Atlas Shrugged: The Madonna-Whore Complex

Atlas Shrugged, part I, chapter IX

As the next chapter begins, we fade in on Dagny waking up in bed with Hank, the two of them still in Ellis Wyatt’s house:

She looked at the glowing bands on the skin of her arm, spaced like bracelets from her wrist to her shoulder. They were strips of sunlight from the Venetian blinds on the window of an unfamiliar room. She saw a bruise above her elbow, with dark beads that had been blood. [p.237]

Say what? This is one of those double-take passages, especially since Rand seems to find this so unexceptional that she doesn’t even tell us how it happened. What kind of rough sex leaves a woman bruised and bloody?

My imagination is failing me here. Did Hank bite her hard enough to break the skin? Did she accidentally slam her arm against the bedpost? Rand doesn’t write explicit sex scenes as a rule, but the book might have benefited from one here, rather than just a fade-to-black interval between the end of the last chapter and the start of this one.

When Hank wakes up, he’s not happy. He berates himself for giving in to his lust the previous night – but he also angrily berates Dagny for going along with him:

“What I feel for you is contempt… I don’t love you. I’ve never loved anyone.” [p.238]

Three cheers for the first honest statement of self-reflection from a Randian protagonist!

“I wanted you as one wants a whore – for the same reason and purpose. I spent two years damning myself, because I thought you were above a desire of this kind. You’re not. You’re as vile an animal as I am.” [p.238]

You’d think that after hearing a rant like that, a sensible woman would recognize that her one-night stand is carrying some serious emotional baggage. Hank is sunk up to his eyeballs in a virgin-whore complex, consumed with lust for Dagny, yet he despises her for giving him what he wanted. He doesn’t apologize for hurting her, nor does he seem to feel any guilt for cheating on his wife (all he says about it is, “Now I am to lie, to sneak, to hide”). And instead of kicking Hank out, which certainly seems like the appropriate response to his laying bare this simmering inner cauldron of rage and misogyny, Dagny laughs in his face. Apparently she finds his behavior charming, rather than terrifying.

But we’re not done plumbing the depths of Hank Rearden’s emotional issues. The next scene adds a big dollop of violent jealousy, as Dagny returns to New York and Hank comes to see her again:

Hours later, when they lay in bed together, his hand moving over her body, he asked suddenly… and she knew, by the intensity of his face, by the sound of a gasp somewhere in the quality of his voice, even though his voice was low and steady, that the question broke out of him as if it were worn by the hours of torture he had spent with it:

“Who were the other men that had you?” [p.251]

Again, this is less a red flag than a signal flare. Hank and Dagny have just started a relationship, and already he’s consumed with anxiety over how many men she’s had sex with and who they were. This seems like a huge danger sign to me. Dagny, on the other hand, isn’t put off by it – but when she understandably takes the position that this is none of his business, Hank becomes physically violent:

“There was only one other, Hank.”

“When?”

“When I was seventeen.”

“Did it last?”

“For some years.”

“Who was he?”

She drew back, lying against his arm; he leaned closer, his face taut; she held his eyes. “I won’t answer you.”

“Did you love him?”

“I won’t answer.”

“Did you like sleeping with him?”

“Yes!”

…He twisted her arms behind her, holding her helpless, her breasts pressed against him; she felt the pain ripping through her shoulders, she heard the anger in his words and the huskiness of pleasure in his voice: “Who was he?”

She did not answer, she looked at him, her eyes dark and oddly brilliant, and he saw that the shape of her mouth, distorted by pain, was the shape of a mocking smile. [p.252]

Ye gods, Dagny, get out of there! Call the police; you could easily have him arrested for that. Or there are domestic violence crisis centers you can call, if you’d rather not get the courts involved. But whatever you do, get some help, before it’s too late. (Remember what Rand thinks about initiation of force? This is another piece of evidence that it doesn’t apply to her heroes.)

This is only their second date and already he’s becoming abusive: bloodying her during sex, berating and insulting her, and physically hurting her to try to force her to give up private information about her past partners. This may be Rand’s idea of a romantic relationship (and Dagny doesn’t seem to object to any of it), but in real life it’s the textbook description of a dangerous, controlling stalker.

* * *

There’s one other subplot in this chapter that I’m going to touch on briefly, which is Jim Taggart getting married. Like most of Rand’s subplots, it’s tedious and repetitive, but it’ll be important for a point I want to make later.

So: Jim is walking the streets of the city, in a sulk over the success of the John Galt Line. He wanders into a dime store, where he randomly strikes up a conversation with the salesgirl behind the counter, whose name is Cherryl Brooks. It turns out that she came from a poor family and heroically abandoned her parents and siblings to seek her own fortune, explaining that they deserved it for being poor:

“My old man’s never been any good, and Ma didn’t care whether he was or not, and I got sick of it always turning out that I was the only one of the seven of us that kept a job… So I bought a railroad ticket one day and left. Didn’t say good-bye. They didn’t even know I was going.” [p.244]

Cherryl recognizes Jim from the newspapers, and admires him because, basically, she thinks he’s Dagny. She doesn’t realize that he’s an evil looter and his sister is the real power behind the throne. Unusually for an Atlas protagonist, this requires her to carry the Idiot Ball for every conversation they have. But in spite of that, Rand clearly wants us to consider her a sympathetic and likable character, which makes it all the more shocking what’s going to end up happening to her later on.

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Guest

    Hello. Man, I wish I had found this blog earlier. I’ve gone back and read some of your other posts and the comments on this book and I’m intrigued.

    I read this and Rand’s other writings as a teenager so it’s been awhile but I remember finding the relationship between Dagny and Hank, whether it was business or pleasure, to be about power. Hank may have had the goods on the business end and used that as leverage against Dagny but she clearly had the goods in the other department and used them right back as leverage over Hank. I read it as a notion from game theory, you play with what you have. Thus the ‘smirk’ Dagny often gives.

  • skyblue

    Umm….. this is just really disturbing. Really, really, awful. What else can really be said about it? From the physical violence to the way he speaks to her (and with “huskiness of pleasure” in his voice? Bleccchhhhhh…)

    It makes me wonder how many people read through this before it was published and gave it the OK. Or did that not happen, because they were all Rand’s groupies and just approved anything she wrote?

  • Jeff

    There’s an element in literature that throws off the usual mechanisms we would use to identify things like rape or abuse. The element is that we more or less get to read the characters’ minds.

    Not always explicitly, of course. But we do get plenty of glimpses into, say, a person’s opinion of something as it happens. From the passage above, for example, we know that Dagny was sporting a *mocking* smile, as opposed to, say, a placating one. So we know that she did not feel so threatened by Hank’s violence that she wasn’t willing to needle him further. Other lines and passages like this (which I can’t currently provide because I don’t have the book in front of me, and even if I did it’s 1000 pages of 7-point font so it’d take a while to find what I’m looking for) definitely paint a picture of Dagny as somebody who admires those who take control and dominate by force, and that she doesn’t have much (if any) of an objection to being treated like that. We, the readers, see evidence that she consents to everything that is done to her.

    The obvious trouble with this is that Hank does NOT have access to this same evidence. At all. Dagny may not think she’s being raped, but there’s no possible way Hank could think he’s not raping Dagny.

  • Russell Wain Glasser

    It’s weird that a person like Rand — who, judging from the whole Nathaniel Branden thing, had some kind of “free love” ideals in her mind — would let a hero character like Hank get away with expressing such contempt and disgust for Dagny’s normal expression of desire. It’s weirder still that a character like Dagny — who is practically DEFINED by her refusal to give in to social norms, and her desire to stand up for her principles no matter what the cost may be — would take this kind of shit from Hank. If Dagny had for some inscrutable reason just banged, let’s say, Wesley Mouch, and he dared talked to her like that, I think she would give him a swift kick in the nads. And supposedly she doesn’t play favorites; i.e., she does business just as ruthlessly and impersonally with her friends as her enemies. So why does Hank get a special pass for walking all over her? What the hell, Ayn?

  • Guest

    Interesting. Do you think Hank use force as a means to assert dominion over Dagny, even if she didn’t play into that, because he felt weak in this area? And, could you elaborate a bit on why you think Hank would see it as rape even though, at least to me, it was consensual?

  • Anna

    “What kind of rough sex leaves a woman bruised and bloody? My imagination is failing me here. ”
    Consensual BDSM could do that, although you’d need to negotiate it very carefully beforehand and to know what you were doing so as not to leave permanent injury or hurt your partner more than they agreed to.
    But I agree we’re meant to think it’s not that, and that (as we see later in this post) Hank is an abusive jackwagon and Rand thinks that’s fine and proper.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    It makes me wonder how many people read through this before it was
    published and gave it the OK. Or did that not happen, because they were
    all Rand’s groupies and just approved anything she wrote?

    You have to remember that they didn’t want to cut the bible.

  • Jeff

    This might just be splitting hairs, but I’d say it’s less “Hank sees this as rape” and more “Hank could not possibly see this as anything BUT rape.” We in the audience know (or at least could reasonably deduce) that Dagny consented to everything, but Hank received no indication or statement of consent, and did not care one bit. It seems massively unlikely that someone could decide “I am going to have sex with this person right now, whether they want me to or not,” and then follow through with that, and then *not* think that that was a rape. Then again, the whole story is built on a foundation of massively unlikely things, so what’s one more quibbling detail in a “romantic” subplot?

    As for using force as a means to assert dominion, yeah, that sounds pretty accurate. I’m not well-versed on the science or research, but what little I do understand is that most rapes are not about having sex or just getting your rocks off, but are about power and domination.

  • Nancy McClernan

    Hank’s jealousy over Dagny’s one single other lover that she had in her entire life will lead to awesome soap-opera quality drama before the book is over.

  • Nancy McClernan

    The Randian heroes always know that the woman wants it. It’s part of their superpowers along with being brilliant, beautiful, super-competent money-magnets.

  • BurnTheBull

    Uh…hello, Adam!

    I just want you to understand that I was ecstatic to see you addressing the cruel fallacies which pervade the holy books for the Cult of Rand…but…do you really need to address her apparent sexual deviancy?

    You did right to address the sort of insanity which has taken many atheists of past generations, turning them into anti-social narcissists who behaved in ways which only helped vindicate the religious position. Rand helped the religious leaders set the cause of atheism back an age or two when those people showed only her Randroids as examples of atheists to their sheeple flock, causing them to dismiss any notion of good conscience within the movement – I so wish that you could have done this thirty years ago, when I was in high school!

    However, I don’t see much of that Objectijism being supported in most atheist groups these days – while I’m aware that some still exist, and they are fairly vocal, they do seem to have been critically marginalized. It’s good to remind and warn this generation of the dangers of cult personalities, and compare her to true logic-based reasoning for today’s atheists. Now it looks like Rand had kinky fantasies and may have yearned for such rough, painful domination as she described – this may be of interest to Christian, who would outlaw any non-procreative sex and relegate that to the missionary position, but it should not be so remarkable to an atheist. You may not understand such a kink because you do not have that, but there have always been people who do get off on such games in the bedroom, and it hasn’t made them sociopathic in the rest of the world. Most injuries acquired in such play are less severe, and much less frequently permanent compared to contact sports. The key words are mutual consent, and Rand was herself a woman telling this story of a female “victim”! Then again, it’s hardly surprising to see such strange sexual ideas coming from a person so freakish as Rand! If there is nothing left to discuss of this dead woman other than her kinks, then maybe it’s past time to move on and discuss some other issue than Rand. Honestly, I simply cannot imagine you addressing any more fallacies with her rambling tree-killers which wouldn’t be redundant to what’s already been raised!

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I consider the scene at the beginning of Chapter IX, Part I, as, perhaps, the worst part of the book (though there is some competition for this coming from some later parts of the book).

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Simple; Hank is a productive business executive and, thus, a hero in Rand’s eyes. Randian heroes’ unethical acts are typically justified away by Rand.

  • BurnTheBull

    Upon reading this passage again, I’m no longer convinced that this bedroom violence is kinky play. If anything, it was the “mocking grin” which caused me to suspect that Dagney had gone to bed with Hank, and was enjoying it. I sure would not want to dismiss the murderous intonation of Hank’s jealousy as playful! But I maintain that this story remains one of fiction, where the world moves on unlikely premises, which most of the world has by now figured out. Moreover, it’s fiction of a style so tedious to read AND so intellectually insulting to the modern mind that I threw it down in disgust after the first thirty pages, knowing I hadn’t missed anything good – I hope these conditions will help deter a resurgence of Rand’s twisted philosophy.

  • ORAXX

    Rand’s heroes are easier to fathom once you realize they are, to an individual, sociopaths.

  • Indigo

    Some people bruise easily, and I can think of a couple of ways you could get a few marks during sex that wasn’t BDSM but was a bit on the rough/overenthusiastic side, especially if you’re not going at it on a soft surface. (I used to get bruises on my hips as a teenager from surfing, from dropping onto the board too hard, and I wouldn’t notice until I took my wetsuit off. I’m not sharing more intimate stories about bruises.)
    Blood, though, you’d have to be trying to produce any significant amount of that without involving a blade. You *can* draw blood with your teeth or nails, but not without your partner saying “ouch”, and again, you’d probably have to have decided that’s what you were going to do.

  • smrnda

    That kind of sums it up pretty well. What the hero does, however bad or even in conflict with previously stated ethical principles will be rationalized away later. Sort of reminds me how criminals tend to think.

  • GCT

    …which most of the world has by now figured out.

    You clearly have not been paying attention to the world.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Adam Lee

    Consensual BDSM could do that, although you’d need to negotiate it very carefully beforehand and to know what you were doing so as not to leave permanent injury or hurt your partner more than they agreed to.

    Yeah, and there definitely wasn’t any negotiation involved in this case.

    I had thought of the BDSM angle, but even so, it doesn’t make sense to me. I can imagine leaving a bruise by slapping or striking someone, but it seems to me that to draw blood, you’d need some kind of specialized implement. I don’t think we’re meant to assume that Hank Rearden carries those things around with him.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Adam Lee

    Yes, well put. There’s a throwaway line in the text about how Hank just knows this is how Dagny wants to be treated, but as you said, he has absolutely no reasonable basis for drawing that conclusion.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Adam Lee

    It’s weirder still that a character like Dagny — who is practically DEFINED by her refusal to give in to social norms, and her desire to stand up for her principles no matter what the cost may be — would take this kind of shit from Hank.

    I’d guess Rand’s answer would be that women have an intrinsic psychological need to submit to strong men, and therefore she sees it as proper that Dagny has sex with Hank because he treats her like dirt. A weak-willed socialist like Wesley Mouch probably couldn’t be domineering enough for her taste.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Adam Lee

    As I said earlier, I try not to judge what people do or don’t do in bed. What she did or didn’t like isn’t an issue to me.

    The problem with Rand’s depiction isn’t that she personally had this sort of kink; it’s that she treated it as rationally obligatory for everyone to think the same way as her, which led to her sexist belief that all women can and should submit to men.

  • RedneckCryonicist

    Plenty of women who have read Rand’s novels have come away with a different interpretation of them than yours. I get the impression that during Rand’s life, the groupies who wanted entrees to her social circle viewed her as a cool romance novelist. That might have reflected the culture of the 1960′s, when women had different expectations about men; but even today Rand-oriented events draw plenty of women. Look at the photos from this event from last summer:

    http://www.atlassociety.org/as/photos-atlas-summit-2013

  • fuguewriter

    Another festival of decontexualization in both article and comments. Rearden’s statements of contempt, etc. are not positive. Rearden starts out very deeply messed up about sex, and his journey through “Atlas” is toward healing. This could not possibly be clearer. He later says, about the much-bemoaned scene in Wyatt’s house, “I think I was lying to myself” about “the things I said to you.” Dagny replies that she knows he was.

    But when the interest is in endlessly chortling about how bad and sociopathic Rand is, people don’t put these things together.

  • fuguewriter

    Does Rand regard Rearden as in perfect – or even good – psychological shape at the beginning of the relationship?

    This is what comes of fixed ideas: since y’all have a fixed anti-texual idea that all Randian heroes are perfect exemplars, you misinterpret wildly.

  • fuguewriter

    Not “men” – the man they choose.

  • fuguewriter

    Gal Wynand was an immensely successful businessman. Was he justified in all he did, in Rand’s eyes?

  • fuguewriter

    Where’s the rape?

  • fuguewriter

    With all due respect, most participants in these threads come off as more disconnected than Rand does on matters of sexual passion. The information Hank has includes the totality of their acquaintance of about two years’ standing – and how she responds to his kissing. Mores have also changed in the almost seventy years since the novel was first conceived – the Sexual Revolution was a really cataclysmic event, which we’ve not even begun to understand yet. In the 1930s-1950s, theatrical female resistance * in consensual relationships* was part of how things went due to America still having honor-culture aspects. Here’s news: it still survives in attenuated form in almost every romantic comedy, in which the male makes a single misstep, the female harshly judges him and stalks/flounces off, and then he has to demonstrate fitness by overcoming her negative judgment – a.k.a., resistance. We have one official ideology these days, and then there’s the way things really go: which bears witness to how complex humans are. I’ve known many [straight] feminists who officially espouse total gender equality (or the non-existence of biological gender), but in their private lives act like [straight] non-feminists: waiting for the male to ask them out, wanting to be swept away, etc. I’ve also known a number of straight women who are a little more dominant. Vive la difference! But we can’t be ahistorical.

    Fact is, many people here want to see Rand as a pro-rape writer.

  • fuguewriter

    Heaven forbid two sexually frustrated alpha leader types go wild on each other and bite each other. We’ll just forget that Dominique bites Roark – in the movie version they even show it – Roark glances down, reluctant to leave Dominique to go to New York.

  • fuguewriter

    Teeth.

  • GCT

    With all due respect, most participants in these threads come off as more disconnected than Rand does on matters of sexual passion.

    Only if you accept Rand’s particular kinks and her idea that it’s what most women (and people) want. Most people I know would want to run from someone attacking them as Hank attacks Dagny.

    The information Hank has includes the totality of their acquaintance of about two years’ standing – and how she responds to his kissing.

    So, if you know someone for 2 years and they don’t object to you kissing them, then that means that you can have sex with that person, regardless of whether that person wants to have sex, and you can forcefully grab them and demand that they answer your interrogations? And, we are the ones out of touch?

    In the 1930s-1950s, theatrical female resistance * in consensual relationships* was part of how things went due to America still having honor-culture aspects.

    All women resisted and had to be beaten into submission?

    Fact is, many people here want to see Rand as a pro-rape writer.

    LOL. Her philosophy sucks regardless of how badly she writes rape…I mean sex scenes. If there were no sex scenes in the book, her philosophy would still suck. The fact that she puts her own preferences forward as the only rational position is simply mirrored one more time with the sex scenes she writes is all.

  • GCT

    If you decide you’re going to have sex with someone, regardless of whether they want to have sex with you or not, the other person deciding to consent is the only thing that makes it technically not rape. But, that would still make you someone who has no problem raping another.

  • fuguewriter

    And once again we’re back to the fact that the characters involved have a profound, passionate connection, which y’all insist on deleting. And that consent is not only expressed by explicit verbal permissions. And that I’m as non-problematic on rape as Rand was: since she regarded it as a horrendous crime impossible to any decent person, complete the syllogism. Rand is revealed in these threads to be a great deal more emotionally sophisticated than you folks are.

    Raperaperape. Keep repeating.

  • GCT

    There are women in the republican party too…what’s your point?

  • fuguewriter

    Do any of you seriously think a Randian heroine wouldn’t loudly and clearly assert herself if a man were trying to rape her? For all the talk about how similar “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas” are (and they’re not, really), there’s no acknowledgment of the meaning of this *understood in the mores of the time*: the heroines are free to speak, every time – and do not. Notice how someone else is in the house with Dominique/Roark and Dagny/Hank. Each time, someone would have come running to aid if there were a rape going on.

    The rape horse is awfully well-flogged. Which means you’ll flog it all the more.

  • fuguewriter

    And once again: she never said this was how everyone did or had to act. She did say she was presenting a *radical* vision.

    “Attacks” – and you use the LOL? There was no more attack here than rape.

    > if you know someone for 2 years and they don’t object to you kissing them, then that means that you can have sex with that person

    Thank you for your valuable contribution to the art of logical interpretation.

    > regardless of whether that person wants to have sex

    Because no one ever can read sexuality in another person except through words.

    > demand that they answer your interrogations?

    Not what happens, not as to sequence or atomically.

    > we are the ones out of touch?

    Yes, actually.

    >> In the 1930s-1950s, theatrical female resistance * in consensual relationships* was part of how things went due to America still having honor-culture aspects.

    > All women resisted

    Watch the movies of the time. High status women generally theatrically resisted. Ever heard of someone named O’Hara? Ever seen a movie with a staircase scene over which women sigh to this day?

    > and had to be beaten into submission?

    Dominique and Dagny required no beating. *smirkle*

  • RedneckCryonicist

    Adam Lee apparently feels that he has the authority to scold women for liking novels with patriarchal messages. Women’s fantasy lives simply don’t conform to liberal, humanist and feminist standards about what they “should” want out of life; nor should they have to. We see another manifestation of fantasycrime in the popularity of “bonnet novels” among non-Amish women.

  • Nancy McClernan

    fuguewriter insists on rewriting Atlas Shrugged to make it show consent on the part of Rand’s heroes, while complaining that everybody else here is indulging in “decontextualization.” Which is why he doesn’t quote the book to support his claims – it won’t say what he wants it to say.

  • Nancy McClernan

    Fact is, many people here want to see Rand as a pro-rape writer.

    Only because she repeatedly portrays her heroes as not caring about the consent of their sexual partners.

    Of course it must be an evil conspiracy to smear poor misunderstood Rand and not based on simply reading what Rand has written.

  • badgerchild

    Yeah, Dagny could read his mind and tell that he was “avoiding reality”, just like Ayn Herself could do with the people around her. Right. Sure. Even assuming that was possible, that made it OK for him to engage in rape behavior. Yeah, because that’s what every woman wants from her man, rapey behavior. That’s effed up.

  • Nancy McClernan

    Rand’s heroes were always smirking or smiling contemptuously, as this writer notes:

    began counting Ayn Rand’s uses of the word “contempt” on page 43 of The Fountainhead, by which point it had already appeared four times, and twice on that page. The word shows up thirty-nine times more in the book, by my count, which probably missed at least a couple of deployments. Rand’s villains and heroes smile contemptuously, throw back their heads and laugh contemptuously, and deem others too contemptible to be worth addressing. The most indelible image of contempt takes place when the novel’s hero rapes its heroine in an act performed “in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest.” If that were all, the scene would not be infamous. But the word reappears several sentences later: “the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted.”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2009/0911.odonnell.html

  • Nancy McClernan

    Yes, as long as “the world” doesn’t including leading right-wing politicians like Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/francisco-danconia-on-money/

  • Nancy McClernan

    Or Alan Greenspan whose anti-regulation policies helped bring on the 2008 financial melt-down:

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/pressclips/2008/10/greenspan_dereg.php

  • AnyBeth

    No special implement required. You can both bruise and draw blood with fingernails. (The former by digging them into flesh, the latter usually by scratching, though digging in can also do it.)
    Even so, I think if Rearden carried much of anything, it’d be silly to presume he didn’t carry anything with which he could draw blood. Even if we aren’t to presume he’d carry a pocket knife, are we to presume he carries neither something to write with nor any keys? I’ve no idea if, in the late 50s, it’d be likely for him to carry any plastic in his wallet, but plastic cards can draw blood, especially if broken. And that’s not to mention the possibilities of objects that were or could conceivably be in the room. You can draw blood with a lot of things if you’re creative and determined. The implement just needs to be something decently hard (in at least one direction)
    and have a point, a corner, and/or a thin edge. If Rearden wanted blood without biting or scratching, I’m sure he could find a way with little trouble.

  • smrnda

    My problem is that, for someone who is apparently some kind of intellectual, she couldn’t take a step back and speculate about the norms of her own time. Yes, that was the world of the 50s in the US, but people have been imagining alternate sexualities other than just ‘man dominant woman submissive’ for quite a long time. I mean, come on, Venus in Furs came out in 1870.

    I’m well aware of the theatrical conventions for male/female relationships, and it’s quite a detraction from most older films since it comes across as boring, cliche and dull, which is why I can’t really get much into Hitchcock, or even Fellini at times. It does persist in mostly mindless rom-coms which seem written by committees of hacks, but the whole outlook just makes me cringe.

  • smrnda

    So, she’s leaving out dominant females then? Nice to know she just doesn’t believe they exist.

  • fuguewriter

    Oh, she knew they existed. She has one [more or less] as a character in “We The Living” – https://www.google.com/search?q=comrade+sonia+%22we+the+living%22 . . As a heteronormativist she disregards them along with all other paraphilias. Leaving aside the heteronormativism, one can’t cover every marginal instance – and yes, female dominance is evolutionarily marginal in primates – or else thinking and speaking cease. We primates tend to talk about the norm/median – you do, too.

    Not mentioning a marginal instance does not equal an affirmative statement of total non-existence.

  • fuguewriter

    I don’t think she was one for -speculation-. As an INTJ, she was all about the conscientious systematic constructing. Interestingly, in the Tom Snyder interview (I trust you’ve seen it) she says she spends a lot of time “creatively drifting” – perhaps she came more upon that later in life.

    I wasn’t saying she couldn’t imagine alternate sexuality paths. She was pretty radical in her time in some ways given that she moved in anti-Bohemian circles – non-disapproval of extramarital sex, for instance. If you read closely there’s some decent focus on female sexual pleasure in “We the Living” and “Atlas”, simultaneous orgasm in “Atlas,” even a very gently written description of withdrawal between Hank and Dagny.

    She knew about alternative stuff but she had no interest and would have opposed it completely, thus: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/femininity.html

    > I mean, come on, Venus in Furs came out in 1870.

    And Petronius wrote a lot longer before that, and she knew about him. “Progress” is not as obvious as it seems.

    > the whole outlook just makes me cringe.

    How come? The exclusionariness? (I don’t agree with her normativism – mainly on evolutionary grounds, actually – I’ve played around with all kinds of things – but I disagree respectfully.)

  • Nancy McClernan

    and yes, female dominance is evolutionarily marginal in primates

    The true religion of right-wingers – evolutionary psychology.

    Best scurry along to find all the men who pay women to dominate them and warn them that female dominance is evolutionarily marginal in primates.

  • Nancy McClernan

    which y’all insist on deleting

    No, w’all do not. Many times it’s been acknowledged here that the female characters want to be raped. But Rand explicitly states in these scenes that her Ubermensch do not care whether they have consent. They would have taken the same actions either way. They are not rapists – on a technicality.

    It’s in the books. Too bad for you the actual text in the books don’t match your edited version.

  • Nancy McClernan

    Women’s fantasy lives simply don’t conform to liberal, humanist and feminist standards about what they “should” want out of life; nor should they have to.

    Let’s have your evidence that anybody here was taking that stand. Or stop arguing with the straw-liberal.

    And while you are at it let’s have something besides “your impression” for your belief that

    during Rand’s life, the groupies who wanted entrees to her social circle viewed her as a cool romance novelist.

    Because I for one am not interested in your impression – I require some evidence.

  • Nancy McClernan

    How many times must it be said by the regular participants of this discussion before it gets through to you – yes, they wanted to be raped. We, the readers, know it because Rand allows us to read the women’s minds.

    She also allows us to read the men’s minds, and tells us that they don’t require consent. She didn’t have to mention that part explicitly. But she does, all the time. Because she never wants us to forget that they don’t require consent.

    We are actually reading “Atlas Shrugged” here. It’s absurd that you persist in trying to get us to ignore the evidence of our eyes and instead buy into Rand apologetics.

  • Nancy McClernan

    It’s funny to see Rand referred to as an “intellectual” when she was a hack writer who mistook her personal preferences for a philosophical system. She reportedly read nothing except spy novels and the NYTimes during the years Nathaniel Branden knew her.

    She knew what she thought early in her life and never saw the need to reconsider anything.That’s why right-wingers love her, because she’s so reassuringly static. As her sycophant Mary Anne Sures remarked on why she loved listening to Rand so much: “she had certainty.”

  • uykhvasdrvtjyku

    Those pictures are mostly of the same five or six women over and over. Charles Manson had more groupies than that.

  • uykhvasdrvtjyku

    Mores have also changed in the almost seventy years since the novel was first conceive…

    Congratulations, you just discovered relativism.

  • GCT

    Same apologetics from you regarding this. We’ve already dealt with all of this in a previous thread, yet here you are dredging up the same crap over and over as if nothing has been said on the topic by us.

    For instance, you’re back to the false dichotomy that either this isn’t rape or alternatively everything must be hashed out completely verbally. No one has said that except you. You are the one who refuses to deal with the text and refuses to deal with what we are saying. You’re a mindless Randroid and a rape apologist as well as a rapist in waiting if you think that not requiring consent whether it’s given or not is OK.

  • GCT

    Yes, they had a profound connection based on hatred and violence if one is to believe the rape scenes. Oh, and it’s so profound that Dagny drops Hank at the drop of a hat when Galt comes along.

  • GCT

    Adam Lee apparently feels that he has the authority to scold women for liking novels with patriarchal messages.

    He does? Where?

  • Science Avenger

    It would have been a lot more fun had Rand written Dagny as a total slut.

    “Who were the other men that had you?”

    “Oh, that’d take too long to go through Hank, there were so many. Why do you think I’m so much better than Lillian? Don’t worry, I won’t forget you like I have so many of the others. They served their purpose as I rose to the top. I made them pay dearly for having access to me, for what has more value than that?”

    Hank’s poor head would explode.

  • smrnda

    I cringe at old style male/female dynamics because it’s *so boring and unimaginative* and comes packaged with the assumption that *people should all be assumed to be the same.* When I see stereotypically banal male/female relations, I see someone reinforcing the idea that everyone can assume everybody else is working from some script and that part of this assumption is men should make advances whether or not they seem welcome* and that resistance on the part of the woman *is just flirting.* I guess I don’t like rape culture.

    I also tend to like writers who are at least a little bit curious about people who are not like them and who might not fit their version of ‘ideal’ and who can find people interesting who are neither ideal nor epic. Simenon comes to mind as someone who could do that fairly well.

    Also, I kind of dismiss the whole ‘personality type’ thing as being no more valid than say, astrology.

  • Science Avenger

    Rand’s favorite words relative to the rest of us were “mock” and “angular”. I’ll bet each appears hundreds of times. I suppose her idea of Hell was endless angular faces in mocking smiles.

  • smrnda

    I guess that, given that there have been people throughout history who weren’t heteronormativist, I’d argue that aheteronormativist is a person who wants to put people in rigid little boxes based on gender and has a negative opinion on sexual diversity, and I would never consider such a person to be an authority on what should or should not be. If you get something like that *wrong* then I suspect the person is just wrong on too big a thing to be right on much of anything.

  • Nancy McClernan

    There’s nothing that demonstrates Rand’s inability to handle character development better than Rearden’s arc.

    (spoiler alert)

    He goes from caring desperately who Dagny has had sex with, to the point where he assaults d’Anconia, to suddenly becoming completely Zen about relationships when Dagny suddenly drops him.

    It seems that once John Galt brings on the Age of Aquarius none of the Ubermensch experience jealousy or disappointment ever again.

  • Science Avenger

    I think you’ve demonstrated everything that could be about Rand’s sexual preferences. I for one would rather you emphasized more her philosophical and economic theories. Weak though they are, that’s what makes her relevant today, not her sexual views.

    For example, I hope you plan on giving Francisco’s money speech, Ragnar’s Robin Hood speech, as well as Rearden’s trial speeches a lot of attention. Skip the sexual stuff, it’s a titilating,waste of your time..

  • Nancy McClernan

    Don’t you mean that’s her idea of Heaven?

  • fuguewriter

    That can be a tempting way to see it – I’m somewhat radical myself – polyamorous marriage, anyone? – but it doesn’t do justice to the evolutionary factors in sexual morality.

  • Science Avenger

    Touche,saw that one coming.

  • Nancy McClernan

    I have to agree. While all the rapey-ness helped Rand sell books, especially during a time when people didn’t have instant access to porn via the Internet, that is not the reason why we must still deal with this crackpot hack in the present time. While right-wingers undoubtedly enjoy the spectacle of women submitting to men, and agree with Rand’s belief that women cannot lead men, it’s the gold-buggery and the hideous straw-men of liberalism and government that keeps them reading her and quoting her and believing that she was a prophet. I’d much rather spend time discussing those aspects of the novel.

    And the general illogical and bad writing.

  • smrnda

    Given that she herself said she was disintererested in ‘grey’ characters, I don’t think this is a reckless assumption. She’s clearly writing a book with heroes and villains in which each and every action and aspect of a character *tells us* who is good and bad, down to the quality of their eyes.

  • Nancy McClernan

    And as I commented elsewhere here, Rearden suddenly becomes psychologically healthy – not through confronting his personal demons, but by meeting John Galt who healed him, like Jesus and the leper.

  • fuguewriter

    Eddie Willers. Cheryl Taggart. Irina and Sasha in “We the Living.” Roark’s working-class friend in “The Fountainhead.” Not heroes. All excellent people. I think you don’t like the vertical scale she has – that she thinks the heroes are “more.”

    Agreed re. her showing+telling demonstrativeness. I’d argue she’s doing it to make a point of a wholly new approach. It’s quite cinematic – if done in a movie we’d be much more used to it. And again: taken in the mores of the time, it’s not so unusual. Dehistoricization will always lead one astray – she sometimes did it too, and erred because of it.

  • Nancy McClernan

    My favorite example is when she describes one of the passengers aboard the “frozen” Taggart train. In addition to the usual litany of adjectives describing how ugly he is, she says that his coat is “too expensive.”

    Too expensive for what? A train ride? You’d think she’d want train passengers to dress nicely. And people did dress up when they traveled in the 1950s.

    And note she doesn’t say it’s too gaudy or inappropriate – like a tuxedo. Just too expensive.

    But it doesn’t matter why it’s “too expensive.” Rand simply wanted to express her contempt for these people, to let us know that they are the usual villians of her work: moochers/looters/parasites, even though all we know about them is that they were paying customers of Taggart Transcontinental and are annoyed by the fact that the service they have paid for has been interrupted.

    Rand threw in the “too-expensive” comment because she doesn’t have time to explain to us why we should hate the train passengers, so she just picks a bunch of negative adjectives and throws them at us in a Tourettes-like stream of contempt.

    Naturally a good editor would have wanted to know why Rand would mention the guy’s coat was too expensive. But luckily for us Rand wouldn’t let anybody edit “Atlas Shrugged” so we get to see every bad choice she made unadulterated by less contempt-fueled minds.

  • smrnda

    Certainty is an absolutely fatal quality in a writer.

  • smrnda

    I think this also demonstrates her incredibly petty nature. I’m sure that our resident Rand apologist will tell us this just was not true and that in *real life* she seemed considerate, but I actually just think that meant that she didn’t have the guts to show the contempt for others she obviously felt outside of her writing. It’s like the white racists who can be incredibly polite towards Black people, but who then turn around and write/say incredibly bigoted shit.

    At some level, picking on each and every detail of a person, down to the coat they are wearing, just seems like juvenile name-calling and mockery, the type of thing an insecure person does to secure an ego boost. I mean, by all means criticize people you don’t like, but criticize something that’s actually relevant, not ‘their coat was too expensive.’

  • Science Avenger

    “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell

  • Nancy McClernan

    I suspect that somewhere in Rand’s psyche, wearing a coat that was “too expensive” was significant, but she doesn’t stop to explain it to us, just as she doesn’t stop to explain how what her ideal men do to their girlfriends isn’t really rape-rape.
    But back to the coat – I think we can rule out the idea that she dislikes wealthy people, or wealthy people flaunting their wealth. It might be that she felt that the passenger, as a moocher/looter/parasite was presumptuous for wearing an expensive coat. It seems unlikely but it’s all I can come up with.

  • GCT

    Ayn Rand, the first “legitimate rape” apologist.

  • Nancy McClernan

    I’ll give Rand credit – she came up with the “red shirt” concept before Star Trek. Eddie Willers and Cheryl Taggart in “Atlas Shrugged” exist only to serve and reflect the glory of Rand’s Ubermenschen. Eddie has no life outside of his work, falls in unrequited love with Dagny, and at the end is left in the desert with nary a one of the denizens of Galt’s Gulch wondering whatever happened to him.

    Cheryl Taggart exists to admire Dagny for her greatness – in contrast to James Taggart who hates Galt for his greatness.

    Once she does so, she is discarded too, conveniently killing herself after the evil social worker (there are no other kind in Rand-world) is mean to her.

    Clearly she does value her heroes more. You’d have to be a confirmed Rand apologist to claim anything else – the text does not support your claim.

  • Nancy McClernan

    How is Rand stating that a character has a “too-expensive coat” in any way “cinematic”??? Unless you have a narrator in a movie pointing out that the coat was too expensive, how in the hell would you know? She doesn’t say the coat was too fancy, which would be a visual thing, she says expensive, which you simply cannot tell visually.

    And explain why you’re claiming “dehistoricization” in this case.

    And the only proper way to film Atlas Shrugged would be to get the people who played elves in the Lord of the Rings movies to play Rand’s heroes and the people who played orcs, in full orc makeup to play everybody else. That would be a true cinematic representation of the absurd, simplistic binary world created by Ayn Rand.

  • Science Avenger

    Back in my Objectivist days I thought a lot about a cast for Atlas Shrugged, and while the actors are obviously a little dated now, just picture it in 1990:

    Dagny Taggert – Linda Hamilton
    Hank Rearden – Nick Nolte
    Francisco D’Anconia – Jeff Goldblum
    John Galt – Timothy Hutton
    Ragnar Danneskjold – Brad Pitt

    I never got around to casting the villians.

  • fuguewriter

    Wrong again.

    Cheryl has a whole life and arc apart from Dagny: she realizes what a grotesque James Taggart is and against her he shows his badness. (James Taggart – Corporate President and worthless heir.)

    Recall who Eddie talks with in the cafeteria.

  • fuguewriter

    Thank you.

  • J-D

    So then would you say that Hank Rearden, as he is at this point in the book, and as illustrated by the dialogue quoted here, is psychologically unhealthy? Would you agree that the things he is saying exhibit unhealthy attitudes? Because that, it seems to me, is the main point Adam is making here.

  • fuguewriter

    Definitely yes. And Rand would too. When he has his big realization, Rearden calls himself the guiltiest man in a room of vermin – this is no small thing.

  • fuguewriter

    What he says to Dagny is *not* auctorially okay. This is shown throughout the book. Dagny is wise enough to know this is deep trouble and can only be resolved through experience.

  • Nancy McClernan

    Cherryl existing to admire Dagny is not incompatible with her existing to show how evil James Taggart is. Her existence could do nothing else, since absolutely every single aspect of Atlas Shrugged is written to serve the Great Dichotomy: Objectivism vs. Evil.

    After James tells Cherryl that he married her just so he could destroy her budding Ubermenschy greatness (mwah-hah-hah!) Cherryl runs off into the night and her last coherent thought is of Dagny in a tower fighting Evil. Although since she is in despair she feels Dagny will lose. Which is why it’s so easy for the social worker to drive Cherryl to kill herself.

    Nobody talks about Cherryl after that. Why would they? Cherryl has served her purpose for the Great Dichotomy of demonstrating that Dagny is Objectivist and James is Evil.

    And as far as your comment about who Eddie is talking with in the cafeteria – how does that refute my point that he has no life outside of his work? He is sharing his deepest feelings with a Taggart underling he barely knows, and certainly doesn’t know is John Galt in his company’s cafeteria. Because Eddie Willers has no family and no friends, at all, outside of Taggart Transcontinental. And why would he? Rand’s only interest in Eddie Willers is for him to do Dagny’s bidding. Rand has Dagny think so little of Eddie as a man that Dagny invites Eddie into her bedroom to give him orders, while she gets ready to leave. Which is how Eddie happens to see Rearden’s dressing gown, which prompts him to realize he’s unrequitedly in love with Dagny. Because of course he would be. Dagny reminds me of Mary Tyler Moore – she can turn the world on with her contemptuous smirk.

    Eddie is a tool to serve the Great Dichotomy too. And after he has served the greatness of Dagny and the others, he is narratively discarded.

  • fuguewriter

    Objectivism antedates “Atlas Shrugged.”

  • Nancy McClernan

    All the issues I addressed and that’s all you have to say? A quibble about the usage of the term Objectivism?

    Are you actually trying to conflate Ayn Rand’s “Objectivism” with a completely separate “Objectivism”?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)

  • Nancy McClernan

    And if you actually mean Ayn Rand’s “Objectivism” then it certainly does not pre-date Atlas Shrugged. The term was invented by Rand and Branden to describe the “philosophy” of Atlas Shrugged and presented to the world via the NBI.

    …Rand and Branden were aware that Atlas Shrugged might well set off an avalanche. As Hiram Haydn noted, the book had best-seller stamped all over it.
    They decided they needed a name for her system of ideas other than Randianism, which had occasionally cropped up. They discussed what word would best describe it. She liked “existentialism,” Branden said in 2004, because it echoed Aristotle’s maxim that “existence exists.” But Jean-Paul Sartre and his band of “bad guys” had beaten them to it. They briefly considered “contextual absolutism” and “contextualism” but gave them up for lack of sex appeal. They settled on the only slightly spicier name “Objectivism,” which they intended as an homage to the immutability of objective reality and the competence of perception and reason to grasp and understand it

    Ayn Rand and the World She Made By Anne C. Heller p. 278

    http://tinyurl.com/n9vltpa

  • fuguewriter

    Post-”Atlas.”

  • J-D

    So … Adam holds that the character, as portrayed, is behaving in a seriously unhealthy way, and you agree ,,, then what is your disagreement with Adam here?

  • Nancy McClernan

    So are you changing your mind, or you didn’t know the definition of “antedate”?

  • Nancy McClernan

    I’d like a quotation from the text to support this reference. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with his sexual encounters with Dagny. But of course you can prove me wrong with the relevant excerpt of the text.

  • Alex Harman

    Looking up that quotation also made me think of this:

    “The Sorting Hat did seem to think I was going to end up as a Dark Lord unless I went to Hufflepuff,” Harry said. “But I don’t want to be one.”

    “Mr. Potter…” said Professor Quirrell. “Don’t take this the wrong way. I promise you will not be graded on the answer. I only want to know your own, honest reply. Why not?”

    Harry had that helpless feeling again. Thou shalt not become a Dark Lord was such an obvious theorem in his moral system that it was hard to describe the actual proof steps. “Um, people would get hurt?”

    “Surely you’ve wanted to hurt people,” said Professor Quirrell. “You wanted to hurt those bullies today. Being a Dark Lord means that people you want to hurt get hurt.”

    Harry floundered for words and then decided to simply go with the obvious. “First of all, just because I want to hurt someone doesn’t mean it’s right -”

    “What makes something right, if not your wanting it?”

    “Ah,” Harry said, “preference utilitarianism.”

    “Pardon me?” said Professor Quirrell.

    “It’s the ethical theory that the good is what satisfies the preferences of the most people -”

    “No,” Professor Quirrell said. His fingers rubbed the bridge of his nose. “I don’t think that’s quite what I was trying to say. Mr. Potter, in the end people all do what they want to do. Sometimes people give names like ‘right’ to things they want to do, but how could we possibly act on anything but our own desires?”

    “Well, obviously,” Harry said. “I couldn’t act on moral considerations if they lacked the power to move me. But that doesn’t mean my wanting to hurt those Slytherins has the power to move me more than moral considerations!”

    Professor Quirrell blinked.

    “Not to mention,” Harry said, “being a Dark Lord would mean that a lot of innocent bystanders got hurt too!”

    “Why does that matter to you?” Professor Quirrell said. “What have they done for you?”

    Harry laughed. “Oh, now that was around as subtle as Atlas Shrugged.”

    “Pardon me?” Professor Quirrell said again.

    “It’s a book that my parents wouldn’t let me read because they thought it would corrupt me, so of course I read it anyway and I was offended they thought I would fall for any traps that obvious. Blah blah blah, appeal to my sense of superiority, other people are trying to keep me down, blah blah blah.”

    “So you’re saying I need to make my traps less obvious?” said Professor Quirrell. He tapped a finger on his cheek, looking thoughtful. “I can work on that.”

    Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, by Eliezer “Less Wrong” Yudkowsky

    The work of fan-fiction I just quoted, by the way, is enormously more entertaining and intelligently written than either Atlas Shrugged or the even more popular series of novels on which it’s based. I highly recommend it.
    ―John Rogers

  • Alex Harman

    Are you perhaps familiar with this observation about the relative merits of Rand’s and Tolkien’s respective magna opera? “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ―John Rogers

  • Nancy McClernan

    Yes, it’s a very amusing quote. But actually, since Rand so dehumanizes the opponents of Objectivism in “Atlas Shrugged” making them uniformly ugly, stupid, incompetent and corrupt, I think it’s arguable that both childish fantasies include orcs.

  • Nancy McClernan

    It looks interesting. I haven’t read the Harry Potter books, but I have to say that “more entertaining and intelligently written than Atlas Shrugged” is not a high bar.

  • Jeff

    I had Eddie pegged as the reader-surrogate character. Obviously most real-world people are not the driven superhumans who are the focus of the book, and so we might have a hard time connecting or identifying with the heroic business leaders and sci-fi device inventors. Eddie solves this problem by being an average joe at an unremarkable job; he’s got the Objectivist attitude without the superpowers. His purpose, to me, was to be the character that the reader identified as and entered the world through. As I recall, the first chapter was from his perspective. *I* certainly identified with him more than anyone else in the book; I saw him as a dude who just wanted to go about his business without getting caught in the squabbles and intrigues of the higher-ups.

  • Alex Harman

    True that, but HP:MOR really is something special. However, I can’t recommend it very strongly it to someone completely unfamiliar with the Harry Potter canon, as the author presumes that his readers have read Rowling’s novels or at least seen all the film versions, and doesn’t spend a great deal of time duplicating the originals’ world-building.

    What he does do is provide the scaffolding to make that world a bit more plausible from a rationalist’s perspective. The originals are rife with Fridge Logic and enough Idiot Balls to distribute to most of the main cast, including both Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort, both of whom are alleged to brilliant planners. Yudkowsky fixes some of the problems, and amusingly lampshades others. He also manages to produce a few passages that, for me at least, are as intense and emotionally moving as any fiction I’ve ever read — the resolution of chapter 45, for example, and the meditation on distance in space and time in chapter 85.

  • http://www.thesteadfastreader.com/ April @ The Steadfast Reader

    I just wanted to say I am loving this analysis. Keep it up. :)

  • Don Sakers

    > Ye gods, Dagny, get out of there! Call the police; you could easily
    > have him arrested for that. Or there are domestic violence crisis
    > centers you can call, if you’d rather not get the courts involved.

    Uh…no. Not in 1957.

    Adultery was a crime. There WERE no domestic violence crisis centers. Police and courts would NOT take the side of a woman against that of a man, and women knew it.

    That’s why so many women were caught in abusive relationships. Unlike Dagny, they had no way to make it by themselves in the world, and they were legally considered the property of husband or father. A woman who engaged in extramarital sex (especially a single woman) was considered a lawbreaker with about the same status as a prostitute.

    I’m sorry, but I think it’s trivializing the plight of women of the past (not to mention those of today) by saying an abused woman could “easily” escape her abuser.

  • Cpt_Justice

    Thank you for confirming my decision never to read this trash in the first place (yes, you can learn that a book is trash by reputation, same as with movies). Thank you for taking the hit for the rest of us.

  • Cpt_Justice

    I thought it was an ironic comment, more addressed to the modern audience, but, if not, you are more than correct.

  • Cpt_Justice

    Or he would have beaten her to death, right then & there.

  • Cpt_Justice

    And how is a stunted personality like Reardon’s supposed to grow & learn? By having his twisted, patriarchal, sadism coddled & rubber-stamped, or by having it confronted & condemned? You’re not helping…

  • Cpt_Justice

    You are using LOTS of words that you clearly do not know the meaning of: “romance”, “fantasy”, “liberal”, “humanist”, feminist”, “liberal”.

    Where (for starters) do you get the idea that Rand was writing a romance or a fantasy?


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