Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
Introduction
The Feminine Mind-1
The War Between the Sexes-2.1
The War Between the Sexes-2.2
The War Between the Sexes-2.3
Marriage-3.1
Marriage-3.2
Marriage-3.3
Marriage-3.4
Woman Suffrage-4.1
Woman Suffrage-4.2
Woman Suffrage-4.3
Woman Suffrage-4.4
The New Age-5.1
The New Age-5.2
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana. INTRODUCTION
THE VATSYAYANA SUTRA-1-2
THE VATSYAYANA SUTRA-3-4-5
OF SEXUAL UNION-1-2
OF SEXUAL UNION-3-4-5
OF SEXUAL UNION-6-7-8
OF SEXUAL UNION-10-11
ABOUT THE ACQUISITION OF A WIFE-1-2
ABOUT THE ACQUISITION OF A WIFE-3-4-5
ABOUT A WIFE-1-2
ABOUT THE WIVES OF OTHER MEN-1-2
ABOUT THE WIVES OF OTHER MEN-3-4
ABOUT THE WIVES OF OTHER MEN-5-6
ABOUT COURTESANS-1-2
ABOUT COURTESANS-3-4
ABOUT COURTESANS-5-6
ABOUT THE MEANS OF ATTRACTING OTHERS TO YOURSELF-1-2
CONCLUDING REMARKS

IN DEFENSE OF WOMEN 

 

by H. L. Mencken 

 

 

 

 

Contents 

 

Introduction 

I The Feminine Mind 

II The War between The Sexes 

III Marriage 

IV Woman Suffrage 

V The New Age 

 

 

 

 

Introduction 

 

 

As a professional critic of life and letters, my principal business in 

the world is that of manufacturing platitudes for tomorrow, which is to 

say, ideas so novel that they will be instantly rejected as insane and 

outrageous by all right thinking men, and so apposite and sound that 

they will eventually conquer that instinctive opposition, and force 

themselves into the traditional wisdom of the race. I hope I need not 

confess that a large part of my stock in trade consists of platitudes 

rescued from the cobwebbed shelves of yesterday, with new labels stuck 

rakishly upon them. This borrowing and refurbishing of shop-worn goods, 

as a matter of fact, is the invariable habit of traders in ideas, at all 

times and everywhere. It is not, however, that all the conceivable human 

notions have been thought out; it is simply, to be quite honest, that 

the sort of men who volunteer to think out new ones seldom, if 

ever, have wind enough for a full day's work. The most they can ever 

accomplish in the way of genuine originality is an occasional brilliant 

spurt, and half a dozen such spurts, particularly if they come close 

together and show a certain co-ordination, are enough to make a 

practitioner celebrated, and even immortal. Nature, indeed, conspires 

against all such genuine originality, and I have no doubt that God 

is against it on His heavenly throne, as His vicars and partisans 

unquestionably are on this earth. The dead hand pushes all of us into 

intellectual cages; there is in all of us a strange tendency to yield 

and have done. Thus the impertinent colleague of Aristotle is doubly 

beset, first by a public opinion that regards his enterprise as 

subversive and in bad taste, and secondly by an inner weakness that 

limits his capacity for it, and especially his capacity to throw off 

the prejudices and superstitions of his race, culture anytime. The cell, 

said Haeckel, does not act, it reacts--and what is the instrument of 

reflection and speculation save a congeries of cells? At the moment 

of the contemporary metaphysician's loftiest flight, when he is most 

gratefully warmed by the feeling that he is far above all the ordinary 

airlanes and has absolutely novel concept by the tail, he is suddenly 

pulled up by the discovery that what is entertaining him is simply the 


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