers for their sisters' lovers. And if the instinct of match-making can be indulged in only after the particular woman in question has brought about her own consummation in marriage, it is none the less present before that time, and the only things which are at work against it are her jealousy of her contemporaries, and her anxiety about their chances with regard to her lover, until she has finally secured him by reason of her money, her social position, and so forth.

As soon as women have got rid of their own case by their own marriage, they hasten to help the sons and daughters of their acquaintances to marry. The fact that older women, in whom the desire for sexual satisfaction has died out, are such match- makers is so fully recognised that the idea has wrongly spread that they are the only real match-makers.

They urge not only women but men to marry, a man's own mother often being the most active and persistent advocate of his marriage. It is the desire and purpose of every mother to see her son married, without any thought of his individual taste; a wish which some have been blind enough to regard as another charm in maternal love, of which such a poor account was given in an earlier chapter. It is possible that many mothers may hope that their sons should obtain permanent happiness through marriage, however unfit they may be for it; but undoubtedly this hope is absent with the majority, and in any case it is the match-making instinct, the sheer objection to bachelordom, which is the strongest motive of all.

It is clear that women obey a purely instinctive, inherent impulse, when they try to get their daughters married.

It is certainly not for logical, and only in a small degree for material reasons, that they go to such lengths to attain their ends, and it is certainly not because of any desire expressed by their daughters (very often it is in direct opposition to the girl's choice); and since the match-making instinct is not confined to the members of a woman's own family, it is impossible to speak of it as being part of the "altruistic" or "moral" attitude of maternal love; although most women if they were charged with match-making projects would undoubtedly answer "that it is their duty to think of the future welfare of their dear children."

A mother makes no difference in arranging a marriage for her own daughter and for any other girl, and is just as glad to do it for the latter if it does not interfere with the interests of her own family; it is the same thing, match-making throughout, and there is no psychological difference in making a match for her own daughter and doing the same thing for a stranger. I would even go so far as to say that a mother is not inconsolable if a stranger, however common and undesirable, desires and seduces her daughter.

The attitude of one sex to certain traits of the other can often be applied as a criterion as to how far certain peculiarities of character are exclusively the property of the one sex or are shared by the other. So far, we have had to deny to women many characters which they would gladly claim, but which are exclusively masculine; in match-making, however, we have a characteristic which is really and exclusively feminine, the exceptions being either in the case of very womanish men or else special instances which will be fully dealt with later on, in chap. xiii. Every real man will have nothing to do with this instinct in his wife, even when his own daughters, whom he would gladly see settled in life, are concerned; he dislikes and despises the whole business, and leaves it entirely to his wife, as being altogether in her province. This is a striking instance of a purely feminine psychical characteristic, being not only unattractive to a man, but even repulsive to him when he is aware of it: while the male characteristics in themselves are sufficient to please the female, man has to denude woman of hers before he can love her.

But the match-making instinct exerts a much deeper and more important influence on the nature of woman than can be gathered from the little I have said on this subject. I wish now to draw attention to woman's attitude at a play: she is always waiting to see if the hero and heroine, the lovers in the piece, will quarrel. This is nothing but match-making, and psychologically does not differ a hair from it: it is the ever present desire to see the man and woman united. But that is not all; the tremendous excitement with which women await the crucial point in a decent or indecent book is due to nothing less than the desire to see the sexual union of the principal characters, and is coupled with an actual excitation at the thought, and positive appreciation of the force which is behind sexual union. It is not possible to state this formally and logically, the only thing is to try and understand how it is that the two things are psychologically one with women. The mother's excitement on her daughter's wedding-day is of the same quality as that engendered by reading a story by Pr,vost, or Sudermann's "Katzensteg." It is quite true that men are very interested by novels which end in sexual union, but in quite a different way from women; they thoroughly appreciate the sexual act in imagination, but they do not follow the gradual approach of the two people concerned from the very beginning; and their interest does not grow, as woman's does, in constant proportion to the reciprocal value which the two people have for one another.

The breathless pleasure with which the various obstacles are overcome, the feeling of disappointment at each thwarting of the sexual purpose, is altogether womanish and unmanly; but it is always present with woman. She is continually on the watch for sexual developments, whether in real life or in literature. Has no one ever wondered why women are so keen and "disinterested" about bringing other men and women together? The satisfaction they derive from it arises from a personal stimulus at the thought of the sexual union of others.

But the full extent to which match-making influences the point of view of all women is not yet fully grasped. On a summer evening when lovers may be seen in dark corners of public places, or on the seats and banks round about, it is always the women who wilfully and curiously try to see what is happening, whilst men who have to pass that way do so unwillingly, looking the other way, because of a sense of intrusion. Just in the same way it is women who turn in the streets to look at nearly every couple they meet, and gaze after them. This espionage and turning round are none the less "match-making," because they are sub-conscious acts. If a man does not want to see a thing he turns his back on it, and does not look round; but women are glad to see two people in love with one another, and take pleasure in surprising them in their love-making, because of their innate and super-personal desire that sexual union should occur.

But man, as was seen much further back, only cares for that which has a positive value. A woman when she sees two lovers together is always awaiting developments, that is to say, she expects, anticipates, hopes, and desires an outcome. I know an elderly married woman who listened expectantly at the door for some time, when a servant of hers had allowed her sweetheart to come into her room, before she walked in and gave her notice.

The idea of union is always eagerly grasped and never repelled whatever form it may take (even where animals are concerned - the one apparent exception will be fully discussed in this chapter). She experiences no disgust at the nauseating details of the subject, and makes no attempt to think of anything pleasanter. This accounts for a great deal of what is so apparently mysterious in the psychic life of woman. Her wish for the activity of her own sexual life is her strongest impulse, but it is only a special case of her deep, her only vital interest, the interest that sexual unions shall take place; the wish that as much of it as possible shall occur, in all cases, places, and times.

This universal desire may either be concentrated on the act itself or on the (possible) child; in the first case, the woman is of the prostitute type and participates merely for the sake of the act; in the second, she is of the mother type, but not merely with the idea of bearing children herself; she desires that every marriage she knows of or has helped to bring about should be fruitful, and the nearer she is to the absolute mother the more conspicuous is this idea; the real mother is also the real grandmother (even if she remains a virgin; Johan Tesman's marvellous portrayal of "Tante Jule" in Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" is an example of what I mean). Every real mother has the same purpose, that of helping on matrimony; she is the mother of all mankind; she welcomes every pregnancy.

The prostitute does not want other women to be with child, but to be prostitutes like herself.

A woman's relations with married men show how she subordinates her own sexuality to her match-making instinct, the latter being the dominant power.

Woman objects more strongly to bachelordom than anything else, because she is altogether a match-maker, and this makes her try to get men to marry; but if a man is already married she at once loses most of her interest in him, however much she liked him before. If the woman herself is already married, that is to say, when each man she meets is not a possible solution to her own fate, one would not imagine that a married man would find less favour with her because he was married than when he was a bachelor if the woman herself is unfaithful; but women seldom carry on an intrigue with another woman's husband, except when they wish to triumph over her by making him neglect her. This shows that the disposition of woman is towards the fact of pairing; when men are already paired she seldom attempts to make them unfaithful, for the fact of their being paired has satisfied her instinct.

This match-making is the most common characteristic of the human female; the wish to become a mother-in-law is much more general than even the desire to become a mother, the intensity and extent of which is usually over-rated.

My readers may possibly not understand the emphasis I have laid on a phenomenon which is usually looked upon as amusing as it is disgusting; and it may be thought that I have given undue importance to it.

But let us see why I have done so. Match-making is essentially the phenomenon of all others which gives us the key to the nature of woman, and we must not, as has always been the case, merely acknowledge the fact and pass on, but we should try to analyse and explain it. One of our commonest phrases runs: "Every woman is a bit of a match-maker."

But we must remember that in this, and nothing else, lies the actual essence of woman. After mature consideration of the most varied types of women and with due regard to the special classes besides those which I have discussed, I am of opinion that the only positively general female characteristic is that of matchmaking, that is, her uniform willingness to further the idea of sexual union.

Any definition of the nature of woman which goes no further than to declare that she has the strong instinct for her own union would be too narrow; any definition that would link her instincts to the child or to the husband, or to both, would be too wide. The most general and comprehensive statement of the nature of woman is that it is completely adapted and disposed for the special mission of aiding and abetting the bodily union of the sexes. All women are matchmakers, and this property of the woman to be the advocate of the idea of pairing is the only one which is found in women of all ages, in young girls, in adults, and in the aged. The old woman is no longer interested in her own union, but she devotes herself to the pairing of others. This habit of the old woman is nothing new, it is only the continuance of her enduring instinct surviving the complications that were caused when her personal interests came into conflict with her general desire; it is the now unselfish pursuit of the impersonal idea.

It is convenient to recapitulate at this point what my investigation has shown as to the sexuality of women. I have shown that woman is engrossed exclusively by sexuality, not intermittently, but throughout her life; that her whole being, bodily and mental, is nothing but sexuality itself. I added, moreover, that she was so constituted that her whole body and being continually were in sexual relations with her environment, and that just as the sexual organs were the centre of woman physically, so the sexual idea was the centre of her mental nature. The idea of pairing is the only conception which has positive worth for women. The woman is the bearer of the thought of the continuity of the species. The high value which she attaches to the idea of pairing is not selfish and individual, it is super-individual, and, if I may be forgiven the desecration of the phrase, it is the transcendental function of woman. And just as femaleness is no more than the embodiment of the idea of pairing, so is it sexuality in the abstract. Pairing is the supreme good for the woman; she seeks to effect it always and everywhere. Her personal sexuality is only a special case of this universal, generalised, impersonal instinct.

The effort of woman to realize this idea of pairing is so fundamentally opposed to that conception of innocence and purity, the higher virginity which man's erotic nature has demanded from women, that not all his erotic incense would have obscured her real nature but for one factor. I have now to explain this factor which has veiled from man the true nature of woman, and which in itself is one of the deepest problems of woman, I mean her absolute duplicity. Her pairing instinct and her duplicity, the latter so great as to conceal even from woman herself what is the real essence of her nature, must be explained together.

All that may have seemed like clear gain is now again called into question. Self-observation was found lacking in women, and yet there certainly are women who observe very closely all that happens to them. They were denied the love of truth, and yet one knows many women who would not tell a lie for anything. It has been said that they are lacking in consciousness of guilt; but there are many women who reproach themselves bitterly for most trifling matters, besides "penitents" who mortify their flesh. Modesty was left to man, but what is to be said of the womanly modesty, that bashfulness, which, according to Hamerling, only women have? Is there no foundation for the way in which the idea has grown and found such acceptance? And then again: Can religion be absent, in spite of so many "professing" women? Are we to exclude all women from the moral purity, all the womanly virtues, which poets and historians have ascribed to her? Are we to say that woman is merely sexual, that sexuality only receives its proper due from her when it is so well known that women are shocked at the slightest allusion to sexual matters, that instead of giving way to it they are often irritated and disgusted at the idea of impurity, and quite often detest sexual union for themselves and regard it just as many men do?

It is, of course, manifest that one and the same point is bound up in all these antitheses, and on the answer given to them depends the final and decisive judgment on woman. And it is clear that if only one single female creature were really asexual, or could be shown to have a real relationship to the idea of personal moral worth, everything that I have said about woman, its general value as psychically characteristic of the sex, would be irretrievably demolished, and the whole position which this book has taken up would be shattered at one blow.

These apparently contradictory phenomena must be satisfactorily explained, and it must be shown that what is at the bottom of it all and makes it seem so equivocal arises from the very nature of woman which I have been trying to explain all along.

In order to understand these fallacious contradictions one must first of all remember the tremendous "accessibility," to use another word, the "impressionability," of women. Their extraordinary aptitude for anything new, and their easy acceptance of other people's views have not yet been sufficiently emphasised in this book.

As a rule, the woman adapts herself to the man, his views become hers, his likes and dislikes are shared by her, every word he says is an incentive to her, and the stronger his sexual influence on her the more this is so. Woman does not perceive that this influence which man has on her causes her to deviate from the line of her own development; she does not look upon it as a sort of unwarrantable intrusion; she does not try to shake off what is really an invasion of her private life; she is not ashamed of being receptive; on the contrary, she is really pleased when she can be so, and prefers man to mould her mentally. She rejoices in being dependent, and her expectations from man resolve themselves into the moment when she may be perfectly passive.

But it is not only from her lover (although she would like that best), but also from her father and mother, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, near relations and distant acquaintances, that a woman takes what she thinks and believes, being only too glad to get her opinions "ready made."

It is not only inexperienced girls but even elderly and married women who copy each other in everything, from the nice new dress or pretty coiffure down to the places where they get their things, and the very recipes by which they cook.

And it never seems to occur to them that they are doing something derogatory on their part, as it ought to do if they possessed an individuality of their own and strove to work out their own salvation. A woman's thoughts and actions have no definite, independent relation to things in themselves; they are not the result of the reaction of her individuality to the world. They accept what is imposed on them gladly, and adhere to it with the greatest firmness. That is why woman is so intolerant when there has been a breach of conventional laws. I must quote an amusing instance, bearing on this side of woman's character, from Herbert Spencer. It is the custom in various tribes of Indians in North and South America for the men to hunt and fight and leave all the laborious and menial tasks to their wives. The Dakotan women are so imbued with the idea of the reasonableness and fitness of this arrangement that, instead of feeling injured by it, the greatest insult that one of these women can offer to another would be implied in some such words as follows: "You disgraceful creature. . . . I saw your husband carrying home wood for the fires. What was his wife doing that he had to demean himself by doing woman's work?"

The extraordinary way in which woman can be influenced by external agencies is similar in its nature to her suggestibility, which is far greater and more general than man's; they are both in accordance with woman's desire to play the passive and never the active part in the sexual act and all that leads to it.

It is the universal passivity of woman's nature which makes her accept and assume man's valuations of things although these are utterly at variance with her nature. The way in which woman can be impregnated with the masculine point of view, the saturation of her innermost thoughts with a foreign element, her false recognition of morality, which cannot be called hypocrisy because it does not conceal anything anti-moral, her assumption and practise of things which in themselves are not in her realm, are all very well if the woman does not try to use her own judgment, and they succeed in keeping up the fiction of her superior morality. Complications first arise when these acquired valuations come into collision with the only inborn, genuine, and universally feminine valuation, the supreme value she sets on pairing.

Woman's acceptance of pairing as the supreme good is quite unconscious on her part. As she has no sense of individuality she has nothing to contrast with pairing; and so, unlike man, she cannot realise its significance, or even notice the presence in herself of this instinct.

No woman knows, or ever has known, or ever will know, what she does when she enters into association with man. Femaleness is identical with pairing, and a woman would have to get outside herself in order to see and understand that she pairs. Thus it is that the deepest desire of woman, all that she means, and all that she is, remain unrecognised by her. There is nothing, then, to prevent the male negative valuation of it in the consciousness of the woman. The susceptibility of woman is so great that she can even act in opposition to what she is, to the one thing on which she really sets a positive value!

But the imposture which she enacts when she allows herself to be incorporated with man's opinions of sexuality and shamelessness, even of the imposture itself, and when she uses the masculine standard for her actions, is such a colossal fraud that she is never conscious of it; she has acquired a second nature, without even guessing that it is not her real one; she takes herself seriously, believes she is something and that she believes in something; she is convinced of the sincerity and originality of her moralisings and opinions; the lie is as deeply rooted as that; it is organic. I cannot do better than speak of the ontological untruthfulness of woman. . . .

Women deceive themselves as well as others on this point. One cannot artificially suppress and supplant one's real nature, the physical as well as the other side, without something happening. The hygienic penalty that must be paid for woman's denial of her real nature is hysteria.

Of all the neurotic and psychic phenomena, those of hysteria are the most fascinating for psychologists; they represent a far more difficult and, therefore, a more interesting study than those observed in melancholia or in simple paranoia.

The majority of psychiatrists have a distrust of psychological analyses which it is not easy for them to shake off; every statement of pathological alteration of tissues or intoxication by certain means is for them a limine credible; it is only in psychical matters that they refuse to recognise a primary cause. But since no reason has so far been given why psychical phenomena should be of importance secondary to physical phenomena, it is quite justifiable to disregard such prejudices. . . .

I believe myself that what may be called a psychological sexual traumatism is at the root of hysteria. The typical picture of a hysterical case is not very different from the following: A woman has always accepted the male views on sexual matters; they are in reality foreign to her nature, and sometime, by some chance, out of the conflict between what her nature asserts to be true and what she has always accepted as true and believed to be true, there comes what may be called a "wounding of the mind." It is thus possible for the person affected to declare a sexual desire to be an "extraneous body in her consciousness," a sensation which she thinks she detests, but which in reality has its origin in her own nature. The tremendous intensity with which she endeavors to suppress the desire (and which only serves to increase it) so that she may the more vehemently and indignantly reject the thought - these are the alternations which are seen in hysteria. And the chronic untruthfulness of woman becomes acute if the woman has ever allowed herself to be imbued with man's ethically negative valuation of sexuality. It is well known that hysterical women manifest the strongest suggestibility with men. Hysteria is the organic crisis of the organic untruthfulness of woman.

I do not deny that there are hysterical men, but these are comparatively few; and since man's psychic possibilities are endless, that of becoming "female" is amongst them, and, therefore, he can be hysterical. There are undoubtedly many untruthful men, but in them the crisis takes a different form, man's untruthfulness being of a different kind and never so hopeless in character as woman's.

This examination into the organic untruthfulness of woman, into her inability to be honest about herself which alone makes it possible for her to think that she thinks what is really totally opposed to her nature, appears to me to offer a satisfactory explanation of those difficulties which that aetiology of hysteria present.

Hysteria shows that untruthfulness, however far it may reach, cannot suppress everything. By education or environment woman adopts a whole system of ideas and valuations which are foreign to her, or, rather, has patiently submitted to have them impressed on her; and it would need a tremendous shock to get rid of this strongly rooted psychical complexity, and to transplant woman from that condition of intellectual helplessness which is so characteristic of hysteria.

An extraordinary shock suffices to destroy the artificial structure, and to place woman in the arena to undertake a fight between her unconscious, oppressed nature, and her certainly conscious but unnatural mind. The see-sawing which now begins between the two explains the unusual psychic discontinuity during the hysterical phase, the continual changes of mood, none of which are subject to the control of a dominant, central, controlling nucleus of individuality. It is extraordinary how many contradictions can co-exist in the hysterical. Sometimes they are highly intelligent and able to judge correctly and keenly oppose hypnotism and so forth. Then, again, they are excited by most trivial causes, and are most subject to hypnotic trances. Sometimes they are abnormally chaste, at other times extremely sensual.

All this is no longer difficult to explain. The absolute sincerity, the painful love of truth, the avoidance of everything sexual, the careful judgment, and the strength of will - all these form part of that spurious personality which woman in her passivity has taken upon herself to exhibit to herself and to the world at large. Everything that belongs to her original temperament and her real sense form that "other self," that "unconscious mind" which can delight in obscurities and which is so open to suggestion.

It has been endeavoured to show that in what is known as the "duplex" and "multiple personality," the "double conscience," the "dual ego," lies one of the strongest arguments against the belief in the soul. As a matter of fact, these phenomena are the very reason why we ought to believe in a soul. The "dividing up of the personality" is only possible when there never has been a personality, as with woman. All the celebrated cases which Janet has described in his book, "L'Automatisme Psychologique," concern women, not in a single instance man. It is only woman who, minus soul or an intelligible ego, has not the power to become conscious of what is in her; who cannot throw the light of truth on her inmost self; who can by her completely passive inundation by a consciousness belonging to another, allow what is in her own nature to be suppressed by an extraneous element; who can display the hysterical phenomena described by Janet. Hysteria is the bankruptcy of this superficial sham self which has been put on, and the woman becomes for the time being a tabula rasa, whilst the working in her of her own genuine nature appears to her as something coming from without. This apparent "secondary personality," this "foreign body in the consciousness," this false self, is, in reality, the true female nature, sexuality itself appearing, and a proper understanding of this fact, and of the complications that must ensue from the ebbings and flowings of the false, supposed to be true, and the true supposed to be false, lie at the root of the most difficult phenomena of hysteria.

Woman's incapacity for truth - which I hold to be consequent on her lack of free will with regard to the truth, in accordance with Kant's "Indeterminism" - conditions her falsity. Any one who has had anything to do with women knows how often they give offhand quite patently untrue reasons for what they have said or done, under the momentary necessity of answering a question. It is, however, hysterical subjects who are most careful to avoid unveracity (in a most marked and premeditated way before strangers); but however paradoxical it may sound it is exactly in this that their untruthfulness lies! They do not know that this desire for truth has come to them from outside and is no part of their real nature.

They have slavishly accepted the postulate of morality, and, therefore, wish to show at every opportunity, like a good servant, how faithfully they follow instructions.

It is always suspicious when a man is frequently spoken of as exceptionally trustworthy: he must have gone out of his way to let people know it, and it would be safe to wager that in reality he is a rogue. No confidence must be placed in the genuineness of hysterical morality, which doctors (no doubt in good faith) often emphasise by remarks as to the high moral position of their patients.

I repeat: hysterical patients do not consciously simulate. It can only be made clear to them by suggestion that they actually have been simulating, and all the "confessions" of the dissimulation can only be explained in the same way. Otherwise they believe in their own natural honesty and morality. Neither are the various things which torture them imaginary; it is much more likely that in the fact that they feel them, and that the symptoms first disappear with what Breuer calls "catharsis" (the successive bringing to their consciousness of the true causes of their illness by hypnotism), lie the proof of their organic untruthfulness.

The self-accusations which hysterical people are so full of are nothing but unconscious dissimulation. The sense of guilt, which is equally poignant in great and most trifling things cannot be genuine; if the hysterical self-torturers possessed a standard of morality for themselves and others they would not be so indiscriminate in their self-accusations, and not cast as much blame on themselves for a slight error as for real wrong- doing.

The most distinguishing character of the unconscious untruthfulness of their self-reproaches is their habit of telling others how wicked they are, what terrible things they have done, and then they ask if they (the hysterical) are not hopelessly abandoned sort of people. No one who really feels remorse could talk in such a way. The fallacy of representing the hysterical as being eminently moral is one which even Breuer and Freud have shared. The hysterical simply become imbued with moral ideas which are foreign to them in their normal state. They subordinate themselves to this code, they cease to prove things for themselves, they no longer exercise their own judgment.

Probably these hysterical subjects approach more closely than any other natures to the moral ideal of the social and utilitarian ethics which regard a lie as moral if it is for the good of society or of the race. Hysterical women realise that ideal ontogenetically inasmuch as their standard of morality comes from without, not from within, and practically as they appear to act most readily from altrusitic motives. For them duty towards others is not merely a special application of duty towards oneself.

The untruthfulness of the hysterical is proportional to their belief in their own accuracy. From their complete inability to attain personal truth, to be honest about themselves - the hysterical never think for themselves, they want other people to think about them, they want to arouse the interest of others - it follows that the hysterical are the best mediums for hypnotic purposes. But any one who allows him or herself to be hypnotised is doing the most immoral thing possible. It is yielding to complete slavery; it is a renunciation of the will and consciousness; it means allowing another person to do what he likes with the subject. Hypnosis shows how all possibility of truth depends upon the wish to be truthful, but it must be the real wish of the person concerned: when a hypnotised person is told to do something, he does it when he comes out of the trance, and if asked his reasons will give a plausible motive on the spot, not only before others, but he will justify his action to himself by quite fanciful reasons. In this we have, so to speak, an experimental proof of Kant's "Ethical Code."

All women can be hypnotised and like being hypnotised, but this proclivity is exaggerated in hysterical women. Even the memory of definite events in their life can be destroyed by the mere suggestion of the hypnotiser. Breuer's experiments on hypnotised patients show clearly that the consciousness of guilt in them is not deeply seated, as otherwise it could not be got rid of at the mere suggestion of the hypnotiser. But the sham conviction of responsibility, so readily exhibited by women of hysterical constitution, rapidly disappears at the moment when nature, the sexual impulse, appears to drive through the superficial restraints. In the hysterical paroxysm what happens is that the woman, while no longer believing it altogether herself, asseverates more and more loudly: "I do not want that at all, some one not really me is forcing it on me, but I do not want it at all." Every stimulation from outside will now be brought into relation with that demand, which, as she partly believes, is being forced on her, but which, in reality, corresponds with the deepest wish of her nature. That is why women in a hysterical attack are so easily seduced. The "attitudes passionelles" of the hysterical are merely passionate repudiations of sexual desire, which are loud merely because they are not real, and are more plaintive than at other times because the danger is greater. It is easy to understand why the sexual experiences of the time preceding puberty play so large a part in acute hysteria. The influence of extraneous moral views can be imposed comparatively easily on the child, as they have little to overcome in the almost unawakened state of the sexual inclinations. But, later on, the suppressed, although not wholly vanquished, nature lays hold of these old experiences, reinterprets them in the light of the new contents of consciousness, and the crisis takes place. The different forms that the paroxysms assume and their shifting nature are due very largely to the fact that the subject does not admit the true cause, the presence of a sexual desire, and consciousness of it being attributed by her to some extraneous influence, some self that is not her "real self."

Medical observation or interpretation of hysteria is wrong; it allows itself to be deceived by the patients, who in turn deceive themselves. It is not the rejecting ego but the rejected which is the true and original nature of the hysterical patients, however much they pretend to themselves and others that it is foreign to them.

If the rejecting ego were really their natural ego they could act in opposition to the disturbing element which they say is foreign to them, and be fully conscious of it, and differentiate and recognise it in their memory. But the fraud is evident, because the rejecting ego is only borrowed, and they lack the courage to look their own desire in the face, although something seems to say that it is the real, inborn, and only powerful one they have. Even the desire itself has no real identity, for it is not seated in a real individual, and, as it is suppressed, leaps, so to speak, from one part of the body to the other. It may be that my attempt at an explanation will be thought fanciful, but at least it appears to be true that the various forms of hysteria are one and the same thing. This one thing is what the hysterical patient will not admit is part of her, although it is what is pressing on her. If she were able to ascribe it to herself and criticise it in the way in which she admits trivial matters of another kind, she would be in a measure outside and above her own experiences. The frantic rage of hysterical women at what they say is imposed on them by some strange will, whilst it in reality is their own will, shows that they are just as much under the domination of sexuality as are non-hysterical women, are just as subject to their destiny and incapable of averting it, since they, too, are without any intelligible, free ego.

But it may be asked, with reason, why all women are not hysterical, since all women are liars? This brings us to a necessary inquiry as to the hysterical constitution. If my theory has been on the right lines, it ought to be able to give an answer in accordance with the facts. According to it, the hysterical woman is one who has passively accepted in entirety the masculine and conventional valuations instead of allowing her own mental character its proper play. The woman who is not to be led is the antithesis of the hysterical woman. I must not delay over this point; it really belongs to special female characterology. The hysterical woman is hysterical because she is servile; mentally she is identical with the maidservant. Her opposite (who does not really exist) is the shrewish dame. So that women may be subdivided into the maid who serves, and the woman who commands.

The servant is born and not made, and there are many women in good circumstances who are "born servants," although they never need to put their rightful position to the test! The servant and the mistress are a sort of "complete woman" when considered a "whole."

The consequences of this theory are fully borne out by experience. The Xanthippe is the woman who has the least resemblance to the hysterical type. She vents her spleen (which is really the outcome of unsatisfied sexual desires) on others, whereas the hysterical woman visits hers on herself. The "shrew" detests other women, the "servant" detests herself. The drudge weeps out her woes alone, without really feeling lonely - loneliness is identical with morality, and a condition which implies true duality or manifoldness; the shrew hates to be alone because she must have some one to scold, whilst hysterical women vent their passions on themselves. The shrew lies openly and boldly but without knowing it, because it is her nature to think herself always in the right, and she insults those who contradict her. The servant submits wonderingly to the demands made of her which are so foreign to her nature; the hypocrisy of this pliant acquiescence is apparent in her hysterical attacks when the conflict with her own sexual emotions begins. It is because of this receptivity and susceptibility that hysteria and the hysterical type of woman are so leniently dealt with: it is this type, and not the shrewish type, that will be cited in opposition to my views. (It is the yielding type and not the virago type of woman that men think capable of love. Such a woman's love is only the mental sense of satisfaction aroused by the maleness of some particular man, and, therefore, it is only possible with the hysterical; it has nothing to do with her individual power of loving, and can have nothing to do with it.)

Untruthfulness, organic untruthfulness, characterises both types, and accordingly all women. It is quite wrong to say that women lie. That would imply that they sometimes speak the truth. Sincerity, pro foro interno et externo, is the virtue of all others of which women are absolutely incapable, which is impossible for them!

The point I am urging is that woman is never genuine at any period of her life, not even when she, in hysteria, slavishly accepts the aspect of truth laid on her by another, and apparently speaks in accordance with those demands.

A woman can laugh, cry, blush, or even look wicked at will: the shrew, when she has some object in view; the "maid," when she has to make a decision for herself. Men have not the organic and physiological qualifications for such dissimulation.

If we are able to show that the supposed love of truth in these types of woman is no more than their natural hypocrisy in a mask, it is only to be expected that all the other qualities for which woman has been praised will suffer under analysis. Her modesty, her self-respect, and her religious fervour are loudly acclaimed. Womanly modesty, none the less, is nothing but prudery, i.e,, an extravagant denial and rejection of her natural immodesty. Whenever a woman evinces any trace of what could really be called modesty, hysteria is certainly answerable for it. The woman who is absolutely unhysterical and not to be influenced, i.e, the absolute shrew, will not be ashamed of any reproaches her husband may shower on her, however just; incipient hysteria is present when a woman blushes under her husband's direct censure; but hysteria in its most marked form is present when a woman blushes when she is quite alone: it is only then that she may be said to be fully impregnated with the masculine standard of values.

The women who most nearly approximates to what has been called sexual anaesthesia or frigidity are always hysterical, as Paul Solliers, with whom I entirely agree, discovered. Sexual anaesthesia is merely one of the many hysterical, that is to say, unreal, simulated forms of anaesthesia. Oskar Vogt, in particular (and general observation has confirmed him), proved that such anaesthesia does not involve a real lack of sensation, but is simply due to an inhibition which keeps certain sensations in check, and excludes them from the consciousness.

If the anaesthetised arm of a hypnotised subject is pricked a certain number of times, and the medium is told to say how many times he has been pricked, he is able to do so, although otherwise he would not have perceived them. So also with sexual frigidity; it is an order given by the controlling force of the super-imposed asexual ideas; but this, like all other forms of anaesthesia, can be counteracted by a sufficiently strong "order."

The repulsion to sexuality in general shown by the hysterical woman corresponds in its nature with her insensibility to sexual matters in her own case. Such a repulsion, an intense disinclination for everything sexual, is really present in many women, and this may be urged as an exception to my generalisation as to the universality in woman of the match- making tendency. But women who are made ill by discovering two people in sexual intercourse are always hysterical. In this we have a special justification of the theory which holds match- making to be the true nature of woman, and which looks upon her own sexuality as merely a special case of it. A woman may be made hysterical not only by a sexual suggestion to herself which she outwardly resists whilst inwardly assenting to it, but may be just as much so by the sight of two people in sexual intercourse, for, though she thinks the matter has no value for her, her inborn assent to it forces itself through all outward and artificial barriers, and overcomes the superimposed and incorporated method of thought in which she usually lives. That is to say, she feels herself involved in the sexual union of others.

Something similar takes place in the hysterical "consciousness of guilt," which has already been spoken about. The absolute shrew never feels herself really in the wrong; the woman who is slightly hysterical only feels so in the presence of men; the woman who is thoroughly hysterical feels it in the presence of the particular man who dominates her. One cannot prove the existence of a sense of guilt in woman by the mortifications to which "devotees" and "penitents" subject themselves. It is these extreme cases of self-discipline which make one suspicious. Doing penance proves, in most cases, that the doer has not overcome his fault, that the sense of guilt has not really entered consciousness; it appears really to be much rather an attempt to force repentance from the outside, to make up for not really feeling it.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:14 pm

Part 2 of 2

The difference between the conviction of guilt in hysterical women and in men, and the origin of the self-reproaches of the former, are of some importance. When the hysterical woman realises that she has done or thought something immoral, she tries to rectify it by some code which she seeks to obey and to substitute in her mind in place of the immoral thought. She does not really get rid of the thought which is too deeply rooted in her nature; she does not really face it, try to understand it, and so purge herself of it. She simply, from point to point, case by case, tries to adhere to the moral code without ever transforming herself, reforming her idea. The moral character in the woman is elaborated bit by bit; in the male right conduct comes from moral character. The vow remodels the whole man; the change takes place in the only possible way, from within outwards, and leads to a real morality which is not only a justification by works. The real morality of the woman is merely superficial and is not real morality.

The current opinion that woman is religious is equally erroneous. Female mysticism, when it is anything more than mere superstition, is either thinly veiled sexuality (the identification of the Deity and the lover has been frequently discussed, as, for instance, in Maupassant's "Bel-Ami," or Hauptmann's "Hannele's Himmelfahrt") as in numberless spiritualists and theosophists, or it is a mere passive and unconscious acceptance of man's religious views which are clung to the more firmly because of woman's natural disinclination for them. The lover is readily transformed into a Saviour; very readily (as is well known to be the case with many nuns) the Saviour becomes the lover. All the great women visionaries known to history were hysterical; the most famous, Santa Teresa, was not misnamed "the patron saint of hysteria." At any rate, if woman's religiousness were genuine, and if it proceeded from her own nature, she would have done something great in the religious world; but she never has done anything of any importance. I should like to put shortly what I take to be the difference between the masculine and feminine creeds; man's religion consists in a supreme belief in himself, woman's in a supreme belief in other people.

There is left to consider the self-respect which is often described as being so highly developed in the hysterical. That it is only man's self-respect which has been so thoroughly forced into woman, is clear from its nature and the way it shows itself, as Vogt, who extended and verified experiments first made by Freud, discovered from self-respect under hypnotism. The extraneous masculine will create by its influence a "self- respecting" subject in the hypnotised woman by inducing a limitation of the field of the un-hypnotised state. Apart from suggestion, in the ordinary life of the hysterical it is only the man with whom they are "impregnated" who is respected in them. Any knowledge of human nature which women have comes from their absorption of the right sort of man. In the paroxysms of hysteria this artificial self-respect disappears with the revolt of oppressed nature. . . .

In woman there are not strong passions opposed to the desire for the good and true as is the case with man. The masculine will has more power over woman than over the man himself; it can realise something in women which, in his own case, has to encounter too many obstacles. He himself has to battle with an anti-moral and anti-logical opposition in himself. The masculine will can obtain such power over woman's mind that he makes her, in a sense, clairvoyant, and breaks down her limitations of mentality.

Thus it comes about that woman is more telepathic than man, can appear more innocent, and can accomplish more as a "seer," and it is only when she becomes a medium, i.e., the object, that she realises in herself most easily and surely the masculine will for the good and true. Wala can be made to understand, but not until Dotan subdues her. She meets him half-way, for her one desire is to be conquered.

The subject of hysteria, so far as the purposes of this book are concerned, is now exhausted.

The women who are uniformly quoted as proofs of female morality are always of the hysterical type, and it is the very observance of morality, in doing things according to the moral law as if this moral law were a law of their personality instead of being only an acquired habit, that the unreality, the immorality of this morality is shown.

The hysterical diathesis is an absurd imitation of the masculine mind, a parody of free will which woman parades at the very moment when she is most under a masculine influence.

Woman is not a free agent; she is altogether subject to her desire to be under man's influence, herself and all others: she is under the sway of the phallus, and irretrievably succumbs to her destiny, even if it leads to actively developed sexuality. At the most a woman can reach an indistinct feeling of her unfreedom, a cloudy idea of the possibility of controlling her destiny - manifestly only a flickering spark of the free, intelligible subject, the scanty remains of inherited maleness in her, which, by contrast, gives her even this slight comprehension. It is also impossible for a woman to have a clear idea of her destiny, or of the forces within her: it is only he who is free who can discern fate, because he is not chained by necessity; part of his personality, at least, places him in the position of spectator and a combatant outside his own fate and makes him so far superior to it. One of the most conclusive proofs of human freedom is contained in the fact that man has been able to create the idea of causality. Women consider themselves most free when they are most bound; and they are not troubled by the passions, because they are simply the embodiment of them. It is only a man who can talk of the "dira necessitas" within him; it is only he could have created the idea of destiny, because it is only he who, in addition to the empirical, conditioned existence, possesses a free, intelligible ego.

As I have shown, woman can reach no more than a vague half- consciousness of the fact that she is a conditioned being, and so she is unable to overcome the sexuality that binds her. Hysteria is the only attempt on her part to overcome it, and, as I have shown, it is not a genuine attempt. The hysteria itself is what the hysterical woman tries to resist, and the falsity of this effort against slavery is the measure of its hopelessness. The most notable examples of the sex (I have in mind Hebbel's Judith and Wagner's Kundry) may feel that is because they wish it that servitude is a necessity for them, but this realisation does not give them power to resist it; at the last moment they will kiss the man who ravishes them, and succumb with pleasure to those whom they have been resisting violently. It is as if woman were under a curse. At times she feels the weight of it, but she never flees from it. Her shrieks and ravings are not really genuine, and she succumbs to her fate at the moment when it has seemed most repulsive to her.

After a long analysis, then, it has been found that there is no exception to the complete absence in women of any true, inalienable relation to worth. Even what is covered by such terms as "womanly love," "womanly virtue," "womanly devoutness," "womanly modesty," has failed to invalidate my conclusions. I have maintained my ground in face of the strongest opposition, even including that which comes from woman's hysterical imitations of the male morality.

Woman, the normal receptive woman of whom I am speaking, is impregnated by the man not only physically (and I set down the astonishing mental alteration in women after marriage to a physical phenomenon akin to telegony), but at every age of her life, by man's consciousness and by man's social arrangements. Thus it comes about that although woman lacks all the characters of the male sex, she can assume them so cleverly and so slavishly that it is possible to make mistakes such as the idea of the higher morality of women.

But this astounding receptivity of woman is not isolated, and must be brought into practical and theoretical connection with the other positive and negative characteristics of woman.

What has the match-making instinct in woman to do with her plasticity? What connection is there between her untruthfulness and her sexuality? How does it come about that there is such a strange mixture of all these things in woman?

This brings us to ask the reason why women can assimilate everything. Whence does she derive the falsity which makes it possible for her to prefer to believe only what others have told her, to have only what they (choose to) give her, to be merely what they make her?

In order to give the right answer to these questions we must turn once more, for the last time, from the actual point. It was found that the power of recognition which animals possess, and which is the psychical equivalent of universal organic response to repeated stimuli, was curiously like and unlike human memory; both signify an equally lasting influence of an impression which was limited to a definite period; but memory is differentiated from mere passive recognition by its power of actively reproducing the past.

Later on, it was seen that mere individuation, the characteristic of all organic differentiation, and individuality, man's possession, are different. And finally it was found that it was necessary to distinguish carefully between love, peculiar to man, and the sexual instinct, shared by the animals. The two are allied inasmuch as they are both efforts at immortality.

The desire for worth was referred to as a human character, absent in the animals where there is only a desire for satisfaction. The two are analogous, and yet fundamentally different. Pleasure is craved; worth is what we feel we ought to crave. The two have been confused, with the worst results for psychology and ethics. There has been a similar confusion between personality and persons, between recognition and memory, sexuality and love.

All these antitheses have been continually confused, and, what is even more striking, almost always by men with the same views and theories, and with the same object - that of trying to obliterate the difference between man and the lower animals.

There are other less known distinctions which have been equally neglected. Limited consciousness is an animal trait; the active power of noticing is a purely human one. It is evident that there is something in common in the two facts, but still they are very different. Desire, or impulse, and will are nearly always spoken of as if they were identical. The former is common to all living creatures, but man has, in addition, a will, which is free, and no factor of psychology, because it is the foundation of all psychological experiences. The identification of impulse and will is not solely due to Darwin; it occurred also in Schopenhauer's conception of the will, which was sometimes biological, sometimes purely philosophical.

I may group the two sets of factors as follows:

Common to men and animals, fundamentally organic / Limited to mankind, and in particular to the males.

Individuation / Individuality
Recognition / Memory
Pleasure / Sense of worth or value
Sexual desire / Love
Limitation of the field of consciousness / Faculty of "taking notice"
Impulse / Will


The series shows that man possesses not only each character which is found in all living things, but also an analogous and higher character peculiar to himself. The old tendency at once to identify the two series and to contrast them seems to show the existence of something binding together the two series, and at the same time separating them. One may recall in this connection the Buddhistic conception of there being in man a superstructure added to the characters of lower existences. It is as if man possessed all the properties of the beasts, with, in each case, some special quality added. What is this that has been added? How far does it resemble, and in what respects does it differ, from the more primitive set?

The terms in the left-hand row are fundamental characteristics of all animal and vegetable life. All such life is individual life, not the life of undivided masses; it manifests itself as the impulse to satisfy needs, as sexual impulse for the purpose of reproduction. Individuality, memory, will, love, are those qualities of a second life, which, although related to organic life to a certain extent, are totally different from it.

This brings us face to face with the religious idea of the eternal, higher, new life, and especially with the Christian form of it.

As well as a share in organic life, man shares another life, the life of the New Dispensation. Just as all earthly life is sustained by earthly food, this other life requires spiritual sustenance. The birth and death of the former have their counterparts in the latter - the moral rebirth of man, the "regeneration" - and the end: the final loss of the soul through error or crime. The one is determined from without by the bonds of natural causation; the other is ruled by the moral imperative from within. The one is limited and confined to a definite purpose; the other is unlimited, eternal and moral. The characters which are in the left row are common to all forms of lower life; those in the right-hand column are the corresponding presages of eternal life, manifestations of a higher existence in which man, and only man, has a share. The perpetual intermingling and the fresh complications which arise between the higher and lower natures are the making of all history of the human mind; this is the plot of the history of the universe.

It is possible that some may perceive in this second life something which in man might have been derived from the other lower characters; such a possibility dismiss at once.

A clearer grasp of this sensuous, impressionable lower life will make it clear that, as I have explained in earlier chapters, the case is reversed; the lower life is merely a projection of the higher on the world of the senses, a reflection of it in the sphere of necessity, as a degradation of it, or its Fall. And the great problem is how the eternal, lofty idea came to be bound with earth. This problem is the guilt of the world. My investigation is now on the threshold of what cannot be investigated; of a problem that so far no one has dared to answer, and that never will be answered by any human being. It is the riddle of the universe and of life; the binding of the unlimited in the bonds of space, of the eternal in time, of the spirit in matter. It is the relation of freedom to necessity, of something to nothing, of God to the devil. The dualism of the world is beyond comprehension; it is the plot of the story of man's Fall, primitive riddle. It is the binding of eternal life in a perishable being, of the innocent in the guilty.

But it is evident that neither I nor any other man can understand this. I can understand sin only when I cease to commit it, and the moment I understand it I cease to commit it. So also I can never comprehend life while I am still alive. There is no moment of my life when I am not bound down by this sham existence, and it must be impossible for me to understand the bond until I am free of it. While I understand a thing I am already outside it; I cannot comprehend my sinfulness while I am still sinful.

As the absolute female has no trace of individuality and will, no sense of worth or of love, she can have no part in the higher, transcendental life. The intelligible, hyper-empirical existence of the male transcends matter, space, and time. He is certainly mortal, but he is immortal as well. And so he has the power to choose between the two, between the life which is lost with death and the life to which death is only a stepping- stone. The deepest will of man is towards this perfect, timeless existence; he is compact of the desire for immortality. That the woman has no craving for perpetual life is too apparent; there is nothing in her of that eternal which man tries to interpose and must interpose between his real self and his projected, empirical self. Some sort of relation to the idea of supreme value, to the idea of the absolute, that perfect freedom which he has not yet attained, because he is bound by necessity, but which he can attain because mind is superior to matter; such a relation to the purpose of things generally, or to the divine, every man has. And although his life on earth is accompanied by separation and detachment from the absolute, his mind is always longing to be free from the taint of original sin.

Just as the love of his parents was not pure in purpose, but sought more or less a physical embodiment, the son, who is the outcome of that love, will possess his share of mortal life as well as of eternal: we are horrified at the thought of death, we fight against it, cling to this mortal life, and prove from that that we were anxious to be born as we were born, and that we still desire to be born of this world.

But since every male has a relation to the idea of the highest value, and would be incomplete without it, no male is really ever happy. It is only women who are happy. No man is happy, because he has a relation to freedom, and yet during his earthly life he is always bound in some way. None but a perfectly passive being, such as the absolute female, or a universally active being, like the divine, can be happy. Happiness is the sense of perfect consummation, and this feeling a man can never have; but there are women who fancy themselves perfect. The male always has problems behind him and efforts before him: all problems originate in the past; the future is the sphere for efforts. Time has no objective, no meaning, for woman; no woman questions herself as to the reason of her existence; and yet the sole purpose of time is to give expression to the fact that this life can and must mean something.

Happiness for the male! That would imply wholly independent activity, complete freedom; he is always bound, although not with the heaviest bonds, and his sense of guilt increases the further he is removed from the idea of freedom.

Mortal life is a calamity, and must remain so whilst mankind is a passive victim of sensation; so long as he remains not form, but merely the matter on which form is impressed. Every man, however, has some glimmer of higher things; the genius most certainly and most directly. This trace of light, however, does not come from his perceptions; so far as he is ruled by these, man is merely a passive victim of surrounding things. His spontaneity, his freedom, come from his power of judging as to values, and his highest approach to absolute spontaneity and freedom comes from love and from artistic or philosophical creation. Through these he obtains some faint sense of what happiness might be.

Woman can really never be quite unhappy, for happiness is an empty word for her, a word created by unhappy men. Women never mind letting others see their unhappiness, as it is not real; behind it there lies no consciousness of guilt, no sense of the sin of the world.

The last and absolute proof of the thoroughly negative character of woman's life, of her complete want of a higher existence, is derived from the way in which women commit suicide.

Such suicides are accompanied practically always by thoughts of other people, what they will think, how they will mourn over them, how grieved - or angry - they will be. Every woman is convinced that her unhappiness is undeserved at the time she kills herself; she pities herself exceedingly with the sort of self-compassion which is only a "weeping with others when they weep."

How is it possible for a woman to look upon her unhappiness as personal when she possesses no idea of a destiny? The most appallingly decisive proof of the emptiness and nullity of women is that they never once succeed in knowing the problem of their own lives, and death leaves them ignorant of it, because they are unable to realize the higher life of personality.

I am now ready to answer the question which I put forward as the chief object of this portion of my book, the question as to the significance of the male and female in the universe. Women have no existence and no essence; they are not, they are nothing. Mankind occurs as male or female, as something or nothing. Woman has no share in ontological reality, no relation to the thing-in-itself, which, in the deepest interpretation, is the absolute, is God. Man in his highest form, the genius, has such a relation, and for him the absolute is either the conception of the highest worth of existence, in which case he is a philosopher; or it is the wonderful fairyland of dreams, the kingdom of absolute beauty, and then he is an artist. But both views mean the same. Woman has no relation to the idea, she neither affirms nor denies it; she is neither moral nor antimoral; mathematically speaking, she has no sign; she is purposeless, neither good nor bad, neither angel nor devil, never egoistical (and therefore has often been said to be altruistic); she is as nonmoral as she is nonlogical. But all existence is moral and logical existence. So woman has no existence.

Woman is untruthful. An animal has just as little metaphysical reality as the actual woman, but it cannot speak, and consequently it does not lie. In order to speak the truth one must be something; truth is dependent on an existence, and only that can have a relation to an existence which is in itself something. Man desires truth all the time; that is to say, he all along desires only to be something. The cognition-impulse is in the end identical with the desire for immortality. Anyone who objects to a statement without ever having realized it; anyone who gives outward acquiescence without the inner affirmation, such persons, like woman, have no real existence and must of necessity lie. So that woman always lies, even if, objectively, she speaks the truth.

Woman is the great emissary of pairing. The living units of the lower forms of life are individuals, organisms; the living units of the higher forms of life are individualities, souls, monads, "meta-organisms," a term which Hellenbach uses and which is not without point.

Each monad, however, is differentiated from every other monad, and is as distinct from it as only two things can be. Monads have no windows, but, instead, have the universe in themselves. Man as monad, as a potential or actual individuality, that is, as having genius, has in addition differentiation and distinction, individuation and discrimination; the simple undifferentiated unit is exclusively female. Each monad creates for itself a detached entity, a whole; but it looks upon every other ego as a perfect totality also, and never intrudes upon it. Man has limits, and accepts them and desires them; woman, who does not recognise her own entity, is not in a position to regard or perceive the privacy of those around her, and neither respects, nor honours, nor leaves it alone: as there is no such thing as oneness for her there can be no plurality, only an indistinct state of fusion with others. Because there is no "I" in woman she cannot grasp the "thou"; according to her perception the I and thou are just a pair, an undifferentiated one; this makes it possible for woman to bring people together, to match-make. The object of her love is that of her sympathy - the community, the blending of everything. (All individuality is an enemy of the community, and is seen most markedly in men of genius.)

Woman has no limits to her ego which could be broken through, and which she would have to guard.

The chief difference between man's and woman's friendship is referable to this fact. Man's friendship is an attempt to see eye to eye with those who individually and collectively are striving after the same idea; woman's friendship is a combination for the purpose of matchmaking. It is the only kind of intimate and unreserved intercourse possible between women, when they are not merely anxious to meet each other for the purpose of gossiping or discussing every day affairs. (Men's friendships avoid breaking down their friends' personal reserve. Women expect intimacy from their friends.)

If, for instance, one of two girls or women is much prettier than the other, the plainer of the two experiences a certain sexual satisfaction at the admiration which the other receives. The principal condition of all friendship between women is the exclusion of rivalry; every woman compares herself physically with every woman she gets to know. In cases where one is more beautiful than the other, the plainer of the two will idolise the other, because, though neither of them is in the least conscious of it, the next best thing to her own sexual satisfaction for the one is the success of the other; it is always the same; woman participates in every sexual union. The completely impersonal existence of women, as well as the super- individual nature of their sexuality, clearly shows match-making to be the fundamental trait of their beings.

The least that even the ugliest woman demands, and from which she derives a certain amount of pleasure, is that any one of her sex should be admired and desired.

It follows from the absorbing and absorbable nature of woman's life that women can never feel really jealous. However ignoble jealousy and the spirit of revenge may be, they both contain an element of greatness, of which women, whether for good or evil, are incapable. In jealousy there lies a despairing claim to an assumed right, and the idea of justice is out of woman's reach. But that is not the chief reason why a woman can never be really jealous of any man. If a man, even if he were the man she was madly in love with, were sitting in the next room making love to another woman, the thoughts that would be aroused in her breast would be so sexually exciting that they would leave no room for jealousy. To a man, such a scene, if he knew of it, would be absolutely repulsive, and it would be nauseous to him to be near it; woman would feverishly follow each detail, or she would become hysterical if it dawned on her what she was doing.

A man is never really affected by the idea of the pairing of others: he is outside and above any such circumstance which has no meaning for him; a woman, however, would be scarcely responsible for her interest in the process, she would be in a state of feverish excitement and as if spellbound by the thought of her proximity to it.

A man's interest in his fellow men, who are problems for him, may extend to their sexual affairs; but the curiosity which is specially for these things is peculiar to woman, whether with regard to men or women. It is the love affairs of a man which, from first to last, interest women; and a man is only intellectually mysterious and charming to a woman so long as she is not clear as to these.

From all this it is again manifest that femaleness and match- making are identical; even a superficial study of the case would have resulted in the same conclusions. But I had a much wider purpose, and I hope I have clearly shown the connection between woman positive as match-maker, and woman negative as utterly lacking in the higher life. Woman has but one idea, an idea she cannot be conscious of, as it is her sole idea, and that is absolutely opposed to the spiritual idea. Whether as a mother seeking reputable matrimony, or the Bacchante of the Venusberg, whether she wishes to be the foundress of a family, or is content to be lost in the maze of pleasure-seekers, she always is in relation to the general idea of the race as a whole of which she is an inseparable part, and she follows the instinct which most of all makes for community.

She, as the missionary of union, must be a creature without limits or individuality. I have prolonged this side of my investigation because its important result has been omitted from all earlier characterology.

At this stage it well may be asked if women are really to be considered human beings at all, or if my theory does not unite them with plants and animals? For, according to the theory, women, just as little as plants and animals, have any real existence, any relation to the intelligible whole. Man alone is a microcosm, a mirror of the universe.

In Ibsen's "Little Eyolf" there is a beautiful and apposite passage.

Rita: After all, we are only human beings.

Allmers: But we have some kinship with the sky and the sea Rita.

Rita. You, perhaps; not me.

Woman, according to the poet, according to Buddha, and in my interpretation, has no relation to the all, to the world whole, to God. Is she then human, or an animal, or a plant?

Anatomists will find the question ridiculous, and will at once dismiss the philosophy which could leap up to such a possibility. For them woman is the female of Homo sapiens, differentiated from all other living beings, and occupying the same position with regard to the human male that the females of other species occupy with regard to their males. And he will not allow the philosopher to say, "What has the anatomist to do with me? Let him mind his own business."

As a matter of fact, women are sisters of the flowers, and are in close relationship with the animals. Many of their sexual perversities and affections for animals (Pasiph,,e myth and Leda myth) indicate this. But they are human beings. Even the absolute woman, whom we think of as without any trace of intelligible ego, is still the complement of man. And there is no doubt that the fact of the special sexual and erotic completion of the human male by the human female, even if it is not the moral phenomenon which advocates of marriage would have us believe, is still of tremendous importance to the woman problem. Animals are mere individuals; women are persons, although they are not personalities.

An appearance of discriminative power, though not the reality, language, though not conversation, memory, though it has no continuity or unity of consciousness - must all be granted to them.

They possess counterfeits of everything masculine, and thus are subject to those transformations which the defenders of womanliness are so fond of quoting. The result of this is a sort of amphi-sexuality of many ideas (honour, shame, love, imagination, fear, sensibility, and so on), which have both a masculine and feminine significance.

There now remains to discuss the real meaning of the contrast between the sexes.

The parts played by the male and female principles in the animal and vegetable kingdoms are not now under consideration; we are dealing solely with humanity.

That such principles of maleness and femaleness must be accepted as theoretical conceptions, and not as metaphysical ideas, was the point of this investigation from the beginning. The whole object of the book has been to settle the question, in man at least, of the really important differences between man and woman, quite apart from the mere physiological-sexual- differentiation. Furthermore, the view which sees nothing more in the fact of the dualism of the sexes than an arrangement for physiological division of labour - an idea for which, I believe, the zoologist, Milne-Edwards, is responsible - appears, according to this work, quite untenable; and it is useless to waste time discussing such a superficial and intellectually complacent view.

Darwinism, indeed, is responsible for making popular the view that sexually differentiated organisms have been derived from earlier stages in which there was no sexual dimorphism; but long before Darwin, Gustav Theodor Fechner had already shown that the sexes could not be supposed to have arisen from an undifferentiated stage by any principle such as division of labour, adaption to the struggle for existence, and so forth.

The ideas "man" and "woman" cannot be investigated separately; their significance can be found out only by placing them side by side and contrasting them. The key to their natures must be found in their relations to each other. In attempting to discover the nature of erotics I went a little way into this subject. The relation of man to woman is simply that of subject to object. Woman seeks her consummation as the object. She is the plaything of husband or child, and, however we may try to hide it, she is anxious to be nothing but such a chattel.

No one misunderstands so thoroughly what a woman wants as he who tries to find out what is passing within her, endeavouring to share her feelings and hopes, her experiences and her real nature.

Woman does not wish to be treated as an active agent; she wants to remain always and throughout - this is just her womanhood - purely passive, to feel herself under another's will. She demands only to desired physically, to be taken possession of, like a new property.

Just as mere sensation only attains reality when it is apprehended, ie, when it becomes objective, so a woman is brought to a sense of her existence only by her husband or children - by these as subjects to whom she is the object - so obtaining the gift of an existence.

The contrast between the subject and the object in the theory of knowledge corresponds ontologically to the contrast between form and matter. It is no more than a translation of this distinction from the theory of experience to metaphysics. Matter, which in itself is absolutely unindividualised and so can assume any form, of itself has no definite and lasting qualities, and has as little essence as mere perception, the matter of experience, has in itself any existence. If the Platonic conception is followed out, it will be apparent that that great thinker asserted to be nothing what the ordinary Philistine regards as the highest form of reality. According to Plato, the negation of existence is no other than matter. Form is the only real existence. Aristotle carried the Platonic conception into the regions of biology. For Plato form is the parent and creator of all reality. For Aristotle, in the sexual process the male principle is the active, formative agent, the female principle the passive matter on which the form is impressed. In my view, the significance of woman in humanity is explained by the Platonic and Aristotelian conception. Woman is the material on which man acts. Man as the microcosm is compounded of the lower and higher life. Woman is matter, is nothing. This knowledge gives us the keystone to our structure, and it makes everything clear that was indistinct, it gives things a coherent form. Woman's sexual part depends on contact; it is the absorbing and not the liberating impulse. It coincides with this, that the keenest sense woman has, and the only one she has more highly developed than man, is the sense of touch. The eye and the ear lead to the unlimited and give glimpses of infinity; the sense of touch necessitates physical limitations to our own actions: one is affected by what one feels; it is the eminently sordid sense, and suited to the physical requirements of an earth-bound being.

Man is form, woman is matter: if that is so it must find expression in the relations between their respective psychic experiences.

The summing up of the connected nature of man's mental life, as opposed to the inarticulate and chaotic condition of woman's, illustrates the above antithesis of form and matter.

Matter needs to be formed: and thus woman demands that man should clear her confusion of thought, give meaning to her henid ideas. Women are matter, which can assume any shape. Those experiments which ascribe to girls a better memory for learning by rote than boys are explained in this way: they are due to the nullity and inanity of women, who can be saturated with anything and everything, whilst man only retains what has an interest for him, forgetting all else.

This accounts for what has been called woman's submissiveness, the way she is influenced by the opinions of others, her suggestibility, the way in which man moulds her formless nature. Woman is nothing; therefore, and only, therefore, she can become everything, whilst man can only remain what he is. A man can make what he likes of a woman: the most a woman can do is to help a man to achieve what he wants.

A man's real nature is never altered by education: woman, on the other hand, by external influences, can be taught to suppress her most characteristic self, the real value she sets on sexuality.

Woman can appear everything and deny everything, but in reality she is never anything.

Women have neither this nor that characteristic; their peculiarity consists in having no characteristics at all; the complexity and terrible mystery about women come to this; it is this which makes them above and beyond man's understanding - man, who always wants to get to the heart of things.

It may be said, even by those who may wish to agree with the foregoing arguments, that they have not indicated what man really is. Has he any special male characteristics, like match- making and want of character in women? Is there a definite idea of what man is, as there is of woman, and can this idea be similarly formulated?

Here is the answer: The idea of maleness consists in the fact of an individuality, of an essential monad, and is covered by it. Each monad, however, is as different as possible from every other monad, and therefore cannot be classified in one comprehensive idea common to many other monads. Man is the microcosm; he contains all kinds of possibilities. This must not be confused with the universal susceptibility of woman who becomes all without being anything, whilst man is all, as much or as little, according to his gifts, as he will. Man contains woman, for he contains matter, and he can allow this part of his nature to develop itself, ie, to thrive and enervate him; or he can recognise and fight against it - so that he, and he alone, can get at the truth about woman. But woman cannot develop except through man.

The meaning of man and woman is first arrived at when we examine their mutual sexual and erotic relations. Woman's deepest desire is to be formed by man, and so to receive her being. Woman desires that man should impart opinions to her quite different to those she held before, she is content to let herself be turned by him from what she had till then thought right. She wishes to be taken to pieces as a whole, so that he may build her up again.

Woman is first created by man's will - he dominates her and changes her whole being (hypnotism). Here is the explanation of the relation of the psychical to the physical in man and woman. Man assumes a reciprocal action of body and mind, in the sense rather that the dominant mind creates the body, than that the mind merely projects itself on phenomena, whilst the woman accepts both mental and psychical phenomena empirically. None the less, even in the woman there is some reciprocal action. However, whilst in the man, as Schopenhauer truly taught, the human being is his own creation, his own will makes and re-makes the body, the woman is bodily influenced and changed by an alien will (suggestion).

Man not only forms himself, but woman also - a far easier matter. The myths of the book of Genesis and other cosmogonies, which teach that woman was created out of man, are nearer the truth than the biological theories of descent, according to which males have been evolved from females.

We have now to come to the question left open in Chapter IX., as to how woman, who is herself without soul or will, is yet able to realise to what extent a man may be endowed with them; and we may now endeavour to answer it. Of this one must be certain, that what woman notices, that for which she has a sense, is not the special nature of man, but only the general fact and possibly the grade of his maleness. It is quite erroneous to suppose that woman has an innate capacity to understand the individuality of a man. The lover, who is so easily fooled by the unconscious simulation of a deeper comprehension on the part of his sweetheart, may believe that he understands himself through a girl; but those who are less easily satisfied cannot help seeing that women only possess a sense of the fact not of the individuality of the soul, only for the formal general fact, not for the differentiation of the personality. In order to perceive and apperceive the special form, matter must not itself be formless; woman's relation to man, however, is nothing but that of matter to form, and her comprehension of him nothing but willingness to be as much formed as possible by him; the instinct of those without existence for existence. Furthermore, this "comprehension" is not theoretical, it is not sympathetic, it is only a desire to be sympathetic; it is importunate and egoistical. Woman has no relation to man and no sense of man, but only for maleness; and if she is to be considered as more sexual than man, this greater claim is nothing but the intense desire for the fullest and most definite formation, it is the demand for the greatest possible quantity of existence.

And, finally, match-making is nothing else than this. The sexuality of women is super-individual, because they are not limited, formed, individualised entities, in the higher sense of the word.

The supremest moment in a woman's life, when her original nature, her natural desire manifests itself, is that in which her own sexual union takes place. She embraces the man passionately and presses him to her; it is the greatest joy of passivity, stronger even than the contented feeling of a hypnotised person, the desire of matter which has just been formed, and wishes to keep that form for ever. That is why a woman is so grateful to her possessor, even if the gratitude is limited to the moment, as in the case of prostitutes with no memory, or, if it lasts longer, as in the case of more highly differentiated women.

This endless striving of the poor to attach themselves to riches, the altogether formless and therefore super-individual striving of the inarticulate to obtain form by contact, to keep it indefinitely and so gain an existence, is the deepest motive in pairing.

Pairing is only possible because woman is not a monad, and has no sense of individuality; it is the endless striving of nothing to be something.

It is thus that the duality of man and woman has gradually developed into complete dualism, to the dualism of the higher and lower lives, of subject and object, of form and matter, something and nothing. All metaphysical, all transcendental existence is logical and moral existence; woman is non-logical and non-moral. She has no dislike for what is logical and moral, she is not anti-logical, she is not anti-moral. She is not the negation, she is, rather, nothing. She is neither the affirmation nor the denial. A man has in himself the possibility of being the absolute something or the absolute nothing, and therefore his actions are directed towards the one or the other; woman does not sin, for she herself is the sin which is a possibility in man.

The abstract male is the image of God, the absolute something; the female, and the female element in the male, is the symbol of nothing; that is the significance of the woman in the universe, and in this way male and female complete and condition one another. Woman has a meaning and a function in the universe as the opposite of man; and as the human male surpasses the animal male, so the human female surpasses the female of zoology. It is not that limited existence and limited negation (as in the animal kingdom) are at war in humanity; what there stand in opposition are unlimited existence and unlimited negation. And so male and female make up humanity.

The meaning of woman is to be meaningless. She represents negation, the opposite pole from the Godhead, the other possibility of humanity. And so nothing is so despicable as a man become female, and such a person will be regarded as the supreme criminal even by himself. And so also is to be explained the deepest fear of man; the fear of the woman, which is the fear of unconsciousness, the alluring abyss of annihilation.

An old woman manifests once for all what woman really is. The beauty of woman, as may be experimentally proved, is only created by love of a man; a woman becomes more beautiful when a man loves her because she is passively responding to the will which is in her lover; however deep this may sound, it is only a matter of everyday experience.

All the qualities of woman depend on her non-existence, on her want of character; because she has no true, permanent, but only a moral life, in her character as the advocate of pairing she furthers the sexual part of life, and is fundamentally transformed by and susceptible to the man who has a physical influence over her.

Thus the three fundamental characters of woman with which this chapter has dealt come together in the conception of her as the non-existent. Her instability and untruthfulness are only negative deductions from the premiss of her nonexistence. Her only positive character, the conception of her as the pairing agent, comes from it by a simple process of analysis. The nature of woman is no more than pairing, no more than super- individual sexuality.

If we turn to the table of the two kinds of life given earlier in this chapter, it will be apparent that every inclination from the higher to the lower is a crime against oneself. Immorality is the will towards negation, the craving to change the formed into the formless, the wish for destruction. And from this comes the intimate relation between femaleness and crime. There is a close relation between the immoral and the non-moral. It is only when man accepts his own sexuality, denies the absolute in him, turns to the lower, that he gives woman existence. The acceptance of the Phallus is immoral. It has always been thought of as hateful; it has been the image of Satan, and Dante made it the central pillar of hell.

Thus comes about the domination of the male sexuality over the female. It is only when man is sexual that woman has existence and meaning.

Her existence is bound up with the Phallus, and so that is her supreme lord and welcome master.

Sex, in the form of man, is woman's fate; the Don Juan is the only type of man who has complete power over her.

The curse, which was said to be heavy on woman, is the evil will of man: nothing is only a tool in the hand of the will for nothing. The early Fathers expressed it pathetically when they called woman the handmaid of the devil. For matter in itself is nothing, it can only obtain existence through form. The fall of "form" is the corruption that takes place when form endeavours to relapse into the formless. When man became sexual he formed woman. That woman is at all has happened simply because man has accepted his sexuality. Woman is merely the result of this affirmation; she is sexuality itself. Woman's existence is dependent on man; when man, as man, in contradistinction to woman, is sexual, he is giving woman form, calling her into existence. Therefore woman's one object must be to keep man sexual. She desires man as Phallus, and for this she is the advocate of pairing. She is incapable of making use of any creature except as a means to an end, the end being pairing; and she has but one purpose, that of continuing the guilt of man, for she would disappear the moment man had overcome his sexuality.

Man created woman, and will always create her afresh, as long as he is sexual. Just as he gives woman consciousness, so he gives her existence. Woman is the sin of man.

He tries to pay the debt by love. Here we have the explanation of what seemed like an obscure myth at the end of the previous chapter. Now we see what was hidden in it: that woman is nothing before man's fall, nor without it; that he does not rob her of anything she had before. The crime man has committed in creating woman, and still commits in assenting to her purpose, he excuses to woman by his eroticism.

Whence otherwise would come the generosity of love, which can never be satisfied by giving? How is it that love is so anxious to endow woman with a soul, and not any other creature? Whence comes it that a child cannot love until love coincides with sexuality, the stage of puberty, with the repeated forming of woman, with the renewing of sin? Woman is nothing but man's expression and projection of his own sexuality. Every man creates himself a woman, in which he embodies himself and his own guilt.

But woman is not herself guilty; she is made so by the guilt of others, and everything for which woman is blamed should be laid at man's door.

Love strives to cover guilt, instead of conquering it; it elevates woman instead of nullifying her. The "something" folds the "nothing" in its arms, and thinks thus to free the universe of negation and drown all objections; whereas the nothing would only disappear if the something put it away.

Since man's hatred for woman is not conscious hatred of his own sexuality, his love is his most intense effort to save woman as woman, instead of desiring to nullify her in himself. And the consciousness of guilt comes from the fact that the object of guilt is coveted instead of being annihilated.

Woman alone, then, is guilt; and is so through man's fault. And if femaleness signifies pairing, it is only because all guilt endeavours to increase its circle. What woman, always unconsciously, accomplishes, she does because she cannot help it; it is her reason for being, her whole nature. She is only a part of man, his other, ineradicable, his lower part. So matter appears to be as inexplicable a riddle as form; woman as unending as man, negation as eternal as existence; but this eternity is only the eternity of guilt.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:15 pm

Judaism

It would not be surprising if to many it should seem from the foregoing arguments that "men" have come out of them too well, and, as a collective body, have been placed on an exaggeratedly lofty pedestal. The conclusion drawn from these arguments, however surprised every Philistine and young simpleton would be to learn that in himself he comprises the whole world, cannot be opposed and confuted by cheap reasoning; yet the treatment of the male sex must not simply be considered too indulgent, or due to a direct tendency to omit all the repulsive and small side of manhood in order to favourably represent its best points.

The accusation would be unjustified. It does not enter the author's mind to idealise man in order more easily to lower the estimation of woman. So much narrowness and so much coarseness often thrive beneath the empirical representation of manhood that it is a question of the better possibilities lying in every man, neglected by him or perceived either with painful clearness or dull animosity; possibilities which as such in woman neither actually nor meditatively ever come to any account. And here the author cannot in any wise really rely on the dissimilarities between men, however little he may impugn their importance. It is, therefore, a question of establishing what woman is not, and truly in her there is infinitely much wanting which is never quite missing even in the most mediocre and plebeian of men. That which is the positive attribute of the woman, in so far as a positive can be spoken of in regard to such a being, will constantly be found also in many men. There are, as has already often been demonstrated, men who have become women or have remained women; but there is no woman who has surpassed certain circumscribed, not particularly elevated moral and intellectual limits. And, therefore, I must again assert that the woman of the highest standard is immeasurably beneath the man of lowest standard. . . .

The Jewish race has been chosen by me as a subject of discussion, because, as will be shown, it presents the gravest and most formidable difficulties for my views. . . .

I must, however, make clear what I mean by Judaism; I mean neither a race nor a people nor a recognised creed. I think of it as a tendency of the mind, as a psychological constitution which is a possibility for all mankind, but which has become actual in the most conspicuous fashion only amongst the Jews. Antisemitism itself will confirm my point of view. . . .

We hate only qualities to which we approximate, but which we realise first in other persons.

Thus the fact is explained that the bitterest Antisemites are to be found amongst the Jews themselves. . . .

I do not refer to a nation or to a race, to a creed or to a scripture. When I speak of the Jew I mean neither an individual nor the whole body, but mankind in general, in so far as it has a share in the platonic idea of Judaism. My purpose is to analyse this idea.

That these researches should be included in a work devoted to the characterology of the sexes may seem an undue extension of my subject. But some reflection will lead to the surprising result that Judaism is saturated with femininity, with precisely those qualities the essence of which I have shown to be in the strongest opposition to the male nature. . . .

The true conception of the State is foreign to the Jew, because he, like the woman, is wanting in personality; his failure to grasp the idea of true society is due to his lack of free intelligible ego. Like women, Jews tend to adhere together, but they do not associate as free independent individuals mutually respecting each other's individuality.

As there is no real dignity in women, so what is meant by the word "gentleman" does not exist amongst the Jews. The genuine Jew fails in this innate good breeding by which alone individuals honour their own individuality and respect that of others. There is no Jewish nobility, and this is the more surprising as Jewish pedigrees can be traced back for thousands of years.


The familiar Jewish arrogance has a similar explanation; it springs from want of true knowledge of himself and the consequent overpowering need he feels to enhance his own personality by depreciating that of his fellow-creatures. . . .

The faults of the Jewish race have often been attributed to the repression of that race by Aryans, and many Christians are still disposed to blame themselves in this respect. But the self- reproach is not justified. Outward circumstances do not mould a race in one direction, unless there is in the race the innate tendency to respond to the moulding forces; the total result comes at least as much from a natural disposition as from the modifying circumstances. . . .

. . . The Jew is not really anti-moral. But, none the less, he does not represent the highest ethical type. He is rather non- moral, neither good nor bad. . . .

So also in the case of the woman; it is easier for her defenders to point to the infrequency of her commission of serious crimes to prove her intrinsic morality. There is no female devil, and no female angel; only love, with its blind aversion from actuality, sees in woman a heavenly nature, and only hate sees in her a prodigy of wickedness. Greatness is absent from the nature of the woman and the Jew, the greatness of morality, or the greatness of evil. . . . In the Jew and the woman, good and evil are not distinct from one another.

Jews, then, do not live as free, self-governing individuals, choosing between virtue and vice in the Aryan fashion. They are a mere collection of similar individuals each cast in the same mould, the whole forming as it were a continuous plasmodium. The Antisemite has often thought of this as a defensive and aggressive union, and has formulated the conception of a Jewish "solidarity." There is deep confusion here. When some accusation is made against some unknown member of the Jewish race, all Jews secretly take the part of the accused, and wish, hope for, and seek to establish his innocence. But it must not be thought that they are interesting themselves more in the fate of the individual Jew than they would do in the case of an individual Christian. It is the menace to Judaism in general, the fear that the shameful shadow may do harm to Judaism as a whole, which is the origin of the apparent feeling of sympathy. In the same way, women are delighted when a member of their sex is depreciated, and will themselves assist, until the proceeding seems to throw a disadvantageous light over the sex in general, so frightening men from marriage. The race or sex alone is defended, not the individual.

It would be easy to understand why the family (in its biological not its legal sense) plays a larger role amongst the Jews than amongst any other people; the English, who in certain ways are akin to the Jews, coming next. The family, in this biological sense, is feminine and maternal in its origin, and has no relation to the State or to society. The fusion, the continuity of the members of the family, reaches its highest point amongst the Jews. In the Indo-Germanic races, especially in the case of the more gifted, but also in quite ordinary individuals, there is never complete harmony between father and son; consciously, or unconsciously, there is always in the mind of the son a certain feeling of impatience against the man who, unasked, brought him into the world, gave him a name, and determined his limitations in this earthly life. It is only amongst the Jews that the son feels deeply rooted in the family and is fully at one with his father. It scarcely ever happens amongst Christians that father and son are really friends. Amongst Christians even the daughters stand a little further apart from the family circle than happens with Jewish girls, and more frequently take up some calling which isolates them and gives them independent interests.

We reach at this point a fact in relation to the argument of the last chapter. I showed there that the essential element in the pairing instinct was an indistinct sense of individuality and of the limits between individuals. Men who are match-makers have always a Jewish element in them. The Jew is always more absorbed by sexual matters than the Aryan, although he is notably less potent sexually and less liable to be enmeshed in a great passion. The Jews are habitual match-makers, and in no race does it so often happen that marriages for love are so rare. The organic disposition of the Jews towards match-making is associated with their racial failure to comprehend asceticism. It is interesting to note that the Jewish Rabbis have always been addicted to speculations as to the begetting of children and have a rich tradition on the subject, a natural result in the case of the people who invented the phrase as to the duty of "multiplying and replenishing the earth."

The pairing instinct is the great remover of the limits between individuals; and the Jew par excellence, is the breaker down of such limits. He is at the opposite pole from aristocrats, with whom the preservation of the limits between individuals is the leading idea. The Jew is an inborn communist. The Jew's careless manners in society and his want of social tact turn on this quality, for the reserves of social intercourse are simply barriers to protect individuality.

I desire at this point again to lay stress on the fact, although it should be self-evident, that, in spite of my low estimate of the Jew, nothing could be further from my intention than to lend the faintest support to any practical or theoretical persecution of Jews. I am dealing with Judaism, in the platonic sense, as an idea. There is no more an absolute Jew than an absolute Christian. I am not speaking against the individual, whom, indeed, if that had been so, I should have wounded grossly and unnecessarily. Watchwords, such as "Buy only from Christians," have in reality a Jewish taint; they have a meaning only for those who regard the race and not the individual. I have no wish to boycott the Jew, or by any such immoral means to attempt to solve the Jewish question. Nor will Zionism solve that question . . . before Zionism is possible, the Jew must first conquer Judaism.

To defeat Judaism, the Jew must first understand himself and war against himself. So far, the Jew has reached no further than to make and enjoy jokes against his own peculiarities. Unconsciously he respects the Aryan more than himself. Only steady resolution, united to the highest self-respect, can free the Jew from Jewishness. This resolution, be it ever so strong, ever so honourable, can only be understood and carried out by the individual, not by the group. Therefore the Jewish question can only be solved individually; every single Jew must try to solve it in his proper person. . . .

The Aryan of good social standing always feels the need to respect the Jew; his Antisemitism being no joy, no amusement to him. Therefore he is displeased when Jews make revelations about Jews, and he who does so may expect as few thanks from that quarter as from over-sensitive Judaism itself. . . .

To reach so important and useful a result as what Jewishness and Judaism really are, would be to solve one of the most difficult problems; Judaism is a much deeper riddle than the many Antisemites believe, and in very truth a certain darkness will always enshroud it. Even the parallel with woman will soon fail us, though now and then it may help us further.

. . . According to the definition of Schopenhauer, the word "God" indicates a man who made the world. This certainly is a true likeness of the God of the Jew. Of the divine in man, the true Jew knows nothing; for what Christ and Plato, Eckhard and Paul, Goethe and Kant, the priests of the Vedas, and Fechner, and every Aryan have meant by the divine, for what the saying, "I am with you always even to the end of the world" - for the meaning of all these the Jew remains without understanding. For the God in man is the human soul, and the absolute Jew is devoid of a soul.

It is inevitable, then, that we should find no trace of belief in immortality in the Old Testament. Those who have no soul can have no craving for immortality, and so it is with the woman and the Jew.

. . . Jewish monotheism has no relation to a true belief in God; it is not a religion of reason, but a belief of old women founded on fear.

Why is it that the Jewish slave of Jehovah should become so readily a materialist or a freethinker? It is merely the alternative phase to slavery; arrogance about what is not understood is the other side of the slavish intelligence. When it is fully recognised that Judaism is to be regarded rather as an idea in which other races have a share, than as the absolute property of a particular race, then the Judaic element in modern materialistic science will be better understood. Wagner has given expression to Judaism in music; there remains something to say about Judaism in modern science.

Judaism in science, in the widest interpretation of it, is the endeavour to remove all transcendentalism. The Aryan feels that the effort to grasp everything, and to refer everything to some system of deductions, really robs things of their true meaning; for him, what cannot be discovered is what gives the world its significance. The Jew has no fear of these hidden and secret elements, for he has no consciousness of their presence. He tries to take a view of the world as flat and commonplace as possible, and to refuse to see all the secret and spiritual meanings of things. His view is non-philosophical rather than anti-philosophical. . . .

It is due to a real disposition that the Jews should be so prominent in the study of chemistry; they cling naturally to matter, and expect to find the solution to everything in its properties. . . .

It is this want of depth which explains the absence of truly great Jews; like women, they are without any trace of genius. The philosopher Spinoza, about whose purely Jewish descent there can be no doubt, is incomparably the greatest Jew of the last nine hundred years. . . . The extraordinary fashion in which Spinoza has been overestimated is less due to his intrinsic merit than to the fortuitous circumstances that he was the only thinker to whom Goethe gave his attention. . . .

Just as Jews and women are without extreme good and extreme evil, so they never show either genius or the depth of stupidity of which mankind is capable. The specific kind of intelligence for which Jews and women alike are notorious is due simply to the alertness of an exaggerated egotism; it is due, moreover, to the boundless capacity shown by both for pursuing any object with equal zeal, because they have no intrinsic standard of value - nothing in their own soul by which to judge of the worthiness of any particular object. And so they have unhampered natural instincts, such as are not present to help the Aryan man when his transcendental standard fails him.

I may now touch upon the likeness of the English to the Jews, a topic discussed at length by Wagner. It cannot be doubted that of the Germanic races the English are in closest relationship with the Jews. Their orthodoxy and their devotion to the Sabbath afford a direct indication. The religion of the Englishman is always tinged with hypocrisy, and his asceticism is largely prudery. The English, like women, have been most unproductive in religion and in music; there may be irreligious poets, although not great artists, but there is no irreligious musician. So, also, the English have produced no great architects or philosophers. Berkely, like Swift and Sterne, were Irish; Carlyle, Hamilton, and Burns were Scotch. Shakespeare and Shelley, the two greatest Englishmen, stand far from the pinnacle of humanity; they do not reach so far as Angelo and Beethoven. If we consider English philosophers we shall see that there has been a great degeneration since the Middle Ages. It began with William of Ockham and Duns Scotus; it proceeded through Roger Bacon and his namesake, the Chancellor; through Hobbes, who, mentally, was so near akin to Spinoza; through the superficial Locke to Hartley, Priestley, Bentham, the two Mills, Lewes, Huxley, and Spencer. These are the greatest names in the history of English philosophy, for Adam Smith and David Hume were Scotchmen. It must always be remembered against England, that from her there came the soulless psychology. The Englishman has impressed himself on the German as a rigorous empiricist and as a practical politician, but these two sides exhaust his importance in philosophy. There has never yet been a true philosopher who made empiricism his basis, and no Englishman has got beyond empiricism without external help.

None the less, the Englishman must not be confused with the Jew. There is more of the transcendental element in him, and his mind is directed rather from the transcendental to the practical, than from the practical towards the transcendental. Otherwise he would not be so readily disposed to humour, unlike the Jew, who is ready to be witty only at his own expense or on sexual things. . . .

The essence of humour appears to me to consist in a laying of stress on empirical things, in order that their unreality may become more obvious. Everything that is realised is laughable, and in this way humour seems to be the antithesis of eroticism. The latter welds men and the world together, and unites them in a great purpose; the former loses the bonds of synthesis and shows the world as a silly affair. . . .

When the great erotic wishes to pass from the limited to the illimited, humour pounces down on him, pushes him in front of the stage, and laughs at him from the wings. The humourist has not the craving to transcend space; he is content with small things; his dominion is neither the sea nor the mountains, but the flat level plain. He shuns the idyllic, and plunges deeply into the commonplace, only, however, to show its unreality. He turns from the immanence of things and will not hear the transcendental even spoken of. Wit seeks out contradictions in the sphere of experience; humour goes deeper and shows that experience is a blind and closed system; both compromise the phenomenal world by showing that everything is possible in it. Tragedy, on the other hand, shows what must for all eternity be impossible in the phenomenal world; and thus tragedy and comedy alike, each in their own way, are negations of the empire.

The Jew who does not set out, like the humourist, from the transcendental, and does not move towards it, like the erotic, has no interest in depreciating what is called the actual world, and that never becomes for him the paraphernalia of a juggler or the nightmare of a mad-house. Humour, because it recognises the transcendental, if only by the mode of resolutely concealing it, is essentially tolerant; satire, on the other hand, is essentially intolerant, and is congruous with the disposition of the Jew and the woman. Jews and women are devoid of humour, but addicted to mockery. In Rome there was even a woman (Sulpicia) who wrote satires. Satire, because of its intolerance, is impossible to men in society. The humourist, who knows how to keep the trifles and littlenesses of phenomena from troubling himself or others, is a welcome guest. Humour, like love, moves away obstacles from our path; it makes possible a way of regarding the world. The Jew, therefore, is least addicted to society, and the Englishman most adapted for it.

The comparison of the Jew with the Englishman fades out much more quickly than that with the woman. . . .

The fact that no woman in the world represents the idea of the wife so completely as the Jewish woman (and not only in the eyes of the Jews) still further supports the comparison between Jews and women. In the case of the Aryans, the metaphysical qualities of the male are part of his sexual attraction for the woman, and so, in a fashion, she puts on an appearance of these. The Jew, on the other hand, has no transcendental quality, and in the shaping and moulding of the wife leaves the natural tendencies of the female nature a more unhampered sphere; and the Jewish woman, accordingly, plays the part required of her, as house-mother or odalisque, as Cybele or Cyprian, in the fullest way.

The congruity between Jews and women further reveals itself in the extreme adaptability of the Jews, in their great talent for journalism, the "nobility" of their minds, their lack of deeply-rooted and original ideas, in fact the mode in which, like women, because they are nothing in themselves, they can become everything. The Jew is an individual, not an individuality; he is in constant close relation with the lower life, and has no share in the higher metaphysical life.

At this point the comparison between the Jew and the woman breaks down; the being-nothing and becoming-all-things differs in the two. The woman is material which passively assumes any form impressed upon it. In the Jew there is a definite aggressiveness; it is not because of the great impression that others make on him that he is receptive; he is no more subject to suggestion than the Aryan man, but he adapts himself to every circumstance and every race, becoming, like the parasite, a new creature in every different host, although remaining essentially the same. He assimilates himself to everything, and assimilates everything; he is not dominated by others, but submits himself to them. The Jew is gifted, the woman is not gifted, and the giftedness of the Jew reveals itself in many forms of activity, as, for instance, in jurisprudence; but these activities are always relative and never seated in the creative freedom of the will.

The Jew is as persistent as the woman, but his persistence is not that of the individual but of the race. He is not unconditioned like the Aryan, but his limitations differ from those of the woman.

The true peculiarity of the Jew reveals itself best in his essentially irreligious nature. I cannot here enter on a discussion as to the idea of religion; but it is enough to say that it is associated essentially with an acceptance of the higher and eternal in man as different in kind, and in no sense to be derived from the phenomenal life. The Jew is eminently the unbeliever. Faith is that act of man by which he enters into relation with being, and religious faith is directed towards absolute, eternal being, the "life everlasting" of the religious phrase. The Jew is really nothing, because he believes in nothing.

Belief is everything. It does not matter if a man does not believe in God; let him believe in atheism. But the Jew believes nothing; he does not believe his own belief; he doubts as to his own doubt. He is never absorbed by his own joy, or engrossed by his own sorrow. He never takes himself in earnest, and so never takes any one else in earnest. He is content to be a Jew, and accepts any disadvantages that come from the fact.

We have now reached the fundamental difference between the Jew and the woman. Neither believe in themselves; but the woman believes in others, in her husband, her lover, or her children, or in love itself; she has a centre of gravity, although it is outside her own being. The Jew believes in nothing, within him or without him. His want of desire for permanent landed property and his attachment to movable goods are more than symbolical.

The woman believes in the man, in the man outside her, or in the man from whom she takes her inspiration, and in this fashion can take herself in earnest. The Jew takes nothing seriously; he is frivolous, and jests about anything, about the Christian's Christianity, the Jew's baptism. He is neither a true realist nor a true empiricist. Here I must state certain limitations to my agreement with Chamberlain's conclusions. The Jew is not really a convinced empiricist in the fashion of the English philosophers. The empiricist believes in the possibility of reaching a complete system of knowledge on an empirical basis; he hopes for the perfection of science. The Jew does not really believe in knowledge, nor is he a sceptic, for he doubts his own scepticism. On the other hand, a brooding care hovers over the non-metaphysical system of Avenarius, and even in Ernst Mach's adherence to relativity there are signs of a deeply reverent attitude. The empiricists must not be accused of Judaism because they are shallow.

The Jew is the impious man in the widest sense. Piety is not something near things nor outside things; it is the groundwork of everything. The Jew has been incorrectly called vulgar, simply because he does not concern himself with metaphysics. All true culture that comes from within, all that a man believes to be true and that so is true for him, depend on reverence. Reverence is not limited to the mystic or the religious man; all science and all scepticism, everything that a man truly believes, have reverence as the fundamental quality. Naturally it displays itself in different ways, in high seriousness and sanctity, in earnestness and enthusiasm. The Jew is never either enthusiastic or indifferent, he is neither ecstatic nor cold. He reaches neither the heights nor the depths. His restraint becomes meagreness, his copiousness becomes bombast. Should he venture into the boundless realms of inspired thought, he seldom reaches beyond pathos. And although he cannot embrace the whole world, he is for ever covetous of it.

Discrimination and generalisation, strength and love, science and poetry, every real and deep emotion of the human heart, have reverence as their essential basis. . . .

Were there need to elaborate my verdict on the Jews I might point out that the Jews, alone of peoples, do not try to make converts to their faith, and that when converts are made they serve as objects of puzzled ridicule to them. Need I refer to the meaningless formality and the repetitions of Jewish prayer? . . .

It is not, then, mysticism that the Jew is without, as Chamberlain maintains, but reverence. If he were only an honest-minded materialist or a frank evolutionist! He is not a critic, but only critical; he is not a sceptic in the Cartesian sense, not a doubter who sets out from doubt towards truth, but an ironist; as, for instance, to take a conspicuous example, Heine.

What, then, is the Jew if he is nothing that a man can be? What goes on within him if he is utterly without finality, if there is no ground in him which the plumb line of psychology may reach?

The psychological contents of the Jewish mind are always double or multiple. There are always before him two or many possibilities, where the Aryan, although he sees as widely, feels himself limited in his choice. I think that the idea of Judaism consists in this want of reality, this absence of any fundamental relation to the thing-in-and-for-itself. He stands, so to speak, outside reality, without ever entering it. He can never make himself one with anything - never enter into real relationships. He is a zealot without zeal; he has no share in the unlimited, the unconditioned. He is without simplicity of faith, and so is always turning to each new interpretation, so seeming more alert than the Aryan. Internal multiplicity is the essence of Judaism, internal simplicity that of the Aryan.

It might be urged that the Jewish double-mindedness is modern, and is the result of new knowledge struggling with the old orthodoxy. The education of the Jew, however, only accentuates his natural qualities, and the doubting Jew turns with a renewed zeal to money-making, in which only he can find his standard of value. A curious proof of the absence of simplicity in the mind of the Jew is that he seldom sings, not from bashfulness, but because he does not believe in his own singing. Just as the acuteness of Jews has nothing to do with true power of differentiating, so his shyness about singing or even about speaking in clear positive tones has nothing to do with real reserve. It is a kind of inverted pride; having no true sense of his own worth he fears being made ridiculous by his singing or speech. The embarrassment of the Jew extends to things which have nothing to do with the real ego.

It has been seen how difficult it is to define the Jew. He has neither severity nor tenderness. He is both tenacious and weak. He is neither king nor leader, slave nor vassal. He has no share in enthusiasm, and yet he has little equanimity. Nothing is self-evident to him, and yet he is astonished at nothing. He has no trace of Lohengrin in him, and none of Telramund. He is ridiculous as a member of the students' corps and he is equally ridiculous as a "philister." Because he believes in nothing, he takes refuge in materialism; from this avarice, which is simply an attempt to convince himself that something has a permanent value. And yet he is no real tradesman; what is unreal, insecure in German commerce, is the result of the Jewish speculative interest. . . .

Chamberlain has said much that is true and striking as to the fearful awe-struck want of understanding that the Jew displays with regard to the persona and teaching of Christ, for the combination of warrior and sufferer in Him, for His life and death. None the less, it would be wrong to state that the Jew is an enemy of Christ, that he represents the anti-Christ; it is only that he feels no relation with Him. It is the strong-minded Aryans, the malefactors, who hate Jesus. The Jew does not get beyond being bewildered and disturbed by Him, as something that passes his wit to understand.

. . . The founder of a religion is the greatest of the geniuses, for he has vanquished the most. He is the man who has accomplished victoriously what the deepest thinkers of mankind have thought of only timorously a possibility, the complete regeneration of a man, the reversal of his will. . . .

There were two possibilities in Judaism. Before the birth of Christ, these two, negation and affirmation, were together awaiting choice. Christ was the man who conquered in Himself Judaism, the greatest negation, and created Christianity, the strongest affirmation and the most direct opposite of Judaism. Now the choice has been made; the old Israel has divided into Jews and Christians, and Judaism has lost the possibility of producing greatness. The new Judaism has been unable to produce men like Samson and Joshua, the least Jewish of the old Jews. In the history of the world, Christendom and Jewry represent negation and affirmation. In old Israel there was the highest possibility of mankind, the possibility of Christ. The other possibility is the Jew.

I must guard against misconception; I do not mean that there was any approach to Christianity in Judaism; the one is the absolute negation of the other; the relation between the two is only that which exists between all pairs of direct opposites. Even more than in the case of piety and Judaism, Judaism and Christianity can best be contrasted by what each respectively excludes. Nothing is easier than to be Jewish, nothing so difficult as to be Christian. Judaism is the abyss over which Christianity is erected, and for that reason the Aryan dreads nothing so deeply as the Jew.

I am not disposed to believe, with Chamberlain, that the birth of the Saviour in Palestine was an accident. Christ was a Jew, precisely that He might overcome the Judaism within Him, for he who triumphs over the deepest doubt reaches the highest faith; he who has raised himself above the most desolate negation is most sure in his position of affirmation. Judaism was the peculiar, original sin of Christ; it was His victory over Judaism that made Him greater than Buddha or Confucius. Christ was the greatest man because He conquered the greatest enemy. Perhaps He was, and will remain, the only Jew to conquer Judaism. The first of the Jews to become wholly the Christ was also the last who made the transition. It may be, however, that there still lies in Judaism the possibility of producing a Christ, and that the founder of the next religion will pass through Jewry. . . .

On no other supposition can we account for the long persistence of the Jewish race which has outlived so many other peoples. Without at least some vague hope, the Jews could not have survived, and the hope is that there must be something in Judaism for Judaism; it is the idea of a Messiah, of one who shall save them from Judaism. . . .

Our age is not only the most Jewish but the most feminine. It is a time when art is content with daubs and seeks its inspiration in the sports of animals; the time of a superficial anarchy, with no feeling for Justice and the State; a time of communistic ethics, of the most foolish of historical views, the materialistic interpretation of history; a time of capitalism and of Marxism; a time when history, life, and science are no more than political economy and technical instruction: a time when genius is supposed to be a form of madness; a time with no great artists and no great philosophers; a time without originality and yet with the most foolish craving for originality; a time when the cult of the Virgin has been replaced by that of the Demi-vierge. It is the time when pairing has not only been approved but has been enjoined as a duty.

But from the new Judaism the new Christianity may be pressing forth; mankind waits for the new founder of religion, and, as in the year one, the age presses for a decision. The decision must be made between Judaism and Christianity, between business and culture, between male and female, between the race and the individual, between unworthiness and worth, between the earthly and the higher life, between negation and the God-like. Mankind has the choice to make. There are only two poles, and there is no middle way.

* Judging by the shallowness of modern science it is clear that Weininger's "Aryans", who possess a consciousness and a respect of the depths, no longer exist. - K.S
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:16 pm

Woman and Mankind

At last we are ready, clear-eyed and well-armed, to deal with the question of the emancipation of women. Our eyes are clear, for we have freed them from the thronging specks of dubiety that had hitherto obscured the question, and we are armed with a well-founded grasp of theory, and a secure ethical basis. We are far from the maze in which the controversy usually lies, and our investigation has got beyond the mere statement of different natural capacity for men and women, to a point whence the part of women in the world-whole and the meaning of her relation to humanity can be estimated. I am not going to deal with any practical applications of my results; the latter are not nearly optimistic enough for me to hope that they could have any effect on the progress of political movements. I refrain from working out laws of social hygiene, and content myself with facing the problem from the standpoint of that conception of humanity which pervades the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.

This conception is in great danger from woman. Woman is able, in a quite extraordinary way, to produce the impression that she herself is really non-sexual, and that her sexuality is only a concession to man. But be that as it may, at the present time men have almost allowed themselves to be persuaded by woman that their strongest and most markedly characteristic desire lies in sexuality, that it is only through woman that they can hope to satisfy their truest and best ambitions, and that chastity is an unnatural and impossible state for them. How often it happens that young men who are wrapped up in their work are told by women to whom they appeal and who would prefer to have them paying them attention, or even as sons-in-law, that "they ought not to work too hard," that they ought to "enjoy life." At the bottom of this sort of advice there lies a feeling on the woman's part, which is none the less real because it is unconscious, that her whole significance and existence depend on her mission as a procreating agent, and that she goes to the wall if man is allowed to occupy himself altogether with other than sexual matters.

That woman will ever change in this respect is doubtful. There is nothing to show that she ever was different. It may be that today the physical side of the question is more to the fore than formerly, since a great deal of the "woman movement" of the times is merely a desire to be "free," to shake off the trammels of motherhood; as a whole the practical results show that it is revolt from motherhood towards prostitution, a prostitute emancipation rather than the emancipation of woman that is aimed at: a bold bid for the success of the courtesan. The only real change is man's behaviour towards the movement. Under the influence of modern Judaism, men seem inclined to accept woman's estimate of them and to bow before it.

Masculine chastity is laughed at, and the feeling that woman is the evil influence in man's life is no longer understood, and men are not ashamed of their own lust.

It is now apparent from where this demand for "seeing life," the Dionysian view of the music-hall, the cult of Goethe in so far as he follows Ovid, and this quite modern "coitus-cult" comes. There is no doubt that the movement is so widespread that very few men have the courage to acknowledge their chastity, preferring to pretend that they are regular Don Juans. Sexual excess is held to be the most desirable characteristic of a man of the world, and sexuality has attained such pre-eminence that a man is doubted unless he can, as it were, show proofs of his prowess. Chastity, on the other hand, is so despised that many a really pure lad attempts to appear blas, rou,. It is even true that those who are modest are ashamed of the feeling; but there is another, the modern form of shame - not the eroticist's shame, but the shame of the woman who has no lover, who has not received appraisement from the opposite sex. Hence it comes that men make it their business to tell each other what a right and proper pleasure they take in "doing their duty" by the opposite sex. And women are careful to let it be known that only what is "manly" in man can appeal to them: and man takes their measure of his manliness and makes it his own. Man's qualification as a male have, in fact, become identical with his value with women, in women's eyes.

But God forbid that it should be so; that would mean that there are no longer any men.

Contrast with this the fact that the high value set on women's virtue originated with man, and will always come from men worthy of the name; it is the projection of man's own ideal of spotless purity on the object of his love.

But there should be no mistaking this true chastity for the shivering and shaking before contact, which is soon changed for delighted acquiescence, nor for the hysterical suppression of sexual desires. The outward endeavour to correspond to man's demand for physical purity must not be taken for anything but a fear lest the buyer will fight shy of the bargain; least of all the care which women so often take to choose only the man who can give them most value must not deceive any one (it has been called the "high value" or "self-respect" a girl has for herself)! If one remembers the view women take of virginity, there can be very little doubt that woman's one end is the bringing about of universal pairing as the only means by which they acquire a real existence; that women desire pairing, and nothing else, even if they personally appear to be as uninterested as possible in sensual matters. All this can be fully proved from the generality of the match-making instinct.

In order to be fully persuaded of this, woman's attitude towards the virginity of those of her own sex must be considered.

It is certain that women have a very low opinion of the unmarried. It is, in fact, the one female condition which has a negative value for woman. Women only respect a woman when she is married; even if she is unhappily married to a hideous, weak, poor, common, tyrannical, "impossible" man, she is, nevertheless, married, has received value, existence. Even if a woman has had a short experience of the freedom of a courtesan's life, even if she has been on the streets, she still stands higher in a woman's estimation than the old maid, who works and toils alone in her room, without ever having known lawful or unlawful union with a man, the enduring or fleeting ecstasy of love.

Even a young and beautiful girl is never valued by a woman for her attractions as such (the sense of the beautiful is wanting in woman since they have no standard in themselves to measure it by), but merely because she has more prospect of enslaving a man. The more beautiful a young girl is, the more promising she appears to other women, the greater her value to woman as the match-maker in her mission as guardian of the race; it is only this unconscious feeling which makes it possible for a woman to take pleasure in the beauty of a young girl. It goes without saying that this can only happen when the woman in question has already achieved her own end (because, otherwise, envy of a contemporary, and the fear of having her own chances jeopardised by others, would overcome other considerations). She must first of all attain her own union, and then she is ready to help others.

Women are altogether to blame for the unpleasant associations which are so unfortunately connected with "old maids." One often hears men talking respectfully of an elderly woman; but every woman and girl, whether married or single, has nothing but contempt for such a one, even when, as is often the case, they are unconscious that it is so with them. I once heard a married woman, whose talents and beauty put jealousy quite out of the question, making fun of her plain and elderly Italian governess for repeatedly saying that she was still a virgin. The interpretation put on the words was that the speaker wished to admit she had made a virtue of necessity, and would have been very glad to get rid of her virginity if she could have done so without detriment to her position in life.

This is the most important point of all: women not only disparage and despise the virginity of other women, but they set no value on their own state of virginity (except that men prize it so highly). This is why they look upon every married woman as a sort of superior being. The deep impression made on women by the sexual act can be most plainly seen by the respect which girls pay to a married woman, of however short a standing; which points to their idea of their existence being the attainment of the same zenith themselves. They look upon other young girls, on the contrary, as being, like themselves, still imperfect beings awaiting consummation.

I think I have said enough to show that experience confirms the deduction I made from the importance of the pairing instinct in women, the deduction that virgin worship is of male, not female origin.

A man demands chastity in himself and others, most of all from the being he loves; a woman wants the man with most experience and sensuality, not virtue. Woman has no comprehension of paragons. On the contrary, it is well known that a woman is most ready to fly to the arms of the man with the widest reputation for being a Don Juan.

Woman requires man to be sexual, because she only gains existence through his sexuality. Women have no sense of a man's love, as a superior phenomenon, they only perceive that side of him which unceasingly desires and appropriates the object of his affections, and men who have none or very little of the instinct of brutality developed in them have no influence on them.

As for the higher, platonic love of man, they do not want it; it flatters and pleases them, but it has no significance for them, and if the homage on bended knees lasts too long, Beatrice becomes just as impatient as Messalina.

In coitus lies woman's greatest humiliation, in love her supremest exaltation. Since woman desires coitus and not love, she proves that she wishes to be humiliated and not worshipped. The ultimate opponent of the emancipation of women is woman.

It is not because sexual union is voluptuous, not because it is the typical example of all the pleasures of the lower life, that it is immoral. Asceticism, which would regard pleasure in itself as immoral, is itself immoral, inasmuch as it attributes immorality to an action because of the external consequences of it, not because of immorality in the thing itself; it is the imposition of an alien, not an inherent law. A man may seek pleasure, he may strive to make his life easier and more pleasant; but he must not sacrifice a moral law. Asceticism attempts to make man moral by self-repression and will give him credit and praise for morality simply because he has denied himself certain things. Asceticism must be rejected from the point of view of ethics and of psychology inasmuch as it makes virtue the effect of a cause, and not the thing itself. Asceticism is a dangerous although attractive guide; since pleasure is one of the chief things that beguile men from the higher path, it is easy to suppose that its mere abandonment is meritorious.

In itself, however, pleasure is neither moral nor immoral. It is only when the desire for pleasure conquers the desire for worthiness that a human being has fallen.

Coitus is immoral because there is no man who does not use woman at such times as a means to an end; for whom pleasure does not, in his own as well as her being, during that time represent the value of mankind.

During coitus a man forgets all about everything, he forgets the woman; she has no longer a psychic but only a physical existence for him. He either desires a child by her or the satisfaction of his own passion; in neither case does he use her as an end in herself, but for an outside cause. This and this alone makes coitus immoral.

There is no doubt that woman is the missionary of sexual union, and that she looks upon herself, as on everything else, merely as a means to its ends. She wants a man to satisfy her passion or to obtain children; she is willing to be used by man as a tool, as a thing, as an object, to be treated as his property, to be changed and modelled according to his good pleasure. But we should not allow ourselves to be used by others as means to an end.

Kundry appealed often to Parsifal's compassion for her yearnings: but here we see the weakness of sympathetic morality, which attempts to grant every desire of those around, however wrong such wishes may be. Ethics and morality based on sympathy are equally absurd, since they make the "ought" dependent on the "will," (whether it be the will of oneself, or of others, or of society, it is all the same,) instead of making the "will" dependent on the "ought"; they take as a standard of morality concrete cases of human history, concrete cases of human happiness, concrete moments in life instead of the idea.

But the question is: how ought man to treat woman? As she herself desires to be treated or as the moral idea would dictate?

If he is going to treat her as she wishes, he must have intercourse with her, for she desires it; he must beat her, for she likes to be hurt; he must hypnotise her, since she wishes to be hypnotised; he must prove to her by his attentions how little he thinks of himself, for she likes compliments, and has no desire to be respected for herself.

If he is going to treat her as the moral idea demands, he must try to see in her the concept of mankind and endeavour to respect her. Even although woman is only a function of man, a function he can degrade or raise at will, and women do not wish to be more or anything else than what man makes them, it is no more a moral arrangement than the suttee of Indian widows, which, even though it be voluntary and insisted upon by them, is none the less terrible barbarity.

The emancipation of woman is analogous to the emancipation of Jews and negroes. Undoubtedly the principal reason why these people have been treated as slaves and inferiors is to be found in their servile dispositions; their desire for freedom is not nearly so strong as that of the Indo-Germans. And even although the whites in America at the present day find it necessary to keep themselves quite aloof from the negro population because they make such a bad use of their freedom, yet in the war of the Northern States against the Federals, which resulted in the freedom of the slaves, right was entirely on the side of the emancipators.

Although the humanity of Jews, negroes, and still more of women, is weighed down by many immoral impulses; although in these cases there is so much more to fight against than in the case of Aryan men, still we must try to respect mankind, and to venerate the idea of humanity (by which I do not mean the human community, but the being, man, the soul as part of the spiritual world). No matter how degraded a criminal may be, no one ought to arrogate to himself the functions of the law; no man has the right to lynch such an offender.

The problem of woman and the problem of the Jews are absolutely identical with the problem of slavery, and they must be solved in the same way. No one should be oppressed, even if the oppression is of such a kind as to be unfelt as such. The animals about a house are not "slaves," because they have no freedom in the proper sense of the word which could be taken away.

But woman has a faint idea of her incapacity, a last remnant, however weak, of the free intelligible ego, simply because there is no such thing as an absolute woman. Women are human beings, and must be treated as such, even if they themselves do not wish it. Woman and man have the same rights. That is not to say that women ought to have an equal share in political affairs. From the utilitarian standpoint such a concession, certainly at present and probably always, would be most undesirable; in New Zealand, where, on ethical principles, women have been enfranchised, the worst results have followed. As children, imbeciles and criminals would be justly prevented from taking any part in public affairs even if they were numerically equal or in the majority; woman must be in the same way be kept from having a share in anything which concerns the public welfare, as it is much to be feared that the mere effect of female influence would be harmful. Just as the results of science do not depend on whether all men accept them or not, so justice and injustice can be dealt out to the woman, although she is unable to distinguish between them, and she need not be afraid that injury will be done her, as justice and not might will be the deciding factor in her treatment. But justice is always the same whether for man or woman. No one has a right to forbid things to a woman because they are "unwomanly"; neither should any man be so mean as to talk of his unfaithful wife's doings as if they were his affair. Woman must be looked upon as an individual and as if she were a free individual, not as one of a species, not as a sort of creation from the various wants of man's nature; even though woman herself may never prove worthy of such a lofty view.

Thus this book may be considered as the greatest honour ever paid to women. Nothing but the most moral relation towards women should be possible for men; there should be neither sexuality nor love, for both make woman the means to an end, but only the attempt to understand her. Mot men theoretically respect women, but practically they thoroughly despise them; according to my ideas this method should be reversed. It is impossible to think highly of women, but it does not follow that we are to despise them for ever. It is unfortunate that so many great and famous men have had mean views on this point. The views of Schopenhauer and Demosthenes as to the emancipation of women are good instances. So also Goethe's

Immer is so das Madchen beschaftigt und reifet im stillen Hauslicher Tugend entgegen, den klugen Mann zu beglucken. Wunscht sie dann endlich zu lesen, so wahlt sie gewisslich ein Kochbuch,


is scarcely better than Molière's

. . . Une femme en sait tonjours assez, Quand la capacite de son esprit se hausse A connaitre un pourpoint d'avec un hat de chausse.


Men will have to overcome their dislike for masculine women, for that is no more than a mean egoism. If women ever become masculine by becoming logical and ethical, they would no longer be such good material for man's projection; but that is not a sufficient reason for the present method of tying woman down to the needs of her husband and children and forbidding her certain things because they are masculine.

For even if the possibility of morality is incompatible with the idea of the absolute woman, it does not follow that man is to make no effort to save the average woman from further deterioration; much less is he to help to keep woman as she is. In every living woman the presence of what Kant calls "the germ of good" must be assumed; it is the remnant of a free state which makes it possible for woman to have a dim notion of her destiny. The theoretical possibility of grafting much more on this "germ of good" should never be lost sight of, even although nothing has ever been done, or even if nothing could ever be done in that respect.

The basis and the purpose of the universe is the good, and the whole world exists under a moral law; even to the animals, which are mere phenomena, we assign moral values, holding the elephant, for instance, to be higher than the snake, notwithstanding the fact that we do not make an animal accountable when it kills another. In the case of woman, however, we regard her as responsible if she commits murder, and in this alone is a proof that women are above the animals. If it be the case that womanliness is simply immorality, then woman must cease to be womanly and try to be manly.

I must give warning against the danger of woman trying merely to liken herself outwardly to man, for such a course would simply plunge her more deeply into womanliness. It is only too likely that the efforts to emancipate women will result not in giving her real freedom, in letting her reach free-will, but merely in enlarging the range of her caprices.

It seems to me that if we look the facts of the case in the face there are only two possible courses open for women: either to pretend to accept man's ideas, and to think that they believe what is really opposed to their whole, unchanged nature, to assume a horror of immorality (as if they were moral themselves), of sexuality (as if they desired platonic love); or to openly admit that they are wrapped up in husband and children, without being conscious of all that such an admission implies, of the shamelessness and self-immolation of it.

Unconscious hypocrisy, or cynical identification with their natural instincts; nothing else seems possible for woman.

But it is neither agreement nor disagreement with, but rather the denial and overcoming of her womanishness that a woman should aim at. If a woman really were to wish, for instance, for man's chastity, it would mean that she had conquered the woman in her, it would mean that pairing was no longer of supreme importance to her and that her aim was no longer to further it. But here is the trouble: such pretensions must not be accepted as genuine, even although here and there they are actually put forward. For a woman who longed for man's purity is, apart from her hysteria, so stupid and so incapable of truthfulness that she is unable to perceive that she is in this way negating herself, making herself absolutely worthless, without existence!

It is difficult to decide which is preferable: the unlimited hypocrisy which can appropriate the thing that is most foreign to it, i.e., the ascetic ideal, or the ingenuous admiration for the reformed rake, the complacent devotion to him. The principal problem of the woman's one desire is to put all responsibility on man, and in this it is identical with the problem of mankind.

Friedrich Nietzsche says in one of his books: "To underestimate the real difficulties of the man and woman problem, to fail to admit the abysmal antagonism and the inevitable nature of the constant strain between the two, to dream of equal rights, education, responsibilities and duties, is the mark of the superficial observer, and any thinker who has been found shallow in these difficult places - shallow by nature - should be looked upon as untrustworthy, as a useless and treacherous guide; he will, no doubt, be one of those who 'briefly deal with' all the real problems of life, death and eternity - who never gets to the bottom of things. But the man who is not superficial, who has depth of thought as well as of purpose, the depth which not only makes him desire right but endows him with determination and strength to do right, must always look on woman from the oriental standpoint:- as a possession, as private property, as something born to serve and be dependent on him - he must see the marvellous reasonableness of the Asiatic instinct of superiority over women, as the Greeks of old saw it, those worthy successors and disciples of the Eastern school. It was an attitude towards woman which, as is well known, from Homer's time till that of Pericles, grew with the growth of culture, and increased in strength step by step, and gradually became quite oriental. What a necessary, logical, desirable growth for mankind! if we could only attain to it ourselves!"

The great individualist is here thinking in the terms of social ethics, and the autonomy of his moral doctrine is overshadowed by the ideas of caste, groups, and divisions. And so, for the benefit of society, to preserve the place of men, he would place woman in subjection, so that the voice of the wish for emancipation could no longer be heard, and so that we might be freed from the false and foolish cry of the existing advocates of women's rights, advocates who have no suspicion of the real source of woman's bondage. But I quoted Nietzsche, not to convict him of want of logic, but to lead to the point that the solution of the problem of humanity is bound up with the solution of the woman problem. If any one should think it a high-flown idea that man should respect woman as an entity, a real existence, and not use her merely as a means to an end, that he should recognise in her the same rights and the same duties (those of building up one's own moral personality) as his own, then he must reflect that man cannot solve the ethical problem in his own case, if he continues to lower the idea of humanity in the women by using her simply for his own purposes.

Coitus is the price man has to pay to women, under the Asiatic system, for their oppression. And although it is true that women may be more than content with such recompence for the worst form of slavery, man has no right to take part in such conduct, simply because he also is morally damaged by it.

Even technically the problem of humanity is not soluble for man alone; he has to consider woman even if he only wishes to redeem himself; he must endeavour to get her to abandon her immoral designs on him. Women must really and truly and spontaneously relinquish coitus. That undoubtedly means that woman, as woman, must disappear, and until that has come to pass there is no possibility of establishing the kingdom of God on earth. Pythagoras, Plato, Christianity (as opposed to Judaism), Tertullian, Swift, Wagner, Ibsen, all these have urged the freedom of woman, not the emancipation of woman from man, but rather the emancipation of woman from herself.

It is easy to bear Nietzsche's anathema in such company! But it is very hard for woman to reach such a goal by her own strength. The spark in her is so flickering that it always needs the fire of man to relight it; she must have an example to go by. Christ is an example; He freed the fallen Magdalen, He swept away her past and expiated it for her. Wagner, the greatest man since Christ's time, understood to the full the real significance of that act: until woman ceases to exist as woman for man she cannot cease being woman. Kundry could only be released from Klingsor's curse by the help of a sinless, immaculate man - Parsifal. This shows the complete harmony between the psychological and philosophical deduction which is dealt with in Wagner's "Parsifal," the greatest work in the world's literature. It is man's sexuality which first gives woman existence as woman. Woman will exist as long as man's guilt is inexpiated, until he has really vanquished his own sexuality.

It is only in this way that the eternal opposition to all anti- feministic tendencies can be avoided; the view that says, since woman is there, being what she is, and not to be altered, man must endeavour to make terms with her; it is useless to fight, because there is nothing which can be exterminated. But it has been shown that woman is negative and ceases to exist the moment man determines to be nothing but true existence.

That which must be fought against is not an affair of ever unchangeable existence and essence: it is something which can be put an end to, and which ought to be put an end to.

This is the way, and no other, to solve the woman question, and this comes from comprehending it. The solution may appear impossible, its tone exaggerated, its claims overstated, its requirements too exacting. Undoubtedly there has been little said about the woman question, as women talk of it; we have been dealing with a subject on which women are silent, and must always remain silent - the bondage which sexuality implies.

This woman question is as old as sex itself, and as young as mankind. And the answer to it? Man must free himself of sex, for in that way, and that way alone, can he free woman. In his purity, not, as she believes, in his impurity, lies her salvation. She must certainly be destroyed, as woman; but only to be raised again from the ashes - new, restored to youth - as a real human being.

So long as there are two sexes there will always be a woman question, just as there will be the problem of mankind. Christ was mindful of this when, according to the account of one of the Fathers of the Church - Clemens - He talked with Salome, without the optimistic palliation of the sex which St. Paul and Luther invented later: death will last so long as women bring forth, and truth will not prevail until the two become one, until from man and woman a third self, neither man nor woman, is evolved.

* * *
Now for the first time, looking at the woman question as the most important problem of mankind, the demand for the sexual abstinence on the part of both sexes is put forward with good reason. To seek to ground this claim on the prejudicial effects on the health following sexual intercourse would be absurd, for any one with knowledge of the physical frame could upset such a theory at all points; to found it on the immorality of passion would also be wrong, because that would introduce a heteronomous motive into ethics. St. Augustine, however, must certainly have been aware, when he advocated chastity for all mankind, that the objection raised to it would be that in such a case the whole human race would quickly disappear from the face of the earth.

This extraordinary apprehension, the worst part of which appears to be the thought that the race would be exterminated, shows not only the greatest unbelief in individual immortality and eternal life for moral well-doers; it is not only most irreligious, but it proves at the same time the cowardice of man and his incapacity to live an individual life. To any one who thinks thus, the earth can only mean the turmoil and press of those on it; death must seem less terrible to such a man than isolation. If the immortal, moral part of his personality were really vigorous, he would have courage to look this result in the face; he would not fear the death of the body, nor attempt to substitute the miserable certainty of the continuation of the race for his lack of faith in the eternal life of the soul. The rejection of sexuality is merely the death of the physical life, to put in its place the full development of the spiritual life.

Hence it follows that it cannot be a moral duty to provide for the continuance of the race. This common argument appears to me to be so extraordinarily false that I am almost ashamed to meet it. Yet at the risk of making myself ridiculous I must ask if any one ever consummated coitus to avoid the great danger of letting the human race die out, if he failed in his duty? And would it not follow that any man who prefers chastity would be open to the charge of immoral conduct? Every form of fecundity is loathsome, and no one who is honest with himself feels bound to provide for the continuity of the human race. And what we do not realise to be a duty, is not a duty.

On the contrary, it is immoral to procreate a human being for any secondary reason, to bring a being into the limitations of humanity, the conditions made for him by his parentage; the fundamental reason why the possible freedom and spontaneity of a human being is limited is that he was begotten in such an immoral fashion. That the human race should persist is of no interest whatever to reason; he who would perpetuate humanity would perpetuate the problem and the guilt, the only problem and the only guilt. The only true goal is divinity and the union of humanity with the Godhead; that is the real choice between good and evil, between existence and negation. The moral sanction that has been invented for coitus, in supposing that there is an ideal attitude to the act in which only the propogation of the race is thought of, is no sufficient defence. There is no such imperative in the mind of man; it is merely an ingenious defence of a desire, and there is the fundamental immorality in it, that the being to be created has no power of choice with regard to his parents. As for the sexual union in which the production of children is prevented, there is no possible justification.

Sexual union has no place in the idea of mankind, not because ascetism is a duty, but because in it woman becomes the object, the cause, and man does what he will with her, looks upon her merely as a "thing," not as a living human being with an inner, psychic, existence. And so man despises woman the moment coitus is over, and the woman knows that she is despised, even although a few minutes before she thought herself adored.

The only thing to be respected in man is the idea of mankind; this disparagement of woman (and himself), induced by coitus, is the surest proof that it is opposed to that idea of mankind. Any one who is ignorant of what this Kantian "idea of mankind" means, may perhaps understand it when he thinks of his sisters, his mother, his female relatives; it concerns them all: for our own sakes, then, woman ought to be treated as human, respected and not degraded, all sexuality implying degradation.

But man can only respect woman when she herself ceases to wish to be object and material for man; if there is any question of emancipation it should be the emancipation from the prostitute element. It has never until now been made clear where the bondage of woman lies; it is in the sovereign, all too welcome power wielded on them by the Phallus. There can be no doubt that the men who have really desired the true emancipation of women are the men who are not very sexual, who have no great craving for love, who are not very profound, but who are men of noble and spiritual minds. I am not going to try to palliate the erotic motives of man, nor to represent his antipathy to the "emancipated woman" as being in any sense less than it is; it is much easier to go with the majority, than, as Kant did, to climb, painfully and slowly, to the heights of isolation.

But a great deal of what is taken for enmity to emancipation is due to the want of confidence in its possibility. Man does not really want woman as a slave: he is usually only too anxious for a companion. The education which the woman of the present day receives is not calculated to fit her for the battle against her real bondage. The last resource of her "womanly" teacher, if she declines to do this or that, is to say that no man will have her unless she does it. Women's education is directed solely to preparing them for marriage, the happy state in which they are to find their crown. Such training would have little effect on man, but it serves to accentuate woman's womanishness, her dependence, and her servile condition. The education of woman must be taken out of the hands of woman; the education of mankind must be taken out of the hands of the mother. This is the first step towards placing woman in a relation to the idea of mankind, which since the beginning she has done more than anything else to hinder.

* * *
A woman who had really given up her sexual self, who wished to be at peace would be no longer "woman." She would have ceased to be "woman," she would have received the inward and spiritual sign as well as the outward form of regeneration.

Can such a thing be?

There is no absolute woman, but even to say "yes" to the above question is like giving one's assent to a miracle. Emancipation will not make woman happier; it will not ensure her salvation, and it is a long road which leads to God. No being in the transition stage between freedom and slavery can be happy. But will woman choose to abandon slavery in order to become unhappy? The question is not merely if it is possible for woman to become moral. It is this: is it possible for woman really to wish to realize the problem of existence, the conception of guilt? Can she really desire freedom? This can happen only by her being penetrated by an ideal, brought to the guiding star. It can happen only if the categorical imperative were to become active in woman; only if woman can place herself in relation to the moral idea, the idea of humanity.

In that way only can there be an emancipation of woman.
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