Nietzsche (or rather, Sarah Kofman) has commanded me to write a declamation under the above challenging headline. This is the most horrible inversion of chivalry, actually. I am supposed to ride into the lists behind a page who has called for female opponents to fight me. On all previous occasions, men like me found ways to attack, ridicule, spy upon, undermine and kill the men of the other side, who variously guarded, loved, hated or served the women concerned. To attack the loved ones makes no sense. But as the Lubavitcher used to say, “We must discriminate.” The infantile unconscious assumes that each woman must be either bad or good, but unfortunately, it turns out that the particular frisson of love involves some element of darkness, something “naughty but nice.” The Lubavicher called it “klipah nogah.” This was rather subtly translated by Crowley as “Venus Aversa.” I defy anyone to explain it in any terms other than the following.
Despite all the misery of the prudes, we each of us find within ourselves something like a giant dirty squirty bag, intimately entangled with every organ we call our own and quite a few we might wish to identify with the very self itself (if there is one). As a result of the intimate commingling between the various parts of the nervous system, we are each left (I have no doubt) with an enormous erotic interest in retaining, compressing and expelling the contents of this bag in all sorts of malodorous (or, for all I know, sweet-smelling) mixtures. We still enjoy this horrid sport as adults, while solemnly pretending we wished we were elsewhere all the time. The woman has an advantage over the man in dealing with this absurdity, insofar as her natural rapport with her mother or whatever significant adult female during infancy, will have made her more at home with the isomorphism of the beloved parent body. The boy rapidly loses this as he falls into the antisepsis of the masculine court of death, the pseudo-clean regime of the warriors. This inculcates in him, by means of raw fear, a contempt not only of squirty bits, but of all soft bits whatever and forever. How is this to be “compensated”?
One idea is that as long as the horrors, desires, longings and fears of this human animal in its search for love, are equally balanced on both sides, it will at least remain on its feet, instead of falling over sideways and becoming immobilized. And so it will. But why? What makes it even worth trying? Apparently, in the end, only the Death Instinct can completely justify anything, even love. Your love has to stand in the face of death. Your unconscious is structured like a James Bond phallo-sado epic. “No two ways about that,” they say in english, but there are two ways. The woman is both life and death, so correspondingly, love should darken love, in ways that do not detract from its dignity. Crowley already understood this. Consider what “Venus Aversa” actually means. The image is deceptively simple. A woman is not a coin or a star in the sky, but a human female with a front and a back side as well. This is why Margaret Thatcher, the infamous “Iron Lady”, had to declare with such pointed humour, “The Lady’s not for Turning.” The phrase comes from Jacobean English satire. Ultimately, it refers to witches. To “turn” the witch is to ready her by tying, for dunking in the pond, what we now call “waterboarding”, as popular a village sport then as today – RB