Thoughts on ‘sexual identity’ and ‘gay marriage’

The homosexual movement and its allies constantly use the phrase “sexual identity.” The phrase seems to be taken for granted, and is rarely explained and justified. It seems, though, to refer to the notion that our sexual habits and inclinations are fundamental to what we are, more so than religion or even sex in the natural sense of whether one is male or female. It’s religious “affiliation” or “preference,” and “biological gender” (apparently nearly irrelevant to specifically human concerns), but sexual “identity”—straight, gay, bi, transgendered or whatnot.

But why treat sexual inclinations as authoritative and untouchable? One possible reason is that active sexuality is thought to be an essential aspect of our most intimate and intense personal relationships. Since such relationships are what link us most effectively to others and thus constitute us as social beings, sexual acts with persons of the same sex might be thought essential to full realization of the humanity of those inclined to them. An attack on such acts would then be an attack on the humanity of such persons.

A problem with that line of reasoning is that it isn’t adequate to the homosexual cause, which is a defense not primarily of “long-term committed relationships” but of a homosexual culture that includes an essential promiscuous and sensation-seeking element. The point of the homosexual movement is sexual liberation, the free expression of human sexuality, which is understood to be a fundamental aspect of human liberation. The legitimation of gay relationships is not intended to denigrate gay adventurousness. Otherwise there would be boycotts of bathhouses and NAMBLA would have been excommunicated by other homosexuals long ago. In the end, the homosexual movement stands or falls on the destruction of the given in human life in favor of the chosen, and perhaps on the value of transcendence through intense experience.

More moderate, sentimental and moralistic arguments, like the argument from intimate personal ties, nonetheless appeal to some people. The latter argument is an odd one. It implies that the connections that constitute us as social beings are simply a matter of the subjective attitudes of those involved, and thus that the essence of the social is the private and idiosyncratic. In order to claim that homosexual relationships have a moral status like that of marriage, the argument must turn marriage into “a relationship”—a complex of feelings and commitments between two parties—rather than an institution constituted in part by things as objective as the functioning of the human body and the reproduction of the species. It must turn the public aspects of marriage into mere recognition of the subjective dispositions of the parties.

Such a view deprives marriage of its point. The point of marriage is that it is not simply what is now called “a relationship” but an objective and enduring institution that is basic to human society, and therefore carries with it rights and obligations that the parties and others must respect regardless of how they feel. The attitudes and feelings proper to marriage spring from the relationship at least as much as the other way around. To the extent marriage becomes simply a “relationship,” defined by the parties as they wish, it becomes unclear why other people should give it any special recognition or even know what it is in any particular case. The notion of “homosexual marriage,” as well as the related notion of “sexual identity,” thus suffers from an internal conflict. It tries to combine the modernist view that the essence of man is that he has no essence, that he creates what he is through his desires and choices, with a claim of authority that can be justified only by reference to objective standards like the dignity of mariage that precede and condition all choice.

18 thoughts on “Thoughts on ‘sexual identity’ and ‘gay marriage’”

  1. An Aristasian Discussion
    Aristasians are known for inhabiting a self-defined, all-female world and for close bonds between women.

    You may be interested to read an Aristasian discussion on the subjects of “gay marriage”, “sexual identity” etc. The various views put forward may not be exactly conservative, but they radically challenge the current liberal assumptions on the matter and make it clear that liberalism and social decadentism are not the necessary ideologies of homo-affectionality:

    • Aristasians are good allies. It can’t go deep, though.
      “You may be interested to read an Aristasian discussion on the subjects of ‘gay marriage,’ ‘sexual identity,’ etc. The various views put forward may not be exactly conservative, but they radically challenge the current liberal assumptions on the matter and make it clear that liberalism and social decadentism are not the necessary ideologies of homo-affectionality” (—Novaryana)

      We knew the Aristasians didn’t share current liberal assumptions regarding the things you mention. The Aristasians’ revulsion for the Pit, the Eclipse, and so on, is shared of course by trads and for largely the same exact reasons. Trads who’ve browsed the Aristasian site and discussion threads know how much they have in common with the Aristasians. On the specific topic of what you term “homo-affectionality,” however, there’s a gulf between trads and Aristasians which would appear to be unbridgeable. I for one find this very sad because I really like Aristasians—I love about them mainly their rejection of the post-Eclipse world of course, but I also love their intelligence, their wit, so many aspects of their taste—I nearly always enjoy reading their stuff, sometimes extremely, and would love to be able to get close to them. That can never happen—not, at any rate, as long as they’re engaged in their fantasy rôle-playing (ummjack, when she steps out of the lesbian-lite rôle-playing to post comments, occasionally, at another site where I’m a regular, shows no sign of this unbridgeable gulf …). Just as does male homosexuality, lesbianism—which, it has to be acknowledged, permeates Aristasianism whether or not you try to present it as “not the real deal but sort of an ill-defined, mysterious, spacey, can’t-be-pinned-down-as-anything-definite female eroticism or at most a kind of not-quite-but-almost platonic lesbianism-lite”—entails a whole way of life that is at bottom incompatible with normalness and therefore with trad conservatism. I consider Aristasians allies of trads but only up to a point. On a fundamental level we’re at right angles to one another—sort of in parallel universes.

      Long live Flanders!

      • Aristasia: pessimism and the critique of “homosexuality”
        I agree with most of what you say. Aristasia is a parallel universe (Aristasians would refer to liberals and conservatives alike as Outlanders – Umm Jack, by the way,is not an Aristasian, she is a cultural conservative who is welcomed as a friendly contributor to Aristasian discussions).

        As to whether alliance can “go deep”,it depends what is meant. Aristasians are not going to become Tellurian conservatives any more than Tellurian conservatives are going to become Aristasians. But while “liberalism” has a virtual monopoly on language and thought, the free exchange of ideas among the minorities which reject that monopoly seems valuable.

        Possibly Aristasians are better off under a “liberal” regime than under any possible “conservative” revival. That does not stop us criticising the bases of liberalism, since our concern (in intellectual discussion at any rate) is with truth, not convenience. This is important, because enquiry should not be hamstrung by vested interests.

        Also, you must remember that Aristasia-in-Telluria grew in a British environment, where conservatism is no longer a serious possibility because the very roots of the culture have been killed (see my notes on Africa ). Aristasians, therefore may be called pessimistic in Tellurian terms. Americans may have to wait until 2055 (when whites will become a minorty) for the same sense of pessimism to descend. The same thing will happen to Britain in 2100, but it hardly matters. The culture is already destroyed beyond any reasonable hope of reconstitution. The lion is dead and smells worse every year.

        What I do take issue with is your use of the term “lesbian-lite” and such phrases as “lesbianism — which, it has to be acknowledged, permeates Aristasianism”. To my mind this accepts too easily and uncritically the whole post-Freudian notion of “sexualty”.

        Some one said that the criminalisation of homosexuality toward the end of the 19th century was the major step in “conceptualising” it (this, from the liberal point of view, is a Good Thing). I have a feeling that the whole idea of homo-sexuality as something equivalent to normal, procreative sexuality is rather new, and dates from about that time, partly because of the weakening of dynastic concerns, the propagation of individualism etc., all of which have continued since then (the habit of calling every one by Christian name, so rife in Pit society, is surely a result of seeing people wholly in terms of their individuality rather than their dynastic roots).

        Aristasia is curious in this respect. While it posits the ideal of Aristasia Pura, a place in which the two feminine sexes are entirely equivalent to the two sexes in Telluria and form the basis of dynastic society, it also questions, in a way that no liberals and very few conservatives do, the very existence of “sexuality” as something parallel and equal to the biological/dynastic function of human sex.

        • Aristasia. ( … Is there something wrong with this picture?)
          You’re verbally blurring what seems to be a lesbian-type sexual mal-orientation of some sort—call it what you will—into a kind of definition-defying obfuscation.

          Look—what is the difference between, on the one hand, a woman who values Aristasian-variety Daphne-duMaurier-Hitchcock’s-Rebecca-type upper-middle- and upper-class British atmospherics, style, taste, mannerisms, and so on but likes men for intimacy, and on the other hand one who values all that but likes women for intimacy? Is there some important difference? Perhaps an all-important one? While we’re at it, incidentally, what about Daphne du Maurier herself?—clearly she liked Aristasian-style atmospherics. Did she like men or women? It was men, I believe. You cannot get around or ignore the question of whether a woman prefers men or women for you-know-what … (please substitute what you like for “you-know-what”—it needn’t have a carnal dimension but be it carnal or be it a sentiment so “pure,” “true,” and ethereal it makes our carnal natures irrelevant, the point can’t be evaded but must be confronted in the last analysis to make sense of Aristasianism). We can’t live without healthy fantasy, which we all indulge in to one extent or another and which can serve as a wholesome guide to some of life’s most important pursuits. But the Aristasian view of this particular maleless fantasy of theirs as ranking above reality may reflect perversion or something like an immature failure to emerge from female adolescence (sort of as if author Carolyn Graglia before her “Valkyrie” moment of “feminine awakening” was stuck in fantasizing herself actually living in a Hitchcock’s Rebecca type movie or something). I like the atmospherics. I really, really like them. But when you realize there are no men in this world, you confront the fact that “something’s wrong with this picture.”


          Long live Flanders!

          • Aristasia agrees!
            I agree with pretty much everything you say – except, of course the valuation. Even that I can see from your point of view and sympathise withal (just as I can see the point of view of American war-supporters and sort-of admire it, while also seeing the point of view of the East which deplores the iron fist of “democracy”).

            I certainly have not been “backtracking” or implying that Aristasia is not radically separate from many Tellurian values – and not just in the area of the sexes either – our rejection of “Enlightenment” rationalism in some ways puts us even further from the classical-liberal society of the past several Tellurian centuries. Even so, while we reject classical liberalism as a basis for Aristasian thinking, we tend to think it is the right thing for Telluria in its current state (I mean things like constitutional government rather than “absolute” monarchy).

            I was simply questioning the whole concept of “homosexuality” in the modern sense as a parallel to biological “sexuality”. The concept is a relatively modern one as far as I can see and is based on certain assumptions not unconnected with the spread of Freudism (in the earlier stages we are talking about the preconditions for, rather than the results of, its spread). What I believe it is entirely dependent on is the Darwinian revolution, but it would be a very big job to try to explain that!

            The idea that any imitation of consummation is somehow parallel to the actuality is really a rather strange one (although it seems to be second nature to the current mind) and belongs, in my view to the post-Darwinian world.

            And – having said that, Aristasia seems to be the only milieu in which the notion of real consummation between feminine creatures (not human females, because, by definition they could not be that) has ever been postulated. But the idea of translating that literally into Tellurian life is – precisely because one does realise the issues involved – not really in question.

            I have also to say that not all Aristasians would agree with this position. It is a subtle one in the sense that it does not (as most liberal – and modernist conservative – thinking does) automatically and forcibly attempt to align theory with the convenience of the reasoner – (i.e. if one wants a thing one declares it possible).

            But you are certainly right. The difference between Aristasian life and ideas on the one hand and Tellurian conservatism on the other is final and irreducible. I have never wished to deny that.

          • Body and soul

            “Aristasia … also questions, in a way that no liberals and very few conservatives do, the very existence of ‘sexuality’ something parallel and equal to the biological/dynastic function of human sex.”

            This is interesting. It seems rather like a feminine version of Plato/Socrates’ comments on the love of young men. Since it’s feminine it’s more elusive and culminates in something with a lot more atmospherics and attention to fashion detail than the Platonic Vision of the Good. It seems though there’s a similar distinction between sex, which involves practical social functions and specific physical acts, and an eroticism that points to communion of souls and something ideal. The latter does not by nature have the same sort of concrete physical expression and in fact (at least for Plato/Socrates) would be corrupted by such an expression.

            The Catholic view, I think, is that the distinction shouldn’t be drawn to that extent, because God made the world and pronounced it good, which means that reality matters and its functioning is good and the thing we ought to engage and work with. Both sex and sexually-based erotics are part of that world, and they both work a whole lot better if they feed each other as part of a unified scheme. The discipline of respect for natural functioning is necessary. If you try to create a new arrangement that doesn’t build on it things are likely to go haywire. I’d be inclined to include the Aristasian interest in physical discipline as an example. It looks like an attempt to give something that by nature is rather insubstantial the weight and force of reality.

            Naturally, the Aristasian view might seem appealing because something’s gone horribly wrong with understandings of sex that make its proper functioning, including its emotional and spiritual functioning, extremely unlikely. Still, to me a view like Catholicism that points toward the restoration of a complex hierarchical reality with a place for all things makes more sense than one that tries to live in a parallel universe that just rejects the everyday things (and people) around us.

            From what Novaryana says of course it’s obvious that the Aristasians do respect reality and natural functioning to a far greater extent than liberals, who view all things, our bodies and their functioning included, as neutral resources to be used for whatever arbitrary schemes we concoct. I’d tie that technological view of reality, which I think is the basis of the notion of “sexualities,” much more to the 17th c., for example to people like Bacon and Descartes, than to Darwin.

            Rem tene, verba sequentur.

          • “I’d tie that
            “I’d tie that technological view of reality, which I think is the basis of the notion of “sexualities,” much more to the 17th c., for example to people like Bacon and Descartes, than to Darwin.”

            Interesting point. Darwinists have a bit of a problem with the presence of homosexuals within a population, given that the only purpose for the existence of any organism is the production of as many offspring as possible.

            Instead of using the word “technological,” I would use the word, “reductionist.” Sex, like everything else, is reducible to its component parts, and is one more “function” within a repertoire of behaviors available to an organism. This type of analytic, which is pervasive in our culture, leads to a functional view of not only sex, marriage, etc., but of human beings themselves. Such a view is decidedly non-Christian.

            I would also add the our contemporary views of sex owe much to the so-called “fact/value” distinction, which appeared in full flower at the beginning of the 20th century. A cogent response to the fact/value distinction is provided by MacIntyre in “After Virtue,” although I’m sure there are many Catholic writers who have addressed it.

          • Technoethics
            I say “technological” because “reductionist” doesn’t really say what things are being reduced to.

            The point is that the modern view takes essential man to be an an absolute self-sufficient point of subjectivity that senses, reasons and wills. From that Cartesian starting point we can understand and deal with other things, including our own bodies, only from the point of view of subjective sensations and purposes. Other things can exist for us only as objects or means of pain and pleasure, so ethics—the science of right action—becomes identical to technology—the science of using other things as resources to bring about whatever it is we choose to bring about.

            Naturally it took a while to work out all the implications of those basic points and especially to bring public institutions fully in line with them.

            Metaphysics r00lz!

          • Don’t disagree at all.
            Don’t disagree at all. Such is surely the modern view.

            “Reductionism” goes beyond the human subject to its component parts: the brain, chemistry, molecules, etc., and in conjunction with a rigid materialism, posits in the end a strict mechanical determinism.

            Feeling down? Adjust your brain chemistry. School chilren acting up? Drug them. Confused and lost? Seek explanation in the environment. Free will? An illusion of the superstitious.

            I see Neitzsche, the existentialists, and even some postmodernism, as a strong visceral reaction the this pervasive determinism.

            I can’t reconcile this determinism with the “sovereignty of subjectivity” so characeristic of liberalism.

          • Aristasian “Platonism”
            I agree with pretty much all of this. Aristasia is certainly closer in many ways to Platonism than to Catholicism.

            Though I have to say that, while I have recently heard quite a bit from traditional Catholics about the “positiveness” of their position toward nature, I should have thought that, historically, Catholicism is as ambiguous as any other Tradition about the question of “the world, the flesh and the devil”, as opposed to the inherent goodness of creation. Such ambiguity does not signify confusion or inconsistency, but reflects the inherent ambiguity of creation (or Maya) itself. But perhaps we had better not wander off down that path!

            I absolutely agree that the root of the “technological” approach is in the 17th century (one could go further back, but that really suffices for our present purposes); and I fully understand that my reference to Darwin was horribly obscure unless one has read the chapter on “The Myth of the Modern World” in The Feminine Universe ( ). Certainly I was not referring to any of the more immediate or obvious corollories of Darwinism as they are usually understood.

            Let me try to explain. Our thesis is that, while the substantialist (broadly, rationalist) point of view originates in the 17th century and becomes dominant in the 18th, it is hamstrung by the lack of a mythos or story-picture, which is a psychological necessity if the the human mind is fully to internalise a world-outlook. Darwinism supplied the needed story-picture or pseudomythos which made a fully substantialist outlook for the first time generally possible. It is a story-picture that describes for the ordinary person, in graspable, “mythic”, terms, how form, or Essence, can be the product of substance and the magnitude of the conceptual shift this entails can hardly be exaggerated.

            It is for this reason, I would argue, that among many other things, “homosexuality” became “conceptualised” at the end of the 19th century rather than the beginning of the 18th.

            I apologise in advance for the length of the following quotation, but I think it is the minimum necessary (and probably less than that) to give some idea of a thesis which, I think, many readers of this site may find of importance:

            “The effects of the introduction of this pseudomythos into Western Culture can scarcely be overestimated. C. S. Lewis, in his inaugural lecture as Professor of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge(6), makes a strong and well-substantiated case for the con­tention that between the early nineteenth century and the twentieth there was a change so radical — a transmutation of culture so complete — that it far exceeded all the changes that had taken place throughout the rest of Western history. He argues that between the age of Jane Austen and the very earliest Western civilisations known was a greater kinship than between her age and ours: that they were, for all their differences, together on one side of the divide and we on the other.

            “We do not have to go so far in order to uphold the view that a cultur­al change of quite enormous proportions took place during the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Nevertheless (and bearing in mind that Professor Lewis was only considering the patriarchal Iron Age in the Western world and had not seen the Eclipse) this contention is worthy of serious consideration. Never before had the world seen a substantialist culture. The changes in literature, thought and all other areas of life were phe­nomenal. While the philosophy of substantialism had been with us since these seventeenth century, it had not penetrated the blood and bones of the culture, and then, relatively suddenly, it did. The world was quite rapid­ly transmogrified into a different place. In many ways, the human soul suddenly found itself cast adrift — cut off from all its metaphysical moor­ings. And the world itself was, or rather appeared to be, cut off from its moorings. The things about us, seemingly severed from their oontological roots in the Celestial Archetypes became to us but random accidents floating in an aimless, meaningless void. For the first time in history, the mass of educated people, as opposed to a handful of hard-line theoreticians prepared to think substantiaism through to the bitter end, were suddenly cast into an accidental, non-Essential cosmos.

            “From this psychological earthquake flow innumerable consequences, from the neurotic iconoclasm of Cubism, Dada, atonal music and mod­ernist poetry to the extreme political fanaticisms of the twentieth century. ­All reflect a world where Form and order, and consequently all sense of proportion have departed. Nonetheless, as we shall see, the ‘mod­ernism’ of the twentieth century was by no means uniformly malevolent. The tide of battle had turned decisively in favour of substantialism, but the war was not over, and great things yet remained to be done before the Eclipse closed off all healthy possibilities.”

            From The Feminine Universe

          • Bodies, hereticks, and creation myths
            A Catholic is a heretic if he says that the physical world is by nature bad or that man’s embodiment is a mistake to be rectified or punishment to be endured. We have bodies because it’s good for us to have bodies. Our bodies are genuinely part of us. That’s always been doctrine. Otherwise, why have a Resurrection? Of course, it’s also Catholic doctrine that there’s been a Fall with pervasive effects that we can’t ignore or simply reverse.

            I’d agree that recently there’s been a tendency to emphasize the goodness of Creation at the expense of the effects of the Fall. People rarely seem to go straight down the middle, so quite possibly a reverse over-emphasis has also existed from time to time. I think the basic point remains, though, that for Catholics this world and its inhabitants here and now remain a central point of concern. They are by nature good, and their corruption is a disaster that we should somehow try to deal with. So we should accept and try to restore and re-enoble natural functioning rather than construct an alternate world to live in.

            The point about Darwinianism as the new creation myth needed to convert understandings associated with 17th c. natural philosophy into something comprehensive and concrete enough to serve as a general understanding of things for the educated general public does seem persuasive. I think Richard Dawkins says something to the same effect, that Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

            Rem tene, verba sequentur.

          • Isn’t there a simple way to reconcile creationism and Darwinism?
            Why isn’t the Darwinian dilemma solved by considering that what God created in his own image was man’s soul, not man’s body? Who cares what the body evolved from, be it the ape, the crocodile, the kangaroo, the aardvark, or the platypus duck? That the soul was created by God is unchallenged by any science known and will remain unchallenged by any science not yet known. The mastery of fire, the bow and arrow, the invention of the wheel, agriculture and domestication of animals, sailing ships, metallurgy, geometry, astronomy, gunpowder, gravitation, calculus, the steam engine, electromagnetism, relativity, quantum mechanics, the strong force, the weak force, the atom bomb, genetics, antibiotics, television, string theory, cars, airplanes, rocket ships, satellites, space stations, personal computers—which of that has ever challenged the divine provenance of the soul? None. None ever will. The leftists could easily make peace with the creationists by simply saying, “Look, we have no fundamental disagreement with you guys. We understand what you’re getting at—there’s something about mankind that didn’t come from the apes but was created by God. Why not agree to call that man’s soul, and accept that Darwin was right about man’s body?” But they won’t say that to them because fighting with the creationists gives the leftists a feeling of superiority and, being natural snobs, they aren’t willing to forego that.

            Long live Flanders!

          • Is creation really the problem?
            I should say that its possible contradiction of creation is not the only – or even the main – problem with evolutionism. The real problem is its sleight-of-hand disposal of the question of form. Before evolutionism people necessarily believed that the forms that matter takes had to come from somewhere, and that that “somewhere” could not be matter itself.

            In the biological sphere, evolutionism tried to say that biological forms came out of matter, by a sort of accident.

            The real problem with evolutionism is that it denies (or lends itself to a denial, which in the popular version is made absolute) of the formal or qualitative pole of existence – reducing (to use the Aristotelian terms) morphe to hyle, or form to matter.

            It may seem an abstruse point, but the shift in the fundamental perception of things is enormous – a far greater matter than any apparent conflict with the Bible.

            Undoubtedly some forms of evolutionism are compatible with the fundamentally Essentialist view that prevailed before Darwin. But the entire point of evolutionism as a cultural phenomenon (and it is primarily a cultural phenomenon rather than a scientific one) is that it gives a mythic grounding to substantialism.

          • I am going to jump in and
            I am going to jump in and disagree (at least on one point), but I’m not sure just where to jump in.

            I disagree that Darwin is the dividing line; it’s a somewhat different question whether Darwinism provided a justification or story line for an already existing dividing line.

            The “substantialist” position was already regnant by the time Darwin published, and I suspect he wouldn’t have published (at least not in the form he did) unless it had been.

            Kierkegaard was reacting violently to the substantialist position in the 1840’s. Nietzsche came later, and his reaction was even more violent. An entire movement of Romanticism overcame Europe in the 19th century, usually interpreted as a reaction against the deadness of rationalism. The first half of 19th century Europe is filled with pessisism: Schopenhauer, Byron, Pushkin, Chopin, Schubert, etc. The Revolution, after all, had failed, in a sea of blood through Europe and Russia, and the Revolution had issued out of the unlimited and fabulous promises of Rationalism.

            I don’t view Darwinism as a mythos for the substantialist position. I see it as the story line for quite a different position: the determinist (or fatalist) position, which is essentially pessimistic.

            And a guy like Dawkins is not a substantialist, he’s a determinist. To him, genes are little divinities that control us, our behavior, our thoughts, and our purposes. In fact, genes are our purpose, our only purpose.

            I hesitate to call such a position “rational.”

            Of course, one might conflate the determinist and rationalist positions, and consider them the same thing running in the same currents. I don’t. Typically, the rational position is naive and optimistic (think of the Greeks), whereas the determinist position is fatalistic and futile.

            Determinists, of course, will say that determinism is either required by rationalism, or that “it is the only possible rational position” (as if rationality would matter to a determinist!).

          • Dawkins is a materialist, that’s all. Didn’t everyone know?
            “And a guy like Dawkins is not a substantialist, he’s a determinist. To him, genes are little divinities that control us, our behavior, our thoughts, and our purposes. In fact, genes are our purpose, our only purpose. I hesitate to call such a position ‘rational.’ “ (—MD, 2:43pm)

            Prof. Dawkins’ view that people exist to serve genes instead of genes to serve people is arbitrary the same way, let’s say, the view that pants exist to serve belts instead of belts to serve pants is arbitrary. Neither view is easily proven but which view you adopt can shed light on your fundamental outlook. Women view babies, not adults, as life’s culmination while men view adults, not babies, that way. Neither is provable but that difference of view sheds light on the fundamental ways women differ from men. An astronomer who thinks the earth stands still while the universe rotates around it instead of the universe being still while the earth rotates on its axis betrays part of his fundamental outlook, while espousing a view that’s hard for physics to refute. In the same way, Dawkins’ view that inanimate, lifeless genes, things which are dead as doornails, come ahead of people in the overall scheme of things—people with their minds, their souls, their life—speaks volumes about his fundamental outlook.

            Long live Flanders!

          • Small clarification
            “Women view babies, not adults, as life’s culmination while men view adults, not babies, that way.” (—my comment of 9:07pm)

            What I meant here was that women view life’s main point as having more to do with adults serving the purpose of giving rise to babies, while men view it as having more to do with babies serving the purpose of giving rise to adults. That is, for women the culmination of all is babies while for men it’s adults.

            Long live Flanders!

          • Actually, according to a
            Actually, according to a recent biography (I tried to find the title but couldn’t), Daphne du Maurier liked women. Social pressure compelled her to marry, but she never cared much for her husband and eventually they lived separately. She pursued her publisher’s wife for a long time before the woman allowed her one kiss, which was all that ever came of it, and a few years later, she acquired an actual female lover.

          • Might have known!
            “Daphne du Maurier liked women” (—Mrs Baggins)

            I might have known! The Hollywood movies she inspired were too much like an Aristasian world for there not to have been something along those lines going on : – ) (lol). Notice by the way how present-day Hollywood is incapable of capturing that atmosphere. Try as they might they can’t get anywhere near it. You wouldn’t think it would be that hard—and I’d bet there’d be a vast audience for it even today if they could reproduce it. But they simply cannot begin to get it right—their rare efforts in that direction are just laughable. One of their productions, whether a feature film or a “made-for-TV” affair, comes on the TV, you and your wife stumble across it by accident, you both watch it five or ten minutes hoping for the best, you quickly start to exchange pained glances at how bad the acting, the dialogue, or the directing is, or all three at once—even the casting choices are generally bad—and finally without uttering a word one of you changes the channel with something like a sigh both understand perfectly: another dismal failure to come anywhere near reproducing the atmosphere of a good 1930s or 40s Hollywood period-piece movie of the Hitchcock/Daphne DuMaurier type whether it be a melodrama, murder mystery, love story, whatever—no matter, they cannot do it any more.

            Long live free Flanders!

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