All our institutions, our traditional attitudes, our laws, our morals, our customs, give evidence of the fact that they are determined and maintained by privileged males for the glory of male domination. These institutions reach out into the very nurseries and have a great influence upon the child’s soul.
It is so far from being natural for a man and woman to live in a state of marriage, that we find all the motives which they have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilized society imposes to prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together.
Beauty is the true prerogative of women, and so peculiarly their own, that our sex, though naturally requiring another sort of feature, is never in its luster but when puerile and beardless, confused and mixed with theirs.
Heres how men think. Sex, work – and those are reversible, depending on age – sex, work, food, sports, and lastly, begrudgingly, relationships. And heres how women think. Relationships, relationships, relationships, work, sex, shopping, weight, food.
The purpose of ritual for men is to learn the rules of power and competition. Watching sports together, for example, they see the formal enactment of ritual, become loyal to a team, learn to conceal their vulnerability. The purpose of ritual for women (going to lunch together, sharing a favorite salon, etc.) is to learn how to make human connections. They are often more intimate and vulnerable with one another than they are with their men, and taking care of other women teaches them to take care of themselves.
In these formal ways, men and women domesticate their emotional lives. But their strategies are different, their biological itineraries are different. His sperm needs to travel, her egg needs to settle down. It’s astonishing that they survive happily at all.
History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in…. I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all, it is very tiresome; and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention.