"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Sexual Madness – Madame Bovary, Connie Chatterley, And Insuppressible Male Desire

Although Emma Bovary must fall - a nineteenth century woman of irremediable sexual means, vixen, and harridan - she is a hero for both modern men and women.

Women revere her because of her refusal to be cowed by bourgeois sensibility and restrictive sexual covenants; men love her for her appreciation of male sexual strength.  Yet, as conventional mores would have it, she ends up badly, sadly for feminists who adore sexual independence, and who lament being left aside and unacknowledged; and as sadly for men who wish they could have smelled her sexual perfume.

Image result for images madame bovary

Connie Chatterley is also a sexual heroine whose trysts with Mellors while her crippled, defenseless, and pompous husband wheeled himself around the estate, are even more remarkable.  She not only has rejected 19th century European mores, but has rejected received morality as well.  Having sex in the greenhouse without a thought to her incapacitated, frustrated, debilitated husband is Nietzschean at the very least – a feminist, existentialist statement of independent value, determination, and worth.

Image result for images lady chatterleys lover

Lady Esqueth (Bromfield’s The Rains Came) wants little to do with her husband who has bought her title and without a second thought beds Thomas Ransome, handsome heir to English title sans fortune . Promiscuity for Lady Esqueth is a vindication of her purchase of a shopkeeper’s son and her callous acquisition of his vast wealth.  

Sexual barter continues in our time although subject to new laws. Women want father-tether, security, and patriarchal love, but also independence.  Every time of transition is one of enterprise. Savvy men, taking a page from both Flaubert and Bromfield know that feminine essence – that sexual dependency borne of father-daughter love – is still alive and well.  

Perhaps this particular sexuality has one more generation of vitality after which the granddaughters of father-love girls will want no more part of male security and authority, but for the time being, 'take while the taking is good' remains the male mantra of the day.   

These savvy men – those ascendant in the interregnum and well aware of it – leaning on the pillar of father-love create a sexual dependence far more restrictive than feminism ever envisioned, and still rule the sexual landscape.  

The war between the sexes has always existed and always will, but in the age of feminism and feminist assertiveness, battle lines have been reconfigured.  What to make of male-female  arrangements when women make more than men? How can men use their invested, patriarchal authority when the bottom economic, financial, and social lines tilt female?

Money isn’t everything – or anything – during the sexual interregnum.  It helps women who are struggling to adjust to their their new authority; but wealth does not, nor ever will, confer ipso facto the mantel of sexual authority.  In the days of identity politics – i.e. when  one’s race, gender, or ethnicity define character, personality, and personal worth – femininity is still defined by fatherhood. Freud placed father-daughter (and mother-son) love and dependency as the foundation of sexual desire. 

D.H. Lawrence, profoundly influenced by Freud, was explicit in his semi-autobiographical novel, Sons and Lovers in which the young boy Paul Morel is ineluctably bound to a demanding mother and because of that dependency, has difficulty finding his own sexual way. 

The sexual relationship between Lady Chatterley and her gamekeeper was the best of all possible worlds.  She, the aristocratic, bored wife of a crippled, impotent husband; and he the socially adventurous, potently male overseer of her estate were meant to be, and, according to Lawrentian psycho-sexual theories, theirs was the perfect match of sexual/existential desires.

Literature is littered with incomplete sexual desires.  The gamekeeper and Lady Chatterley, freed from Victorian convention can still never escape the familiar, restrictive, demanding confines of propriety.

Image result for Images DH Lawrence. Size: 143 x 204. Source: www.britannica.com

Mme. Bovary is bound by the same conventions of Connie Chatterley, but she feels free to woo, seduce, and bed whomever she pleases. Because sexual desire can never be separated from aspirations for social mobility and respect, it retreats quickly.  The more Connie Chatterley expresses her anti-bourgeois sexual independence, the more she is used by male predators of the class to which she aspires.  Her ‘ideal’ sexual relationship with Mellors can only be  temporary, temporal, and elastic.  It can never be.

In this modern feminist age of sexual diversity and respect, gender radicals insist that such issues of proto-male and –female sexuality have no further relevance.  A man is not defined as a male per se but of a composite sexuality.  Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Alexander the Great, expansionist English Kings and Vatican Popes, they day, were retrograde males – white marauders, territorialists, and geopolitical thugs.  Their ur-masculinity and sexual force were insignificant within the perspective of today. 

Of course nothing could be farther from the truth.  History before and even since has never witnessed such violent, insatiable territorialism and raw personal and sexual power; innate humanhave not been neutered and destroyed by the feminist juggernaut; but only a portion of society – those without the genetic makeup of shoguns, shahs, and emperors – have retained and exercised it.

Such ur-masculinity does not reside or stop in the privileged classes which will always have the power and authority to rule, control, and govern absolutely.  Genetics are universal – shah and pipe-fitter share the same genes.  Such masculine authority is expressed either in the councils of government and field tents of generals or in bourgeois bedrooms.

The same madness afflicts Mason Tarwater, Rev. McEachern and Joan of Arc. Whether religious or secular, the inspiration is human – desirous, demanding, territorial, and absolute.  

Pope Urban was  simply a more temperate version of the crazy Mason Tarwater or Rev. McEachern.  Joan of Arc was a possessed, obsessed, religious fanatic burned at the stake for apostasy and heresy.  Hundreds were similarly tortured and killed in Salem at the hands of Protestant fundamentalists.

Image result for images joan of arc sexual

In the Salem archives are stories of ‘witches’ condemned of apostasy and burned at the stake for their sexual transgressions.  In 17the century New England, the worst offense was both doctrinal and secular, of the flesh; and the combination of the two doubled the price of admission.  Not only had the accused blasphemed God and taken a lover; but had thrown both in the face of their own accusers.  Not only was the punitive, castigating religion of Plymouth and the Puritans religiously righteous, but its denial of fundamental personal, and sexual rights downright modern.

Salem and the opprobrium of the English upper classes could not neuter or even marginalize human nature.  Male sexual predation and female demurral will, it seems, be with us for a long, long while.  As much as heterosexual dynamics might be artificially challenged to suit the zeitgeist, they, hardwired and Biblical, are as permanent now as they were in Puritan New England.

Today’s identity politics highlight the extremes – the tough, butch, ripped transgender shot-putter; the fey, cute, curly, blonde and sassy dance hall tranny dancer – but worse, the universal progressive feminization has produced a lot of sexually indifferent men; men who at best prefer five-finger fantasies to the risk of harpy outrage.

See the source image

Savvy men have figured out the rules of the new sexual game.  Despite protestations to the contrary, women still want bad boys, Lotharios, Don Juans, and sexual adventurers.  Sensitive, New Age Guys need not apply. Men know this, keep their whistles clean, their reputations intact, while adding notches to their belts.

In other words, nothing has changed; nor will it ever until generations of daddyism have passed. And even when this older era has faded, women will still have genetic remnants to deal with – desires for male comfort, security, excitement, adventure, and enthusiasm.  No one has yet fingered an XX gene for such female characteristics, but the practical, anecdotal evidence is hard to ignore.  Women still cry a lot and care when their lover leaves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.