[Milton-L] Struggling with a paper

Hugh Wilson hwilson at together.net
Sat Feb 5 15:25:28 EST 2005


Dear Dr. Cox,

I really enjoy some of your postings, but
the last one seems out of kilter.  Do you
really believe that Milton deserves to be
called a "male supremacist"?  Are you
baiting those of us who disagree? Or are
you just bored and trying to pick a fight?

I, for one, believe that Milton's work shows
signs of feminist sentiments.  In your view,
in the eyes of others, is that an impossible
hallucination?

The dominant ideology is rarely universal;
there were 17th century feminists.  There
were men who sympathized with and supported
the rights of women just as there were whites
who sympathized  and supported the abolitionist
struggle or the civil rights movement.  Elites hide
fissures in public support, but society is rarely
monolithic in matters of war, peace or social
reform.

In the case of almost any oppression, many
of the oppressed routinely reject much of
the ideology of the dominant group.  Some
of the privileged themselves come to reject
the presumption of any intrinsic superiority
of one group to another.  Serious writers and
thinkers often interrogate or re-interpret
the dominant ideology of the era, and Milton
was, after all, a "non-conformist."

Hugh Wilson
hwilson at together.net
(518) 562-8027



At 06:26 PM 2/4/2005, you wrote:


>Jeffrey Austin wrote:
> >
> > Sarah and others:
> >
> >  [clip] As she has from the time
> > of her creation when she looked past Adam, Eve is looking for more.
> > She is like Satan in this way.  Satan is also an insatiable figure that
> > cannot seem to accept his lot, not matter how glorious.  [clip]
>
>Milton's spontaneous male supremacist assumptions, and the equally male
>supremacist assumptions of so many of his 20th c. critics, keep coming
>back to bite the poem in the ass by confirming again and again and again
>Millicent Bell's infamous (:->) and endlessly refuted "The Fallacy of
>the Fall in Paradise Lost," PMLA. 68
>(1953), 863-883.
>
>Carrol
>
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