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Nietzsche On Women

That young man asking him? Arthur Schopenhauer.

Nietzsche is often thought of as a misogynist philosopher, but reality is a little more complex. Earlier in his life he could rightly be regarded as a feminist, believing that women could achieve anything men could with proper education, which was not exactly a common opinion at the time. He was alive at a time when women were first starting to be admitted to universities, and his own university even held a vote on whether to allow this. He voted to allow women in (but lost the vote 4-6). This attitude more or less continued until 1882, when Lou Salome rejected his marriage proposal (multiple times). He became extremely bitter and depressed, and more or less lashed out at her and by extention all women. It was only here that some of the famous misogynist aphorisms started to appear in his writing.

However, even after this, he still surrounded himself with well educated, feminist women in his intellectual and social circles. Most of them seemed to treat his misogyny as a sort of joke, and not something core to his philosophy that would cause tension with them on a deep level. Nietzsche’s misogyny was an outgrowth of his personal bitterness, not out of the kind of self creation that forms the basis of his life. We can’t help but imagine Nietzsche would feel revolted by the small minded men spending their lives worrying about women in video games, which movies have female leads, or other childish concerns. But of course, as is fitting with Nietzsche, this can only be an interpretation. For all we know if he was alive today he would be a twitch streamer obsessed with Disney’s feminist agenda. Kind of doubt it though.

The Living Philosophy has a good rundown on YouTube.

Nietzsche is often thought of as a misogynist philosopher, but reality is a little more complex. Earlier in his life he could rightly be regarded as a feminist, believing that women could achieve anything men could with proper education, which was not exactly a common opinion at the time. He was alive at a time when women were first starting to be admitted to universities, and his own university even held a vote on whether to allow this. He voted to allow women in (but lost the vote 4-6). This attitude more or less continued until 1882, when Lou Salome rejected his marriage proposal (multiple times). He became extremely bitter and depressed, and more or less lashed out at her and by extention all women. It was only here that some of the famous misogynist aphorisms started to appear in his writing.

However, even after this, he still surrounded himself with well educated, feminist women in his intellectual and social circles. Most of them seemed to treat his misogyny as a sort of joke, and not something core to his philosophy that would cause tension with them on a deep level. Nietzsche’s misogyny was an outgrowth of his personal bitterness, not out of the kind of self creation that forms the basis of his life. We can’t help but imagine Nietzsche would feel revolted by the small minded men spending their lives worrying about women in video games, which movies have female leads, or other childish concerns. But of course, as is fitting with Nietzsche, this can only be an interpretation. For all we know if he was alive today he would be a twitch streamer obsessed with Disney’s feminist agenda. Kind of doubt it though.

The Living Philosophy has a good rundown on YouTube.

Philosophers in this comic: Friedrich Nietzsche
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