Marinetti’s Reasons for Scorning Women
Marinetti, leader of the Futurist movement, possesses a love for danger and progress, as well as has contempt for the past (libraries) and women. He boldly proclaims, “I wish to vanquish the tyranny of love [and the] obsession with having only one woman,” (Marinetti, “Critical Writings,” p.33) as a dramatic rejection of traditional views about love and romance because he feels as though they hold back the ideals he promotes. This essay will explore some of the reasons why a true Futurist should feel detached from women, who, in his view, are, “symbols of an earth that we must… leave behind” (Marinetti, p.58), and will question his logic at times.
Marinetti believes love is dangerous because it, “impedes the march of men, preventing them from going beyond their own humanity” (Marinetti, p.55). In reference to, “the great problem of love, the great tyranny of sentimentalism and lust, from which we wish to liberate ourselves” (Marinetti, p.54), he is convinced that we must free ourselves from the chains of love since it is unnatural in that it halts the futurism of man, only capable of holding the human spirit back from true accomplishments. To illustrate the imprisonment he associates with love, he gives the following metaphor: “We despise that horrible, heavy Love, that immense leash with which the sun keeps the valiant earth chained in its orbit, when certainly it would prefer to leap wherever chance took it, to take its chance with the stars” (Marinetti, p.55). By comparing love to gravitational pull, he actually justifies love as a rule of nature, whether he is aware of this or not, being hypocritical to his writings that assert that love is unnatural. Although beautiful, his metaphor does not serve his best interests for undermining love’s importance because he speculates on the earth’s desire to break away from the glorious sun, which is the earth’s primary source of warmth, energy, and nourishment- provisions clusters of stars cannot provide the earth with. Following this logic, it can be assumed that freedom cannot be a substitute for love. Although in Marinetti’s view, the fight to live is more beautiful than sustainability, it can be argued that the earth would completely die without the sun, as a person would die without love. Instead of loving women, Marinetti believes that men should channel their love towards machines. He admires machines because they further the evolution of mankind with their speed, power, and precision, and do not hold men back from pursuing danger and freedom, unlike women. Machine worship would inspire us to have a restless undying energy as opposed to women-worship, which, in his regard, could only inspire idleness and a reserved, tame nature. He describes the embracement of machines combined with harsh physical discipline and cultivation of danger as, “the new Sensuality that will liberate the world from Love” (Marinetti, p.39). He coldheartedly asserts, “I have killed love, and in its place I have set the sublime will of heroism” (Marinetti, p.39)! Marinetti views women, “as poison… as the tragic plaything, fragile… haunting and irresistible” (Marinetti, p.55), questioning “the sentimental importance that is attributed to them,” (Marinetti, p.32) which is incessantly portrayed in poetry. For this same reason, he recommends men to stay away from poetry not to be persuaded by their faulty influence. Marinetti angrily expresses his rejection of women as being overrated as, “the only ideal, the divine receptacle of love” (Marinetti, p.55), which poetry usually makes them out to be. He warns men to stay away from both romantic and sexual aspects of love, scorning both “romantic sentimentalism, dripping with moonlight,” and the, “obsession with the erotic… adulterous triangle.” (Marinetti, p.45) Firstly, he believes sentimental engagements encourage cowardice that, in his view, women intrinsically possess. He justifies...
Cited: Marinetti, F.T. Critical Writings. Ed. Gunter Berghaus. Trans. Doug Thompson. New
York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
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