Guest ElizabethLee

femininity vs heroine worship

299 posts in this topic

David,

I think there might be an equivocation here on a number of levels. First off, on the subject of worship. You say in a response to me (with the most important part underlined),

Thank you, FC, for responding forthrightly and honestly. I vehemently agree with you that men and women's metaphysical differences are desirable and most delectible.

But let's not call the utter enjoyment (valuing) of such differences worship.

And yet, in a response to Betsy, you say,

I agree completely with "she is offering up her whole self to her man" and that it is an act of sexual surrender in the hands of a man she totally trusts and loves.
If we agree that the "offering up of her whole self" is a metaphor for an offering of a kind, then that is all that is meant here by 'worship', and it is necessarily one sided.

Next, on the subject of values. Again quoting you, with a part that's most important for that aspect underlined:

Thank you, FC, for responding forthrightly and honestly. I vehemently agree with you that men and women's metaphysical differences are desirable and most delectible.

But let's not call the utter enjoyment (valuing) of such differences worship.

Where we part ways is your belief that the valuing is one-sided. The woman is the valuer, too.

Yes, a woman clearly values something here, otherwise she wouldn't ever want to do it in the first place. But me saying that does not invalidate what I said before. The equivocation here seems to be on the word worship, which in one post you use as an act of intensely valuing something (and protest that women can value too) and in another post you use to mean the metaphysically-driven nature of the woman as wanting to 'offer herself up'. In one sense you protest that a woman is not just valued but also a valuer herself, in another sense you protest that a woman is not the only one doing the intense valuing (worship) but that a man can do it too... and it just gets all confused.

The basic principle is nature-driven -- women are pursued, men pursue. Women want to feel valued (let's say, held), and men want to value (let's say, hold). The fact that a woman may value herself being valued, does not change the essentials of the difference. That is the big point. So while both men and women are valuers in this case, the direction of 'wanting to be held' and 'wanting to hold' is completely one-sided. In the context of friendship hugs can be given either which way, of course, but in the context of a relationship it's one way. And why call that one-way relationship 'worship'? Because, as Betsy said, it involves wanting to give up the whole of yourself to someone else.

So while in one context both the man and the woman are valuing something here, in another context the man is the only valuer, and the woman is the only one valued. It's just another metaphor for the man being the only pursuer, and the woman being the only pursued, even as they both may value the process. There is undeniably something one-sided here. Betsy (and Ayn Rand) simply called it 'worship', that's all. Note that Betsy did not define the word in the usual sense of intense valuing, but you did, and that's why there's all this confusion comes from about who's valuing whom, and why. Clearly both the man and the woman intensely value something here. But in the context that Betsy seems to have used it, the word 'worship' stands for a metaphysical state that only a woman wants to enter, and only through a man (the receiver of the offering).

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I can see something in what you are saying, David.

The idea of "worship" and seeing a man "as a god" seem to be the issues. In a very close, intimate relationship, seeing the other person "as a god" seems to set them at a distance. If someone is up on a pedestal, how can they make love to you?

However, that idea of "worship" may be colored by religion--is there a non-religious "worship" that includes more intimacy? I do not find it easy to see worship in an intimate sense. (And I was raised an atheist, if that matters.) If surrendering, allowing someone complete control over you, is a form of worship, then that is closer to what it means for a woman.

I wonder whether Objectivist men like the idea of being worshipped by a woman. Did Galt and Roark enjoy it? They were certainly worshipped. :)

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...A romance between Dagny Taggart and Eddie Willers could not work out, no matter how much he worshipped her. Just try and imagine it.

I agree that such a romance could not work out. The reason I think it could not is that there is so much disparity between the efficacy and achievements of the two of them. Dagny is much better able to deal reality than Eddie is. I think that a romance between the two of them would be ultimately unsatisfying. It would end up being more like an older sister / little brother relationship.

But I would say the same thing if the roles were reversed. I don't think that a romance between a man who is an efficacious high-achiever and a woman who is far less able, would work out either. For example, I think that a romance between Hank Rearden and Gwen Ives (his secretary, I believe - from what I remember, she reveres and esteems Rearden to a similar degree that Eddie worships Dagny Taggart) would not ultimately be successful.

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But I would say the same thing if the roles were reversed.  I don't think that a romance between a man who is an efficacious high-achiever and a woman who is far less able, would work out either.  For example, I think that a romance between Hank Rearden and Gwen Ives (his secretary, I believe - from what I remember, she reveres and esteems Rearden to a similar degree that Eddie worships Dagny Taggart) would not ultimately be successful.

I agree that a romance between a man who is a high-achiever and a woman who is far less able would not work, not matter how much she worshipped him. But the point is that man-worship would still be an expression of her femininity. Eddie Willers' worship of Dagny Taggart is not an expression of his masculinity, although he loves and desires her. Another example is in Night of January 16, where "Gutts" Regan is hopelessly in love with Karen Andre, but his worship of her is not tied up to his masculinity either.

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I am certainly NOT saying THAT.  Both men and women value -- but differently.

A rational woman's act of worship is the act of offering herself to her man -- of which there is usually not an exact equivalent for men.  That requires that she let go of her normal attitude of value-seeking and her desire to remain in control.  The only thing that motivates her to do that, and that makes it irresistibly inevitable, is the extreme value she places on her man.

From what I can tell, you seem to be contradicting yourself, Betsy. You say that the woman is valuing, and then you say she is not "value-seeking" -- which means she is not valuing, keeping her value in mind during an act. My point is that she IS value-seeking. She is cognizant of what is going on; she is reveling in the experience; she may even be directing what she wants in some instances (with the man's tacit OK). She is not valuing her man, as you put it. She is valuing each second of the experience as a tactile, emotional, feminine-affirming experience.

Again, I don't see how the act of surrender manifests itself in worship of the man. He is not better, not on a pedestal, for being the one who is surrendered to. He is simply fulfilling his metaphysical role in a romantic relationship.

To draw an analogy of surrender for both sexes, we must surrender our very lives to the skill of a pilot on an airplane. We have absolutely no control over whether we live or die -- and yet I don't feel a need to worship the pilot. I have an abiding respect for his abilities and hope he's as good as he's supposed to be, but that doesn't equal worship.

David

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David,

I think there might be an equivocation here on a number of levels. First off, on the subject of worship. You say in a response to me (with the most important part underlined),

And yet, in a response to Betsy, you say,

If we agree that the "offering up of her whole self" is a metaphor for an offering of a kind, then that is all that is meant here by 'worship', and it is necessarily one sided.

There's no equivocation, FC. I agreed with Betsy that there is definitely a surrender, and I told you that valuing is not worship. I've said all along that the valuing is two-sided and that if we're going to use the loaded term "hero-worship," it can't be used by only one side, since each side is equally virtuous.

Next, on the subject of values. Again quoting you, with a part that's most important for that aspect underlined:

Yes, a woman clearly values something here, otherwise she wouldn't ever want to do it in the first place. But me saying that does not invalidate what I said before. The equivocation here seems to be on the word worship, which in one post you use as an act of intensely valuing something (and protest that women can value too) and in another post you use to mean the metaphysically-driven nature of the woman as wanting to 'offer herself up'. In one sense you protest that a woman is not just valued but also a valuer herself, in another sense you protest that a woman is not the only one doing the intense valuing (worship) but that a man can do it too... and it just gets all confused.

I don't understand your confusion, FC.

The basic principle is nature-driven -- women are pursued, men pursue. Women want to feel valued (let's say, held), and men want to value (let's say, hold). The fact that a woman may value herself being valued, does not change the essentials of the difference. That is the big point. So while both men and women are valuers in this case, the direction of 'wanting to be held' and 'wanting to hold' is completely one-sided. In the context of friendship hugs can be given either which way, of course, but in the context of a relationship it's one way. And why call that one-way relationship 'worship'? Because, as Betsy said, it involves wanting to give up the whole of yourself to someone else.

So while in one context both the man and the woman are valuing something here, in another context the man is the only valuer, and the woman is the only one valued. It's just another metaphor for the man being the only pursuer, and the woman being the only pursued, even as they both may value the process. There is undeniably something one-sided here. Betsy (and Ayn Rand) simply called it 'worship', that's all. Note that Betsy did not define the word in the usual sense of intense valuing, but you did, and that's why there's all this confusion comes from about who's valuing whom, and why. Clearly both the man and the woman intensely value something here. But in the context that Betsy seems to have used it, the word 'worship' stands for a metaphysical state that only a woman wants to enter, and only through a man (the receiver of the offering).

Women value being pursued and men value pursuing. Women value being valued. Men value valuing. Both sides are value-seekers at all times in romance/sex. There is never a time in a relationship or life that one rational party in any situation is not valuing -- even in surrender. Pure and utter ecstatic surrender requires a mind that revels in the very act of doing so at every moment.

I'm not being flip when I say that that feeling that women have in sex may be akin to the way I feel when eating a banana split on a hot summer day -- a complete surrender to the taste buds, a complete intoxication of flavor.

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I can see something in what you are saying, David. 

The idea of "worship" and seeing a man "as a god" seem to be the issues.  In a very close, intimate relationship, seeing the other person "as a god" seems to set them at a distance.  If someone is up on a pedestal, how can they make love to you?

Yes, precisely, Jennifer.

However, that idea of "worship" may be colored by religion--is there a non-religious "worship" that includes more intimacy?  I do not find it easy to see worship in an intimate sense.  (And I was raised an atheist, if that matters.)  If surrendering, allowing someone complete control over you, is a form of worship, then that is closer to what it means for a woman.   

We are taking back the term selfish, so I certainly would like to see the term worship have a strictly secular connotation, too, as long as it means something like "utter reverence." My main contention here has been the suggestion that worship can be one-sided and be related somehow to "surrender." It should be just the opposite. It should be related to active respect for another -- another's virtues.

I wonder whether Objectivist men like the idea of being worshipped by a woman.  Did Galt and Roark enjoy it?  They were certainly worshipped.  :)

I have met many Objectivist men who have taken too fond a liking to adulation -- and nearly as many who have "played" at being Galt or Roark. I don't think I would be allowed on this forum to express my thoughts about Ayn Rand's portrayal of Galt and Roark in relation to women.

David

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hi David!

wowie, I'm catching up! Thank you for continuing to post. At first I thought you'd help us take up Alex & Sarah's torch, but I see you don't seem to be going that far. You've stated several times you and your wife enjoy the bedroom male-mastery roles, which is different from their position. So nominally it should be easier to reach agreement with you first. I posted here a massive message after theirs and didn't get any feedback; maybe this is why. Btw, I did start a thread for the definition. But that's not as sexy a topic :D. I would however love if you'd post your thoughts to the lecture example there.

OK, I will try to break up my thoughts. First, I'd like to say that I consider it perfectly lovely that you are speaking for your wife. Not only could that be considered chivalry imho [e.g. if she doesn't like 'arguments'] but also I heartily applaud the efforts of gentlemen to try to understand female psychology better. After all, the closer we come to understanding each other, the better chances our needs will be met.

I'm not being flip when I say that that feeling that women have in sex may be akin to the way I feel when eating a banana split on a hot summer day -- a complete surrender to the taste buds, a complete intoxication of flavor.

Does your wife agree with that? That you are the split? :) Because -definitely- that's not how I feel, LOL. There are 2 levels, and it's true at neither. The 2 are; one's surrender to physical experience vs [is not the same as] surrender to a man's [mind &] body. Yes, both surrenders are involved in lovemaking, but there is a sequence of causality: if I don't do the 2nd, the 1st can't occur [it is rape]. Thus, the 2nd type is essential, primary. Furthermore, on the strictly physical, 1st , level, men aren't banana splits. -I- am. There's nothing outside me that gives my pleasure because at root no matter what the man does, it's up to me to experience it as good/bad.

Whereas, my understanding is that a man will experience a woman like a banana split; delectable, delicious, gotta have one now! :D Am I right?

There is never a time in a relationship or life that one rational party in any situation is not valuing -- even in surrender.

No one disagrees. As Betsy said, it's different however.

In one post you said, "We cannot esteem values --only virtues." Perhaps that is the source of this particular disgreement. I, like others here imho, react to that statement with ~"Of course we value values!" Are you familiar with the Fact/Value article? Do you agree with it? That's its message. Nothing is so insignificant as not to have a valuation.

Perhaps you are thinking that one can only -judge- virtues.

I have met many Objectivist men who have taken too fond a liking to adulation

I also hope that men don't relish being worshipped by woman. I also agree that I've seen Oist men who arrogantly seek worship; but I am not sure the percentage is higher. It's the classic philanderer/playboy type. I don't find that masculine; it's weak not to recognize one's own power w/o validation. However, Oists are usually more certain of everything, and too often that includes their false ideas [making it that much more difficult to resolve issues]. But here, Dave, please don't presume that. Any one who takes the trouble to post and chew these things deserves our respect.

Wrt the books, I don't think Galt and Roark relished being worshipped. On the contrary, I feel [on dim fond memory] that John took Dagny's cooking offerings with acceptance, enjoyment, and perhaps a delight in their physical connectedness [her hands touched his food], but no more. [Any citess?] My reading is that AR's men focused on their values-attainment, which was the woman in toto and not a mere small aspect. Btw, I definitely hope we could discuss the love scenes. [but of course I don't know your exact disagreements]

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[re whether men/women equally enact...] 

Hero respect, yes.  Hero reverence, yes.  Hero honor, yes.  But hero worship?  Worshipping is much more that valuing.  It is a spiritual OFFERING to a GOD.

Think about it.  How would you like you friends to treat you?  Would you like them to respect you or would you like them to worship you?

hi Betsy! I'd love if you could amplify on this post. I think I understand, but the rhetorical questions got me a bit confused :). I'm not clear on your position for friends.

wrt offering to a god, that made me think of the following integration, which relates to the idea that I'd like to see this topic discuss less sexual and more everyday instances. If masculinity/femininity is hard to discuss, how hard is sex?!! I personally don't even want to "go there" if going there means discussing sex practices. And, to clarify what I've said, I definitely don't want to propound any type of "proper" sex! Only proper roles more broadly... but that's just a placeholder, not an argument. I don't even want to discuss "proper" in any respect until we understand what the respects are. What what what do we all mean by these things? :D Anyway, back to this particular thought I had...

I'll wax on and I'm curious if you agree, Betsy :D.

As a woman, it's a given that I'm not as strong/etc as a man. As I said before, this -definitely- applies to me personally! LOL, so I'll keep my wording personal for now. Note that a man does not have to be literally stronger or taller for me to feel this way. One of the most masculine men I've met, ever, was a good 6" shorter than me. But wow! Did he know his stuff!!! [And being a tiny part of his world was being part of a terrific passion for life.] He did have physical strength [i'm not that heavy; he could lift me]. Other men exist who are not physically strong but are very manly on mental bases.

In other words, my world is like me living with a lot of elephants, and I'm a pretty zebra. All these elephants, I can identify them right away, "stereotypically": if it's a man, it's 95% sure it's an elephant. There are a few male zebras, my size, but pretty rare of those men things there. And these creatures can be big! Sometimes scary! Even when they're little they still might step on me and hurt! Ouch... But they can go go go. Most seem to sleep less and they never have monthly inconveniences. They never have 9months of inconveniences for the sake of the next generations. They can work harder, longer, faster, than I can. They build all these way cool man-size, elephant-size things all over the world. My bed is too heavy to lift, but these elephants, they have no trouble with it!

I live physically above my means, and I owe all it to the elephants.

What is my proper valuation of that? There is huge value to me, irrespective of the fact of how irresistibly cute I find them when they want me or like me or admire me or offer me a door-opening. It's also regardless of their stand on women generally or me specifically. Of course, I have to say it's really really nice when they love zebras in general, because then it feels a lot more mutual. Indeed, it's only those kind of elephants I personally could love; imho men should adore women, on general principles of women being the means to the most intense values on earth.

However, notice there's not an issue of trading here. There's no trade. I did nothing, but I got to live in an elephant's world!!! Yay for me! What a life! Life is good. Elephants therefore, barring other specific information to the contrary, are generally good.

Not just good, like other zebras who are wonderful and can create values like I can, but GREAT! Amazing, fantastic, super-heroes! They're the Elephants!! They're the men!

The proper evaluation for me is very simply;

I love men!!! :D:D:D They're so great!!!

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p.s. I've had the pleasure to discuss this topic with one larger lady whom I find very feminine. She told me basically that to fit in as a woman and be feminine it was rather like being in Rome and doing as the Romans do. She said that over time she just found being softer, a little gentler with her voice, did wonders in getting men to listen to her and so forth.

Also, I'd like to note that though this is an issue of feminine psychology, imho it is much more important for men to understand the basic issues, or at least to conclude rightly about the goodness of women.

It would be wrong for a man to come to the inverse conclusion wrt elephants/zebras. In other words, one does not take special cognizance of flaws or lesser accomplishments. Even as a woman, I have a good IQ. There are many many people upon whom I could, if I so chose, look down upon. I do not. Each of us has some things we can't change; a basic IQ is one of those things. It is not open to volition [Dave, so, not part of morality]. I can teach them things, or not. Either way it's fine, it doesn't redound on my view of myself or of them. They are fine the way they are, I'm fine how I am. I'm happy about my IQ. I don't measure my IQ by their standards, but by reality. Am I solving my life problems? Am I succeeding at my chosen career? That's my focus -on reality- not on other people's realities.

Imho this is part of why AR didn't feel she was a "giant." Whyever would that feeling be a value to one's life? The value is in the great accomplishments that can ensue, the realities that can be created. She thought to herself: "I created Atlas Shrugged." She gloated about -that-.

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hi Carlos!

Once again, I have to say:  Best thread ever.

as originator of this thread, thank you so much for saying so!!! And I see you're from Texas, there seem to be a lot of gentlemanly men there...

I was postponing replying because I wanted to chew/say/ask how such a thanks might feel differently to a man/woman. When you receive praise on your work, do you feel it redounds a bit on your masculinity? [i expect it does] You see, for me, though this kind of praise is incredibly helpful and wonderful [i'm on the right track! success is at hand!], it has nothing to do with my sense of femininity. [which is fine]

Also, I forgot to address the issue of masculinity/feminity vs sexuality.

I posted somewhere and mixed the terms, LOL [i think Sam Axton called me on it]. I think that's a mistake only a lady could make. Because for me, femininity is intimately tied to my caring for men [elephants, see above]. Thus, to feel my feminine contrast is the first step towards my sexual feelings. I had said; it feels sexual; I'm not sure I can support that though. However, imho, this is why many women, me definitely, can potentially respond to a huge number of men; I feel a little tweensy itsy bit of romantical [not love] feeling towards almost all men.

But men feel masculine when they master things and feel sexual when they want a particular woman, right?

As always, for both of us, when we experience -both- sexual attraction/being-valued and male mastery, our masculinity/femininity feelings are increased. Thus romantic partnerships give the very highest visibility.

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I'm not being flip when I say that that feeling that women have in sex may be akin to the way I feel when eating a banana split on a hot summer day -- a complete surrender to the taste buds, a complete intoxication of flavor.

Either you are seriously missing the depth of the feminine experience -- or -- I want to found out where you get your banana splits!

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[re whether men/women equally enact...] 

Hero respect, yes.  Hero reverence, yes.  Hero honor, yes.  But hero worship?  Worshipping is much more that valuing.  It is a spiritual OFFERING to a GOD

Think about it.  How would you like you friends to treat you?  Would you like them to respect you or would you like them to worship you?.

hi Betsy! I'd love if you could amplify on this post. I think I understand, but the rhetorical questions got me a bit confused :). I'm not clear on your position for friends.

No matter how much you value and respect friends, the essence of the relationship is more one of equality and partnership. It is not a matter of offering up one's body and soul. Nor is completely abandoning control part of a proper parent / child, teacher / student, or employer / employee relationship either. There is something unique and uniquely profound in the way a woman relates to a man and words like "surrender" and "worship" don't capture it exactly -- but they're close.

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hi David!

OK, I will try to break up my thoughts.  First, I'd like to say that I consider it perfectly lovely that you are speaking for your wife.  Not only could that be considered chivalry imho [e.g. if she doesn't like 'arguments'] but also I heartily applaud the efforts of gentlemen to try to understand female psychology better.  After all, the closer we come to understanding each other, the better chances our needs will be met.

Elizabeth, if you knew my wife, you'd know I NEVER speak for her. :)

Does your wife agree with that?  That you are the split?  :D  Because -definitely- that's not how I feel, LOL.  There are 2 levels, and it's true at neither.  The 2 are; one's surrender to physical experience vs [is not the same as] surrender to a man's [mind &] body.  Yes, both surrenders are involved in lovemaking, but there is a sequence of causality:  if I don't do the 2nd, the 1st can't occur [it is rape].  Thus, the 2nd type is essential, primary. Furthermore, on the strictly physical, 1st , level, men aren't banana splits.  -I- am.  There's nothing outside me that gives my pleasure because at root no matter what the man does, it's up to me to experience it as good/bad.

The way I see the bedroom scene is pretty much like what happens in the jungle with a rational twist. Guy goes after girl (who of course must give at least implicit assent and can certainly initiate and make it clear what she wants). Foreplay or no foreplay, depending on what both want. Guy gets more aggressive. Girl gets less aggressive proportionally. Guy takes total control with girl's implicit assent (with the understanding also of what she wants and how she wants it). Each time is different, of course, so there are a hundred variations on this theme.

In one post you said, "We cannot esteem values --only virtues."  Perhaps that is the source of this particular disgreement.  I, like others here imho, react to that statement with ~"Of course we value values!"  Are you familiar with the Fact/Value article?  Do you agree with it?  That's its message.  Nothing is so insignificant as not to have a valuation. Perhaps you are thinking that one can only -judge- virtues.

Yes, I agree with Peikoff's Fact & Value, but that pertains primarily to judgment -- and the fact that fact and value cannot be separated. No dichotomy there. But that doesn't pertain to "esteeming" values. Perhaps you could give me three examples of values that you esteem that do not pertain to virtues. Thanks.

I also hope that men don't relish being worshipped by woman.  I also agree that I've seen Oist men who arrogantly seek worship; but I am not sure the percentage is higher. It's the classic philanderer/playboy type.  I don't find that masculine; it's weak not to recognize one's own power w/o validation.  However, Oists are usually more certain of everything, and too often that includes their false ideas [making it that much more difficult to resolve issues].  But here, Dave, please don't presume that.  Any one who takes the trouble to post and chew these things deserves our respect.

I agree, Elizabeth. Anyone who is honestly seeking the truth certainly deserves our respect.

Regards,

David

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Either you are seriously missing the depth of the feminine experience -- or -- I want to found out where you get your banana splits!

Baskin n Robbins! :)

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I have met many Objectivist men who have taken too fond a liking to adulation -- and nearly as many who have "played" at being Galt or Roark.

I actually asked about Objectivist men, in particular, mainly because I think they would have what it takes to be comfortable with worship, if worship is really an appropriate expression of love from a woman. As far as I can tell, men generally are very uncomfortable with the idea!

Wrt the books, I don't think Galt and Roark relished being worshipped. On the contrary, I feel [on dim fond  memory] that John took Dagny's cooking offerings with acceptance, enjoyment, and perhaps a delight in their physical connectedness [her hands touched his food], but no more.

I agree with you Elizabeth, this is my impression as well. So...is "worship" really an appropriate expression of feminine love? I am inclined to think it does set the beloved at too much of a distance.

Regarding banana splits--I don't think they will get you there either. :)

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I have met many Objectivist men who have taken too fond a liking to adulation -- and nearly as many who have "played" at being Galt or Roark.

I actually asked about Objectivist men, in particular, mainly because I think they would have what it takes to be comfortable with worship, if worship is really an appropriate expression of love from a woman. As far as I can tell, men generally are very uncomfortable with the idea!

I think that for the man most worthy of feminine worship, it is not an issue. He neither plays at nor is uncomfortable with worship; he's too busy being a man, and enjoys the consequences.

So...is "worship" really an appropriate expression of feminine love?  I am inclined to think it does set the beloved at too much of a distance.

Don't bother telling that to the many men and women who think otherwise. They are too busy loving each other to care.

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They're the Elephants!!  They're the men!

"Bear" seems to be a more common comparison among women, at least personally. I think I like it better than "Elephant" ... :)

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Perhaps you could give me three examples of values that you esteem that do not pertain to virtues. Thanks.

Although I wasn't the one who was asked the question, the answer seems rather trivial. There are many things about a person that can be lovable and yet not pertaining specifically to virtues, for example the particular way a woman swings her hair around, or the delicate lines of her neck, etc. And regarding values in particular, that is really trivial -- think of how many Objectivist couples find a lot in common because they value Objectivism together, irrespective of the implications this may have on virtues. Even putting relationships aside, how many people find a lot in common with each other because they have read and admired Ayn Rand's books? How else can forums like this spring up?

There's so much more than just the virtues of a person that matters here.

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There's so much more than just the virtues of a person that matters here.

Although similar basic values give a relationship a solid foundation, it is the differences in temperament and style that make it interesting. She is talkative and he's the strong, silent type. He's creative and she's good at keeping things running. She's sensitive and moody and he's solid as a rock. She's easygoing and he's got a short fuse. He's generous and she's thrifty. Etc. Etc.

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Although I wasn't the one who was asked the question, the answer seems rather trivial. There are many things about a person that can be lovable and yet not pertaining specifically to virtues, for example the particular way a woman swings her hair around, or the delicate lines of her neck, etc. And regarding values in particular, that is really trivial -- think of how many Objectivist couples find a lot in common because they value Objectivism together, irrespective of the implications this may have on virtues. Even putting relationships aside, how many people find a lot in common with each other because they have read and admired Ayn Rand's books? How else can forums like this spring up?

There's so much more than just the virtues of a person that matters here.

I'm not sure I follow the reasoning in your example above. Are you saying "the particular way a woman swings her hair around, or the delicate lines of her neck" are values to you or to her? If these are your values, then there certainly are virtues associated with those values. The virtues are those you must perform to acquire those values, whether it be in the form of having that woman as a friend or a romantic partner. Have you created the character that would make that woman want to value you?

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I'm not sure I follow the reasoning in your example above.  Are you saying "the particular way a woman swings her hair around, or the delicate lines of her neck" are values to you or to her?  If these are your values, then there certainly are virtues associated with those values.  The virtues are those you must perform to acquire those values, whether it be in the form of having that woman as a friend or a romantic partner. 

Paul, could you rephrase what you're saying here? I don't really know what you mean. What virtues does someone have to perform to have a line of a neck that is extremely appealing to a guy, but not to most other people (or something else about her that he finds particularly attractive)?

Also, could you explain what you meant by this:

Have you created the character that would make that woman want to value you?

:)

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I actually asked about Objectivist men, in particular, mainly because I think they would have what it takes to be comfortable with worship, if worship is really an appropriate expression of love from a woman.  As far as I can tell, men generally are very uncomfortable with the idea!

<...>

I agree with you Elizabeth, this is my impression as well.  So...is "worship" really an appropriate expression of feminine love?  I am inclined to think it does set the beloved at too much of a distance.

I wonder if the role of "worship" is more for the woman's benefit than the man's. I can't picture myself as the object of literal worship and see something that I need from a romantic relationship. Yet, based on discussions here and elsewhere, I can imagine that a woman needs an engulging sense of the man, that she can let him take charge and feel that it is okay to do so (in terms of safety as well as that such action is proper, moral, and desirable).

What do you think about that idea?

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I wonder if the role of "worship" is more for the woman's benefit than the man's.  I can't picture myself as the object of literal worship and see something that I need from a romantic relationship.  Yet, based on discussions here and elsewhere, I can imagine that a woman needs an engulging sense of the man, that she can let him take charge and feel that it is okay to do so (in terms of safety as well as that such action is proper, moral, and desirable).

What does "engulging" mean? :) I tried looking it up, but could not find a definition.

Yes, letting a man take charge requires that she trust him completely, and value him very, very highly. But I still think calling this "worship" seems not quite right.

If this is the highest she has to give, shouldn't it be an extreme value to him, if he values her? It seems odd to me that such an intense emotion (worship) on a woman's part invokes so little response in a man. At best, his response is mild amusement or indulgence (looking at Galt and Roark), almost as if she was a child.

I do not understand how this is romantic. Worship of man makes more sense, to me, in regard to "man" in an abstract sense. In that case, the sense of distance it creates is not an issue.

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Yes, letting a man take charge requires that she trust him completely, and value him very, very highly.  But I still think calling this "worship" seems not quite right. 

If this is the highest she has to give, shouldn't it be an extreme value to him, if he values her? 

A woman, who IS the value sought and gives her body and soul, might expect that it should be that way for a man, but it's not. The woman he loves is a very high value to a man, but it is still just another value he seeks.

Here is a description of a man introspecting on his highest romantic value:

Roark awakened in the morning and thought that last night had been like a point reached, like a stop in the movement of his life. He was moving forward for the sake of such stops; like the moments when he had walked through the half-finished Heller house; like last night. In some unstated way, last night had been what building was to him; in some quality of reaction within him, in what it gave to his consciousness of existence.

I first read that when I was 18 and not very knowledgeable about men. My reaction was "Last night had been what building was to him? That's ALL????"

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