Quarantine of the Feminine
If Man is to be a self-making, ideal creature, then how can he be of woman born, between two excretions, as the saying goes? The association of the feminine with the vulnerable human condition—with the existential dilemmas of mortality, finitude, and animal nature—will persist as long as human beings come into this world through the wombs of women. It is the infant’s early experience with the mother which renders “female intentionality” so overawing and apparently threatening to the dependent child’s budding autonomy, but even more so to his secret projects of self-generation, transcendence and immortality. We identify nature with woman because nature holds a power over us like that which our human mothers did over us as infants. She is all, the object of the infant’s every passion and the source of relief from every need. While the growing child may be wary of being smothered in the maternal matrix from which he or she seeks symbolically to break away, nature inescapably drags each of us back into her womb at the end of life. And though it be the great idealist dream, we can never in life leave our natural home of embodied physicality. Who could be to blame for this imprisonment within the confines of nature but woman herself, who brought us into the world in the first place? And what better way to begin to turn the tables on nature than by isolating, containing, conquering and taming the dangerous influence of the feminine?
RELATED TAGS: [woman and/as nature, grand error of nature, self-genesis of man, transcendence of mortality, self-generation, female intentionality, The Feminine, entrapment/imprisonment in nature/the body, rejection of woman/feminine, (hero as) culture-bringer, heroic quest, male secret society, (reasons for) antifeminism, exclusion of women, masculine spirituality/religion/heroicism/idealism, (masculine) individuation, female collective, masculine ascendancy/ascensionism/transcendence, quarantine/appropriation of feminine]
© Copyright Dan Bruiger 2008. All rights reserved.