The Marquis de Sade's Attitude Towards Women
The Marquis de Sade was an author in France in the late
His works were infamous in their time, giving Sade a
reputation as an adulterer, a debaucher, and a sodomite.
One of the more common misrepresentations concerning Sade
was his attitude toward women.
His attitude was shown in
his way of life and in two of his literary characters,
Justine and Julliette.
The Marquis de Sade was said to be the first and only
philosopher of vice because of his atheistic and sadistic
He held the common woman in low regard.
believed that women dressed provocatively because they
feared men would take no notice of them if they were naked.
He cared little for forced sex.
Rape is not a crime, he
explained, and is in fact less than robbery, for you get
what is used back after the deed is done (Bloch 108).
Opinions about the Marquis de Sade's attitude towards
sexual freedom for women varies from author to author.
prevalent one, the one held by Carter, suggests Sade's work
concerns sexual freedom and the nature of such, significant
because of his "refusal to see female sexuality in relation
to a reproductive function."
Sade justified his beliefs through graffiti, playing
psychologist on vandals:
In the stylization of graffiti, the prick is
always presented erect, as an alert attitude.
It points upward, asserts.
The hole is open, as
an inert space, as a mouth, waiting to be filled.
This iconography could be derived from the
metaphysical sexual differences:
woman serves no function but existence, waiting.
Between her thighs is zero, the symbol of nothingness, that
only attains somethingness when male principle fills it with
meaning (Carter 4).
The Marquis de Sade's way of thought is probably best
symbolized in the missionary position.
position represents the mythic relationship between
The woman represents the passive receptiveness,
the fertility, and the richness of soil.
mythicizes and elevates intercourse to an unrealistic
In a more realistic view, Sade compares married
women with prostitutes, saying that prostitutes were better
paid and that they had fewer delusions (Carter 9).
Most of Sade's opinions of women were geared towards
the present, in what they were in his time.
different opinions, however, for how he envisioned women in
Sade suggests that women don't "fuck in the
passive tense and hence automatically fucked up, done over,
Sade declares that he is all for the "right of