A more exact title would have been Against Domestic Coupledom , but Against Love makes the better bumper sticker. Kipnis observes, a nation of would-be adulterers failed to ask the most profound question of all: Adultery means opting for pleasure, not work; it represents discontent, which could break out in other spheres, and so it threatens not just marriage but all the calcified institutions of America. She’s pretty merciful — except in the case of former House impeachment manager Bob Barr. Kipnis has some problems with the idea of marriage, that’s for sure. Her book isn’t called a polemic for nothing, which means, as she explains in the introduction, it’s designed to turn us upside-down:

Some people may choose not to strive toward upward mobility as a form of protest but I believe this group is in the minority. The world fell into place accordingly. Kipnis does not discriminate; everyone who buys into the ideal is equally suspect. Therefore, it is the norm to want to reach higher than where you come from. Just as the social norm of monogamy has caused the definition of love to contain monogamy for the majority of our society, the social norm of the value of hard work to achieve respect has caused the majority to accept upward mobility as a primary value without questioning why it is so important for them to achieve a higher status. And so we return, hot and bothered, to the mundane shelter of our daily lives. If you’re a woman and your husband is cheating on you and you’ve just found out in the last few months, buy this book and put it safely away for a year.

You’d have the babies, cook the food and keep the home nice, and in return, with luck, you’d be well taken care of and possibly not even get beaten.

Teaching Laura Kipnis’s “Love’s Labors” in Ways of Reading | Fike | The CEA Forum

And so we return, hot and bothered, to the mundane shelter of our daily lives. Bombarded with images of loving couples, we see love as intrinsic to our health, happiness, our very souls. Kipnis has the knives sharpened and ready for anyone who believes that solid, wholesome marriages, in which all problems or even potential problems are swept under the rug by both partners, are somehow good “for the sake of the children. Although “Love” gets title loved, Kipnis’ real target is marriage, which she considers an antiquated, falsely sanctified institution that clashes with our desires, interests and even metabolism, yet escapes criticism.


However, it would be foolish to discount the full value of love. After all, doesn’t the demand for fidelity beyond the alura of desire feel like work? Kipnis devotes a full eight pages to a wild and witty list of all the things you can’t do when you’re part of a couple, beginning with kipnjs can’t leave the house without saying where you’re going” and ending with “You can’t return the rent-a-car without throwing esswy the garbage because the mate thinks it looks bad, lavors if you insist that cleaning the car is rolled into the rates.

Kipnis shows how propaganda creates or perpetuates societal norms. Or is it something about the conditions of modern life itself: Brava to Laura Kipnis for her intelligent examination of modern society’s infatuation with the delusional notion of ”happily ever after. It upsets esay to think that modern romance has been damaged because of such standards. The world fell into place accordingly. A population that willingly polices itself through the interdictions of married life, Kipnis argues, has given up any revolutionary strivings, and will submit to other repressive social orders—capitalism, say—without protest.

It’s a way to have a hypothesis, to be improvisational.

laura kipnis loves labors essay

And we malign an adulterer and accused rapistKobe Bryant, the basketball superstar whose stony-faced mug shot graces tabloids everywhere. Although I understand what the author is saying and see the rationale in her arguments, I feel like this piece is more so about the downsides of being in a long term monogamous relationship rather than the inconvenient nature of falling in love.

Except for love,” Ms. Kipnis makes every part of a relationship seem completely taxing and a game of loss on all sides.


laura kipnis loves labors essay

Give Kipnis a somewhat scarlet letter “A” for “Audacious” as she marches – with or without significant other – to her different drummer. Therefore, it is the norm to want to reach higher than where you come from.

Note that the conditions of marital stasis are remarkably convergent with those of a cowed workforce and a docile electorate. Consider all the investment opportunities afforded: The book is a polemic “the prose equivalent of a small explosive device placed under your E-Z Boy lounger”a word slapped on Against Love like a disclaimer.

A better role model, she thinks, is Steven R. Citizens obviously have a duty to lie about their sex lives, as Clinton himself knew — and tried valiantly to do. Desire leads to adultery. On the new book “The Female Thing”, here. This is where I find myself disagreeing with what Kipnis is saying.

A person can give and receive love from his or her family, a different type of platonic, familial relationship. She’d rather see everyone fight “to uncouple resource distribution from marital status,” opposing a U.

The CEA Forum

She labels the “mature love” that’s “supposed to kick in when desire flags” as a “denture adhesive. Indeed, they are the revolutionary theorists propelling a reevaluation of this “domestic gulag,” as Kipnis so sweetly calls it. More than once she sends out lovea message to the aggrieved partners of cheating spouses everywhere — a shout-out along the lines of Bill Clinton’s “I feel your pain. It won’t injure you well, not severely ; it’s just supposed to shake things up and rattle a few convictions.

So marriage produces just the esay character type that a liberal democracy needs, turning us into a docile electorate and cowed workforce.

laura kipnis loves labors essay

Author: admin