chapter  16
13 Pages

Love in the Multitude? A Feminist Critique of Love as a Political Concept

ByELEANOR WILKINSON

Love is often invoked as the foundation of community and society; love, as the popular saying goes, “makes the world go round.” These positive connotations are used by almost every group along the political spectrum; from right-wing think tanks who want people to return to a more “traditional” form of love grounded in the heterosexual monogamous bond through to utopian ideas about “free love,” which stress the radical and transformative potential of what love could be. However, might it be dangerous to invest so much in the power of love? Cindy Patton (1998: 370), for example, writes of how she “can’t quite bring [herself] to formulate or advocate a new politics of love . . . [l]ove is too dangerous a basis for social politics.”