Theater of Cruelty

Feminism's lofty ideals


Marte Ruste's attack on my book "Give Me Your Heart" gives two alternative conclusions: either she hasn't read my book, or she's so greedy to construct me as an anti-feminist traditionalist that she chooses dishonesty rather than open discussion.

"It is not original to warn that feminism threatens love. The surprising thing in the book "Give me your heart – in search of love" is that Hanne Andrea Kraugerud so little problematizes the claim ", writes Ryste. Well, here are two, among many, examples in my book, where I do just that:

"If the man works less and takes more time at home, while giving the woman more time for an independent adult life outside the home, the level of conflict is likely to be significantly reduced. The frustrations disappear, the self-respect increases, and not least you get more time to be together. The room for love has expanded. The feminist focus on female orgasms, the woman's right to an as free and non-committal sexual life as the man has had, statutory maternity leave, the dismantling of the formal and legal structures of marriage that have been the oppressor of women, the focus on the soft, sensitive man and with it perhaps a greater opportunity for communication in a relationship are other examples of the general achievements of feminism and equality on the love and relationship front. ”

About Nora Helmer's love, I write, among other things: «Gender equality, feminism and love; in Helmer's house, they lose all three, side by side. (…) In this rigid gender role pattern, there is no room for Nora's love dream – the most wonderful, where man and woman support each other in love, community and equality. (…) Nora becomes the example of how rebellion against established gender roles represents female strength and identity, and also seems like an important correction to the patriarchal and often far from loving emotional masculinity, understood in the traditional sense. "

The many similar places in my book, in which I pay tribute to feminism's contribution to love, make Shakespeare's objection absurd, on the verge of dishonesty. She does not dare to meet me on a case, and therefore finds an accusation that I do not discuss enough. When it comes to the case, for example, Shake and Fett magazine claim: "The happiest couples are also the most equal". Are there such bombastic claims about other people's happiness Shake not dare to stand for? I, on my part, mean equality both gives and takes in love. The Gender Equality Ombud will ban stereotyped gender expressions. On the other hand, I believe that muscular men and maternal women, knights and princesses, not only affirm problematic conventions, but also form part of our cultural history and self-understanding, and for many an important part of loving and living together. This is neither traditional nor liberal. There are realistic nuances of what I perceive as polarized positions on love, with dogmatic feminists on the one hand, and reactionary women oppressors on the other.

The same polarizing attitude emerges when Ryste interprets my notion of the "couple's logic" that I allow for oppression and violence against women. To claim that creating a private, private space where one can learn to see, respect and get to know one another, as couples and unique individuals, with weaknesses and strengths, should stand in some kind of contradiction to help women out of abusive and violent relationships are so stupid that it can only come from a hardcore feminist who is looking to discredit the opponent's morals in the most ridiculous, nefarious way.

Rather, the real difference between Ryste and me lies in the fact that where I see permissible, diverse relationships, Ryste sees social-psychological misery. That she seizes on Marxist-structuralist slog that superstructure "romance" hides the base "over / under order" says something about which ideologically marginalized errand she is in. As if we could decide which level is most important, once too everyone! The goal in love and women's life must be to become better at considering when to think romance and when to think politics? What differences should we keep, which ones should we fight? It is a more realistic, nuanced and life-affirming goal than measuring love in abstract, Marxist ideology.

But perhaps such a view of love is too diverse and uncertain for Shake. Perhaps my book meets better among those of us who from time to time appreciate some old, banal, romantic notions of love, sex, man and woman, and who hope for a real opportunity to realize and love these notions without at the same time risk minimum pension or piggy bank, as Ryste seems to see in all matters that do not follow feminism's lofty ideals.

Hanne Andrea Kraugerud is a philosopher and author of the book Give me your heart. Looking for love.

You may also like