File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-04-30.191, message 13


Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 14:55:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Fourier on the sexual minimum



"Physical love, which is called brutish, animal, etc., is degraded by 
civilized legislation and morality as an obstacle to the conjugal system. 
When it is not allied with sentimental love, it is regarded as a vile 
passion which reduces us to the level of of the animals. Nothing is more 
true.... The law...dishonors a woman who sleeps with a man in order to 
satisfy an imperious physical need. There are still many parents who 
allow their unmarried daughters to suffer and die for want of sexual 
satisfaction. Certainly some provision should be made for a young woman 
who is languishing and suffering for want of a pleasure which nature 
dictates. It would be easy for her to reach some understanding with a 
conscientious and healthy young man who would promise to be discrete and 
ta take the customary precautions to avoid pregnancy. But on this point 
fathers start citing the 200,000 volumes of theology and the 400,000 
volumes of philosophy. The fact remains that they are assassinating their 
daughters, and that the laws and prejudices which ignore the natural 
right to physical love are comparable to the vengdful gods who, according 
to Calchas, exacted the blood of Iphigenia. Those gods were no more 
unjust than are our 600,000 volumes on amorous matters. This rebellion of 
parents, philosophers and theologians against nature is particularly 
reprehensible in view of the fact that nature has provided a number of 
men who would be quite willing to satisfy the needs of languishing women 
and even those whose charms have withered with age."

>from *The New Amorous World*


I took this passage from *The Utopian Vision of Charles Fourier: Selected 
Texts on Work, Love, and Passionate Attraction* trans. and edited by 
Jonathan Beecher and Richard Bienvenu (U. of Missouri Press, 1983).


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