Oscar Wilde On The Domination Of Women

Considered as an assertion of general fact (as which, I am confident, it was never intended) this paragraph is fairly surely just flat wrong:

I am afraid that women appreciate cruelty, downright cruelty, more than anything else. They have wonderfully primitive instincts. We have emancipated them, but they remain slaves looking for their masters all the same. Women love to be dominated.

That’s the voice of a character speaking through the pen of Oscar Wilde (that notorious slinger of provocative nonsense) in The Picture Of Dorian Grey.

Wrong though it may be as a general assertion, there are common BDSM relationship styles that are founded on one or both parties acting as if it were true for them in particular, to the evident satisfaction of all parties. Of course it’s impossible to say — for who can know the inner workings of a strange soul? — what is personal truth and what is a deliberately-chosen role played with enthusiasm.

But one thing is certain. There’s a technical term for a man who actually believes this claim to be broadly true of all women, and who acts consistently on that belief. We call him an “asshole”.

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2 comments on “Oscar Wilde On The Domination Of Women”:

Pat Powers commented on March 26th, 2013 at 10:21 am:

Well said!

nilla commented on March 26th, 2013 at 9:28 pm:



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