Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Morning Miscellany

The Fashioniste is not a fashion blogger but an Art-Fashion-and-Literature Synthesist

I'm fascinated with the way that his latest post highlights Dior's 1789 with commentary on women and revolution by leading intellectuals of the 19th Century, including these quotes from Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.

Ever since the French Revolution, women's influence in Europe has decreased to the same extent that their rights and ambitions have increased; and thus the “emancipation of women,” in so far as women themselves (and not only shallow males) are demanding and encouraging it, turns out to be a curious symptom of increasing weakness and dullness in the most womanly instincts. There is stupidity in this movement, an almost masculine stupidity, which a truly womanly woman (who is always a clever woman) would have to be utterly ashamed of. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Part Seven: “Our Virtues,” Section 239, (1886), translated by Walter Kaufmann (1967).
Was it not the case in France that the influence of women, which steadily increased from the time of Louis XIII, was to blame for that gradual corruption of the Court and the Government, and which brought about the Revolution of 1789, of which all subsequent disturbances have been the result? However that may be, the false position which women occupy nowadays, demonstrated as it is, in the most glaring way, by the institution of the “lady,” is a fundamental defect in our social scheme, and this defect, proceeding from the very heart of it, must, by its very nature, spread its irritating and burdensome influence in all directions.-The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer: Studies in Pessimism (1851), translated by T. Bailey Saunders (1891), and slightly modernized for clarity by me.
and if that wasn't enough Schopenhauer for you...
[The fact that] woman is by nature meant to obey may be seen by the fact that every woman who is placed in the unnatural position of complete independence, immediately attaches herself to some man, by whom she allows herself to be guided and ruled. It is because she needs a lord and master. If she is young, it will be a lover; if she is old, a priest.-The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer: Studies in Pessimism (1851), translated by T. Bailey Saunders (1891).
On one hand the 19th Century produced philosophers like Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and their ilk. On the other hand it produced a scientist of the caliber of Marie Curie who despite her study of mathematics, chemistry and physics at the Sorbonne, was denied a position as a professor at Krakow University because she was a woman.
Ultimately, whose work was more important...Schopenhauer's or Curie's...the answer is evident.
interesting, non?
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