Revolutions of the Heart: Gender, Power, and the Delusions of Love

By Wendy Langford | Go to book overview

4


EVERYBODY’S MUMMY

In Chapter 3, we countered the view that ‘romantic transformation’ is an inexplicable phenomenon. Now we face a second ‘mystery of love’: the mystery of exactly how ‘true love’ in turn undergoes transmutation into a more mundane relationship typically characterised by particular gendered dynamics. A few writers have inferred such a process, even if they have not detailed it. These, moreover, are the very same writers who have also pointed to a close connection between love and power. Max Weber (1948:348), for example, has argued that it is precisely within the bliss of the romantic union that ‘the most intimate coercion of the soul of the less brutal partner’ originates. Feminists too have claimed that it is woman’s ‘transcendence’ through love which implicates her most inexorably in a system of oppressive patriarchal social relations. What is proposed is that romantic love is not a phenomenon which is distinct from the later phase of established coupledom, but one which, on the contrary, determines it. Falling in love, that is, brings into being a very particular kind of relationship which is deeply and inherently problematic. It is the ‘analysis’ of this coming-into-being which is developed over the next three chapters.

In Chapter 3, I proposed that the bliss of love depends upon the coincident

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Revolutions of the Heart: Gender, Power, and the Delusions of Love
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - Government by Love 1
  • 2 - Romantic Transformations 23
  • 3 - Analysing Love 42
  • 4 - Everybody’s Mummy 64
  • 5 - The Daughter’s Submission 89
  • 6 - Dialectics of Love 114
  • 7 - Misguided Revolutions 141
  • Appendix 154
  • Bibliography 158
  • Index 164
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