George H. Smith

Individualist Feminism

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http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/8-shone-voltairine-de-cleyre/comment-page-1/

Those with an interest in individualist feminism might want to read this ongoing discussion, which focuses on Steve Shone's article about Voltairine de Cleyre. Sharon Presley and I have posted several comments thus far. Shone's original article can be accessed by clicking on one of the icons (.pdf or .doc) directly below his name.

Ghs

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Thanks for the link, George. I’m also a big fan of femininity…er…feminism, individualist or otherwise. Voltairine wasn’t much of a looker, I’m afraid. I tried to find some nude shots, but no luck there.

voltairine_de_cleyre-274x300.jpg

Fascinating discussion thread. Take this excerpt for example:

Steve J. Shone says:

Sharon Presley’s latest outburst (or upburst?) concerning my paper on Voltairine de Cleyre adds more personal insults to those accumulated in her prior missives. So far, she has called me silly, offensive, petty, pedantic, troubling, unspeakably rude, vicious, snotty, contemptuous, a committer of sleight-of hand who misrepresents feminism and engages in anti-feminist sophistry, and a purveyor of misunderstanding, snideness, petulance, and meanness. All these barbs, none of which can be justified by reference to anything I have said, are hurled at me apparently because I commit the thoughtcrime of writing an article with which Presley does not think she will eventually agree.

I’m frankly shocked to see such an exchange on the Libertarian Papers website.

Why can’t other internet forums be charmingly benevolent, tolerant and civil like Objectivist Living?

What is it with people, anyway?

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Thanks for the link, George. I'm also a big fan of femininity…er…feminism, individualist or otherwise. Voltairine wasn't much of a looker, I'm afraid. I tried to find some nude shots, but no luck there.

voltairine_de_cleyre-274x300.jpg

Fascinating discussion thread. Take this excerpt for example:

Steve J. Shone says:

Sharon Presley's latest outburst (or upburst?) concerning my paper on Voltairine de Cleyre adds more personal insults to those accumulated in her prior missives. So far, she has called me silly, offensive, petty, pedantic, troubling, unspeakably rude, vicious, snotty, contemptuous, a committer of sleight-of hand who misrepresents feminism and engages in anti-feminist sophistry, and a purveyor of misunderstanding, snideness, petulance, and meanness. All these barbs, none of which can be justified by reference to anything I have said, are hurled at me apparently because I commit the thoughtcrime of writing an article with which Presley does not think she will eventually agree.

I'm frankly shocked to see such an exchange on the Libertarian Papers website.

Why can't other internet forums be charmingly benevolent, tolerant and civil like Objectivist Living?

What is it with people, anyway?

Silencio!

--Brant

it's so hard to shut up anyone these days!

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Thanks for the link, George. I’m also a big fan of femininity…er…feminism, individualist or otherwise. Voltairine wasn’t much of a looker, I’m afraid. I tried to find some nude shots, but no luck there.

voltairine_de_cleyre-274x300.jpg

Fascinating discussion thread. Take this excerpt for example:

Steve J. Shone says:

Sharon Presley’s latest outburst (or upburst?) concerning my paper on Voltairine de Cleyre adds more personal insults to those accumulated in her prior missives. So far, she has called me silly, offensive, petty, pedantic, troubling, unspeakably rude, vicious, snotty, contemptuous, a committer of sleight-of hand who misrepresents feminism and engages in anti-feminist sophistry, and a purveyor of misunderstanding, snideness, petulance, and meanness. All these barbs, none of which can be justified by reference to anything I have said, are hurled at me apparently because I commit the thoughtcrime of writing an article with which Presley does not think she will eventually agree.

I’m frankly shocked to see such an exchange on the Libertarian Papers website.

Why can’t other internet forums be charmingly benevolent, tolerant and civil like Objectivist Living?

What is it with people, anyway?

A major problem here is that Steve Shone's article is so needlessly complex and tortuously written that it can be difficult to figure out exactly what his major point is supposed to be. Sharon got very frustrated by the process. I got frustrated as well, but finally figured things out, more or less.

I am fascinated by Voltarine de Cleyre's concerns about the unhealthy and ultimately destructive "interdependence" -- or "co-dependence," as it might be called today -- that can result when lovers commit to a marriage or even live together. (This echoes the objections to "cohabitation" that William Godwin expressed, in his Enquiry Concerning Political Justice , in 1793.) I recall reading an essay in which Voltairine argues that a married couple should, at the very least, have separate rooms where each can retreat for privacy.

Voltairine (named after Voltaire) is a great name for a woman. If I had had a daughter, I probably would have named her Voltairine. Or is that a name that one should reserve for a cat? :rolleyes:

Ghs

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Fascinating discussion thread. Take this excerpt for example:

Steve J. Shone says:

Sharon Presley's latest outburst (or upburst?) concerning my paper on Voltairine de Cleyre adds more personal insults to those accumulated in her prior missives. So far, she has called me silly, offensive, petty, pedantic, troubling, unspeakably rude, vicious, snotty, contemptuous, a committer of sleight-of hand who misrepresents feminism and engages in anti-feminist sophistry, and a purveyor of misunderstanding, snideness, petulance, and meanness. All these barbs, none of which can be justified by reference to anything I have said, are hurled at me apparently because I commit the thoughtcrime of writing an article with which Presley does not think she will eventually agree.

I'm frankly shocked to see such an exchange on the Libertarian Papers website.

Why can't other internet forums be charmingly benevolent, tolerant and civil like Objectivist Living?

What is it with people, anyway?

Silencio!

--Brant

it's so hard to shut up anyone these days!

See what I mean? If only posters on other webforums would try to emulate charming OL role models like Brant.

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"Voltairine wasn’t much of a looker, I’m afraid.

I think Voltairine was very attractive -- in that somewhat neurotic I'm-fascinating-and-highly intelligent-but-I-am-also-very-dangerous-so-proceed-at-your-own-risk sort of way that has always appealed to me. :rolleyes:

Here is a later photo of her.

volti2.jpg

Ghs

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A major problem here is that Steve Shone's article is so needlessly complex and tortuously written that it can be difficult to figure out exactly what his major point is supposed to be. Sharon got very frustrated by the process. I got frustrated as well, but finally figured things out, more or less.

I am fascinated by Voltarine de Cleyre's concerns about the unhealthy and ultimately destructive "interdependence" -- or "co-dependence," as it might be called today -- that can result when lovers commit to a marriage or even live together. (This echoes the objections to "cohabitation" that William Godwin expressed, in his Enquiry Concerning Political Justice , in 1793.) I recall reading an essay in which Voltairine argues that a married couple should, at the very least, have separate rooms where each can retreat for privacy.

Voltairine (named after Voltaire) is a great name for a woman. If I had had a daughter, I probably would have named her Voltairine. Or is that a name that one should reserve for a cat? :rolleyes:

Ghs

Yes. Experience has taught me that this issue tends to arise after the first year or so—when the sexual heat finally begins to cool down. Up to that point, separate quarters seem somewhat less critical. And obviously there are huge variations in the time frame involved.

No doubt this has been true since the Cro-Magnon era, which is probably where the term “man cave” originated.

The name Voltairine seems a bit ornate to me, even for a cat. If a girl is going to be named after a male philosopher, you should choose one with a simpler name, like Kant.

That should help her to build some character.

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Voltairine was a gifted writer. Her father placed her in a Canadian convent at age 13, where she remained for four years. Her depiction of her experiences there, which she presented to a Michigan audience in 1887, reminds me of Rand's account of her early years in communist Russia:

I spent four years in a convent, and I have seen the watchwords of their machinations. I have seen bright intellects...loaded down with chains, made abject, prostrate nonentities. I have seen frank, generous dispositions made morose, sullen, and deceitful, and I have seen rose-leaf cheeks turn to a sickly pallor, and glad eyes lose their brightness, and elastic youth lose its vitality and go down to an early grave murdered -- murdered by the church.

(Quoted in "Exquisite Rebel," edited by Sharon Presley and Crispin Sartwell, p. 5)

For a self-professed female atheist to say such things in public lectures in Victorian America was scandalous.

One of my favorite Voltairine stories is her response to Senator Joseph Hawley who in 1902, during the public outrage occasioned by the assassination of President McKinley, announced that he would pay $1000 to shoot an anarchist. Voltairine replied:

You may by merely paying your carfare to my home (address below) shoot me for nothing. I will not resist. I will stand straight before you at any distance you wish me to, and you may shoot, in the presence of witnesses. Does not your American commercial instinct seize upon this as a bargain? But if payment of the $1000 is a necessary part of your proposition, then when I have given you the shot, I will give the money to the propaganda of the idea of a free society in which there shall be neither assassins nor presidents, beggars nor senators.

Ironically and tragically, later the same year Voltairine was shot three times at point blank range by a former student, Herman Helcher, who said that he loved Voltairine but that she had broken his heart. Shot once in the front and twice in the back, Voltairine managed to run a block before a doctor found her. Voltairine somehow managed to survive this ordeal, but she was never the same. Chronic depression overtook her as her health deteriorated, and she died around ten years later, at age 45.

For more on the life and ideas of Voltairine de Cleyre, see the article by Crispin Sartwell at:

http://www.crispinsartwell.com/voltai2.htm

I'm surprised that a movie has never been made about the life of this woman. A screenplay would almost write itself.

Ghs

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"Voltairine wasn’t much of a looker, I’m afraid.

I think Voltairine was very attractive -- Here is a later photo of her.

volti2.jpg

It's not easy to tell. Glamour photography was not much of an art form at the turn of the last century. That is a much more flattering photo.

--in that somewhat neurotic I'm-fascinating-and-highly intelligent-but-I-am-also-very-dangerous-so-proceed-at-your-own-risk sort of way that has always appealed to me. :rolleyes:

Ghs

Where do you find such women? Ball-Busters.com?

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"Voltairine wasn’t much of a looker, I’m afraid.

I think Voltairine was very attractive -- Here is a later photo of her.

volti2.jpg

It's not easy to tell. Glamour photography was not much of an art form at the turn of the last century. That is a much more flattering photo.

--in that somewhat neurotic I'm-fascinating-and-highly intelligent-but-I-am-also-very-dangerous-so-proceed-at-your-own-risk sort of way that has always appealed to me. :rolleyes:

Ghs

Where do you find such women? Ball-Busters.com?

I have met many such women at O'ist gatherings over the years. Why do you think I have stuck with this ridiculous philosophy for so long? For the free food and drinks? :lol:

Ghs

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The name Voltairine seems a bit ornate to me, even for a cat. If a girl is going to be named after a male philosopher, you should choose one with a simpler name, like Kant.

That should help her to build some character.

Using "Kant" here might be quite problematic phonetically because the pronunciation of this name happens to be the same as that of an offensive English four-letter-slang term. :D

Edited by Xray

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The name Voltairine seems a bit ornate to me, even for a cat. If a girl is going to be named after a male philosopher, you should choose one with a simpler name, like Kant.

That should help her to build some character.

Using "Kant" here might be quite problematic phonetically because the pronunciation of this name happens to be the same as that of an offensive English four-letter-slang term. :D

Angela:

It is not offensive to quite a number of women when used properly.

Adam

and yes, I have references

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The name Voltairine seems a bit ornate to me, even for a cat. If a girl is going to be named after a male philosopher, you should choose one with a simpler name, like Kant.

That should help her to build some character.

Using "Kant" here might be quite problematic phonetically because the pronunciation of this name happens to be the same as that of an offensive English four-letter-slang term. :D

Angela:

It is not offensive to quite a number of women when used properly.

Adam

and yes, I have references

And the pronunciation is the same only to those who pay no attention when they listen.

JR

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The name Voltairine seems a bit ornate to me, even for a cat. If a girl is going to be named after a male philosopher, you should choose one with a simpler name, like Kant.

That should help her to build some character.

Using "Kant" here might be quite problematic phonetically because the pronunciation of this name happens to be the same as that of an offensive English four-letter-slang term. :D

Angela:

It is not offensive to quite a number of women when used properly.

Adam

and yes, I have references

And the pronunciation is the same only to those who pay no attention when they listen.

JR

Quite true. It would be a hell of a stretch to confuse the two. One is hard and the other soft...er, well, you know what I mean.

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Angela:

It is not offensive to quite a number of women when used properly.

Adam

and yes, I have references

Adam:

"Used properly" - hmm, I suppose you mean in a specific context, 'contextual', to use an Objectivist term.

Sure there exist contexts where the use of the term is appropriate in the given circumstances which form that context. ;)

and yes, I have references

No onus probandi will be placed on you here, I simply believe you. :)

It is matter of personal preference though. I still recall what a 'downer' it was when I read at the age of 21, in Erica Yong's Fear of Flying, the passage where the heroine's dream man called her a c***. I found the whole book completely unerotic.

But de gustibus non est disputandum.

And when I think about it, in today's times of public "slut walks", it would not be surprising if one day there are also walks having other four-letter-words as a motto. Probably there already are.

And the pronunciation is the same only to those who pay no attention when they listen.

The German pronunciation of Kant is the same as of the English four-letter-word.

How do you pronounce the "a" in Kant? As in British English "can't"?

Edited by Xray

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Angela:

It is not offensive to quite a number of women when used properly.

Adam

and yes, I have references

Adam:

"Used properly" - hmm, I suppose you mean in a specific context, 'contextual', to use an Objectivist term.

Sure there exist contexts where the use of the term is appropriate in the given circumstances which form that context. ;)

and yes, I have references

No onus probandi will be placed on you here, I simply believe you. :)

And when I think about it, in today's times of public "slut walks", it would not be surprising if one day there are is also walks having other four-letter-words as a motto. Probably there already are.

And the pronunciation is the same only to those who pay no attention when they listen.

The German pronunciation of Kant is the same as of the English four-letter-word.

How do you pronounce the "a" in Kant? As in British English "can't"?

Kant is pronounced KAHNT - it rhymes with confidante, detente, and wont [not won't, but wont, as in "I am wont to do such and such.] This is, BTW, the pronunciation used by every professor of German I studied under in college.

Cunt rhymes with punt, shunt, stunt, blunt, and hunt.

JR

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Kant is pronounced KAHNT - it rhymes with confidante, detente, and wont [not won't, but wont, as in "I am wont to do such and such.] This is, BTW, the pronunciation used by every professor of German I studied under in college.

Were they German native speakers? If yes, I suppose they deliberately chose the English pronunciation.

Cunt rhymes with punt, shunt, stunt, blunt, and hunt.

"Kant" in German too. The "a" is pronounced short, as in German "Kante".

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Kant is pronounced KAHNT - it rhymes with confidante, detente, and wont [not won't, but wont, as in "I am wont to do such and such.] This is, BTW, the pronunciation used by every professor of German I studied under in college.

Were they German native speakers? If yes, I suppose they deliberately chose the English pronunciation.

Would you recommend that a student of English emulate the pronunciation of Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush on the grounds that both were "native speakers" of English? Is "nuclear" pronounced "nuke you ler" in English?

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I am confident that, as long as she clearly explained to everyone how to pronounce it, a young girl named Kant would have a perfectly normal life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKqtn9I6rwc

A boy named Jiff--now he would really be in for a challenge.

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Fascinating discussion thread. Take this excerpt for example:

Steve J. Shone says:

Sharon Presley's latest outburst (or upburst?) concerning my paper on Voltairine de Cleyre adds more personal insults to those accumulated in her prior missives. So far, she has called me silly, offensive, petty, pedantic, troubling, unspeakably rude, vicious, snotty, contemptuous, a committer of sleight-of hand who misrepresents feminism and engages in anti-feminist sophistry, and a purveyor of misunderstanding, snideness, petulance, and meanness. All these barbs, none of which can be justified by reference to anything I have said, are hurled at me apparently because I commit the thoughtcrime of writing an article with which Presley does not think she will eventually agree.

I'm frankly shocked to see such an exchange on the Libertarian Papers website.

Why can't other internet forums be charmingly benevolent, tolerant and civil like Objectivist Living?

What is it with people, anyway?

Silencio!

--Brant

it's so hard to shut up anyone these days!

See what I mean? If only posters on other webforums would try to emulate charming OL role models like Brant.

Absolutely.

rde

Having no trouble picturing GhS as an individual feminist--just keep to half-heels, for safety reasons.

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Those who can tear themselves away from the crucial controvery about how "Kant" should be pronounced may wish to read Sharon Presley's latest blog on feminism, which she posted earlier today. It is substantial and worth reading.

Go here and scroll down to the fifth post.

Ghs

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Some of you may recall that the Kant issue was discussed on OL over a year ago. Go here

to read a story I told about a problem this caused while recording a Knowledge Product tape during the 1980s.

Ghs

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Kant is pronounced KAHNT - it rhymes with confidante, detente, and wont [not won't, but wont, as in "I am wont to do such and such.] This is, BTW, the pronunciation used by every professor of German I studied under in college.

Were they German native speakers? If yes, I suppose they deliberately chose the English pronunciation.

Would you recommend that a student of English emulate the pronunciation of Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush on the grounds that both were "native speakers" of English? Is "nuclear" pronounced "nuke you ler" in English?

The issue here is not about the indidividal, or dialectally-tinged, pronunciation of terms by native speakers, but about the standard pronunciation of a term, and the German standard pronunciation of "Kant" is with a short "a". This is simply a fact.

See also Dennis Hardin's link in # 19 to the video. The first 4 times you hear "Kant" pronounced by the guy is the correct, standard German pronuncination.

More info here (I was just looking for the thread in question but saw that Ghs has dug it up):

Some of you may recall that the Kant issue was discussed on OL over a year ago. Go here

to read a story I told about a problem this caused while recording a Knowledge Product tape during the 1980s.

The info there in addition to the 'audio-demonstration' provided in post #19 should suffice to clear things up for JR and remove all doubt. :)

Edited by Xray

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Those who can tear themselves away from the crucial controvery about how "Kant" should be pronounced may wish to read Sharon Presley's latest blog on feminism, which she posted earlier today. It is substantial and worth reading.

Go here and scroll down to the fifth post.

Ghs

Fascinating how fast a harmless tongue-in-cheek remark over a name can develop into a 'crucial controversy'. :D.

But that's just the way it is, challenges ask for replies, but in the end it all boiled down, like so often, to separating mere belief and assumption from fact.

But to get away from Kant and back to Voltairine, the "radical among radicals", as Sharon wrote in her post. Thanks for linking to it.

Edited by Xray

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Kant is pronounced KAHNT - it rhymes with confidante, detente, and wont [not won't, but wont, as in "I am wont to do such and such.] This is, BTW, the pronunciation used by every professor of German I studied under in college.

Were they German native speakers? If yes, I suppose they deliberately chose the English pronunciation.

Would you recommend that a student of English emulate the pronunciation of Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush on the grounds that both were "native speakers" of English? Is "nuclear" pronounced "nuke you ler" in English?

The issue here is not about the indidividal, or dialectally-tinged, pronunciation of terms by native speakers, but about the standard pronunciation of a term, and the German standard pronunciation of "Kant" is with a short "a". This is simply a fact.

See also Dennis Hardin's link in # 19 to the video. The first 4 times you hear "Kant" pronounced by the guy is the correct, standard German pronuncination.

More info here (I was just looking for the thread in question but saw that Ghs has dug it up):

Some of you may recall that the Kant issue was discussed on OL over a year ago. Go here

to read a story I told about a problem this caused while recording a Knowledge Product tape during the 1980s.

The info there in addition to the 'audio-demonstration' provided in post #19 should suffice to clear things up for JR and remove all doubt. :)

Just so you'll know, I do not listen to audios and I do not view videos online. It is pointless and useless to refer me to them.

Now answer my question about "native speakers" of languages and their supposed superiority to anyone else speaking the language in question.

JR

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