The weaker sex has in no previous age been treated with so much respect by men as at present--this belongs to the tendency and fundamental taste of democracy, in the same way as disrespectfulness to old age--what wonder is it that abuse should be immediately made of this respect? They want more, they learn to make claims, the tribute of respect is at last felt to be well-nigh galling; rivalry for rights, indeed actual strife itself, would be preferred: in a word, woman is losing modesty. And let us immediately add that she is also losing taste. She is unlearning to FEAR man: but the woman who "unlearns to fear" sacrifices her most womanly instincts.In short, female "progress" is nothing less than the devolution of civilization, a prediction which we are seeing play out in real time.
That woman should venture forward when the fear-inspiring quality in man--or more definitely, the MAN in man--is no longer either desired or fully developed, is reasonable enough and also intelligible enough; what is more difficult to understand is that precisely thereby-- woman deteriorates. This is what is happening nowadays: let us not deceive ourselves about it! Wherever the industrial spirit has triumphed over the military and aristocratic spirit, woman strives for the economic and legal independence of a clerk: "woman as clerkess" is inscribed on the portal of the modern society which is in course of formation. While she thus appropriates new rights, aspires to be "master," and inscribes "progress" of woman on her flags and banners, the very opposite realises itself with terrible obviousness: WOMAN RETROGRADES.
Since the French Revolution the influence of woman in Europe has DECLINED in proportion as she has increased her rights and claims; and the "emancipation of woman," insofar as it is desired and demanded by women themselves (and not only by masculine shallow-pates), thus proves to be a remarkable symptom of the increased weakening and deadening of the most womanly instincts. There is STUPIDITY in this movement, an almost masculine stupidity, of which a well-reared woman--who is always a sensible woman--might be heartily ashamed.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Nietzsche on women
The old nihilist may have been moralblind, but it is informative to see how his description of the effect of women unlearning to fear men echoes the effects of Man unlearning to fear God: