Typos p. 34: asumption [= assumption]
Just as our basic philosophy derives from Greece, so does the strong masculine accent over our civilisation which, of itself, would have sufficed to create Feminism.
The Greeks had probably been homosexuals for a very long period in their history, but were certainly ardent homosexuals and shameless defenders of it at the time when their influence over the White Man's philosophy began to spread across Europe.
It cannot be too emphatically stated, therefore, that our leading principles in regard to humanity are all derived from a people who were, from the standpoint of English Law, criminals, with whom no self-respecting modern European would have wished to associate.
Not only did the Greeks of the Socratic era disbelieve in any passionate relationship to woman, but they also hardly thought it possible. In plain English, women stimulated them less than men. For the really stirring emotions of deep love, the Greek of the 5th century B.C. and later turned only towards his own sex. And, remember, it was not the ruck and scum, or the lowest of the Greeks who were thus disposed, but, as Dr. Licht points out, the best and most exemplary of
1. For a full discussion with documentation of this influence see Part II, Chap. III, of my CHOICE OF A MATE (London, 1934).
Owing to the fact that all the clap-trap about the soul and the superiority of the soul over the body has come down to us from these same homosexual Greeks, every effort has been made, as Dr. Licht points out, 2 to suppress the truth about their homosexuality in all works on classical history, in all encyclopædias and, of course, in all school manuals, throughout Europe. For, unless it had been hushed up in the countries where the Socratic philosophy prevails, certain unpleasant reflexions might have been cast on the religion derived from this philosophy.
My wife, for instance, who went to Girton and studied classics there for three years, had to be told by me all about Greek homosexuality after she had come down from the University.
Nor should anyone feel satisfied that he has sufficiently investigated this question until he has seen my handling of such specious apologists of the 5th century Greeks as J. A. Symonds and Mahaffy, who have tried to argue, either that homosexuality was a phenomenon restricted to a few isolated instances, or else that it was merely an insignificant or transient feature of Greek life. 3
At all events, the fact is established that the Greek of Athens in the 5th century B.C. the crucial century as far as our White Man's ideology is concerned could obtain little stimulation from women. He sought his stimulation, therefore, both in art and sex, in the male, or what resembled the male as closely as possible.
1 SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE, Pp. 411412.
3 CHOICE OF A MATE, pp. 349354.
Insensibly, the male standard of bodily beauty became more or less the only standard. There was no such thing as a beauty of female form that had a quality of its own.
Given the homosexual bias, this absurdity was at least comprehensible. But, without it, the absurdity becomes gratuitous, because no argument based on æsthetics, the laws of proportion, or any other reasoning, can make male beauty the norm of human beauty.
As well argue that red is more æsthetic than blue, or that a church is more beautiful than a castle, as claim that the male form is superior to the female. Each has its peculiar beauty. To begin to compare them and, on any grounds whatsoever, claim that one excels the other, is at once to be launched on a sea of nonsense.
The Greeks could, with some show of reason, maintain that they, as homosexuals, preferred the male form and found the female attractive only when it approximated to that of the male.
But the sane, the balanced and only tenable position among normal, heterosexual people, is to regard the male and female forms as unamenable to comparison as regards degrees of beauty.
1 CHOICE OF A MATE, part II, chap. III.
On what grounds is the straighter, more muscular leg of the male, with its relatively longer femur, the more beautiful? What canon of beauty places it higher than the female's in the æsthetic scale?
On what grounds is the female's relatively longer back regarded as less beautiful than the male's?
On what grounds are the female's more rounded thorax and her protuberant breasts regarded as less beautiful than the male's muscular and breastless chest?
There is no satisfactory answer to these questions. Those who try to defend the point of view they imply might as well attempt to prove that a horse's head is more beautiful than a dog's.
But to the ancient Greek such questions presented no difficulty. He would have answered them readily, with the most elaborate æsthetic arguments, believing all the while that he was serving truth and not his homosexual bias.
Unfortunately, with the rest of the rubbishy material that came down to us from Greece of the 5th and early 4th centuries B.C. we inherited statues of female forms bearing marked male proportions, together with the bias that lay behind them.
I am not suggesting that we took over this lumber as people homosexually minded. I submit only that, as with everything else that came down to us from these degenerate Greeks, their bias in favour of the male form descended upon us as axiomatic owing to the authority and dignity time had imparted to everything connected with Hellenic culture, and owing to
Especially in Protestant countries, therefore, which have always been most subject to the influence of Socrates and the worst in Greece, there arose a tendency to exalt the "boyish" figure in women, and insensibly to accept a masculine accent over every aspect of civilisation.
By leading us into the error of favouring women with "boyish" figures, however, it has encouraged the multiplication of a female type narrow-hipped, long legged and generally masculinoid which has inclined us ever more and more towards a Feministic or virago civilisation, especially favourable to masculine women. But, more important still, by placing a masculine accent over our civilisation, it has tended to render wholly feminine things of little interest, of little dignity, and little value.
This Greek sophistry for that is all it is can be traced right through the ages. It inaugurated a stampede in the direction of masculinity which, though it may at times have abated, has never entirely ceased Milton, who was much influenced by Greek philosophy and the Hellenic point of view generally, unconsciously voices this Greek bias in favour of male beauty, although I feel sure he was no homosexual.
In Paradise Lost, after describing Eve's contemplation of her own image in a lake, and her enchantment over it, he makes her admit on meeting Adam,
"How beauty is excell'd by manly grace, 1
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair."
1 IV, 489491.
"For well I understand in the prime end 1
Of Nature her the inferior, in the mind
And inward faculties, which most excel;
In outward also her resembling less
His image who made us both."
Thus, here, Milton's excuse for placing Eve's outward form below Adam's is not a conscious Greek bias, but a rationalisation based on the masculinity of God.
Innumerable instances of the same kind could be taken from English, French and German literature, showing the dominance of the Greek masculine accent over our culture. But I have space only for outstanding examples.
Goethe, greatly influenced by Winckelmann, the famous authority on Greek Art, betrayed a similar unconscious bias in favour of male beauty. Nor need I prove, I hope, that Goethe was never suspected of homosexuality. In conversation with Friedrich von Müller, he declared that "man is, after all, very much more beautiful, more excellent, and more perfect than woman," 2 and not long afterwards, in a short but mostly absurd diatribe against women, Schopenhauer makes these quite indefensible statements:
"Only a male intellect befogged by sexual desire could ever call this small, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped, and short-legged sex beautiful. . . . It would be much more justifiable to call the female the unæsthetic rather than the beautiful sex." 3
1 VIII, 540544.
2 UNTERHALTUNGEN MIT DEM KANZLER FRIEDRICH VON MÜLLER (Stuttgart, 1898. p. 231).
3 PARERGA UND PARALIPOMENA, Vol. II, Chap. 27; Über das Weib.
On no more justifiable grounds it would be equally permissible to argue that the female form had established a norm or canon from which the male departure constituted hideousness. Thus, the deliberate choice by these men, and by scores of others, of the male form as the more beautiful, can have been due only to an influence which they felt, but of the existence of which they were largely unconscious. This influence was the Greek homosexual tradition.
A hundred years later, in spite of the lip-service paid to woman's beauty by the designation of her sex as "fair," even science revealed this same subjection to Greek influence. As I have never believed that scientific men are more free than the rest of mankind from the imponderable moral and other influences of their Age (despite all their boasted objectivity), this adoption by scientists of the Greek view of the male form never surprised me. But it needs explaining, and is hard to forgive.
Dr. Heilborn, for instance in a comparatively recent work, has the following gem of unscientific nonsense masquerading as a sober scientific finding:
"The natural knock-knees of the woman are, æsthetically, the great blemish in the figure of the small, narrow-shouldered, wide-hipped and short-legged sex." 1
1 THE OPPOSITE SEXES (London. 1917. p. 14).
I cannot quote all the examples of similar blindness, so must limit myself in conclusion to the statement of one who is generally regarded as England's most authoritative sexologist.
Writing on this very point, Havelock Ellis, said: "This obliquity of the legs is the most conspicuous defect of the feminine form in the erect position." 1
Can it be wondered at that the gratuitous masculine accent implied in these judgments infected the attitude of the general population including, of course, women?
Besides inducing those women who could boast of any taste to wish to resemble men in form, it necessarily gave them a bias against all things feminine. It established what I have elsewhere termed a "monomorphic" view of the sexes, and it was in accordance with this monomorphic view that all questions relating to the sexes soon came to be judged. That is to say, this masculine accent, by urging women to favour everything that was stamped with the hall mark of maleness, whether in the realm of habits, occupations or looks, reinforced the claim to sex-equality already based on Socratic teaching.
Was a particular practice, or habit, or pastime, suitable for men? If this question could be answered in the affirmative, then it was assumed that these things were also suitable for women.
In this way, the Greek masculine bias spread to every department of our lives.
1 MAN AND WOMAN (London, 1904, p. 50).
All these people were either parsons, parson's sons or wives, Liberals, and anything but realists. They had all had Socrates poured in torrents over them from their earliest childhood. The fact that they were unaware of it, and imagined that their monomorphic and bodiless outlook was the product of their unaided and original cogitations, only shows how unconscious most people are of the early conditioning of the "personal" opinions they hold in their maturity.
They all became founders or patrons of Colleges for Women, and Henry Sidgwick, whose father was a Church of England parson, no doubt thoroughly saturated with Platonism, actually founded Newnham College, Cambridge.
They did not, like rational beings, set out to supply a niche only for exceptional women whose inferior sexual endowment made them predestined neuters. They set out to provide an appeal and a standard for all women at least of their own class, and to invite and encourage them to embark on a career of Higher Education as a routine practice.
What concern was it of theirs that two of the greatest obstetricians in the country set a limit to the age when a first labour could follow a favourable and normal course? 1
Even if this piece of information was not available to them at this time, there is no evidence that they tried, before starting their campaign, to collect what information there was on the subject. There is not even any evidence that they ever thought of this possible objection to their schemes. In fact, I believe it may be truthfully stated that never once did it occur to them to inquire whether the best and normal girls between 18 and 23 would be benefited or damaged, in their bodily aspects, by the programme they were promoting. 2
This is a severe indictment, but it is a just one.
They were actuated only by two ideas:
"What is good for the male is good for the female."
"The later sweet innocence learns the body side of female life the better!"
To delay marriage for the young female, therefore, could never have struck them as unwise. On the con-
1 See previous Chapter, p. 26.
2 I do not refer here to another aspect of the assimilation of the female to the male, i.e., in the matter of pursuing the same sports; but, it is an important aspect of the influence of the male bias in our civilization, and I have dealt with it elsewhere. See WOMAN: A VINDICATION and THE TRUTH ABOUT CHILDBIRTH.
True, not all girls go to the University! But those who do set the fashion. And if in England today the average age of women at marriage is two and a half years later than the last possible year for a favourable first labour, it is due chiefly to our nineteenth century Socratics. Although believing that they acted and thought along original lines, they were really dominated by the body despising bias and the acute masculine accent over civilization.
The classes that did not send their daughters to Newnham or similar places saw to it that they went to work and were equipped for remunerative employment, and pursued these ends with much greater resolution than they applied to getting their girls married.
When, therefore, among those who did ultimately marry, childbirth difficulties naturally multiplied, the cause was sought in every possible circumstance except in the fact that marriage had been unduly delayed. Not until I published my Truth About Childbirth was this major cause brought prominently to light, and then the book was ignored by all the papers!
Nor do I exaggerate in pointing to the imitation of the girls of the wealthier classes by the classes below, for an independent scientific female witness bears my statement out.
"The majority, no doubt, of wage-earning and professional women do ultimately marry," says Dr. Laura Hutton, "but there is no doubt that their professional interests, together with their relative, if not absolute
The cruel consequences of all this delay in marriage, as well as of the frequent celibacy among girls normally endowed for motherhood, but diverted to other interests until it is too late to change, will be found fully described in my various books. I am here merely stating the ideas and principles behind the Feminist Movement.
Another flagrant example of the masculine accent over our culture and the monomorphic bias it creates, is the Birth Control Movement, which has aimed at securing for women the male's adaptation to sex, and at warding off the so-called menace of over-population, without once allowing for the special needs and functions of the female body.
Seeing that woman is sexually potent from her fifteenth to her forty-sixth to fiftieth year, the Birth Controllers, by wishing to limit her to two or three children, condemn her to whole decades during which she cannot function normally as a female at all. Satisfied that their methods secure a normal sexual life for man, they overlooked or deliberately neglected the fact that the sexual cycles of man and woman differ. For while the man's begins and ends with sexual congress, woman's begins with sexual congress and ends normally only with the weaning of the child.
It was surely bad enough when ignorant laymen advocated Birth Control indiscriminately, irrespective of whether a woman was or was not normally equipped. But when the medical profession took the monomorphic view, it became a scandal. Few people,
1 THE SINGLE WOMAN AND HER EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS (London 1935, p. 3).
Two instances of this monomorphic view among scientific men will suffice.
Four doctors John Ellison, Aubrey Goodwin, Charles W. Read and Carnac Rivett all gynaecologists of note in a book on sexual morality, make this extraordinary statement:
"Men and women who wish to marry, and desire to remain childless on the grounds of either finance or a distaste for children, must be free to do so. From the purely medical aspect they will remain healthier and therefore more useful members of the State, if they are allowed to live a normal sexual life, than they will if their sexual activities are prohibited." 1
What does, what can "normal" mean in this context? There is no such thing as a normal sexual life for women without child-bearing. The passage, therefore, is unworthy even of an intelligent layman, and is all the more disquieting seeing that it hails from a quarter claiming objectivity and expecting confidence because it is objective.
But it reveals the unwitting subjection of four medical men to the influence of the masculine accent over our civilization. Because the man's sexual life is normal with Birth Control, everything is normal!
A still more flagrant example of this, however, occurs in the writings of Havelock Ellis, the sexologist who enjoyed more popularity and prestige than any other scientific authority of his Age. He actually said:
"The method of birth-control by one of the contraceptive measures is the one and only method which places in the hands of the whole population possessed of ordinary care and providence the complete power
1 SEX ETHICS (London, 1936, P. 36). The italics are mine A.M.L.
Whose functions of married life? Obviously only the man's! For you cannot "altogether prevent" offspring and enable the functions of married life for women to be exercised! Thus we again find the unconscious submission to the monomorphic bias in a scientific mind.
How could laymen fail to argue that what was good for the male was also good for the female, if accredited scientists led the way?
This lapse on the part of Havelock Ellis, moreover, is the more odd, and the more conspicuously betrays the unconsciousness, and therefore the insidiousness, of this masculine accent over our lives, seeing that no one could have stated more explicitly than he has done the masculine bias in the Feminist Movement.
"In England," he says, "by a consciously perverted form of sexual attraction, women were so fascinated by the glamour that surrounded men that they desired to suppress or forget all the facts of organic constitution which made them unlike men, counting their glory as their shame; and sought the same education as men, the same occupations as men, even the same sports." 2
To this extent is it possible for an Englishman to seal up his ideas in separate watertight compartments! Had he once allowed the thought in the above paragraph to merge into his discussion of Birth Control, he would have seen the incongruity of the latter.
In such an atmosphere, with the masculine bias cropping up everywhere, could our young women
l EUGENICS REVIEW. April, 1917. The italics are mine. A.M.L.
2 STUDIES IN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, Vol. IV, p. 4.
Olive Schreiner, who gives abundant evidence of her resentment at being a woman, makes her heroine, in The Story of an African Farm, exclaim, "I will give it [£50 having been already mentioned as the price of the ring] to the first man who tells me he would like to be a woman." 1
How bitterly this reveals her dissatisfaction with her womanhood!
If England's every other achievement is ever forgotten, surely her fame will survive on this score alone that she contrived to wean her women from their satisfaction with being women, and from their principal and most natural adaptation. It was a mighty feat! That is why even a critical posterity may forget every fact about the English except this one.
Everything seemed against their achieving it: the fact that women's equipment for reproduction and sexual interests is elaborate and its impetus insistent, rhythmical and perpetually refreshed; the fact that, correlated with this elaborate apparatus, there were instincts which would not be denied and put off, and the fact that Nature as I have shown, so sternly insists on normal functioning in them, that she punishes unmercifully those who think they can flout her! Everything, everything was against the Anglo-Saxon of the last hundred and fifty years! And yet, without
1 Part II, Chap. IV.