DELIVER US FROM LOVE: A Radical Feminist Speaks Out by Suzanne Brfgger

DELIVER US FROM LOVE: A Radical Feminist Speaks Out

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Lest the title conjure Brave New Worlds of bottle babies and stern-eyed asexual warriors, be disabused. Danish feminist Suzanne Brfgger's analysis of women's (and men's) ""nature"" and condition in patriarchal, capitalist society is by far the most thoughtful and complex to come along. It is shocking, yes, because it attacks our most prized (and, to Brfgger, our most outdated and lethal) pieties: the belief in the nuclear family as the heart and haven of humanity, and in ""love"" as the mainstay of the nuclear family. In a brilliant and unsettling exposÉ, Brfgger details the family's economic and emotional obsolescence, its slavery to consumerism (""When the young couple buys a freezer, they kiss each other, and maybe that night they make love""), its withdrawal from the outside world. She decries the self-stifling compromises people make to stay in exclusive one-to-one relationships, which she thinks should be abolished altogether, along with the compulsive ""privacy"" that alienates us from one another and the role-bound sexual fixations that alienate ""genius"" from ""genitalia."" But Brfgger's thought is radical in the sense of root questioning, not militant dictation. She occasionally embraces Marxist explanations a bit too enthusiastically (is the incest taboo merely a masculine power stratagem?), but she is not blind to the ambiguities of the future, nor to the real if stunted pleasures that sustain the status quo (her own sexual fantasies are embarrassingly ""unliberated""). Best, she is living her own questions about sexual identity, and slices of life that spice the book include an astonishing interview with a transvestite, a horrible, comic rape account, a jealous affair with a woman, and a friend's bizarre relationship with an imprisoned sex offender. Brfgger is immediate, defiant, scaldingly intelligent, and, thank God, she can laugh. Her book was a best seller in Europe.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1976
Publisher: Delacorte