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From Virgil to Van Amerongen

We could easily fill a whole library with books that have taken their inspiration from the emotional nature of women. From Virgil's "Varium et mutabile semper femina" (Woman remains a changeable and capricious creature) to the more recent, ironic "We men do not cry" from Martin van Amerongen, [1] history is paved with casual comments that attribute to women a different way of relating to emotions from men.

The idea that women are more emotional than men appears to be embedded in Western culture, not only in the opinion of the general public, as expressed down the ages by poets and journalists, but also in science, which has from its beginnings projected the phenomenon of emotionalism almost exclusively onto the female body. Whereas in earlier times the explanation was sought in the uncontrollable motions of the uterus, a chronic imbalance between bodily fluids or weak nerves, [2] nowadays all this is translated into a biochemical and evolutionary jargon that explains the origins of "natural" differences of psyche and behavior between the sexes in terms of the sex-specific workings of hormones and the structure of the cerebral hemispheres. [3] So from antiquity right up to the present day, Western culture has had what one might almost call a "respectable" tradition of presenting emotionalism and womanhood as unquestionable equivalents.

Differences in interpretation

Yet despite this apparent solidity and continuity, the concept of the emotional woman has been subject to erosion in the course of history, and the meanings attached to the phenomenon of female emotionalism have been highly changeable. For whatever the differences between women's and men's bodies, they were not always held to imply an automatic inequality of mind.

In classical philosophy the soul was in principle sexless, and this was also true of early Christian theology, which preached the spiritual equality of the sexes. [4] Thus the refusal to attribute different mental faculties to men and women on the basis of their physical differences can also boast a long tradition. It is not their bodies but their upbringing and poor education that explain why women behave in certain ways, Christine de Pisan posited around 1400 in response to misogynous comments by contemporaries. Her assertion started off a fierce debate that continued for several centuries, and which became known in early modern times as the Querelle des femmes. [5] This historical debate introduced the opposition that still determines the debate on the psychological differences between the sexes today: the opposition between nature and culture, between biological determination and social conditioning, that De Pisan had been the first to express.

Another opposition that greatly influenced the meanings attached to female emotionalism was that between positive and negative appraisals. As early as 1748 the Dutch journalist and encyclopedist Egbert Buys reflected on the complexities involved:

It is true that Women's passions are in general far stronger than those of Men; this is why their wrath, hatred, vengefulness, unchastity, pride and other impulses far exceed those of Men: but it is equally certain that where their inclinations are for the good, they surpass Men in their qualities of patience, love, mercy, chastity, humility and endurance. [6]

It is no coincidence that Buys should have chosen the year 1748 in which to champion female "inclinations," as will become apparent further on in this article. But what concerns me here is that female emotionalism may be associated with the most diverse types of emotional responses, from wrath to patience, from hate to love, from vengeance to mercy, which are not only quite different in content but which are also valued quite differently.

So although the concept of the emotional woman appears to be a standard historical fixture, we can find ample historical grounds for questioning the monolithic and supposedly unchanging essence of this female emotionalism. The emotional woman is an archetype [7] in Western consciousness, but one with a highly variable meaning. Thus a historical analysis of this archetype will make it possible to problematize the hackneyed dichotomy between female emotionalism and male rationalism, and to inquire into changes that may have taken place in the genderedness of emotions. Female emotionalism proves to have been far less unambiguous over the course of time than is generally believed, nor has male rationalism always been placed in an antithetical relationship to emotionalism. This is nor only because of the different attitudes to emotions that have existed at various times, but also because of a historical shift in the conceptualization of sexual difference itself.

To gain a better understanding of the historical interaction between these two changing categories, I should like to focus on the eighteenth century--which, despite its usual label as the Age of Enlightenment, was equally a time in which passions, sentiment and liaisons dangereuses caused feelings to run high. It was also an age in which writers such as Egbert Buys in their weekly magazines breathed new life into the debate on the meaning of human emotions and the emotional differences between the sexes from an enlightened point of view. I shall therefore base my argument to a large extent on these Enlightenment weeklies, dubbed in the Netherlands "Specratorial" papers--or "Spectators" for short--because they were all modeled on the great example of their day, the weekly Spectator (1711-1712) written by the English journalists Steele and Addison. [8]

In the Netherlands as elsewhere, the Spectators reflected the main trends in European Enlightenment thought. Although the Dutch Enlightenment culture had certain characteristic features that distinguished it from, for example, the French or Scottish variants, [9] the ideas that were expressed on sexual difference mirror clear international trends. This case study of Dutch texts adds complexity, but shows how the writers' shifting views were closely attuned to their intended readership and clarifies the crucial role played by ideas about emotion in gender imagery.

The Enlightenment debate in the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic

Anyone brought up with the notion that the eighteenth century was the Age of Enlightenment tends to associate it exclusively with the great philosophers who wrote their most famous works in this period. Yet the eighteenth-century Enlightenment manifested itself in another way, that is less well-known. It was the first period in history in which ordinary members of the public started taking an active part in the intellectual debates of their day.

The Dutch Republic may not have been richly endowed with Great Thinkers, but its high level of literacy and well-developed network of bookshops meant that the ideas of the Enlightenment reached a relatively large public. This was an age that cherished the ideal of the enlightened citizen who understood the value of human sociability, was a well-informed participant in public debates and endorsed the pursuit of universal happiness. As a result, numerous societies were founded, focusing on cultural or literary issues or popular science, to meet the need for education and opinion-forming among the citizenry. This project was also furthered by the Spectatorial papers that discussed matters of general interest for a wide public on a weekly basis.

In the eighteenth century these periodicals, dozens of which appeared on the market in the Netherlands, as elsewhere, served as indicators for the public opinion of the day. To use a phrase coined in the eighteenth century they were "barometers of taste" [10]--middle-class taste, to be sure, as the Dutch Spectators were written by and for the upper middle classes who had assumed the role of the country's enlightened, moral vanguard. The journals would also publish letters and articles sent in by readers, thus keeping the public actively involved in their content. Although the Spectators emphatically targeted female as well as male readers, the genre was scarcely accessible to women writers. [11] Betje Wolff and Petronella Moens are the only Dutch women who are known to have contributed actively to the Spectatorial canon. [12]

Still, even though the female voice is largely absent, for an investigation of prevailing ideas on the genderedness of emotions these journals provide some extremely revealing material. The texts reflect the debates on the differences between men and women, on true human nature, on the ideal upbringing, on the way in which the sexes should consort with one another, and on the value of the emotions that played an important role in social relationships. They tell us about the way in which the archetype of the emotional woman manifested itself in the collective (male) consciousness of these middle-class circles. In the course of the eighteenth century we detect a shift, which may be defined as a historic departure in the ideas on emotions. Whereas the emotional sensitivity of women was initially seen as a problem and a hazard, in the latter half of the eighteenth century women's susceptible emotions came to be invested with an entirely different meaning.

Over the centuries numerous mythical and/or historical figures have served as models for the dangers posed by women's impulsiveness and lack of self-control. Jewish tradition has given us Lilith, from the Old Testament we know Eve, while classical antiquity produced Xantippe and the Amazons. In the sixteenth century the Low Countries added two local viragos: Mad Meg from a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the historical battle-axe "Kenau," a Haarlem widow whose role in the Dutch war of liberation from the Spanish soon became legendary but whose unfeminine pugnacity was later rejected. All these female figures reflect the impulsive and undisciplined character that women develop in the absence of male leadership and that wreaks havoc all around them.

In the Dutch Spectators we see this archetype embodied in the figure of the "bad-tempered wife," the unmanageable woman who subverts her husband's authority by assuming the dominant role. She is driven by two primary emotions: wrath and a thirst for power. Thus the "bad-tempered wife" represents the emotionalism attributed to women in its most negative form. The epithet "bad-tempered" refers not only to passing impulses but equally to her character: [13] instead of being a dutiful wife, she reverses the customary relations of authority and with her thirst for power causes chaotic scenes that strike at the roots of society.

The bad-tempered wife was not an invention of "enlightened" Spectator writers, but a legacy from the past that was not easy to shake off. The stories about the bad-tempered wife were remnants of an older theme, which had become known as "the battle to see who wears the trousers," which was occasionally fought out in popular farces and prints, sometimes in a quite literal sense.

The Dutch historical psychologist Lene Dresen-Coenders has traced the origin of this theme to the transition from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, linking its popularity to a new division of labor between the sexes that evolved in fifteenth-century Western Europe. While women had previously participated independently in the production and sale of goods in farming and other traditional businesses, the rise of the urban middle classes restricted their activities more and more to domestic tasks, while men increasingly assumed sole responsibility for providing the family's income. An unforeseen consequence of this separation between the worlds of women and men was that women started claiming dominion over everything that took place in the home. This destabilized power relations between the sexes: according to prevailing beliefs it was the man, as head of the family, who should have the last word on all family matters, including domestic affairs and children's upbringing. [14]

Anthropological research has shown that it is particularly in situations marked by a highly gendered division of labor, including women's ascendancy in domestic affairs, that men tend to become truly afraid of women's power. [15] This fear is also reflected in the ideology underlying the witch craze that was under way in Europe in this same early modem period. Although for a variety of reasons the witch hunts in the Dutch Republic were less extreme than in many other countries, the literary and artistic portrayals of the bad-tempered wife are clear evidence that fear of women's power existed here too. This male preoccupation with women's power was probably in part a response to the general disruption of the social equilibrium in Western Europe--a result of the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism and of the increased pressure on secular authorities caused by frequent epidemics and successive waves of famine. More importance came to be attached to a harmonious, stable family life, as the balance of power within marriage was deemed to symbolize that in society. Secular and religious leaders viewed undisciplined women as a problem that transcended the embarrassment caused to their husbands: such women posed a threat to the very fabric of society. [16]

Emotions: weakness or strength?

In the imagery associated with the bad-tempered wife, emotions were accorded a key role. This is in line with popular Western beliefs that often link emotions to chaos and the loss of control. From this point of view, emotions are disruptive and jeopardize the existing order, both within an individual and in society. [17] It was the bad-tempered wife's wrath and lust for power that disturbed the equilibrium of society, and these were the emotions that had to be subdued by male reason.

But this raised a thorny problem: these women's husbands were also to blame, since they had clearly failed to tame the inflamed passions of their spouses. Instead of calming them down with their male intellect, these lily-livered fellows kowtowed to them. The link between maleness and the power of reason was hence generally more tenuous than the ideology stipulated. There was also a strong tendency to blame the bad-tempered wife's quirks on poor upbringing. She had been set a bad example at home, she had lacked the guidance of a strong, wise, male hand, her father having been absent or overly indulgent.

The wrath and thirst for power attributed to the bad-tempered wife were far from random emotional phenomena: they were affects associated with persons of relatively high standing in society. Those high up in the social hierarchy could afford such affects (up to a point)--but for the lowly to express them was intolerable. Wrath and lust for power can be classified among what Fischer has called the "strong" emotions because they are associated with a strong ego that places the person high up on the scale of social relations. [18] With her attacks of rage, the bad-tempered wife therefore made a double bid for power: not only did she try to bring her husband under her thumb, but she also dared to indulge in vehement emotional outbursts that did not go with her subordinate position in society.

These stories thus illustrate the strange paradox that Lutz describes as running through many expositions on emotion: on the one hand emotionalism stands for weakness, and on the other hand it represents a strength that may not be ignored. [19] The weakness of the emotional woman conceals a certain strength; within this strength lies her weakness. This paradoxical state of affairs, which was seen as a negative phenomenon in the case of the bad-tempered wife, could also be interpreted in a positive sense, however. The Spectator writer Buys mentioned above, who in 1748 presented patience, love and mercy as emotional weaknesses that should be appreciated as positive strengths, was one of the first commentators in the Dutch Republic to formulate this new attitude. But where had these new views germinated?

While in the heavily urbanized Republic of the Netherlands, the Spectatorial writers were haunted by images of bad-tempered, scolding and rebellious wives, in England a new emotional woman was born--Pamela.

Pamela was the literary creation of the English writer Samuel Richardson, who would secure a prominent place in the history of literature with his epistolary novel Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded (1740-1741). With his psychological character sketches he was the first to introduce an element of depth into what had thus far been the superficial genre of the novel. It was with Richardson that the novel came of age, and his female protagonists played an important part in this development. After Pamela came Clarissa: or, The History of a Young Lady (1747- 1748), which was an even greater popular success. After this Richardson wrote The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753-1754), in which women--contrary to what the title suggests--are once again in the leading roles.

Richardson's epistolary novels hinge entirely on the emotional lives of his characters. The details of these lives are revealed to the readers through the intimate correspondence conducted between the main characters. These novels, carried along not by events but by emotions, were in that sense a new departure from the burlesque, picaresque, pastoral and heroic/chivalric romances that had gone before them. [20] The moral message with which Richardson infused his books was another new element in narrative fiction. The books written by Richardson and his followers accordingly became known as moral or didactic novels. The contrast between vice and virtue was hammered in incessantly.

Pamela tells the story of a young maidservant of humble origin, who finds herself constantly obliged to fend off sexual advances by Mr. B., her aristocratic employer, in whose mansion she lives and works. She manages to preserve her chastity by devising a whole series of evasive maneuvers. This steadfastness is eventually rewarded with marriage to Mr. B., who becomes a reformed character as a result of her unwavering virtue:

The beauty of Virtue triumphs in her example over the passions and prejudices of her husband, giving them both the now united prospect of Bliss stretching until all Eternity. [21]

Writing to her parents, Pamela describes her feelings as she lives through these events. In the girl's letters, her emotional state is the most important indicator of her virtue: her confusion, perplexity, shame and fear, followed later by sympathy, forgiveness and love, are all typical feminine emotions that speak well for Pamela's character. [22]

In Clarissa too, a virtuous young woman (though this time well-born) threatens to fall victim to the base impulses of a powerful man. Lovelace is a ruthless fellow who will stop at nothing to lure the desirable Clarissa into his bed. Clarissa is cornered time and time again, and it is not within her power to change the situation. Although she does not allow her moral integrity to be compromised, the events that unfold prove her undoing. Her delicate constitution cannot cope with all the emotion, and the tragic impact of the strain on her health finally kills her. In Clarissa's case, more than in Pamela's, her physical constitution reflects her inner disposition: her keen sense of morals makes impossible demands on her, her spiritual and emotional resistance is necessarily translated into attacks of physical illness--the only escape route remaining to her. [23]

In his last book, Sir Charles Grandison, Richardson returns to the same theme, but for the first time he introduces a male hero, who saves the defenseless Miss Byron from the claws of a malevolent villain. Sir Charles Grandison is one of the first representatives of a new type of man, the sensitive hero, who was to be all the rage in the late eighteenth century. His sensitive and charitable nature makes him into a masculine ideal with feminine traits, a semi-androgynous character whose surprising popularity I shall discuss below. His success, according to a Dutch Spectator writer, belies

a fallacy with the most dangerous of consequences which in general has held sway for all too long, [ ... ] that a degree of debauchery and vice are needed to perfect the character of a fine man. [24]

Still, it is not Grandison's emotions that lie at the heart of the narrative, for his role as a correspondent in this epistolary novel is minimal. In the published letters it is once again the women who report on their emotional state, emphasizing the sensitive elements of their feminine character. The "man of feeling" would not start expounding on his emotions until the works of later sentimental authors such as Sterne and Mackenzie. [25]

The success of sentimentalism

It may be difficult for today's readers to understand what made Richardson's novels so popular in their day. The plots hold few surprises and the bulky novels tax the reader's endurance to the utmost. Richardson's success, however, was based partly on the familiarity of the situations he described, as is clear from the "fan mail" he received from his readers, both men and women. These letters also show that Richardson's characteristic style had struck a sensitive cord with the reading public. [26]

Conjuring up emotions was an important aim of Richardson's work: he believed that he could get his readers to make the same virtuous decisions in their lives as his own characters, provided he could successfully manipulate their feelings. The textual strategies he used to achieve this, such as the publication of fictitious letters from heroines whose tears flow freely, moving his readers in turn to tears, were emulated by many subsequent writers. Literary historians hence attribute Richardson with having played an important part in the development of sentimentalism, the eighteenth-century literary school that elevated the evocation of deep emotions to a goal in itself.

Rousseau, Sterne and Goethe are only a few of the many authors who trod in Richardson's footsteps with their lyrical expressions of feeling. Richardson was not in fact the first writer to dedicate his work to sentiment--in France, for instance, he had a predecessor in Abbe Prevost, and in Britain, moral philosophers and theologians had already prepared the ground with their theories on "moral sense." [27] But with Richardson, emotion was canonized--it became the standard against which all literary work was measured. And although some critics accused Pamela of hypocrisy, while others found Richardson's story lines outrageously implausible, the general public thought otherwise. Effusive reviews, translations and imitations the very titles of which echoed the source

of their inspiration, all testify to Richardson's enormous popularity. [28]

The Dutch Spectators too gave Richardson an excellent press. According to these writers, his books helped their female readers to steer their emotions in the right direction:

It is most unfortunate that there is such a dearth of Writing about Morality, and in particular about the nature and guidance of passions [ ... ] it therefore seems to me highly profitable for young ladies to read the English and Dutch and other Spectators [ ... ]. I would venture also to commend to them the writings of Mr Richardson [ ... ]. While it is true that these writings are Novels, they are by no means such as to corrupt the heart, as most others will. [29]

With praise of this kind it is scarcely surprising that the Dutch Spectators are full of allusions to Richardson's characters. From the mid-eighteenth century onward, these weeklies published scores of brief sentimental narratives, some of them based on international sentimental best-sellers.

One example is the love story that appeared in the Bataafsch Musaeum of 8 April 1771, where the reading of Pamela serves as a touchstone to determine whether the two young lovers will be able to find happiness: if both are unable to keep back their tears on reading a particularly dramatic passage together, the young woman interprets this as "convincing proof of the concordance of their inclinations" and knows that she has found her true love. This exemplifies a sentimental topos in which virtuous souls find each other in the shared experience of reading a moving text. [30]

The sentimental novel satisfied the demand for "safe" secular reading for women. In an age that saw books roll off the presses in increasing numbers, and with more and more middle-class women acquiring the time and means to read, the demand for such literature soared. Moral content was an important criterion for women's reading, precisely because women were believed to be more easily influenced than men, and it was feared that the traditional, unrealistic romantic novels would inflame their imagination. The "new" model, however, provided a kind of socialization that was deemed appropriate for women. [31]

Middle-class aspirations

The novels of Richardson and his imitators propagated what were predominantly middle-class values and placed them in clear opposition to the values of the aristocracy. Aristocratic characters were generally portrayed as egocentric individuals with loose morals and a tendency to treat women either as sex objects or as a means of exchange. Characters from middle-class homes, on the other hand, were identifiable by their inner virtuousness that manifested itself in a strong sense of compassion with their fellow human beings. With his aristocratic origins, Sir Charles Grandison is the exception that proves the rule: his character emphasizes that the middle-class norm of virtuousness could lay claim to universal validity. [32]

Whereas in the eighteenth century the nobility still invoked its "blue blood" to justify its existence, the middle classes set out increasingly to base their own right to exist on their virtue. The importance of this concept should not be underestimated. In much of today's Western culture, virtuousness is primarily associated with exaggerated propriety, but in past centuries virtue was of immense importance as a pivotal principle of religious, ethical and political thought. [33] In classical Republicanism, which was a strong ideology in the eighteenth century, it was virtue rather than birth that served as the criterion for political participation. [34] The efforts of the middle classes to forge an image of virtuousness should be viewed against that background.

At the end of the century, of course, the French Revolution would crush the political hegemony of the old elites. In the sentimental novels and the Dutch Spectatorial writings of the eighteenth century we see that the power of the ruling elites had been undermined before this, with their standards and values being assailed from a middle-class vantage-point. Although the middle classes traditionally had a stronger position in the Dutch Republic than in other countries, here too political power had gradually been concentrated in the hands of a few Regent families, who increasingly conducted themselves as an aristocratic group. The eighteenth century witnessed a reaction to this: the aristocratic tastes, attitudes and lifestyle of this patriciate came under increasing criticism. Thus the late eighteenth-century struggle for political hegemony was preceded by a struggle for cultural hegemony. The intriguing part of this is that in their aspirations to a higher moral stature than the aristocracy, middle-class int ellectuals such as the Spectator writers started to attribute to middle-class men emotional characteristics that had previously been associated with other groups.

The dual social identity of the man of feeling

With Richardson's heroines, the emotional woman had undergone a metamorphosis: rather than the bad-tempered wife liable to menacing eruptions of base impulses, it was the refined woman with elevated feelings that now represented this archetype in the middle-class consciousness.

Men as well as women identified with these sensitive characters. The "man of feeling" who lived according to high moral standards, was sensitive to the misery of his fellow human beings and heroically combated abuses in society, became a new ideal that the Dutch Spectators propagated with verve. He was by no means a new figure of course, as a similar ideal had been exalted for centuries in the person of Jesus Christ. In the eighteenth century, however, Christian virtues of charity and selflessness came to play an important part in secular discourses as well. In the man of feeling's powerfully developed sense of responsibility, the Dutch Spectator writers saw a promise for the future and a solution to the many problems with which the Republic had been afflicted since the fading of the Golden Age.

But the middle-class ideal of the man of feeling was not without its inner contradictions. For while it served to criticize the culture of the aristocracy, it nonetheless contained elements that could be characterized precisely as "aristo-cratic," and that were actually sometimes presented as such in European novels. Delicate feelings, for instance, were often associated with noble origins.

A journeyman who lives on potatoes alone cannot have the fine sentiments of a gentleman who dines on the exquisite fare that brings forth nature and art: the former will be sluggish, idle, interested, with base sentiments, a hard heart, and insensitive, while the latter will be lively, industrious, disinterested, generous, compassionate, and sensitive [ ... ] No, a man of birth has an inherent excellence that places him above a peasant; he is made of a much finer, purer substance; his sinews and nerves are suited to more delicate and more sublime perceptions and sentiments, and his entire frame is far more susceptible to generous and elevated impressions. [35]

But these ideas came under increasing criticism in the course of the eighteenth century. The principles of natural law gained ground, and accompanying them came a growing belief in the equality of all human beings. The editor of the Opmerker indeed published this letter only because of its affected, Frenchified use of language and the extremism of its arguments, which made the ideas it expressed appear foolish. Contemporary readers will doubtless have realized that the writer was an impostor.

The aura of heroism and nobility surrounding the image of the "man of feeling" was also initially associated with the nobility rather than the middle classes. The type of the susceptible hero who rushes to the aid of the weaker members of society, risking his own life in the process, had unmistakable traces of chivalry. True, in the eighteenth century many still believed that the aristocratic privileges enjoyed by the elites were justified by the special deeds of their ancestors in the past. But their descendants' entitlement to that special status was increasingly being questioned. "Noble birth" proved to be no guarantee for noble conduct, as increasing numbers of critics remarked in the Dutch Spectators.

One sign of the wind of change was the publication of increasing numbers of reports of noble deeds performed by people of humble origin. Compassion for one's neighbor did not have to involve grand acts of heroism, but could equally manifest itself in modest good deeds. The small gift offered by someone ill able to afford it, the charitable actions of a simple merchant or preacher and the helpfulness of an ordinary man who makes a sacrifice for a friend in trouble all counted; the role of the sensitive philanthropist was by no means the prerogative of the well-to-do.

This said, stories dwelling on the good deeds of members of the wealthiest families and their sympathy for their fellow human beings continued to hold a certain attraction. The man of feeling thus remained a social anomaly in the Dutch Spectators: aristocratic by birth, he had donned a middle-class suit of clothes. It was not a new, custom-made suit, however, but an old one belonging to someone else, in which the features of the previous owner were still recognizable. The same social ambivalence manifested itself in many sentimental novels, which explains the ongoing academic controversy about whether sentimentalism may be classified as a specifically middle-class movement. [36]

This was not the only ambivalence surrounding the man of feeling. In an age in which women were credited with more "tender hearts" than men, because of their sensitive nervous systems, the man of feeling was also something of a hybrid in terms of gender.

The hybrid gender of the man of feeling

The emotional susceptibility of the man of feeling, however worthy of emulation, was not devoid of danger.

For feeling must also not be overdone, or be a constant object; otherwise man will become wholly effeminate, full of apprehension, and the plaything of his imagination and passions. [37]

Here the credibility of the man of feeling as a man was at stake. It was therefore important to keep feelings within the bounds of reasonableness. This need not be a problem: according to the ideas of the Enlightenment, feelings and intellect need not in theory be mutually incompatible. Both formed an integral part of human nature, and with a certain amount of good will, reason and emotion could coexist in harmony. [38] This view reflects the ideas of Aristotle, who--unlike the Stoics--took a moderately positive view of emotion, and believed that passions need not always impede the workings of reason. [39]

The Dutch Spectator writers also believed in the existence of "rational" emotions. Thus compassion--the most conspicuous emotion of the man of feeling-- was regarded as a sensation, the effects of which did not differ in essence from those of decisions made with the intellectual faculties:

This disposition of the Soul precedes decisions we take with the faculty of reason, indeed paves the way for them, hastens them and urges that the duties of humanity be fulfilled in good time, and without tarrying. [40]

Compassion was a "sentiment" in the most literal sense of the age, that is to say, a moral opinion in which intellect and emotion were united. [41] Still, compassion too could become derailed and degenerate into weakness. To prevent this, sensitive men had to observe certain rules. The most important was that they should not lose themselves in "mild, benign, sympathetic and benevolent perceptions," but see them as a motive to end an abuse by taking effective action. [42] The man of feeling had to demonstrate an enterprising spirit. If he did not take purposeful, effective, manly action, the emotional sensations would undoubtedly "weaken, enervate or feminize him," as often happened to sentimental youths. [43]

The danger of "effeminacy"--in the sense of acquiring a feminine weakness that was not necessarily related to homosexuality at the time--was a constant companion of sentiment. [44] The idealization of virtuous feelings and the related "feminization" [45] of middle-class individuals was not so absolute that masculinity ceased to be an issue. On the contrary. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, doubts about the masculinity of the man of feeling combined with other factors to precipitate the demise of this cult figure. For the development that has been described above was followed by a new (and opposing!) movement in the international public debate, which the German historian Hausen has dubbed "die Polarisierung der Geschlechtscharaktere"--the polarization of the characters of the sexes. [46]

This movement defined and contrasted the "natural qualities" of the sexes in increasingly sharp terms. This new ideology had no logical place for a man such as Sir Charles Grandison, who combined masculine and feminine qualities in his character. In the next section I shall first show the conceptual lines along which this ideological revolution took place, and then go on to explain why these new ideas should have become so popular precisely when they did--at the end of the eighteenth century.

The growing popularity of the two-sex model

The idea that there are, biologically speaking, two fundamentally different sexes, with in principle two related and mutually exclusive genders, did not develop until recent times. Thomas Laqueur, in his fascinating and much praised book Making Sex (1990), shows that while this "two-sex" model may have existed earlier, it did not become commonplace until around 1800. Before then a different vision prevailed concerning the differences between the sexes, which Laqueur calls the "one-sex" model. According to this latter view, there was in fact only one biological sex--the male. The female was an inferior variant, in which human perfection had not fully developed.

While this view clearly imposed a hierarchy on the differences between men and women, it was formulated in gradual rather than absolute terms. There was a sliding scale between maleness and femaleness, with a person's individual position on this scale being determined not by a distinction in biological features (in which respect men and women were not thought to be fundamentally different) [47] but by a person's conduct and character. Within this system, sex was not an ontological but a changeable sociological category. [48] At the center of this sex-scale were countless masculine women and feminine men, whose conduct showed them to be close to the other sex. In women this was regarded as a positive development, as their imitation of manly behavior revealed an effort to attain a higher plane and to approach more closely to the human ideal. Men who started to display feminine behavior, on the other hand, were criticized because they threatened to lose their superior masculinity and to fall to the inferior lev el of femininity.

These ideas about the essence of the differences between the sexes started to change radically at the end of the eighteenth century. Feminine qualities such as emotionalism were valued more highly, but they were attributed more exclusively to the female sex, which was now no longer considered as a derivative of the male sex. Male qualities were no longer better by definition, but they were increasingly attributed solely to the male sex. In theory, the two sexes were of equal worth. At the same time, the conceptual space for individual deviations in behavior diminished. Scientists developed new theories about collective, biological differences between men and women that came to be used (and this was a new departure) to justify the social and cultural differences. [49]

Here we witness the birth of the modern sex/gender system, the central idea of which is the existence of two fundamentally different sexes which, though in principle equal in value and as opposite poles enormously attractive to one another, have innate qualities that necessarily give them different destinations in life. From this point onward male and female came to be seen as essential categories and increasingly as mutually exclusive--the androgynous space between the sexes became a theoretical no-man's land, that would not be occupied again until the scientific invention of the "third sex" in the nineteenth century.

The polarization of the characters of the sexes thus went hand in hand with the changing conceptualization of "sex": one sex developed into two sexes, gradual differences became absolute, the positioning along a sexual spectrum on the basis of changeable habits and behavior was replaced by one based on a fixed circumstance of birth. This latter change was facilitated by another, simultaneous development in Enlightenment thinking, involving a changing conceptualization of the concept of "nature".

As children of the Enlightenment, eighteenth-century intellectuals sought to explain everything they came across in their studies of humanity and society by reference to Nature. In the course of the eighteenth century, however, this concept was completely redefined. Whereas previously Nature--in the sense of human nature--had been regarded as a variable that depended in part on historical developments, ingrained habits, the influence of civilization, upbringing and other cultural factors, by the end of the eighteenth century increasing emphasis was being placed on Nature as the unchanging factor par excellence, the grand determinant. Nature changed from a relative to an absolute concept, with enormous explanatory power. [50] Differences between people were explained more and more often in terms of biological differences. Not only the sexes but different races of mankind, too, were classified in systematic "natural" categories. [51] While in the early Enlightenment the primary explanation was generally sought in a person's socialization, the late Enlightenment witnessed a shift of emphasis to the body.

With this development, the promise held out by the progressive and egalitarian ideas of the early Enlightenment was largely smothered. Only ideas about class differences partially eluded this general trend, and indeed manifested to a modest extent the opposite tendency, from nature to culture: the "blue blood" of the nobility lost its significance, whereas from the time of the French Revolution onward the virtue of the ordinary citizen (helped a long by the capital he possessed) would assure him of a place in the political arena. [52] Still, the idea of a classbound body did not vanish altogether: the "degeneration" theories of the nineteenth century were clearly related to class, which shows that the body remained a factor of significance even in views on relationships within society.

Difference regained

The rise of the two-sex model and the accompanying polarization of the characters of the sexes has often been interpreted as a conservative reaction by bourgeois men to the scientific, political and other ambitions that middle-class women started to express in the eighteenth century. [53] Invoking the "great difference," with all the weight of science behind it, women struggling to "emancipate" themselves were firmly barred from following the road to greater participation in society: for two fundamentally different "natures" predestined women merely to feel, follow, give birth and care, and men to think, lead, create and organize.

To date, no studies have demonstrated that a similar development (which, it should be said, not all researchers recognize) took place in the Dutch Republic. The Dutch Spectators, however, confirm that a parallel change of attitude took place in certain intellectual circles in the Netherlands in the latter half of the eighteenth century. [54] What is more, they also reveal that because of this ideological shift, the behavior of the "man of feeling," whose virtues were increasingly extolled, became a problem. This relationship has received little attention thus far in scholarly analysis, possibly because studies of sentimentality and masculinity have largely been conducted in separate circuits. [55]

In the Dutch Spectators, however, the growing polarization of the sexes points clearly to a dual 'disciplinary' trend, which attempted to steer the behavior of men as well as women in the right direction. The journalist and preacher Cornelis van Engelen was one of the first to dismiss roundly any notion that women could resemble men or vice versa:

Providence endowed the sexes with very different Dispositions and equally different inclinations; the faculty of judgment, Reason, is active in one, while Imagination is active in the other sex; [ ... ] A man with a Feminine Soul and a Woman with a Masculine Mind are both species of Monsters; [ ... ] Were a Woman to have the same authority as a Man, or a Man the same kind-heartedness as a Woman, the former possessing a man's courage and resolve, the latter a woman's tenderness and charm, they would be independent of one another, but it is their different natures and the confluence of these natures that now produces Marital bliss. [56]

The difference was emphasized for the benefit of the harmony between the sexes: it was an illusion to think that they could exist independently of one another, that a woman could have the same authority as a man or a man be as tender-hearted as a woman.

That women's growing ambitions may have prompted a revision of the old one-sex model is supported by the Dutch Spectators. From about 1760 onward, these papers contain anxious complaints about women's increasing resemblance to men. Some focus on ostensibly innocent matters such as the wearing of men's clothes and riding habits, but others bemoan claims for equality within marriage, the right to publish and to practice science, and the right to a say in political matters. Women were increasingly demanding to be heard and asserting the unjustness of the existing inequality between the sexes. It was not their allegedly inferior qualities that had thus far kept them from the more elevated activities with which men filled their working lives, they insisted, but simply their upbringing. [57]

The new proponents of egalitarianism derived support from the debate on natural law and associated theories of the political or social "contract" that had been developed in the course of the seventeenth century. The revolutionary potential of these new ideas, which claimed in theory the fundamental equality of all individuals, jeopardized not only the existing social order (as the French Revolution would demonstrate) but also the status quo of sexual relations. This new spirit of egalitarianism had also penetrated the Dutch Republic, and there too a solution had to be found for the disruption of sexual balance it threatened to bring about. [58]

The solution was found in a new theory of sexual difference, which while in principle defining the qualities of the sexes as equal in value contained specific characteristics that once again justified inequitable treatment in society.

Against this background we can now also understand the problems caused by the popularity of the semi-androgynous "man of feeling." Not only were women developing all sorts of intellectual and political ambitions and thereby threatening to become too much like men, but the cult of sensibility meant that men were starting to become like women. The danger was not--as it had been before--in the inferiority of the feminine qualities displayed by the "effeminate" man: compassion and the ability to empathize were still viewed as positive qualities. No, this time the perceived danger was that the man of feeling, with his feminine characteristics, undermined the credibility of the new two-sex model. That the man of feeling dealt differently with his emotional impulses from the woman of feeling was a nuance that did too little to offset the dangerous notion that men could evidently resemble women after all. For if that was true, then the reverse was equally possible.

The trials and tribulations of emotion

When, in 1748, the Dutch Spectator writer Buys praised women for their patience and their loving and merciful inclinations, he could not have suspected that this idea would fall on such fertile ground and eventually become the nucleus of a new sex/gender paradigm which, after 1800, would completely take the place of the old one.

Buys, like the English writer Richardson--whose second major work Clarissa also appeared in 1748--belonged to a generation of writers that strove to improve the relations between the sexes and was not afraid to criticize the male character. In one of his later Spectatorial writings, Buys would indeed rail against men "whose hearts are estranged from the tender workings of sympathy" and hold up to them the example of the "generous benefactor [who] could not hold back his tears". [59]

With the work of Richardson and the ensuing wave of sentimentalism that swept through Europe, the emotionalism attributed to women was placed in a new interpretative framework. Women's emotions were presented as a necessary counterpart to the autonomy and purposefulness of men's actions--the same argument as is used in today's debate on the need for a feminine ethics of care. [60] Even then, the sensitive, caring human being exerted such an attraction that men too started to strive toward that ideal.

In spite of the many parallels that exist between past and present, however, we must not forget that the meanings attached to male and female emotions are to a large extent contextual. In the case of the Dutch Spectator writers I have presented in this article as spokesmen of popularized Enlightenment thought, the balance of power between aristocracy and bourgeoisie, as well as that between the sexes, greatly influenced the way in which they discussed sexual difference and emotions. One might even say that without the existing class antagonism, the man of feeling could never have grown into a cult figure, and the tenderhearted woman could never have become as popular as she has been for the past two centuries.

This same class antagonism, however, was also partly responsible for the demise of the man of feeling, at least in the tear-drenched and highly individualized form into which the ideal had developed. [61] The new ideology of the absolute difference between the characters of the sexes was primarily disseminated among middle-class men, who saw the virtuous domestic behavior of their wives as yet another way of differentiating themselves from other social groups. More than in the aristocracy, where women tended to be treated on a somewhat more equal footing with men, the gentlemen of the bourgeoisie seemed to be disturbed by the intellectual freedoms and administrative ambitions that their daughters and wives were starting to espouse in emulation of unconventional noblewomen. If this trend was to be stopped by invoking the "natural" differences between the sexes, it would unfortunately but inevitably also mean renouncing the idealized image, only recently acquired, and initially propagated with so much verve, o f the "man of feeling." A dawning realization that the attempt to present the charitable and tender-hearted benefactor as an exclusively bourgeois personage had not been entirely successful may have made the renunciation a little easier.

A final word

The eighteenth century demonstrates that the archetype of the emotional woman is not a fossilized myth but a perpetuum mobile, constantly changing in definition and occasionally transcending the frontiers of gender.

There have without a doubt been other moments in history when emotions were viewed not only as negative but also as positive, not only as irrational but also as rational, not only as female but also as male, nor only as weak but also as strong, not only as biologically but also as culturally determined. Although this does not mean that the dichotomy between male rationalism and female emotionalism has never existed, it does mean that the relationship between the two has at times been more intimate and less antithetical than is generally believed.

Translated from the Dutch by Beverley Jackson

Verschuurstraat 9

5042 RI-I Tilburg

The Netherlands


An earlier version of this article appeared in the Dutch Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies 1 (1998) no. 4, 14-26. I should like to thank Stefan Dudink and Myriam Everard for the helpful comments they made on that occasion.

(1.) "Wij mannen huilen niet"; Martin van Amerongen is a well-known Dutch journalist. In his capacity as columnist and editor-in-chief of the quality weekly De Groene Amsterdammer and much in demand as a guest speaker, he was a strong presence in the social debates conducted in the Netherlands in the 1990s.

(2.) Susan E. Cayleff, "'Prisoners of their own Feebleness': Women, Nerves and Western Medicine--a Historical Overview," Social Science and Medicine 26 (1988): 1199-1208.

(3.) Anne Moir and David Jessel, Brainsex (London, 1989).

(4.) Denise Riley, "Am I that name?" Feminism and the Category of "Women" in History (London, 1988).

(5.) Joan Kelly, "Early feminist theory and the 'Querelle des Femmes,' 1400-1789," Signs 8(1982): 4-28.

(6.) "Het is waar dat de Vrouwelyke passien doorgaans veel sterker als die van de Mannen zyn; daar van daan komt het dat hun toornigheid, haat, wraakzucht, onkuisheid, hovaerdigheid en andere driften, die van de Mannen ver te boven streeven: maar het is ook zeker, dat, wanneer hun geneigdheden ten goede overslaan, zy in langmoedigheid, liefde, barmhertigheid, kuisheid, nederigheid en stantvastigheid de Mannen overtreffen"; De Algemeene Spectator, 3 July 1748, P. 33.

(7.) I use the term "archetype" here not in the Jungian sense but in the wider sense of an image that is present not only in the collective unconscious but also in the collective consciousness.

(8.) P.J. Buijnsters, Spectatoriale geschriften (Utrecht, 1991); Michel Gilot and Jean Sgard, "Le Journaliste Masque. Personnages et formes personnelles," Le Journalisme d'Ancien Regime, ed. P. Retat (Lyon, 1982), pp. 285-313; Wolfgang Martens, Die Botschaft der Tugend. Die Aufklarung im Spiegel der deutschen Moralische Wochenschriften (Stuttgart, 1968); James Woodruff, "Successors, Imitators, Contemporaries of the Tatler," British Literary Magazines. The Augustan Age and the Age of Johnson 1698-1788, ed. Alvin Sullivan (Westport/London, 1983), pp. 393-400.

(9.) Gert-Jan Johannes, "Small-Scale Culture: Dutch Eighteenth-Century Periodicals and the Paradoxes of Decline," Eighteenth-Century Studies 31 (1997): 122-28; Wijnand W. Mijnhardt, "The Dutch Enlightenment: Humanism, Nationalism and Decline," The Dutch Republic in the Eighteenth Century. Decline, Enlightenment and Revolution, eds. Margaret C. Jacob and Wijnand W. Mijnhardt (Ithaca/London, 1992), pp. 197-224; Roy Porter and Mikulas Teich, eds., The Enlightenment in National Context (Cambridge, 1981).

(10.) Gert-Jan Johannes, De barometer van de smaak. Tijdschriften in Nederland 1770-1830 (The Hague, 1995).

(11.) Suzan van Dijk, Traces de femmes. Presence feminine dans le journalisme francais du XVIIIe siecle (Amsterdam/Maarssen, 1988); Regina Nortemann, "Schwache Werkzeuge als offentliche Richterinnen. Zur fiktiven weiblichen Herausgeber- und Verfasserschaft in Moralischen Wochenschriften des 18. Jahrhunderts," Archiv fur Kulturgeschichte 72 (1990): 381-403; Maria Lucia G. Pallares-Burke, "An Androgynous Observer in the Eighteenth Century Press: La Spectatrice, 1718-1729," Women's History Review 3 (1994): 411-34.

(12.) Suzan van Dijk and Dini Helmers, "Nederlandse vrouwentijdschriften in de achttiende eeuw', De productie, distributie en consumptie van cultuur, eds. J.J. Kloek and W.W. Mijnhardt (Amsterdam/Atlanta, 1991) pp. 71-88.

(13.) "Bad-tempered wife" = "kwade wijf" or "boze wijf". While the primary meaning of both kwaad and boos here is "angry," both words can also mean "evil" [transl.].

(14.) Lene Dresen-Coenders, "De machtsbalans tussen man en vrouw in het vroegmoderne gezin," Vijf eeuwen gezinsleven. Liefde, huwelijk en opvoeding in Nederland, eds. Harry Peeters, Lane Dresen-Coenders and Ton Brandenbarg (Nijmegen, 1988), pp. 57-98.

(15.) Stanley Brandes, "Like Wounded Stags: Male Sexual Ideology in an Andalusian Town," Sexual Meanings. The Cultural Construction of Gender and Sexuality, eds. Sherry B. Ortner and Harriet Whitehead (Cambridge, 1981) pp. 216-39.

(16.) Barbara Becker-Cantarino, "'Feminist Consciousness' and 'Wicked Witches': Recent Studies on Women in Early Modem Europe," Signs 20 (1994): 152-76; James R. Farr, "The Pure and Disciplined Body: Hierarchy, Morality and Symbolism in France during the Catholic Reformation," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 21 (1993): 391-414; Dresen-Coenders, "Machtsbalans," pp.76-86.

(17.) Catherine A. Lutz, "Engendered Emotion: Gender, Power and the Rhetoric of Emotional Control in American Discourse," Language and the Politics of Emotion, eds. Lila Abu-Lughod and Catherine A. Lutz (New York/Paris, 1990), pp. 69-91.

(18.) Agneta H. Fischer, Emotion Scripts. A Study of the Social and Cognitive Facets of Emotions (Leiden, 1991).

(19.) Lutz, "Engendered Emotion," p.70.

(20.) Nancy Armstrong, Desire and Domestic Fiction. A Political History of the Novel (New York/Oxford, 1987), pp. 8-9, 19-10, 107-108; P.J. Buijnsters, Nederlandse literatuur van de achttiende eeuw (Utrecht, 1984), pp. 199-222.

(21.) "de schoonheid der deugd triumpheert in haar voorbeeld over de hartstochten en vooroordeelen van haaren man, om hunne nu vereenigde uitzigten van gelukzaligheid, tot de eeuwigheid uit te strekken"; Spectatorial review in De Hollandsche Wysgeer IV, 1761, no. 198, p. 113.

(22.) Armstrong, Desire, pp. 96-134.

(23.) Raymond Stephanson, "Richardson's 'Nerves': The Physiology of Sensibility in Clarissa," Journal of the History of Ideas 49 (1988): 267-85.

(24.) "een dwaaling van het allergevaarlykste gevolg, die altelang in 't algemeen de overhand heeft gehad [ ... ] dat 'er een zekere maat van Ligtmissery en ondeugd vereischt weird, om het Karakter van een welbegaaft man te volmaaken"; De Hollandsche Wysgeer IV, 1761, no. 198, p. 113.

(25.) Janet Todd, Sensibility. An Introduction (London/New York 1986), pp. 69-109.

(26.) Stephanson, "Richardson's 'Nerves'," p.276.

(27.) G.J. Barker-Benfield, The Culture of Sensibility. Sex and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Chicago/London, 1992), pp. 105-41; Anne Vincent-Buffault, The History of Tears. Sensibility and Sentimentality in France (Basingstoke/London, 1991), pp. 3-4, 49, 118.

(28.) Thomas Matthey, "De ontvangst van Richardson in Nederland," De Spectator 8 (1978/79): 142-57.

(29.) "Het is een groot ongeluk, dat men te weinige goede Schriften over de Zedekunde heeft, en met name over den aart en het bestier der hartstogten [ ... ] My dunkt derhalve, dat het Jufferschap met groot nut de Engelsche en Hollandsche en andere Spectators [ ... ] kunnen leezen. 1k durf hen ook de Schriften van den Heer Richardson aanpryzen [ ... ] 't Is waar, deeze schriften zyn Romans; maar geenzins zulken, die het hart zullen bederven, gelyk de meeste anderen"; De Denker, 8 September 1766, p. 286.

(30.) Vincent-Buffault, History of Tears, pp. 6-7.

(31.) Armstrong, Desire, pp. 98-109; William Ray, "Reading Women: Cultural Authority, Gender, and the Novel. The Case of Rousseau," Eighteenth-Century Studies 27 (1993-1994): 421-47.

(32.) Nancy Armstrong, "Introduction: Literature and Women's History', in: Genre 19(1986): 347--69, esp. 357--61; David J. Denby, Sentimental Narrative and the Social Order in France, 1760--1820 (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 116--38; Gerhard Sauder, "'Burgerliche' Empfindsamkeit?," Burger und Burgerlichkeit im Zeitalter der Aufklarung, Wolfenbutteler Studien zur Aufklarung no. 7, ed. Rudolf Vierhaus (Heidelberg, 1981), pp. 149--64.

(33.) Harry Peeters, Over deugden en ondeugden. Vroeger en nu (Nijmegen, 1996).

(34.) J.G.A. Pocock, Virtue, Commerce and History. Essays on Political Thought and History, Chiefly in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 37--50.

(35.) The original italics of the eighteenth-century author emphasize the Frenchified character of the wording, which is particularly striking in the Dutch text as words derived from French were relatively uncommon in Dutch: "Een daghuurder die alleen van aardappelen leeft, kan die fyne sentimenten niet hebben als een heer, die zig met het exquiste voedt, dat de natuur en konst voortbrengt; de eerste moet loom, traag, geinteresseerd, laag gevoelig, hard van gemoed, insensibel wezen, daar de laatste levendig, vlytig, ongeinter-esseerd, genereux, compatissant en sensibel zyn moet [ ... ] Neen, een man van geboorte heeft eene inherente voortreflykheid boven den boer; hy is van eene veel fynder, veel zuiverder stof opgelegd; hy heeft vezelen en zenuwen geschikt voor delicaater en sublimer percepties en sentimenten, en zyn geheele lichaam is veel susceptibeler voor genereuse en geeleveerde impressies"; reader's letter to De Opmerker, 12 August 1776, p. 339.

(36.) Some literary scholars question the existence of a clear relationship between sentimentalism and social class: see e.g. Annemieke Meijer, The Pure Language of the Heart. Sentimentalism in the Netherlands 1775--1800, Text. Studies in Comparative Literature no. 14 (Amsterdam/Atlanta 1998); see also Lothar Pikulik, Leistungsethik contra Gefuhlskult. Uber das Verhaltnis von Burgerlichkeit und Empfindsamkeit in Deutschland Gottingen, 1984).

(37.) "Want het gevoel moet ook niet te verre getrokken worden, of overal het oogmerk zyn; anders word de mensch geheel verwijfd, ten uitersten bevreesd, en de speelbal zyner verbeelding en hartstochten"; De Rhapsodist VI, 1783, p. 225 and pp. 257--58.

(38.) John Dwyer, "Enlightened Spectators and Classical Moralists: Sympathetic Relations in Eighteenth-Century Scotland," Eighteenth-Century Life 15, no. 1--2 (1991): 96--118.

(39.) Martha Nussbaum, The Therapy of Desire. Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics (Princeton, 1994), pp. 48--101.

(40.) "Deze Zielsgestalte komt de besluyten van onze reden voor, baand de zelven den weg, verhaast, en spoortze aan, om de pligten der menschelykheids by tyds, en zonder uytstel, te betragten"; De Hollandsche Spectator, 24 September 1731, p. 43.

(41.) Todd, Sensibility, p. 7.

(42.) De Menschenvriend VI, 1793, no. 30, pp. 239--40.

(43.) Bijdragen tot het Menschelijk Geluk II, 1789, p. 371.

(44.) Barker-Benfield, Culture of Sensibility, pp. 104--53.

(45.) Armstrong, Desire, p. 97.

(46.) Karin Hausen, "Die Polarisierung der Geschlechtscharactere'. Eine Spiegelung der Dissoziation von Erwerbs- und Familienleben," Socialgeschichte der Familie in der Neuzeit Europas, ed. Werner Conze (Stuttgart, 1976), pp. 363--94.

(47.) For a comprehensive explanation of the ideas according to which women's genitals were the same as men's, but had remained inside the body because of body temperature, see Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex. Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge/London, 1990), pp. 25-113.

(48.) Ibid., p. 8.

(49.) Londa Schiebinger, The Mind has no Sex. Women in the Origins of Modem Science (Cambridge/London, 1989), pp. 160-244.

(50.) Maurice Bloch and Jean H. Bloch, "Women and the Dialectics of Nature in Eighteenth-Century French Thought," Nature, Culture and Gender, eds. Carol P. MacCormack and Marilyn Strathern (Cambridge, 1980), pp. 25-41.; L.J. Jordanova, "Natural Facts: a Historical Perspective on Science and Sexuality," ibid., pp. 42-69.

(51.) Kay Flavell, "Mapping Faces: National Physiognomies as Cultural Prediction," Eighteenth-Century Life 18 (1994): 8-22.

(52.) Michael McKeon, "Hisroricizing Patriarchy: the Emergence of Gender Difference in England, 1660-1760," Eighteenth-Century Studies 28 (1995): 295-322.

(53.) Claudia Honegger, Die Ordnung der Geschlechrer. Die Wissenschaften vom Menschen und dos Weib, 1750-1850 (Frankfurt/New York, 1991); Thomas Laqueur, "Orgasm, Generation, and the Politics of Reproductive Biology," The Making of the Modem Body. Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century, eds. Catherine Gallagher and Thomas Laqueur (Berkeley/Los Angeles/London, 1987), pp. 1-42; Brita Rang, "Zur Geschichte des dualistische Denkens uber Mann und Frau. Kritische Anmerkungen zu den Thesen von Karin Hausen zur Herausbildung der Geschlechtscharaktere im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert," Frauenmacht in der Geschichte. Beitrage des Historikerinnentreffens 1985 zur Frauengeschichtsforschung, eds. Jutta Dalhoff, Uschi Frey and Ingrid Scholl (Dusseldorf, 1986); pp. 194-204.

(54.) Dorothee Sturkenboom, Spectators van hartstocht. Sekse en emotionele cultuur in de achttiende eeuw (Hilversum, 1998), pp. 327-334.

(55.) The following are exceptional in this respect: Barker-Benfield, Culture of Sensibility, pp. 37-153; George E. Haggerty, Men in Love, Masculinity and Sexuality in the Eighteenth Century (New York, 1999), pp. 81-110 and Anne-Charlotte Trepp, "The Private Lives of Men in Eighteenth-Century Central Europe. The Emotional Side of Men in Late Eighteenth-Century Germany (Theory and Example)," Central European Journal 27 (1994): 127-52.

(56.) "De Voorzienigheid heeft aan de verscheidene Sexen eene zeer verschillende Geest-gesteldheid, en niet mm verschillende neigingen, gegeeven; Her oordeel, bet Verstand werkt in de eene, de Verbeelding in de andere Sexe; [ ... ] Een Man, die een Vrouwelyke Ziel, een Vrouw die een Mannelyke Geest heeft, zyn beiden een soort van Monsters; [ ... ] Indien een Vrouw het zelfde gezag als de Man, de Man dezelfde zagtaardigheid als de Vrouw kon oeffenen, de eerste even moedig en standvastig, de andere even teder en innemend was, zouden zy onafhankelyk van malkander zyn, maar uit deze verschillende geaardheden en derzelver vermenging, wordt thans het Huwelyks-geluk geboren"; De Philosooph, 17 August 1767, pp. 258-59.

(57.) Sturkenboom, Spectators van hartstocht, pp. 337-40.

(58.) Ibid., pp. 335-44.

(59.) He railed at men "wier harten vervreemd zyn van de tedere aandoeningen van het medelyden" and held up to them the example of the "edelmoedige weldoener [die] zyn traanen niet kon houden"; De Hollandsche Wysgeer V, 1762, p. 143.

(60.) Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice. Psychological Theory and Women's Development (Cambridge/London, 1982); Margaret Olivia Little, "Seeing and Caring: the Role of Affect in Feminist Moral Epistemology," Hypatia 10, no. 3 (1995): 117-137; Susan Mendus, "Eve and the Poisoned Chalice. Feminist Morality and the Claims of Politics," Who's Afraid of Femininity? Questions of Identity, eds. Margret Brugmann et al. (Amsterdam/Atlanta, 1993), pp. 94-103.

(61.) In the nineteenth century, male compassion increasingly found an outlet in volunteer work for public charities, but in this new constellation the emotion of compassion was clearly expressed in a totally different way.
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Date:Sep 22, 2000

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