Wollstonecraft and polyamory


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“A woman must take care for her reputation.” A microcosm of oppression is encapsuled in this one precept. It sets up a system in which some women are esteemed at the expense of other women.

Wollstonecraft believes that male chastity would solve the problem of women’s oppression. I will try to connect some of the dots in her argument. Strictly mathematically speaking, there must be unchaste women for the males to be unchaste with. This creates the basis for esteeming the women who aren’t unchaste. Oppression follows.

Wollstonecraft then criticizes women who are unchaste! (Commentators have pointed out, she is a prude.) Basically, this is a criticism of heterosexual women. She blames women whose chastity is ‘only for show,’ i.e., for public consumption. A woman must take care for her reputation, so she is careful with whom she is seen, etc. But then she finds an agreeable partner. Her chastity ends there. Then it becomes a game of sating the unchaste male, so glutting his appetite that he has neither the strength nor the inclination to pursue other women, in effect, chastening him (only for show) by drainage. This creates much work for the woman, and leads to a mercenary attitude. This is a well-known phenomenon, and has more recently been characterized by Alexander Sanger, Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom for the 21st Century.

Take Wollstonecraft’s superficially-chaste woman as the anti-feminist. What would her opposite be? The woman who is unchaste, but only superficially so, i.e., the women who is not careful to appear chaste, who does not take care with whom she is seen, i.e., who is perhaps too friendly or too intimate with more than one man, but who is nevertheless actually not just the anti-chaste woman, the anti-Madonna, the whore, but who is chaste in fact, as it were, in secret.

Men would have to rearrange their ideas about women in order to accommodate the feminist woman. They would have to get used to the idea that a woman expressing friendliness or physical contact is not giving the green light for sexual intercourse. They would have to get used to a whole range of signs and signals, which had previously indicated availability, interest, and consent, now indicating nothing of that sort.

Unless that occurred, as a practical matter, such a woman would find herself overwhelmed with unwanted male interest. Beyond the misinterpreted signals would lie simple lack of masculine restraint. In order to be tolerated by the feminist woman, the male would have to dial back their sexual aggressiveness to absolute zero. They would have to become chaste.


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Women haven't changed at all. Sanger confirms it!

I am absolutely in favor of a woman's right to choose. Always have been, always will be. But it is the right to use sex to manipulate men. Men, rather than prohibiting this, ought to learn from it how to restrain themselves. Wollstonecraft was right: sex equality requires it.


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to continue...

Prostitution are even more a use of sex to manipulate men, and vice laws prohibiting it are laws protecting specifically male weaknesses. It's my opinion that these weaknesses are worsened, rather than aided, by such protection. The old positivist argument that the state should limit its intervention to the prevention of physical harm applies.


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There is a lot of bizarre...logic?...in this thread already. So when I ran into another strain of bizarre logic on Facebook yesterday, it actually reminded me of this.

The argument presented there was:

It is not right that women want access to birth control and abortion, when they could merely be expected to exercise SELF CONTROL in the interest of not becoming pregnant by abstaining from sex, on the grounds that SELF CONTROL is expected of men, to not engage in rape.

The mental gymnastics required to try and weigh these two things, to even begin to argue back against this, caused my mind to "blue screen." As in, "ERROR: brain.exe has stopped working." It is moments like that, which gave rise to the phrase, "I just can't even."

So let me just lay down some talky talk. It seems as though people who think of all interactions of men and women to be strictly about the pursuit of sex, and then try and shoehorn the whole business into "natural" evolutionary breeding strategies...are people who really are not very socially adept and frankly just don't know what the hell they're talking about.

I like to call myself a "stark raving extrovert" and as such, I have had interactions (conversations) with thousands of other humans, and consider several hundred of them to be "friends" and if anything there are more men than women in at least one of my larger social spheres.

I was previously married to a man who could not conceive of the notion of talking to a woman without contemplating sex with her, or with some kind of likely hidden agenda to try and get it (this would be that "unwanted male attention" that women are supposedly subject to.) He didn't want me to talk to other men. I was his property and if I were properly protecting his property, I'd deny other men the chance to pursue me, by staying home or at least being properly chaperoned. Now, from a rational/logical standpoint he'd have denied this. But from an emotional standpoint, it was utterly true. (That he held this opinion, that is.)

The problem arises when I analyze the interactions between myself, unchaperoned and "out," I would go on trips across the country to see a metal band, to attend many parties and concerts, to be out at night, to have a hotel room to myself in a property booked mostly by my "friends" most of whom were male. Please feel free to take a moment to visit my public profile and see photos of me in my albums. I am not a beauty queen, but I don't think I'm ugly enough to put off a mindless rutting male, if indeed they were so driven as my ex suspected, and there is a TREMENDOUS parallel between his attitudes and the concepts espoused in the original post of this thread.

Also, I am a flirt, I am outgoing, I sling innuendo and crass humor. In the settings I used to put myself, I was outwardly unchaste, yet in actuality, I was faithful to my mate...and we didn't have the most active sex life, certainly not enough for "drainage" (what a ridiculous concept) so I was functionally "chaste". Ish. I was your "feminist" creature.

I SHOULD have been getting bombarded by panting animal males trying to hump my leg, because my god, my friendly behavior must surely be interpreted as interest, nay, CONSENT, right??? Only if one sees the situation from the perspective of a socially inept, insecure, primitive, narcissistic idiot like my ex, I'm afraid. My friends were not only very respectful, in fact when I divorced my ex and even made it known just how available and UNCHASTE I was interested in being on one particular excursion...my friends, to a man, decided I was vulnerable and not to be messed with, and did not pursue me. Not even for a one night fling. Even though most of them were drunk, high, what have you. Fact is...humans aren't just animals. We're THINKING animals. Which makes us a lot more complicated than any all-encompassing, unifying theory of social behavior, can possibly explain.

We have got the power to re-write our own natures and our own scripts. Every single one of us. And I will take the social truths I have lived, over the dusty ideas that someone wrote about, any day of the week.