Guest ElizabethLee

femininity vs heroine worship

299 posts in this topic

hi Stephen!

it quite real in emotions that can be empathetically felt by others, even elephants men.  :)

ROFL! :)

Aside from the choice of animals (a cloddy elephant and a bulky zebra? -- better perhaps a doe and a lion?)

Phil didn't like my animal either :) Sniff. I love elephants. My Dad always wanted a baby elephant you know.... Maybe we should agree on the animal more. I think it's sweet that both of you chose male animals to be more in proportion to the other in size. But the large size difference was what I had in ind. It can't be 3:1, can't be midget/dwarf. But it's not at all like what we physically see, ie not like 6" extra to a woman's 64" , ie ~10%. It's far far more meaningful than 10%.

Men wouldn't be able to help me live above my means at +10%. It has to be a lot more. Even as is, the mind adds an enormous amount, making the differences smaller on the surface. For ex., I can carry a heavy suitcase. No problem. Just give me a quick hour to get my lasso and sled [and bellhop?!] forces all aligned, ok?? I can even carry a whole fleet of them! Just watch me! There's this nifty thing [probably an elephant designed, but I would have if I'd thought of it] called the Wheel. It attaches to things and wow, they move!!! It's really great. I love the wheel.

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p.s. in case you're still not convinced, how could a lady resist these elephants? :)

Elephant_-_Cartoon_03.jpg

elephant.jpg

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Elizabeth. Hi. :) I'm not sure if your questions are specifically addressed to Stephen or to everyone, but I will answer them for myself. Hero-worship is something I've been thinking about a lot lately as I begin to realize its importance in regard to my sense-of-life.

.hero worship for either sex by a man

[]is that true?  have you felt both?

I think this is absolutely true. I have felt hero worship for both sexes. The most notable examples of hero worship for women are the way I feel about Ayn Rand or my best friend (which you can read about here). Men I've had hero worship for are Ted Leo (my favorite musician), recently Howard Hughes, and even fictional characters like Howard Roark or John Galt (although I'm not entirely sure the term hero worship really applies there).

.hero worship for either sex by a woman

[]is that true for other women?  ie are there good examples of women hero worshipping other women?

Well, I can't really introspect this, but I think I have observed that women can hero-worship other women (although not necessarily in the same way as they would a romantic partner). I would wager a lot of Objectivist women regard their esteem of Ayn Rand as a form of hero-worship.

.worship of either sex by either sex

[]does everyone have examples of each?

Well, everyone is a really sweeping term. I'm not even willing to say that hero-worship is something common to everyone (and that's a shame!). To true nihilists, it's probably a foreign emotion entirely. I doubt feminazis would be able to find any male heroes to worship, and I doubt a misogynist would be able to fine female heroes to worship.

.surrender by a woman for a man

[]men don't feel a related emotion

I've never felt a related emotion, but I'm not sure that's universal for all men. I've discussed this at length with my roommate, who is not an Objectivist (yet) but shows a great deal of interest in Objectivism. He disagrees with the view of man-as-conqueror and woman-as-surrenderer. He says that he feels both emotions when romantically involved, and views the relationship as one of both mutual conquering and mutual surrender. Others on this forum have expressed what I took to be a similar sentiment, so I'm quite certain that a related emotion does exist for men, but maybe not in all individual men.

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hi Dave!

yes yes the more data the better!! -And- I'm so glad you've been thinking about it! It is indeed crucial to SOL.

hero worship for women are the way I feel about Ayn Rand or my best friend

What I meant by

>.worship of either sex by either sex

is to contrast hero-worship. Without prefix, it applies to those unique, unrepeatable people, just like Stephen said of Betsy. To me, since your beautiful story says, in part;

On Courtney .....I rarely understand her reasoning or believe any reasoning has occurred at all. These things are irrelevant when viewed against the backdrop of energy that fills any room when she’s present.

That sounds like unique-soul worship, not hero-worship. You did say you profoundly admire her ability to love life, but is it a full hero-worship you offer her, as you think she doesn't have good reasoning? I have a similar friend. Very similar. MagicMan; he's incredibly unique, maybe one of the most unique influences on my life ever. He's not my hero though. He is incredibly special. For example, he identified a truth about another friend, IngeniousGuy, that took me 5years to agree, but now I know his intuition [he believes in intuition big time] was 100%.

And AR is the case that baffles me for me!!!!

I feel like a dork to say so, and maybe I'm all off base and need serious thought, but I don't feel hero worship for AR or any woman. That's my first thought. Maybe I'm really onto something true, maybe not....

So far, I -certainly- feel the deepest reverence and awe for her abilities, her books, her ideas, you name it. But somehow that doesn't add up to an equivalent to hero-worship I feel for men for -her-, her person. I'm not sure if we have a name that applies to creations. Whatever that highest word is, I certainly feel that towards her creations.

Now granted, I don't know AR personally. But I know other heroic women personally, and I don't feel hero worship for them either! But these are really super-awesome women!!!

And I've been baffled for years as to whether I "ought" to value my female friends more. Because it's so different from how I feel about men.

So far I still feel pretty mute on my logic. But what I've got on it is;

.I only hero-worship men because the best man can be all the best woman can be, PLUS he's an elephant. He just plain lives on a larger physical scale.

.Hero-worship is intensely personal for me; I don't feel hero worship for male strangers. Peikoff for example. Similar to AR, his products get my extreme awe, reverence, etc. In contrast, for ex., I held my Dad with hero worship. Maybe that's a bad ex. because I experience plain worship for him too... Hmmm no, that's just what I'm lacking; a non-unique-to-me heroic person whom I feel hero-worship.

.I do feel many people, emphatically including AR, are role models.

.Hero-worship can be lost. There are cases I've hero-worshipped and now I don't. And there are people who grew into heroes. I don't think I've felt multiple flip flops but don't rule it out.

Thoughts??? :)

If my feelings have merit, then perhaps that explains the female-president at a different level; ie a man would have the [huge] advantages of hero worship [identification??? is that the main one??] but a woman wouldn't and would have to rely on pure logic.

Another set of implications would need to be considered for female friendships.

[re surrender]I've never felt a related emotion, but I'm not sure that's universal for all men.

If you could ask your roomie about surrender's effect on his sexual attraction I'd like to hear that. Because you're right, I forgot, I think surrender possibly could be experienced by men [as an extreme worship, like for women], but not as sexual. As loving. Maybe in other ways, other contexts, healing. But not heterosexual physical attraction. So I'm curious if he experiences the difference, which I think he does since he claims both surrender/conquer exist.

Whereas for women, when we surrender you are experiencing first hand our overpowering :):) feeling :).

This is so exciting I feel like we're really onto something!!

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I'm lacking; a non-unique-to-me heroic person whom I feel hero-worship.

I thought of something; Something really important to me is how I'm treated. I need to see noblesse oblige type treatment to accord hero worship. So women don't normally offer that. And many men don't visibly do so.

Charles Sures actually is a non-unique-to-me heroic person whom I feel hero-worship. I say non-unique-to-me because [unfortunately for me!] we were never more than acquaintances. But I revered him!!!!!

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p.s. Charles Sures was a hero on many grounds, not just chivalry/nobless/courtesy. He was a renaissance man. Stephen perhaps has posted on his greatness.

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hi Sarah!

I had a few thoughts about the productivity idea. I said men are more productive [for certain constant conditions]. I thought of men I've loved, equal me on some grounds therefore.

Of 7, 4 were not just more productive but [as the columnist Fred would say] catastrophically more productive. And the 3 were special cases;

FranciscoGuy; too young to evaluate

MFrenchman; put all his energies into athletics, an area which I personally couldn't judge productiveness. Note he was a medal-winner in his thing; maybe now with a similar man I'd evaluate differently.

WaterWalker; hadn't yet found his lifework.

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grrr, not sure why I clicked done....

So Sarah, can you perhaps think of couples you respect and then compare their productivity?

I say not you because you might not want to reveal for yourself, esp. since you only recently found a real hero [so the # would be 1 perhaps].

Btw, in my unending quest for measurement, I thought of a funny one; #posts here! Obviously, a huge #factors affect desire to post and ability, etc, so these #'s would need corroboration. But I was amused and I hope you are too, by; So far, ratios;

561/118=4.75 Alex to Sarah's posts

3642/975=3.74 Stephen to Betsy Speicher's posts

[]other couples here?? :) [who joined the board on the same day]

I emphatically don't think these ladies are less heroic, merely less productive on -absolute- scales than their mates, in a highly silly non-essential measure. For Betsy, however, I'm pretty sure she'd agree that Stephen is also generally more productive in absolute terms.

Again, absolutes; not relative. Elephants vs Zebras have different scales.

And I'm sure I don't need to point out there are most likely a ton of men who would be below both Betsy and Sarah in absolute productivity.

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I feel like  a dork to say so, and maybe I'm all off base and need serious thought, but I don't feel hero worship for AR or any woman.

I see nothing dorkish in that. It makes perfect sense. Judging a person an heroic being is not the same as hero-worship. Though expressed towards a particular person, hero-worship stems from a source that goes beyond that person, a source more broad, more metaphysical in nature. As I understand the psychology of many women, that metaphysical source applies to manhood, not womanhood. None of which undercuts the heroic nature and stature of an Ayn Rand.

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Charles Sures was a hero on many grounds, not just chivalry/nobless/courtesy.  He was a renaissance man.  Stephen perhaps has posted on his greatness.

In addition to all that Charles had accomplished across his lifetime, in his last years he became fascinated with physics. Even though he lacked the formal training, the endless questions he asked were always penetrating, to the essence. He struggled and eventually grasped some physics principles that, to this day, others with some training still fail to comprehend.

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Judging a person an heroic being is not the same as hero-worship. Though expressed towards a  particular person, hero-worship stems from a source that goes beyond that person, a source more broad, more metaphysical in nature.

Maybe I don't understand what is meant by hero worship... What I had always referred to as hero worship was an extreme form of admiration, respect, and often gratitude. It's the way I view those whom I hold up on a pedestal, but it's always grounded in them specifically. This is clearly different than what you're talking about.

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If you could ask your roomie about surrender's effect on his sexual attraction I'd like to hear that.

I actually asked this question during our initial discussion, and the answer is interesting. For him, the element of surrender never touches sex. In regard to sex, it is always the woman who surrenders, and he says he'd find it to be an extreme turn-off to have it happen the other way. I won't embarrass him by sharing the details, but he told me about a time when a woman attempted to reverse things during sex, and he reversed them right back--immediately.

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Maybe I don't understand what is meant by hero worship...

I claim no expertise here. The context is femininity, and I am mostly relating my understanding of the feminine psychology as voiced by, at least, a number of Objectivist women. What I have learned from them seems quite sensible to me.

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I claim no expertise here. The context is femininity, and I am mostly relating my understanding of the feminine psychology as voiced by, at least, a number of Objectivist women. What I have learned from them seems quite sensible to me.

Well, that's the thing. I don't see that "hero-worship," as I have used the term does apply only to manhood, and that leaves me wondering what the difference is between my usage and the one being talked about in this thread. I'm happy to adopt a different term for my concept for the sake of clarity, but the problem is that I don't really grasp your and Elizabeth's concept. Could I possibly get a definition from each of you?

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... but the problem is that I don't really grasp your and Elizabeth's concept. Could I possibly get a definition from each of you?

I have no formal definition. I have been operating on the characterizations given in a number of the preceding 289 posts in this thread, in other threads here on femininity, in private conversations with a number of Objectivist women, and in Miss Rand's sparse writings on the essence of femininity. Aside from the private conversations, I'm afraid you'll have to ponder through the rest.

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...the element of surrender never touches sex. In regard to sex, it is always the woman who surrenders, and he says he'd find it to be an extreme turn-off to have it happen the other way. I won't embarrass him by sharing the details, but he told me about a time when a woman attempted to reverse things during sex, and he reversed them right back--immediately.

LOL!!! Of course. Even the "shy" men or confused ones can suddenly spring to life in the bedroom :D [pun probably intended]

So we're in agreement, surrender exists for men, in fact is definitely beautiful whenever occurring [Dave, look forward to your 1st :D], but is not sexual for men whereas is for women.

I'll write more, but a quick note.

I thought of a woman I hero worship! And it helps me name a big difficulty I experience with femininity. StarLady is an extremely competent, productive individual with a lovely way of interacting with people, the noblesse oblige, for lack of better word. I don't find her strikingly feminine, but not at all unfeminine. I think it could be highly significant that she is black; I do think there remains some prejudice towards blacks in various pockets of the world, and thus she probably knows what it feels like to be mistreated subtly.

AR I find exceedingly feminine [eg on Donahue], but lacking some of this active welcoming I really seek in people. NB; I couldn't even -talk- about these issues without her work! I feel like her life is my Industrial Revolution. Without the fact of her existence and experiences, I'd not even have the chance to think and integrate as I am and hope to. I'd be a cog.

So I think StarLady has the attributes of a "total" person in my book; respect for her sexuality, for others, and demonstrated abilities.

The difficulty with femininity is that letting a man lead can be on the passive side of things, whereas offering good hostessing is very active. I don't know many southern women, but southern belle is one aspect of femininity I think I like. They may be more active perhaps also, and join the active/receptive aspects, but it's really tough. At least for me, I need help!

An example is with some gentlemen, such as ItalianGuy [who of course wouldn't be suitable romantically but I still like the option of light flirtation and the chance to feel feminine, esp. this man, a really great guy]. He reacts the best to me when I let him talk talk talk. And I love to listen, especially to men :D. So it works out. But then when I pipe up, somehow I can't do it lightly enough. It seems to set him back and burst his bubble as it were. Maybe like a low-level intimidation. Btw, I never thought I was intimidating, but it turns out I have hidden ability in that area, LOL! I'd like to prevent that because I enjoy being with others when they feel comfy to express themselves fully.

Thoughts? For ex., Dave, have you been in a case like I describe?

And I also wanted to mention; I'd hero worship Francisco if he were IRL, but not Galt or Rearden or Roark. I know others disagree; as Stephen said, preference is certainly a part of this.

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Maybe I don't understand what is meant by hero worship... What I had always referred to as hero worship was an extreme form of admiration, respect, and often gratitude. It's the way I view those whom I hold up on a pedestal, but it's always grounded in them specifically. This is clearly different than what you're talking about.

So, Dave, Stephen and others, for you as men, is it true that the 2 are coextensive? Hero worship and admiration for heroism? So that at the top of the spectrum it's the same in kind still?

And other ladies, do we all agree that at the top of the pack there's a difference in kind?

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So, Dave, Stephen and others, for you as men, is it true that the 2 are coextensive?  Hero worship and admiration for heroism?  So that at the top of the spectrum it's the same in kind still?

For me, yes.

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Thoughts?  For ex., Dave, have you been in a case like I describe?

Yeah, but my reaction is probably vastly different from your guy. The whole point of converstaion, to me, is conflict--especially with a woman. It's just no fun to sit around and talk about how much we agree, or for me to talk and talk and talk, with only occasional, passive interjections from her. I actually prefer it when a woman is strong in conversation, interrupts me to disagree, holds strong ideas opposed to mine that she expresses with passion--provided she can actually back things up rationally, and doesn't just fly off the handle or get offended at every disagreement.

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Yeah, but my reaction is probably vastly different from your guy. The whole point of converstaion, to me, is conflict--especially with a woman. It's just no fun to sit around and talk about how much we agree, or for me to talk and talk and talk, with only occasional, passive interjections from her. I actually prefer it when a woman is strong in conversation, interrupts me to disagree, holds strong ideas opposed to mine that she expresses with passion--provided she can actually back things up rationally, and doesn't just fly off the handle or get offended at every disagreement.

Exactly! Or, if she disagrees, pouts, folds her arms, and clams up. Yeesh.

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So, Dave, Stephen and others, for you as men, is it true that the 2 are coextensive?  Hero worship and admiration for heroism?  So that at the top of the spectrum it's the same in kind still?

For me, personally, yes, that has been my experience. However, I would not necessarily exclude experiencing towards a man the kind of hero-worship described by some women, though minus the sexual context.

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Yeah, but my reaction is probably vastly different from your guy. The whole point of conversation, to me, is conflict--especially with a woman. It's just no fun to sit around and talk about how much we agree, or for me to talk and talk and talk, with only occasional, passive interjections from her. I actually prefer it when a woman is strong in conversation, interrupts me to disagree, holds strong ideas opposed to mine that she expresses with passion--provided she can actually back things up rationally, and doesn't just fly off the handle or get offended at every disagreement.

Ayn Rand said "Man is the Conqueror. Woman is something that has to BE conquered."

Francisco said "The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer—because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement."

It seems Dave prefers "hard to conquer" women ... to his credit. :D

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I thought it might be interesting to post this little passage that I have come upon recently. Everyone has heard about the Amazons of the ancient world -- the original feminists, the ultimate example of women who would submit to no man. Here's a story of an encounter between the very queen of such women, and Alexander the Great, the consummate conqueror in the metaphysical sense (the story takes place after many of his great battles and victories):

There was a race of Amazons, and they had a queen, Thalestris, who ruled all of the kingdom. She, fired with a desire to visit the king, came forth from the boundaries of her kingdom, and was at once given permission to see him. Having ordered the rest of her escort to halt, she came forward attended by three hundred women, and as soon as the king was in sight, she herself leaped down from the horse, carrying two lances in her right hand.

With fearless expression Thalestris gazed at him [...]. On being asked whether she wished to make any request, she did not hesitate to confess that she had come to share a bed with the king, her being worthy [of him], and persisted that he should not suffer her to go away disappointed in her hope. The passion of the woman compelled Alexander to remain. Thirteen days were spent in satisfying her desire. Then she went to her kingdom, and the king on to Parthiene.

Even the Queen of the Amazons could not resist :D

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I apologize if I'm making you repeat something you've already said in this thread, but this wasn't a response I had expected, and I'm a little confused about your exact meaning.

Is it your position that Ayn Rand's formulation that hero-worship is the essence of femininity is best understood as worshipping man as a hero as opposed to as a man? If so, I hadn't thought of it that way before and it certainly puts a new spin on the concept for me. In fact, I'm not sure at all what that would actually mean. Do you think Wynand was unaware or uninterested in Dominique's heroic attributes? Is it possible for specifically feminine attributes to be heroic or villainous, or is that only a valid description of masculine qualities? (I'm interested in other people's thoughts on this besides Stephen also-- point me back to specific posts where you've addressed these questions if need be, I've kind of skimmed a lot here. But not for lack of interest, just time.)

Would there be a difference between saying "Wynand worshipped [Dominique] as a woman, not as a hero," and "Wynand worshipped Dominique for her feminine qualities rather than her heroic ones," or are you using "woman" to mean something besides or beyond merely "feminine?"

I think the most significant thing is that Wynand worshipped her as a woman, not as a hero. Wynand actually came closer to hero-worship towards Roark.

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