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Like other women who squander their feminine genius, Ayn Rand made up her own twisted ideas about relationships between men and women.

It has been so long since I've reviewed either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, but I can safely say that none of the romantic relationships in those novels were anything but dysfunctional. We have Roarke's famous rape of Dominique in The Fountainhead--and his bizarre (to put it lightly) reaction of surprise when, a few days after the incident, he finds that he still thinks of her from time to time.

Not that Dominique is much better. As their relationship develops, it is hard to tell if she is responding to a man or to his work. Indeed, she loves Roarke's buildings so much that she tries to destroy him professionally: it is a way of saving him from all the little people who cannot properly appreciate his buildings.

Dominique does somehow sense how twisted her actions are (even though she never seems bothered by the fact that she was raped) and punishes herself by marrying Roarke's worst enemy. Of course, as part of her campaign to destroy Roarke, she will do anything to promote her husband's buildings, including prostitute herself to make sure he gets the commissions instead of Roarke.

I probably shouldn't get started on Dagny and Francisco . . . and Dagny and Henry . . . and Dagny and John. =P

The young fogey

Good summary - she did side with the bullies.

But her narcissism doesn't represent all libertarians.

Justine Nicholas

I consider myself a libertarian (note that I used a lower-case "l"), at least after some fashion. After all, I write articles for Lew Rockwell's site.

So what does that mean? First and foremost, I am opposed to war. Why? Well, first off, I abhor the appaling waste of human lives. And I don't like the power it gives governments to use people like chess pieces and to steal from (i.e., tax) them.

I believe that no government has the right to treat people in the ways I've described because I believe no human being has the right to do those things to another. So, for me, libertarianism is not about siding with the bullies or the people who got all the breaks.

For me, being a libertarian also means being self-sufficient, or at least working toward that goal. And it follows that being a libertarian means being responsible for, and to, one's self.

However, I differ with the Ayn Rand crowd in that I see nothing wrong with helping others to achieve those goals. Indeed, I have taught and currently co-lead a youth group for LGBT teenagers, some of whom were kicked out of their homes when they "came out" or who dropped out of school because they were being bullied. I have alse worked with homeless people on their literacy skills. If you really don't like paying taxes for programs that allow moochers to mooch, I think that it makes sense to help others realize their potential.

Finally, I believe that Ayn Rand is purely and simply a shallow, one-dimensional writer. Her situations are all too good(?) to be true and her characters are cardboard cut-outs. I felt that way when I first read her (when I was a teenager), and she doesn't get better with age (or as you age).

Some might say that I'm not a libertarian. That's OK. The label doesn't matter to me. Freedom does.


I'm not sure who is "pro-war" other than bullies who want to gain from military aggression. Hitler, Idi Amin, Che Guevara, and Pol Pot leap immediately to mind. These are not usually the type of people who honour the rule of law, so most people understand that a standing army is needed to deter such aggression (although there is always a temptation to use it unprovoked). That is why virtue and self-restraint are important.

Thus, we can see that some moral framework is essential to guide freedom, and protect the weak from the strong. To that end, the 1949 United Declarations on Human Rights is a good start.

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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