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What is the definition of love? Show more Show less

Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the reason for being, the subject of countless books, artwork, films, and works of theatre. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a deep emotional connection, the manifestation of physical and chemical reactions, the act of being entirely devoted to another individual, or nothing at all?

Love is a tool of the patriarchy Show more Show less

Love is an artificial construct which oppresses women and reinforces the patriarchy.
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The social context that love appears in is oppressive

Love in itself isn't oppressive but under current social constructs, it becomes oppressive.

(1 of 1 Argument)


The institutional arrangements surrounding love are designed to imprison women in dependent relationships, unfavourable legal contracts (like marriage) and ultimately leave them responsible for rearing children.[1]

The Argument

The definitions of "success" in love are not the same for men and women. For men, society defines success in "love" as success on the sexual market and the ability to remain free from commitment for as long as possible. For women, success is defined by marital goals. This is likely because many of our definitions of love are tied to beauty, which is inherently linked to age in women. It is also linked to the established idea that women should marry "up". They should marry someone physically taller than them, older than them, smarter than them, more wealthy than them and with a higher social standing than them. If women were to be released from the binds of the construct of love, they would be freer.

Counter arguments

The arguments outlined here, while valid, are not directed at love in its purest form but the manifestation of love in society. They are rightly directed at marriage and dating culture, which are the institutions of love but do not deal with what love is. Love by definition is not a tool of the patriarchy. Nor is it inherently oppressive. A unionists view of love may fall into this trap but many of the other definitions of love explored in this debate do not oppress female participants in love.


[P1] Love in its current social form is oppressive and imprisons women.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] But love is not oppressive in every form. Therefore, love is not oppressive by nature.




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This page was last edited on Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 16:43 UTC