Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Male/Female Dynamic

Last night I read Ayn Rand's Essay titled About a Woman President, which is highly controversial even among Objectivists. To quote her directly: "For a woman qua woman, the essence of femininity is hero-worship— the desire to look up to man."Ayn Rand, "About a Woman President" At first I was startled, and then I tried to integrate what was being said into the rest of the philosophy as I know it. Luckily today I happened upon this site which proposes to explain in greater detail the dynamic which Ayn Rand introduced-that is, of a woman's hero-worship in regards to masculinity and the valued men in her life.

Today, masculinity and femininity is a hot-button issue, one rarely discussed openly and seriously, and riddled with many contradictions and confusions. To say that men and women are different — to suggest that they have different needs, different qualities, different frames of reference from which they view the world — is to suggest, in the minds of many, that they are not equal. Particularly, for a man to suggest that there is anything more than a biological difference between the sexes is to risk being perceived as a chauvinist: Since society in many ways still holds men as the standard, any talk of women as "different" must mean "inferior." And so many men quietly close their minds to the subject, respectfully acknowledging that under our skin we're all the same, and doing their best to treat the women in their lives, more or less, as one of the boys.

The romantic man is the man with a passion for life — a passion for values — and an interest in women. His success in romance is a reflection of his success at living: he is the artist, the thinker, the creator, the valuer. He is the man who values his own life, and who approaches life with the confidence and enthusiasm of one who is profoundly secure in his sense of his own value. This, above all else, is what makes him attractive to women and successful in relationships.

THE ROMANTIC MAN is a book that will give men the tools — a clear, conceptual understanding of romantic love — that they need in order to enact a romantic Renaissance in their lives. Its basic premise is that men and women are different, and that our differences are a very great thing: for they make possible and give rise to the most exciting, fulfilling, dynamic kind of relationship between us.

At the core of the book's thesis is a view of the nature of masculinity and femininity — a perspective on men, women, and their relationship to each other that has its roots in the Romantic era, and was given explicit identification in the 20th century by Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand.

THE ROMANTIC MAN will examine the current state of romance in our culture, and shed light on some of the problems men commonly experience with the opposite sex — many of which are caused at least in part by our society's confused views on romantic love.

Topics include:
The trivialization of romantic love in contemporary society — and how depictions of romantic relationships in popular culture give men a false sense of women and their needs. Why the modern woman's career-oriented life has brought her both fulfillment and frustration — and her urgent need for romance as a means of reconnecting with her femininity. How romantic love is gradually being omitted from our culture's concept of marriage — and the attempts by prominent experts to "save" troubled marriages without reference to romantic love.

The book will give an overview of the rise of Romanticism in the 19th century, examining it both as an esthetic movement and as a way of life. It will describe how romantic love as we know it today was born in the Romantic era, and will discuss the many exciting implications that a rediscovery of the ideals and spirit of this age has for modern man:

Why Aristotle is the father of Romanticism — not just in his esthetic theories, but in his basic view of man and of life. Depictions of men, women, and love in Romantic art — and what we can learn from them.The rise of imagination in the 19th century — and its role in the development of Romanticism. The connection between the new heights of prosperity and political freedom attained in the 19th century and the birth of romantic love — and why less-developed cultures still hold such backward views on male-female relationships. Why Romanticism died as a cultural force in the West — and why romance had to die with it.

The book will explore the relationship between esthetics and romantic love:

Art and love as the concretization and expression of values — how expanding one's esthetic sensitivities can improve one's romantic awareness — "sense of life" in art and romantic love — why music is often the most directly romantically inspiring of all the arts — physical attraction as an esthetic response — why romantic love could almost be considered "the sixth branch of philosophy." Why women want to be loved, respected and cherished — but not put on a pedestal. The virtue of chivalry — and the ways in which it symbolizes and stresses masculine/feminine identity.
The things that many well-meaning men do that make them appear needy and weak in a woman's eyes — and why so much of what we've been taught will turn a woman on actually turns her off. What it means for the man to be the initiator in romantic love — and how a misunderstanding and misapplication of this concept has led to so much frustration and unhappiness for both sexes. What specifically are the qualities and traits of the truly romantic man: his character, his personality, his attitudes, his behavior, his view of life, his basic concept of himself, his basic orientation toward the opposite sex — and why women find him so irresistibly attractive.

I'm interested to look at this book when he comes out with it.


Anonymous romantic greeting card said...

We need some romance in our live (husband and me). I am out doing a search on romantic gift basket. Your site caught my eye and I and want to take a quick read. You have a nice site. Keep up the great work. Well back to searching.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous romantic art said...

We need some romance in our live (husband and me). I am out doing a search on romantic beach. Your site caught my eye and I and want to take a quick read. You have a nice site. Keep up the great work. Well back to searching.

4:52 AM  

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