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

By Wendy Langford | Go to book overview

7


MISGUIDED REVOLUTIONS

and as remarkably difficult and unsatisfactory, we remain strangely reluctant to penetrate love’s mystery, to subject love itself to systematic enquiry, to ask ourselves what is love, anyway?

One striking exception to this persisting romanticism is the radical feminist analysis. Focusing particularly on the power aspect of love, feminists highlighted the cruelty and violence which flourish unseen within the ‘private sphere’, often denied by women themselves who—once having fallen in love— live their lives in the grip of a particularly deluded state of mind. The initial critique was cutting and insightful; it aimed at the roots of domination and cited love as the emotional underpinning of an exploitative patriarchal society. However, the critique has been poorly sustained and the analysis has remained largely undeveloped. Revolutions of the Heart has aimed to advance and deepen understanding of the relationship between love and power, a task given further import by contemporary claims that love is in the process of shaking off the last vestiges of tyranny. The new romantic ideal is a ‘democratic’ ideal, but

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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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