Says Sex Hatred Still Spreading
English Novelist Says Men Dread Marriage, While Women Seek It.
London, Oct. 24.—No English Novelist has been discussed so much lately as Compton Mackenzie. His recently published "Sinister Street" has caused a sensation and its predecessor, "Carnival," was hailed as "the novel of the year." Considerable interest has therefore been taken in a series of three articles on "Sex Hatred," written by him for the Daily Mail.
Mr. Mackenzie at the outset states his belief that "there is neither more nor less antagonism between the sexes than that which has existed since Adam first applied masculine reason to explain the victory of feminine instinct in the matter of the apple."
Sees "Asexual" Class.
What he calls "the livid phenomenon like suffragism, divorce court reform and so-called 'white slavery,'" he takes merely as indications that the problem has been complicated by the swiftly increasing importance of a large "asexual class." By "asexual" he means "sexless," not "unsexed."
Leaving this point for the moment, Mr. Mackenzie examines "the absolutely normal conditions of courtship and marriage." He states that the average girl instinctively welcomes marriage, while the average man instinctively dreads it. However, the reasonable capacity of the average man is always stronger than his intuitive capacity, and his reason tells him that marriage is a necessary condition of civilization. This rational judgement he will wrap up in a sweet coating of sentiment and swallow.
Many Women Fear Marriage.
"On the other hand, woman with whatever reason she possesses dreads marriage. It is logically rather abhorrent, but her instinctive belief in man's hostility is too violent, too immemorial, too natural. Her reason is never strong enough to contend with her instinct, and the average woman swallows marriage without any sweet disguise, and very often without any gilded coating."
According to Mr. Mackenzie, women being dependent upon instinct, are much more easily comprehended than men.
"Superficially they may seem more unintelligible, because they are generally judged by masculine and rational standards."
Giving to young girls the generic description of Amaryllis, Mr. Mackenzie considers various types, or rather the various conditions in which Amaryllis finds herself. On each at a certain age, from 16 to 18 in England, "descends the impulse to worship her own personality at the moment when it draws free from girlhood, but is not yet encumbered by womanhood." She beholds herself in all her pride and swiftness; she realizes her power to attract the predator glances of man; she dreads the loss of her independence, she revels in her new sense of the fullness of life; she is gay and virginal and debonair, or if you have suffered from her elusiveness you will call her frivolous and heartless and "self-assured."
The Greeks symbolized this period in their conception of Artemis and her nympths. The development of such a creature in Arcadia would be normal. After a period of exultation in her grace and pride on e suitor would survive and she would become the wife of the man she most certainly desired.
"The natural contest for a woman should be to preserve her independence until she is willing to surrender to the man she chooses as for her the most fit. In present conditions woman is compelled to struggle to prevent herself from being disqualified altogether either because her reputation has been tarnished or because her attraction was waned. She is forced to drag such melodramatic herrings as 'white slavery' across the issue in order to obtain from her countrymen a measure of protection."