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

 

23. Extra-Legal Devices 

 

 

It is, of course, a rhetorical exaggeration to say that all first-class 

men escape marriage, and even more of an exaggeration to say that their 

high qualities go wholly untransmitted to posterity. On the one hand it 

must be obvious that an appreciable number of them, perhaps by reason 

of their very detachment and preoccupation, are intrigued into the holy 

estate, and that not a few of them enter it deliberately, convinced that 

it is the safest form of liaison possible under Christianity. And on 

the other hand one must not forget the biological fact that it is quite 

feasible to achieve offspring without the imprimatur of Church and 

State. The thing, indeed, is so commonplace that I need not risk a 

scandal by uncovering it in detail. What I allude to, I need not add, 

is not that form of irregularity which curses innocent children with the 

stigma of illegitimacy, but that more refined and thoughtful form 

which safeguards their social dignity while protecting them against 

inheritance from their legal fathers. English philosophy, as I have 

shown, suffers by the fact that Herbert Spencer was too busy to permit 

himself any such romantic altruism--just as American literature gains 

enormously by the fact that Walt Whitman adventured, leaving seven sons 

behind him, three of whom are now well-known American poets and in the 

forefront of the New Poetry movement. 

 

The extent of this correction of a salient evil of monogamy is very 

considerable; its operations explain the private disrepute of perhaps a 

majority of first-rate men; its advantages have been set forth in George 

Moore's "Euphorion in Texas," though in a clumsy and sentimental way. 

What is behind it is the profound race sense of women--the instinct 

which makes them regard the unborn in their every act--perhaps, too, the 

fact that the interests of the unborn are here identical, as in 

other situations, with their own egoistic aspirations. As a popular 

philosopher has shrewdly observed, the objections to polygamy do not 

come from women, for the average woman is sensible enough to prefer half 

or a quarter or even a tenth of a first-rate man to the whole devotion 

of a third-rate man. Considerations of much the same sort also justify 

polyandry--if not morally, then at least biologically. The average 

woman, as I have shown, must inevitably view her actual husband with 

a certain disdain; he is anything but her ideal. In consequence, she 

cannot help feeling that her children are cruelly handicapped by the 


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