Tragedy of Woman

As Nemilow convincingly argues in his book “The Biological Tragedy of Woman”, that constellation which lies behind the tragedy of woman is especially tragic by reason of its being a biological one. As Nemilow states toward the end of his book, an overcoming of this biological tragedy of woman is possible only via the route of her remaining childless. In Nemilow’s day, the artificial uterus which plays a role, today, in the consideration of this problem, was not yet imaginable.

Interestingly, it seems hardly possible to speak of a “biological tragedy of man” analogous to that of woman. A man is prisoner of his biological “housing” only to a much lesser degree than is a woman. Instructive here is the following passage from Balzac’s Père Goriot: “How lucky we women are to have nothing to do with duels! But we have sufferings to deal with too. We bring children into the world and the sicknesses associated with motherhood are wearisome!” (Balzac, Père Goriot) Without intending to Balzac expresses here the idea that women bear, in great pain, those human beings who then inflict even greater pain on one another as they destroy each other.

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