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Judging by the sexual interactions of Rand's main characters, one could infer that she was aroused by being dominated by men. I would love to hear the various opinions that I am sure exist about what this says of her morality. If ones values are expressed through sex, then what does it mean to long to be dominated and overcome physically? (as both Dominique and Dagny are physically dominated by the male heros of the books)

-aurora-

p.s. i love that different opinions that i get to read on this website which is why i hope to get some feedback on this topic

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"...[sex is]an act which is not possible

in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in the confidence of being desired

and being worthy of desire."

-Francisco D' Aconia- from Atlas Shrugged

One could argue that by virtue of this statement she contradicts herself. If she finds the feeling of being dominated sexually arousing then the act is not in self-exaltation but in self-abasement meaning that her own sexual preferences are in direct conflict with her philosophy.

-aurora-

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Actually, I agree that it is an honor, but only on some levels. And why would you bring feminists into this? (out of curiosity) I am not a feminist by any means. Feminists are like radical christians, and, therefore, are of no use to me.

I am a woman and the scenes between Dagny and Rearden, Dagny and Galt, and Dominique and Roark are very arousing for me.

But is rape an honor?

It would seem so, by your response and Ms. Rand's description of how Roark's rape of Dominique changed her character in a positive manner and essentially saved her from destroying herself.

Help me out here. :confused:

Does this really align itself with the basis of her philosophy? And if so, what does that mean?

To be objectified, desired, and overcome by a man is definately sexy, and an honor. But to me the honor would come in knowing that this man also has a lot of respect for the woman. Particularly in Dagny's character it is clear that Rand is not a feminist but also does not support feminism, either. Dagny is credited with running the railroad and has much greater value beyond the honor of being desired by a man. She is also greatly respected and rape is not usually associated with ideas of respect. If a man wanted a woman that badly, based on his value system, wouldn't it show that his rape of her means that he had no respect for her mind/person or even for her body?

If nothing else, please define the morality of rape to me.

Thank you,

aurora

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WHOA

First of all, I have no earthly idea why you directed me to that thread. If you had read it all the way through, you would realize that the idea that it was not rape is highly unpopular and even proven with direct quotes to be untrue.

Dominique WAS raped. (however, it being fictional, that account was more symbolic and not really involved in what i was talking about)

Regardless, my question is more about the Objectivist view on the morality of rape.

-aurora

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I don't think that "valued" and "objectified" can be synonymous. If all you value about a woman is that she can give you a good f***, then you don't value her. You have objectified her.

Why can't you value objects?

The masculine role is that he is the actor. The feminine role is that she is the thing acted upon. You don't hear a man speaking of being taken by a woman. A man's penis, and his whole body, is not a passive instrument. His physiology has a counterpart psychology, and if they don't match, his sex life will be less than perfect, and so will he. A woman is a human being, and a self-confident man will be able to think of her as one (she doesn't have to be just a good f***); but in the dynamics of a relationship, she is an object first.

I have a lot more to say on this and will do so at a later date (I realise that a lot of people will disagree with me and will want me to make my position more convincing). For now I'll just leave this example: if a man sees a woman's breasts, and if he is short of being a real man, his attitude and response will be summed up as: "Wow... for ME?". A real man would think: "Those look nice." The former thought is befitting a woman, not a man. Think about it.

And so as not to drift off-topic I'll say something about the original post: domination is the wrong word. Domination is destructive, undercutting; a woman surrendered to a man is reaffirming her identity, not undercutting it. She is not a dependant and not a submissive; she will only stay around the man for as long as he is what he is, and will be out of the door when he loses it.

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I have no earthly idea why you directed me to that thread.
:confused: Sorry, I linked on the basis of the title.

Rape is a violation of a person's most fundamental rights.

If the folks in that thread think it was rape; they're wrong. I'll read it and comment further. I remember Ayn Rand making a comment along the lines that if that scene was rape, then it was rape by golden invitation. Anyhow, I'll read that thread before I post in this one again.

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If you had read it all the way through, you would realize that the idea that it was not rape is highly unpopular and even proven with direct quotes to be untrue.
The popularity of the conclusion isn't relevant, and, to be blunt about it, a number of people in that thread really missed the point. Of course, that's the danger of intrepreting literature; and yet, thanks to the fact that we have Rand's journals, we can actually see that the correct interpretation is. Rand's own words in her journal makes it clear that the intent is not to portray a rape. By modern standards, you are expected to obtain signed waivers and informed consent forms before making love to a woman, and have to ask permission at least three times before proceding. It's obvious from reading that section that Dominque wanted Roark to possess her in exactly the way he did. Even though she did not express her consent in the currently accepted form, she did consent, for which reason it was not rape.

I'm not suggesting that "but she asked for it" is a proper defense against allegations of rape, but you cannot take current politically correct sensitivities and apply it in the context of a novel written over 60 years ago. Of course, as a form of assault, rape is a violation of a person's rights.

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Does this really align itself with the basis of her philosophy? And if so, what does that mean?

To be objectified, desired, and overcome by a man is definately sexy, and an honor. But to me the honor would come in knowing that this man also has a lot of respect for the woman. Particularly in Dagny's character it is clear that Rand is not a feminist but also does not support feminism, either. Dagny is credited with running the railroad and has much greater value beyond the honor of being desired by a man. She is also greatly respected and rape is not usually associated with ideas of respect. If a man wanted a woman that badly, based on his value system, wouldn't it show that his rape of her means that he had no respect for her mind/person or even for her body?

Dagny and Dominique's arousal stemmed from the physical expression of value coming from a powerful being. If the events of the "rape" scene in The Fountainhead happened in real life and were videotaped, there would certainly be a rape conviction. But I have heard convincing interpretations of the passages that explain how it was not rape.

The masculine role is that he is the actor. The feminine role is that she is the thing acted upon. You don't hear a man speaking of being taken by a woman. A man's penis, and his whole body, is not a passive instrument. His physiology has a counterpart psychology, and if they don't match, his sex life will be less than perfect, and so will he. A woman is a human being, and a self-confident man will be able to think of her as one (she doesn't have to be just a good f***); but in the dynamics of a relationship, she is an object first.

I don't see how being acted upon is inherently feminine, and acting is masculine. Personally, I wouldn't want to be the only thing moving in the bedroom. While acting is fun, I want the feeling of being acted upon also. I'd love to be taken by the right woman. What is wrong with that?

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:lol: Sorry, I linked on the basis of the title.
I just re-read the thread. Of course the posters disagree, but the essential point that it was not a rape was made by a few posters. Nothing I can add to that.

Just because it was fiction does not mean it was not rape. A story can describe rape. However, as presented in this particular story, the author's intent is clear.

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I don't see how being acted upon is inherently feminine, and acting is masculine. Personally, I wouldn't want to be the only thing moving in the bedroom. While acting is fun, I want the feeling of being acted upon also. I'd love to be taken by the right woman. What is wrong with that?

Good question. Men and women have the CAPACITY to integrate a sexual psychology that is befitting the opposite sex. The two poles I describe are not intrinsically masculine or feminine, but there are no better words to refer to them by (words like submissive, controlling, owning are all either imprecise or nonessential- EDIT: or ommit other essentials). Ideally, as a requisite to the happiest, healthiest relationship, the appropriate psychology should be embraced consistently and exclusively, without any trace of the opposite. As to why I think you can only have the happiest, healthiest sex life by this means, that's a question I'll answer seperately on another day (as it requires a much longer answer).

Edited by iouswuoibev
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Judging by the sexual interactions of Rand's main characters, one could infer that she was aroused by being dominated by men.
To an extent, it depends on what you mean by "dominate." What sexual interactions don't count as "domination?" And are the sexual acts integral to the domination you speak of, e.g. would, say, Rearden and the Wet Nurse, or Catherine and Toohey, count as a "dominating" relationship?

...Ms. Rand's description of how Roark's rape of Dominique changed her character in a positive manner and essentially saved her from destroying herself.
I don't think the sexual act was what changed Dominique. If her unknown lover disappeared forever, that would only have confirmed her idea that the good were doomed in life. Equally, I think she would still have been changed, so to speak, if she hadn't had the "dominating" sex with Roark at the quarry mansion, so long she met Roark and saw his "first-handedness" and unbreakable will.

If a man wanted a woman that badly, based on his value system, wouldn't it show that his rape of her means that he had no respect for her mind/person or even for her body?
Agreed, if it's rape. IMO, one of the ...interesting aspects about some of Rand's characters is how they know each other's thoughts and feelings on a matter without being told (in the "rape" scene, despite how she acted.) The sex scene is not the only scene that does this. If one accepts that Roark "knew" despite what would appear to be strong resistance, then there's no problem. That said, I wouldn't encourage a real-life person to proceed in any such scenario. Then again, I'm not into bitings and bruisings. Dif'rent strokes...

You don't hear a man speaking of being taken by a woman.
I don't see how being acted upon is inherently feminine, and acting is masculine. Personally, I wouldn't want to be the only thing moving in the bedroom. While acting is fun, I want the feeling of being acted upon also. I'd love to be taken by the right woman.
Damn right :lol:
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If ones values are expressed through sex, then what does it mean to long to be dominated and overcome physically?
To be objectified, desired, and overcome by a man is definately sexy, and an honor. But to me the honor would come in knowing that this man also has a lot of respect for the woman.

You kind of answered your own question here, however let me put this through a masculine perspective.

The type of woman a hero is attracted to is one that embodies his ideal of another person. Naturally, the man wants to conquer the object of his desire, a woman he considers a "spiritual" equal. It does not mean that he is morally or intellectually superior. According to Robert Mayhew, Rand "regarded the male, by nature of his anatomy, as the prime mover in the act of sex." *

No rational man is attracted - on any meaningful level - to a woman he has little or no respect for. It means nothing to conquer some drunken spring break tramp, or even indulge in a mutual, anonymous encounter performed just to "scratch an itch."

To "conquer" a woman, romatically and sexually, a man must first be deserving of her. He will not exclude her desires from his, because her fulfillment - in the contect of a romantic partnership - is reciprocated.

Recommended reading:

"About a Woman President" from The Voice of Reason establishes a framework of Rand's views on masculine and feminine roles, and these views are elaborated a bit in Ayn Rand Answers, a collection of responses given at verious lecture Q&A sessions. (The latter is the work from which the above quote * was referenced; I am 80% sure the context is relevant ... :lol: )

Edited by synthlord
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Based strictly upon my own experience, the major difference I've noticed between men and women as it comes to desire, at least, is that you want us because it makes you feel good . . . and you make us feel good by wanting us. In my mind, this translates to enjoying it more if a gentleman demonstrates the depth, sincerity, and severity of his desire.

Think back to the scene of Dagny and Reardan at Wyatt's house, and before. Dagny thinks to herself that she "felt like she wanted to tear a cry from Reardan", and when he essentially flung himself on her, she thought that this was the sort of cry she'd wanted to force out of him.

That's about it, really; it doesn't get into anything so complicated as to who is on top or anything like that. It's simply that well, it's really *cough* sweet if a guy can't hold himself back. :lol:

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My fiancee has a pretty negative image of herself, physically...she doesn't need to, because I've always thought she was very pretty and everyone else I know thinks so too.

However, whenever she mentions something about how she doesn't think she's pretty enough, I first try to assure her that she is. After this, I tell her that it isn't her physical appearance that I fell in love with, but that it was that big, sexy brain of hers. To, objectifying a woman means caring about her body (specifically what's between her legs) and nothing else.

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Based strictly upon my own experience, the major difference I've noticed between men and women as it comes to desire, at least, is that you want us because it makes you feel good . . . and you make us feel good by wanting us.

That's the most succinct explanation for a very complex subject that I think I've ever read.

I'd ask if I could use that, but I fear I'd have to elaborate, then that's where the tripping-over-my-brain begins ... :lol:

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I don't think that "valued" and "objectified" can be synonymous.

"Objectify" is an anti-concept used by feminists. You can personify an object that isn't a person, but you can't objectify a person, because every person is an object.

Feminists are jealous of beautiful women and try to play on the mind-body dichotomy by means of this anti-concept. They try to plant the premise that considering the looks, voice, etc. of a woman is somehow wrong, and one ought to "discover" her "inner beauty" instead, which is an intrinsic quality that every woman possesses.

We are all objects--we possess identity, we act in accordance with our nature--and therefore the only way we can value another person is as an object: that is, by perceiving her attributes with our senses, through a physical medium, and evaluating those attributes like we evaluate the attributes of any other object.

Now, it is true that we should evaluate all of a woman's attributes, including her character, her consciousness, her mind--not just "what's between her legs." But we are still talking of evaluation based on sense perception ("objectification"), not some mystic "knowledge" of her "inner" "beauty."

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I don't disagree with anything you just said. But you're not using the word "objectify" as most people would use it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. One of the issues I have that prevents me from calling myself an Objectivist is that the Objectivist definitions of commonly used words seem to be somewhat esoteric.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. One of the issues I have that prevents me from calling myself an Objectivist is that the Objectivist definitions of commonly used words seem to be somewhat esoteric.

But this is not a distinctly philosophical topic. To objectify means to regard as an object, but most people take it to mean regarding a person as solely a PHYSICAL object, without any consideration to their status as a conceptual being. Why would they make that leap in logic? Because, they regard consciousness as a mystical, non-objective phenomenon.

EDIT: reworded sentence

Edited by iouswuoibev
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