What I found most striking about Kipnis’s essay, “Against Love”, was her ambiguous view towards monogamy and polygamy. Her narrative came across as almost hostile, suggesting that any attempts towards finding love in today’s day and age are futile, purely because of the social standards set around relationships. I agree with Kipnis’s view that the impact that relationship breakdown has on people nowadays is far more worrying than it may have been in the past, however her lack of sympathy for genuine human emotion makes me feel like she is unjustified to put across such an argument. She continues to write about language having to be “codified”, which in itself comes across as cynical.
Her mechanizing portrayal of love could be interpreted in two ways. First is the optimist’s perception: that love is simple and can be put together through attention to detail. Second is the pessimist’s perception, or arguably, the realist’s: love has caused partners to develop a disconnection from the reality of being together. Perhaps Kipnis’s argument is more against the societal standards of love, rather than falling in love itself. People are too quick to jump into relationships and say those three foreboding words, and hence portray a mentality of not taking relationships seriously. It upsets me to think that modern romance has been damaged because of such standards. However, what Kipnis fails to recognize is that as times change, social standards for all aspects of humanity change. Comparing modern standards of love to historical standards of love is one of Kipnis’s setbacks in her essay, and I would recommend that she instead takes on a more optimistic approach to understanding love.