The Wife Of Bath

It is said that the question Sigmund Freud went to his grave unable to answer was “What does a woman want?” Perhaps he should have read his Chaucer, whose Wife of Bath solves this riddle in a single word: “sovereignty”.

The Wife of Bath, however, left out something important: what women most desire may indeed be what she called Sovereignty, that is, the whip hand in a marriage; but this is closely followed by the joy of putting others in the wrong. In marriage the two things are obviously related, but the pleasure of putting others in the wrong can be indulged equally well by single women.

Observation of the life of couples in right-thinking circles suggests that the men are continually apologising to their women. Are the women then continually apologising to their men? By no means. For this reason what most men desire above all, at least past a certain age, is not sovereignty but rather peace and quiet. Which, unless they are themselves the sovereign tyrant, is not at all compatible with marriage to a right-thinking woman.

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 11:40 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: WHAT WOMEN WANT, On Sovereignty And Hierarchy

2 Responses

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  1. Written by The Ghost In the Machine
    on December 12, 2012 at 12:10

    Yes, a women wants sovereignty, and she may react defensively against a man who would deign to take it from her.

    On the other hand, a true sign of a healthy relationship is the mutual recognition of each other’s personal integrity and sovereignty. And healthy relationships do exist.

  2. Written by Hugo Grinebiter
    on December 12, 2012 at 20:01

    You obviously don’t move in right-thinking circles, Ghost.

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