Kelly's Reviews > Against Love: A Polemic

Against Love by Laura Kipnis
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It would be so easy to simply disregard this book and the author. Clearly identifying with adulterers (only using "we" when discussing the cheaters POV) and therefore, in my opinion, personalizing the topic, Ms. Kipnis spends the entire book validating her claim that monogamy/love is simply unnatural. Now, don't get me wrong, while her book (and by "book" I mean "dissertation") does have a lot of valid points regarding monogamy and the rules and stipulations that come with it, she continuously backs up her denouncement with notations from various philosophers, theorists, scientist, etc. Kind of makes you take it more seriously, doesn't it? Almost, right up until you realize EVERY one of those esteemed names dropped...all noted adulterers. So, again, not an objective viewpoint in the entirety of the book.

Now on to the content: Do I think Love is simply another way for society to control the masses and the only reason it feels special and important is because the media makes it so? No. Did Ms. Kipnis back up her claim? No, in fact she came off as nothing more than a bored, unhappy woman looking for a gimmick for her thesis and decided conspiracy theorist sounded like fun. Do I think monogamy is unnatural, similar to being a prisoner at Dachau, and that I'm really meant to be humping every male that peacock's my way? No, and I have to tell you, I don't think Ms. Kipnis believes that either. In fact, as much as she identifies with and empathizes with the cheater lifestyle - it was only in the description and the outcome of this lifestyle that you are really able to see the writer through the words - she comes off like an addict: loving the feeling in the moment, but hating herself for it later.
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message 1: by Conrad (last edited Mar 19, 2011 07:39AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Conrad Oh, god, thanks for reminding me that I read this in college. I felt exactly the same way about it. Although I appreciate its insight that we talk about love in much the same way that previous generations talked about god, I don't see that as either an argument against it (or against God, for that matter). Her argument that empathy and selflessness can be merely tools of oppression is unconvincing, the kind of slippery-slope crap that anyone with half a brain can dismantle. Even at the time, it felt like puerile grad-student bullshit.


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