Quotes

 

From Sexual Personae

"In sex, man is driven into the very abyss which he flees. He makes a voyage to non-being and back." - pg 20

"If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts." - pg 38

"Not a shred of evidence supports the existence of matriarchy anywhere in the world at any time... The matriarchy hypothesis, revived by American feminism, continues to flourish outside the university." - pg 42

"I accept decadence as a complex historical mode. In late phases, maleness is always in retreat." - pg 125

"The Great Mother, like Rome herself, is the Whore of Babylon." - pg 138


"Serial or sex murder, like fetishism, is a perversion of male intelligence. It is a criminal abstraction, masculine in its deranged egotism and orderliness. It is the asocial equivalent of philosophy, mathematics, and music. There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper." - pg 247

"The thrill of terror is passive, masochistic, and implicitly feminine. It is imaginative submission to overwhelming superior force." - pg 267

"Butchery is not the point of vampirism. Sex - domination and submission - is." - pg 268

"Romantic love - all love - is sex and power. In nearness we enter each other's animal aura. There is magic there, both black and white." - pg 274

"Woman's flirtatious arts of self-concealment mean man's approach must take the form of rape." - pg 276

"Christabel [in Coleridge's 'Christabel'] is Iphigenia meekly awaiting the stroke of the knife. Geraldine is the high priest praying before her bloody task - but she prays to herself, the daemonic will. Murder here is sexual intercourse, for sex is how mother nature kills us, that is, how she enslaves the imagination." - pg 335

"Charisma is the radiance produced by the interaction of male and female elements in a gifted personality. The charismatic woman has a masculine force and severity. The charismatic man has an entrancing female beauty. Both are hot and cold, glowing with presexual self-love." - pg 521

"Emily Dickinson is the female Sade, and her poems are the prison dreams of a self-incarcerated, sadmomasochistic imaginist. When she is rescued from American Studies departments and juxtaposed with Dante and Baudelaire, her barbarities and diabolical acts of will become glaringly apparent. Dickinson inherits through Blake the rape cycle of 'The Faerie Queene'. Blake and Spenser are her allies in helping pagan Coleridge defeat Protestant Wordsworth." - pg 624

"Richard Chase declares, 'No great poet has written so much bad verse as Emily Dickinson.' He blames 'the Victorian cult of 'little women'' for the fact that 'two thirds of her work' is seriously flawed: 'Her coy and oddly childish poems of nature and female friendship are products of a time when one of the careers open to women was perpetual childhood.' Dickinson's sentimental feminine poems remain neglected by embarrassed scholars. I would maintain, however, that her poetry is a closed system of sexual reference and that the mawkish poems are designed to dovetail with those of violence and suffering." - pg 637

"Women have been discouraged from genres such as sculpture that require studio training or expensive materials. But in philosophy, mathematics, and poetry, the only materials are pen and paper. Male conspiracy cannot explain all female failures. I am convinced that, even without restrictions, there still would have been no female Pascal, Milton, or Kant. Genius is not checked by social obstacles: it will overcome. Men's egotism, so disgusting in the talentless, is the source of their greatness as a sex. . . . Even now, with all vocations open, I marvel at the rarity of the woman driven by artistic or intellectual obsession, that self-mutilating derangement of social relationship which, in its alternate forms of crime and ideation, is the disgrace and glory of the human species." - pg 653

FRom Vamps & Tramps

"Patriarchy, routinely blamed for everything, produced the birth control pill, which did more to free comtemporary women than feminism itself." - pg 38

"Much violence against women originates in emotional territory that they already command. By midlife and early old age, as the hormones of both genders change, women are in total, despotic control of their marriages." - pg 46

"Campus speech codes, that folly of the navel-gazing left, have increased the appeal of the right. Ideas must confront ideas. When hurt feelings and bruised egos are more important than the unfettered life of the mind, the universities have committed suicide." - pg 51

"The prostitute has come to symbolize for me the ultimate liberated woman, who lives on the edge and whose sexuality belongs to no one." - pg 58

"I have found few lesbians with whom I can discourse for more than five minutes without hitting some tiresome barrier of resentment or ideology." - pg 74

"Because boys lack a biological marker like menstruation, to be man is to be not female. Contemporary feminism called this "misogyny," but it was wrong. Masculine identity is embattled and fragile. In the absence of opportunity for heroic physical action, as in the modern office world, women's goodwill is crucial for preserving the male ego, which requires, alas, daily maintenance. It is in the best interests of the human race, and of women themselves, for men to be strong." - pg 85

"Middle-class men, neutered by office life and daunted by feminist rhetoric, are shrinking. Lesbianism is increasing, since anxious, unmasculine men have little to offer. Women are simply more interesting to them. Male homosexuality is increasing, because masculinity is in crisis and because maternal consciousness, severed from the support network of the extended family, has become a psychotic system, forcing the young to struggle for life against clinging personal fantasy." - pg 90

"A pagan education would sharpen the mind, steel the will, and seduce the senses. Our philosophy should be both contemplative and pugilistic, admitting aggression (as Christianity does not) as central to our mythology. The beasts of passion must be confronted, and the laws of nature understood. Conflict cannot be avoided, but perhaps it can be confined to a mental theater." - pg 94

"Whatever their motives, the first feminist theorists acted as vandals and Bolsheviks. The damage they did to culture has in the long run damaged the cause of feminism." - pg 328