Even small protests against time-management are worth some attention, because screw around with time and, in fact, you’re adulterating the very glue of orderly social existence. And if it doesn’t? Perhaps a citizenry schooled in renouncing desire – and whatever quantities of imagination and independence it comes partnered with – would be, in many respects, socially advantageous. Therefore, while a person may feel as though their love for another person is the thing that brings them the most happiness, Kipnis maintains that they are likely giving up more than they gain. It won’t injure you well, not severely ; it’s just supposed to shake things up and rattle a few convictions. And this, of course, is where Marx comes in: We work hard all the livelong day, and then come home, where we work hard at being married, because we all know that “Marriage is hard work.

You’d entered a contract. Or whose favourite marital recreational activity is mate behaviour modification? I agree with Kipnis that for the majority social norms dictate how they make decisions and live their lives. It is easy for wood to rot, dust to collect on shelves, nor does it take much effort if any at all for relationships to fall apart or for marriages to crumble. Many people realize upward mobility is impractical and instead of striving to achieve higher status and wealth they are content with where they are already at in the hierarchy of society. A more exact title would have been Against Domestic Coupledom , but Against Love makes the better bumper sticker.

Kipnis graciously proposes, “if this is not your story—you for whom long-term coupledom is a source of optimism and renewal, not emotional anesthesia. Bryant and his wronged wife, sad and repentant, giving yet another press conference. Consider all the investment opportunities afforded: Infidelity, lack of passion, mutuality, rebellious midlife crosses, and complete vulnerability seem like easy sacrifices in modern society and relationships; yet on closer inspection, they are challenges for most people in some degree, leading us to chastise the victims.


Question this, and you question the very foundations of the institution. It is this that communicates her main point that love, in essence, is synonymous with subjugation. Bombarded with images of loving couples, we see love as intrinsic to our health, happiness, our very souls.

laura kipnis loves labors essay

Consider, for instance, the endless regulations and interdictions that provide the texture of domestic coupledom. For instance, love can be shared between an individual and his or her pet. If only they’d been more this, less that, it lovs have been fine.

laura kipnis loves labors essay

You can’t bring Ding Dongs into the house. Email required Address never made public. But actually, suggests Kipnis, this is “society’s” subtle way of coercing us. If lanors a woman and your husband is cheating on you and you’ve just found out in the last few months, buy this book and put it safely away for a year.

Works Cited Kipnis, Laura. Although “Love” gets title billing, Kipnis’ real target is marriage, which she considers an antiquated, falsely sanctified institution that clashes with our desires, interests and even metabolism, yet escapes criticism.

When it comes to relationships, the mantra is “Love takes work. Her glee stems not from Schadenfreude but from delight at her own prescience: If upholding monogamy in the absence of desire weren’t a social dictate, how many enterprises would immediately fail?

Teaching Laura Kipnis’s “Love’s Labors” in Ways of Reading | Fike | The CEA Forum

Kipnis acknowledges that love affairs can feel completely transforming; with this new third party, you can surrender to long-buried feelings; ordinary conversations glisten and gleam. Therefore, it is the norm to want to reach higher than where you come from. Instead, Kipnis goes right for the juice: She’s pretty merciful — except in the case of former House impeachment manager Bob Barr.


When pressed for an alternative to love, Kipnis, like the rest of us, doesn’t have an answer. Similarly, as we are constantly exposed to the wonders of upward mobility in our society laua come to hold upward mobility as an overarching goal in kipniw life.

On she goes about how connected one feels. We work hard lovea the livelong day, and then come home, where we work hard at being married, because we all know that “Marriage is hard work. Comments Leave a Comment Categories Uncategorized. I believe people perform adulterous acts not in protest but rather because they either cannot see the value in monogamy or because they are unable to control their desires.

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But, she asks, why was adultery the big story, the dramatic narrative, that obsessed us in the ’90s? Imagine saying your nastiest thoughts about love and marriage, being funnier than you usually are, and feeling no guilt. Desire, on the other hand, reigns supreme; hence Ms.

Our idea of marriage doesn’t allow for fluidity and openness, and that may not be completely our fault. She points out that throughout history, the everlasting, dreamt-about love seems to be a misconception and unreliable. And, as she observes, the high divorce rate does not even address those who ,abors married but remain deeply miserable.

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