September 04, 2003

No Spousal Tenure; or, the Adjunctification of Marriage

[Bowman]: Are they going to be faithful to you and publish your next sex book?

[Kipnis]: I want to stress my book is not a book about sex, it's a book about love. I have a reputation as someone who writes about sex, but I think of myself as writing about sexual politics. 'Against Love' is an experiment that I'm still trying to see how it comes out. Is the book going to get falsely characterized as a pro-adultery book? So far the longer reviews have dealt seriously with all the political aspects of the book. I have greater ambitions than being a sex writer, no offense to you, Salon's 'Sex Guy.' There are other things that interest me. I don't want to go down in history as the Adultery Queen.

-- David Bowman, "Adultery as an Act of Cultural Rebellion"

In an interview with Salon, Laura Kipnis reveals that she has "really big breasts" and very large ambitions, and insists that she does not "want to go down in history as the Adultery Queen." As an historian, I confess I have to wonder whether Kipnis will go down in history as anyone at all. But I digress.

Kipnis, who teaches media studies at Northwestern, has attracted a good deal of media attention for her Against Love, a polemic against marriage which Rebecca Mead describes as "a deft indictment of the marital ideal, as well as a celebration of the dissent that constitutes adultery, delivered in pointed daggers of prose" ("Love's Labors: Monogamy, Marriage, and Other Menaces").

Mead takes issue with what she interprets as one of the central organizing themes of the book:

Kipnis, alighting upon the psychotherapeutic bromide that relationships take work, asks, 'When did the rhetoric of the factory become the default language of love?' It’s an interesting question, but she doesn’t answer it. Instead, she takes the metaphor of work at its word, characterizing ours as an age 'when monogamy becomes labor, when desire is organized contractually, with accounts kept and fidelity extracted like labor from employees, with marriage a domestic factory policed by means of rigid shop-floor discipline.'

We find an earlier version of this argument in Kipnis's article "Adultery" (Critical Inquiry, 1998), an excerpt of which can be found here, which excerpt includes the following:

Those in happy marriages can leave now: this essay is not for you, for whom marriage is a site of optimism, not anesthesia; intensity, not resignation. No one here means to impugn, not for a second, the delights of marital fidelity, the rewards of long-term intimacies. But before you rush the exits, a point of clarification: a happy marriage would mean having--and wanting to have--sex with your spouse on something more than a quarterly basis. It would mean inhabiting a structure of feeling in which monogamy wasn't giving something up (your 'freedom,' in the vernacular), because such cost-benefit calculations just don't compute. It would require a domestic sphere in which monogamy wasn't proactively secured through routine interrogations ('Who was that on the phone, dear?'), surveillance ('Do you think I didn't notice how much time you spent talking to X at the reception?'), or impromptu search and seizure. A 'happy' state of monogamy would be defined as a state you don't have to work at maintaining.

Yes, we all know that Good Marriages Take Work. But then, work takes work, too. Wage labor, intimacy labor--are you ever not on the clock? If you're working at monogamy, you've already entered a system of exchange: an economy of intimacy governed--as such economies are--by scarcity, threat, and internalized prohibitions; secured ideologically--as such economies are--by incessant assurances that there are no viable alternatives. When monogamy becomes work, when desire is organized contractually, with accounts kept and fidelity extracted like labor from employees, with marriage a domestic factory policed by means of rigid shop-floor discipline designed to keep the wives and husbands of the world choke-chained to the reproduction machinery--this is a somewhat different state of affairs than 'Happy Marriage.'

Well. There's no question that "relationships take work" is one of the more tiresome of the lengthy list of hackneyed entries to be found in our pop-therapy lexicon. But to equate the term "work" with "the language of the factory" strikes me as a rather dubious move, and an outdated one too. What percentage of workers work in factories anymore? Does "work" still resonate of associations with the factory floor? Wouldn't it be more accurate to speak of, say, the retail and service sectors? Though this might not offer Kipnis the opportunity to display the kind of schoolboy cleverness that we find in the following (though that's sexist of me: I suppose I should say schoolgirl cleverness):

'If love is the latest form of alienated labor, would rereading 'Capital' as a marriage manual be the most appropriate response?'

"One could charitably take that 'rereading,' Mead notes, "to be a nice little joke about the preoccupations of cultural-studies academics, rather than an expression of it." Quite. In any case, Mead is having none of it. Toward the end of her review, she counters another version of "work":

Rather than seeing each individual marriage as a cog in a tyrannical industrial machine that manufactures large-scale social docility, we might re-reread Marx to come up with an alternative understanding of how the language of work might relate to the language of love. Perhaps love isn’t necessarily the alienated labor of the factory floor. Perhaps it can be the kind of work that Marx argued was displaced by the inhuman character of industrialization: the meaningful, satisfying work of the farmer or the artisan who remained organically connected to the fruits of his labor, and who was ennobled by this effort. Conducted with imagination, the labor of this love might be so gratifying as to be indistinguishable from play.

That's an interesting rejoinder. But I think it may concede too much to what strikes me as a questionable framework to begin with. Kipnis's ridicule of the "relationships take work" ethic seems to me to deliberately miss the point: the point being, that it's not like breathing, it won't always come "naturally," and it won't always be gratifying and creative and fun. And Kipnis's assertion that "a 'happy' state of monogamy would be defined as a state you don't have to work at maintaining" strikes me as so much silliness. With respect to the implict equation happiness=not work, to how many spheres of life might this equation apply? Think of the people who derive enormous satisfation from working at art, athletics, writing, cooking, and so on. Are we going to say, This is not really happiness because your happy state requires work?

Kipnis wants people to make connections between the personal and the political, between the organization of intimate life, and the organization of economic and state power. Thus, "'domestic coupledom,'" she writes, "'is the boot camp for compliant citizenship.'" Adultery, on the other hand, is not simply an act of infidelity to one's partner but also an act of rebellion against the powers-that-be.

Well, okay, I'm game. So I'd like to suggest another connection between domestic and political economy. For all her play with the "marriage takes work" slogan, and despite her insistence on the relationship between personal and institutional arrangements, I think Kipnis needs to think harder about the economic implications of her argument:

'It's generally understood that falling in love means committing to commitment,' [Kipnis] writes. 'Different social norms could entail something entirely different: yearly renewable contracts, for example.'"

I can't help thinking of flextime, removal of job security, replacement of full-time staff by part-time contingent contract workers. Doesn't this put Kipnis the cultural rebel firmly on the side of the labor and managerial practices of corporate America?


When I published this entry, I neglected to add a link that I had intended to provide: Is that Legal? had a post on Kipnis a few weeks ago.


Chad Orzel says, "you think marriage is hard work, try dating":

Monogamy has its down side, but the Maxim lifestyle Kipnis glorifies pretty much sucks all the time. There are very few activities that I hate more than trying to Meet People in bars and clubs. I don't dance well, I dislike crowds (I take up a lot of space, and spend a lot of time getting jostled), and it's surprisingly difficult to make small talk in loud rooms with people who are eight or ten inches shorter than you are.

Most of all, though, I hated the pressure, the idea that every casual conversation was a medium-stakes gamble. Play your cards right, and you can get at least one night of sex, and possibly something more. Babble like an idiot, and you're stuck sleeping on the couch because you're sharing a room with a better gambler than yourself. To twist Kipnis's analogy, if marriage is like being on the job 24/7, dating is like a neverending job interview, and it's a rare job that's worse than the interview.

And ogged of unfogged has directed my attention to yet another piece on Kipnis's book.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at September 4, 2003 03:27 PM

I think your comments are very a propos. Also, what happens if "work" is replaced by "effort"? That's a more precise description of what is meant by the "relationship is work" phrase.

On a sidenote, Kipnis' stuff about "yearly-renewable marriage" contracts doesn't strike me as being "progressive" or ahead of the curve. America's "culture of divorce" -- a culture that is far more accepting of divorce than in the past -- is under intense intellectual attack due to the undeniably bad effects it has on children. Kipnis, if anything, seems 30 years behind the time, caught up in some fatuous "sixtyism," in which those arguments haven't been raised yet.

Posted by: JT at September 4, 2003 05:14 PM

To look at the interview at Salon, I had to watch a commercial for "Thirteen". It is a depressing combination. Her brave words - "All the endless rules and edicts of love are training to larger forms of passivity" - seem an odd fit with drug-snorting pre-teens...

Writing about the heroic political possibilities of unrestained desire strikes me as a wondeful academic pose. Why stop at marriage, though? What about the daring and thrilling desire to defraud others? Are the executives at Enron wonderful transgressors, too? After all, they lied to the government and refused to follow staid routines and tight regulations...

Reviews of her book should be shipped off to Northwestern alumni to let them know what a wonderful civic education their alma mater still provides.

Posted by: better left nameless at September 4, 2003 05:56 PM

Strikes me as just another attempt to be "transgressive" and rake in $$$. I like very much the way you take her analogy and turn her ass over teakettle with it. Pure intellectual judo.

Posted by: language hat at September 4, 2003 06:23 PM

I think Mead nails what Kipnis is up to.

Indeed, for someone with such a skeptical eye for the supposed eternal verities, Kipnis gives lust a free ride.

And here's Kipnis from her NYT Mag piece a couple of years ago.

The prevailing cultural wisdom is that even if sexual desire tends to be a short-lived phenomenon, ''mature love'' will kick in to save the day when desire flags. The issue that remains unaddressed is whether cutting off other possibilities of romance and sexual attraction for the more muted pleasures of mature love isn't similar to voluntarily amputating a healthy limb: a lot of anesthesia is required and the phantom pain never entirely abates.

Let's leave aside the bits about "work," which you effectively demolish, and forget her "really big breasts," about which I think she's kidding, and look at that kernel of truth in her $$$raking enterprise: we do (pledge to) give up the frisson of new encounters when we commit and we do pay some price for that. What's the price? How do we justify it? And is that justification satisfactory? Kipnis may be silly, but the questions aren't.

Posted by: ogged at September 4, 2003 06:55 PM

The impression I got from the interview in Salon was that Kipnis is a dithering, intellectually flabby ninny. She says she's against Love but, as you note, conflates this with work via a pop-psychology bromide, with the result that her criticisms could only apply to the oppressive aspects of legal marriage. And then to suggest "yearly renewable contracts" as a possible alternative (I know, I know, I'm just repeating what you wrote, but I'm still aghast at the stupidity of it all) is like—

The hell with her. I'm having a drink. Want one?

Posted by: Curtiss Leung at September 5, 2003 01:01 AM

Interesting to see Marx mentioned here by someone other than me. I think Karl (stormy marriage) & Fred (never married) would say, yeah, the kind of "work" involved in a marriage would ideally be non-alienated labour. However, both -- especially Engels -- were cynical about the whole deal; Engels called it "prostitution" in the "Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State." There's even a passage in there about the boredom of Protestant marriages vs. the raciness of Catholic ones that's germane to this discussion. In any case, the problem with marriage for Marx and Engels and other radicals is that it's part and parcel of the old society. If you look at communist utopias, e.g., "News from Nowhere", marriage is nowhere to be found. Out in the real world, many of the 19th c. utopian socialist communities and 60s/70s anarchist communities tried to get around marriage in some way or another.

I'm going on about this because it seems to me that Kipnis is actually on the right track. Marriage isn't working too well these days. Is this because of our sodomite Culture of Divorce? No, there's been a social redifinition of masculinity and femininity as well as a massive social change towards increased "flexibility". All of this has inevitably eroded the social base of the marriage and family, which for the moment are still rooted in Late Modernity. I give Kipnis credit for trying to develop an ethics for our new society.

If you want to defend marriage, you're going to have to defend its social base. That may include "effort" from the couple in question, but that's not nearly enough. At the very least you will need to redefine work and gender roles back to where they were before WWII. Good luck. Personally, i think the Kipnis route makes more sense.

Posted by: che at September 5, 2003 03:23 AM

I guess I'm dense, as I don't see what pre-WW2 work and gender roles have to do with marriage, the institution where partners commit themselves to the sharing of their lives and get their commitment recognized as having legal consequences. I hope Che isn't forgetting that a great many women worked in the '30s, for starters - the image of the stay-at-home housewife as a very widely practiced norm is about as closely connected to reality as French revolutionary tracts about feudal features like the droit de signeur. (That is, not at all.)

Divorce rates are higher, so nearly as I can tell, primarily because our culture(s) now put a different valuation on the merits of maintaining a not altogether satisfactory (or maybe much worse than that) marriage versus the merits of breaking it off. I'm unconvinced that this is all that deeply connected to specific economic circumstances - surely it is in part, but as a non-Marxist I have the liberty to say that a given pattern of work and off-work time needn't require this or that particular response, even though it may make some more or less likely and/or appealing. Values shape economics as well as vice-versa; it's not separate stories of a building, it's like the parts of a circulatory system, which when taken far enough all become other parts.

(I'm in favor of extending the blessings of matrimony to gatherings of sundry number and gender, as I think that society at large has an interest in rewarding the desire to make the commitment of shared life.)

I do admit to having a dim view of arguments of the form "I'm screwing you over as an act of protest against them", which disinclines me to respect Kipnis very much.

Posted by: Bruce Baugh at September 5, 2003 04:11 AM

On che's points -

If we are going to really take up Kipnis' arguments against linking marriage status to financial issues or endorse this idea of a yearly contract, then how would it work? This assumes of course that we stay in "Late Modernity" and that the revolution does not show up to whisk away that pesky withering state, religious beliefs, and human inequality.

Would one (or more) partners be covered by the benefits of another in a relationship? How would the dissolution of such relationships work in terms of dividing income and possessions? Who would review whether or not "partnerships" were valid enough to warrant a company or the state to provide insurance or other material benefits?

If I was a canny HR person trying to comb back offering benefits, I'd be promoting Kipnis' position as a justification to lower labor costs in the name of "flexibility". IA is dead on in her assessment.

Posted by: better left nameless at September 5, 2003 08:37 AM

Che: I have two responses to your post. One is to your content and the other is to your tone.

Content: Economic circumstances have changed, as you state, but why do these economic circumstances have to lead to a weakening of the institution of marriage? I don't see a necessary causal shift. In fact, why not argue the opposite, that economic circumstances -- more instability, more dual-earner families -- should have strengthened the institution, since a stable marriage actually confers many economic benefits? In fact, the problem is cultural. I think Bruce put it very well. There's been a cultural shift in America towards individual fulfillment and liberty that I believe has been extremely destructive. At the same time, not all of it is going to be rolled back.

I do want to point out that I appear to be the only one in the discussion to mention children. The effects of divorce on children are entirely negative. All the bromides about "better happy apart than unhappy together" are pure drivel. I strongly recommend the Andrew Hacker review of the Gore’s conventional-wisdom-filled book in the 12/5/02 NY Review of Books. A very clear-eyed analysis of the situation which is a must-read for anyone interested in this question.

About your tone, let me lapse into polemics: go ahead and stay in your 1968 bourgeoisie
-hating dreamworld. Your children can grow up to be dysfunctional drug addicts while you shack up with your fifth temporary “life-partner” in your egocentric, fatuous voyage of discovery. That’s the ultimate fate of the “social liberation” you advocate. I love the “Late Modernity” phrase – maybe you can take your sixth life-partner and move to Cuba when America gets closer to its inevitable collapse.

I honestly don’t mean to be personally insulting but sometimes utterly wrongheaded viewpoints are best met by an imprecation such as this.

Posted by: JT at September 5, 2003 09:23 AM

If the institution of marriage were as strong and essential as you imply, JT, why hasn't it better weathered the cultural storm you describe?

On your other point, I cannot believe you have the breadth of personal experience to assert that divorce is never better than staying together. Kipnis is a featherweight, but the institution isn't flawless: why, with all the economic advantages it offers, aren't all of the individual fulfillment junkies cashing in (in pairs)?

Posted by: Chris at September 5, 2003 09:48 AM

"Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State" -- wow, I haven't seen that quoted seriously in years! (*weeps a nostalgic tear for the simple-minded leftism of his youth*)

However, I must thank che for mentioning "the boredom of Protestant marriages vs. the raciness of Catholic ones"; it brought immediately to mind the classic debate on the subject, with the impassioned peroration:

"That's what being a Protestant's all about. That's why it's the church for me. That's why it's the church for anyone who respects the individual and the individual's right to decide for him or herself. When Martin Luther nailed his protest up to the church door in 1517, he may not have realised the full significance of what he was doing. But four hundred years later, thanks to him, my dear, I can wear whatever I want on my John Thomas. And Protestantism doesn't stop at the simple condom. Oh no! I can wear French Ticklers if I want."

And of course prior to that there's the Thomistic back-and-forth on a particularly trenchant quaestio (wav file).

Oh, and:

Marriage isn't working too well these days.

Speak for yourself, pal; mine's doing fine.

Posted by: language hat at September 5, 2003 09:52 AM

I read a long review of Kipnis' book in THE NEW YORKER and thought, What an idiot. What she is proposing is terminal adolescence, the never-ending thrill of groping in the back seat of your parents' station wagon. It's hot, it's heavy, you don't want your parents to find out, and if the cops catch you, you're in trouble! Dry humping as a political act--now THERE's a novel theoretical position.

Or to look at it another way: Wilt Chamberlin is the ultimate political revolutionary because he said he had sex with 20,000 women.

Marriage is work, but it is work in the sense of being a spiritual discipline, an ongoing commitment to a life with your partner. It's what some poets call "the real work"--the work that matters, the work that is essential, the work that has nothing to do with making a living and everything to do with making a life. Sex is a wonderful part of that process of living.

Marriage is not, as Kipnis suggests, a surrender of your individuality and personality. It is a deepening of it, deepened by the experience of sharing your partner's life. In marriage, you become part of something larger than yourself, but you do not lose yourself. Instead, you are enriched, made fuller, more whole.

I'm sorry to ramble on so much, but I believe her asinine view needs to be refuted in the strongest possible terms.

Posted by: Kevin Walzer at September 5, 2003 10:17 AM

Hey BB, there was proper academic hedging in my post! I said "at least" and elswehere dated our notions of marriage as "Late Modern". That's broad enough to be almost meaningless. In any case, i don't want to get into an argument about the significance of WWII to marriage because that is a red herring. My point is only that marriage is a social institution and is therefore affected by social change -- which WWII brought in spades. Turning back the clock on marriage will therefore require turning back the clock on a host of other social institutions. Even if it's desirable, i don't think it's possible. You want to put the dividing line ahead of WWII? Fine. That doesn't change the substance of my argument.

Changing gender roles have a great deal to do with marriage. Change what "woman" and "man" are or do and you change the nature of marriage. Some redefinitions might make marriage more lasting, others might make it less so.

Give Kipnis some credit for raising issues in a provocative way that gets people talking about them. That's an accomplishment. It wouldn't happen if she just talked it at a bunch of snoozing undergrads or put it in massive, plodding monograph.

Posted by: che at September 5, 2003 10:22 AM

Of course the changing economic role of women has affected the institution of marriage in wealthy counties. While women in every nation work at least as hard as men, only in wealthy nations do women have the right to the earnings of their own labor, the ability to own property, and laws protecting them from murder, beatings, and confiscation of wages and property by fathers, brothers, and husbands.

They have Brittany Spears, Madonna, even "Sex and the City" in Iran, you know. Most of my Iranian friends have better exposure to American television, movies, and popular culture than I do. But it's still fine for your brother to kill you if he thinks you're having an affair.

Posted by: Matilde at September 5, 2003 11:25 AM

I have some sympathy toward some of Kipnis' argument because I have seen marriages in which "it takes work, you know" was the rationalization for one person doing all the work. When it's only the two people, convincing the snookered one to act like the free one is reasonable. Sometimes the lazy one straightens out; sometimes they break up and find better matches; sometimes it turns out that that wasn't necessary work after all.

I wouldn't go nearly as far as she does - I wouldn't advise breaking one's word, which rules out adultery for me. On the other hand, look at the popularity of the 'Rules'. Those are such demented dishonesty-based principles that I expect demented reactions to the relationships based on them. Putting out the arguments against slogging along miserably doesn't solve the problem, but it's better than pretending there's no problem to be solved.

Posted by: clew at September 5, 2003 01:11 PM

If marriage is dead because half of all marriages end in divorce, capitalism must have shuffled off this mortal coil long ago. Fifty percent of new business don't just fail; they fail in the first year.

Posted by: Roger Sweeny at September 5, 2003 01:25 PM

Based on the excerpts, she seems to be suffering from a fair amount of intellectual confusion.

1) She condemns today's marriage for being a state in which "desire is organized contractually"...and her proposed solution is....short-term *contracts*. A bit of inconsistency here?

2) Whence comes the idea that marriage is associated with industrialization? As any Jane Austin fan should know, marriage existed in pre-industrial societies.

Posted by: David Foster at September 5, 2003 04:50 PM

"I give Kipnis credit for trying to develop an ethics for our new society."

If the valorization of infidelity makes Kipnis an ethicist, then the "Playboy Philosophy" makes Hugh Hefner a philosopher.

Seriously che, I don't see how or why a defence of marriage c. 2003 commits one to a defence of marriage as it was organized pre-WWII or mid-19th century or earlier. Marriage is an ancient institution, yes, but it's not a static and unchanging monolith. Yes, gender roles have changed (and imho, for the better). But so too has marriage changed. Am I saying there is no room for further improvement? No, not at all. But I don't think we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Which brings me to the next quick point I want to make. A couple of commenters here have mentioned children. This is an important issue that Kipnis glosses over. If long-term monogamous union is unacceptable, what alternative might there be for the raising of children? One reason why marriage persists, I believe, is that there probably isn't an acceptable alternative. Or if there is, we have yet to discover it, and won't find it in the pages of Kipnis' polemic. A string of temporary contracts with different partners? One needn't be a christian fundamentalist or a cultural conservative to argue that this would have a very bad effect on children.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at September 5, 2003 07:46 PM

I'm shocked, shocked, to see a professor write a book on monogamy as an evil of capitalism. And with the heavy use of provocative metaphors, no less!

Ambitious faculty say the darnedest things.

What really surprises me is that Salon has published such a pathetic interview. The witty (and oh-so-slightly naughty!) banter of Brilliant Writers is probably best left to themselves.

Posted by: gwc at September 5, 2003 08:24 PM

With the Bush Administration's economic policies, "factory work" has indeed become a dead metaphor. But wouldn't the argument Kipnis makes be interesting if we shifted to bureaucratic work, in which the US now specializes?

Posted by: Joseph at September 5, 2003 08:38 PM
21 say: "With the Bush Administration's economic policies, "factory work" has indeed become a dead metaphor." The decline in manufacturing employment as a % of the population has been going on for decades, and long predates the Bush administration. Forty years ago, many of the people who are now academics and lawyers would have been factory foremen, or even skilled craftsmen (such as tool-and-die makers). We can talk about whether this change is good or bad, but it seems short-sighted to assign the blame or credit to an administration which has been in office for only 2 1/2 years.

I'm trying to imagine a "postmodern" tool-and-die maker....

Posted by: David Foster at September 5, 2003 09:28 PM

better left nameless: "Reviews of her book should be shipped off to Northwestern alumni to let them know what a wonderful civic education their alma mater still provides."

I am not an alumni. Worse, my 2 daughters are students there. It will run me about $60K this academic year. Do you think this makes me happy?

OTOH, D-1 is in the Theater Dept not RTF. Theater, having a vast body of art and craft to master, and a strong tradition, does not seem to be given to this sort of thing. D-1 is a senior. We have kept pretty close track of her classes and are pleased with the ones that she has taken.

D-2 is in a hard core science program. She is a freshman and will be taking Multi-variate Calculus, Accelerated Introductory Chemistry, Classical Mechanics and Computer Programing. I do not think she will have much time for Kipnis.

More to the point, Kipnis is of a type present on every campus today. Have you read about the Columbia English Department? Northwestern is not the worst case by any means.

P.S. Kipnis is not a Ph.D. she has an MFA

I'll be up in Evanston in a couple of weeks. Maybe I will try to drop by and check the bona fides of her self promotion.


Not having read the book, I should limit my comments on the substance of this mater. It seems to me as it does to other commenters here that Kipnis is flogging a dead horse.

The monogamous lifelong marriage has gotten to be a rara avis. Not only do a large percentage of marriages end in divorce, but a third of all children (2/3 of AA births) are now born out of wedlock. Rebellion, is no longer needed, the Endangered Species Act is the ticket.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 5, 2003 09:37 PM


"It will run me about $60K this academic year."

What am I smoking? the correct number is $90,000.

I multiplied by 2 when I should have multiplied by 3.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 5, 2003 09:42 PM

[ If we are going to really take up Kipnis' arguments against linking marriage status to financial issues or endorse this idea of a yearly contract ... ]

Do the children get to have any say-so about renewing or not renewing the yearly marriage contract?

Or maybe the little ones are themselves to be put on contracts: "If you don't behave, we're gonna put you in the K. Marx Home. It's legal, kiddo."

Posted by: David Davenport at September 7, 2003 05:10 PM

This is the sort of book I'd never bother to read, although reading the reviews and comments is good for a laugh.

More Marxist feminist crap. Who cares? Marxism is a criminal ideology. We've seen in the past century what the Kipnis types are really about. Nothing's changed. She wants to live in Utopia. What an idiot.

Why is this kind of nonsense considered intellectual, interesting, etc.? The Marxists have been attempting to annihilate the family for over a century, so that every individual is completely dependent on the state. Nothing new.

What nitwits abound in academia! Kipnis is a bore and a conformist. Don't even have to read the book to know that. Obviously, she also cannot succeed at the most important task for anybody who wants a good love life... getting along with another person. She's clearly externalized her own ineptitude onto others. If she wants a decent love life, she might first consider dumping the brain dead ideology.

Posted by: Stephen at September 19, 2003 02:15 PM

plz i need ifor abt (economic individuality in jane austin novels) with my thankfull
new student

Posted by: moyo at December 17, 2003 08:41 AM