In response to my last post reader Gaius Marcius was kind enough to point out the C.S. Lewis quote on erotic necessity:
Lewis’s phrase ‘erotic necessity’ is not from That Hideous Strength, but from his Spectator article ‘Equality’ in 1943, which is also included in the essay collection Present Concerns. That Hideous Strength is a dramatic presentation of themes Lewis explored in dozens of essays. In this case the point Lewis makes is that inequality is inevitable, necessary, and erotic. If Wilson couldn’t remember the citation for the actual phrase he quotes, a simple Google search would point him in the right direction.
I found an archive of the essay at the Spectator (emphasis mine):
This last point needs a little plain speaking. Men have so horribly abused their power over women in the past that to wives, of all people, equality is in danger of appearing as an ideal. But Mrs. Naomi Mitchison has laid her finger on the real point. Have as much equality as’ you please—the more the better—in our marriage laws: but at some level consent to inequality, nay, delight in inequality, is an erotic necessity. Mrs. Mitchison speaks of women so fostered on a defiant idea of equality that the mere sensation of the male embrace rouses an undercurrent of resentment. Marriages are thus shipwrecked. This is the tragi-comedy of the modern woman; taught by Freud to consider the act of love the most important thing in life, and then inhibited by feminism from that internal surrender which alone can make it a complete emotional success. Merely for the sake of her own erotic pleasure, to go no further, some degree of obedience and humility seems to be (normally) necessary on the woman’s part.
Lewis erred when he assumed that feminist resentment stems from a history of terrible mistreatment by men. If Genesis isn’t enough to prove that no mistreatment is required for the condition to occur, the 70+ years of feminism since Lewis wrote the essay should win over any remaining doubters. The more we have radically reordered our society to appease feminist demands, the greater the clamor of feminist resentment has become.
But Lewis’ observation that women are sexually attracted to men they submit to is extraordinary. He understood in the 1940s what pickup artists rediscovered fairly recently.