20th-century Feminist Quotes
Ahab makes a great impression on his first appearance in Moby Dick... And if either by birth or by circumstance something pathological was at work deep in his nature, this did not detract from his dramatic character. For tragic greatness always derives from a morbid break with health, you can be sure of that.
The male.... tries to convince himself and women - he's succeeded best at convincing women - that the female function is to bear and raise children and relax, comfort and boost the egos of the male, that her function is such as to make her interchangeable with every other female. In actual fact, the female function is to relate, groove, love and be herself, irreplacable by anyone else; the male function is to produce sperm. We now have sperm banks.
Even before computers existed, we already knew that natural selection can, -and often will- produce results which look like trial-and-error experiments, including elements of seemingly-intentional fine tuning. But for all the implications of apparent design, there is never any indication of any intended goal or final product, nor any hint of infallibility on the part of the designer. In fact, so many errors of so many types are known that even if there was an unnatural architect using miraculous means instead of natural ones, then it seems that entity must either be blind and barely competent, or there are whole teams of designers working on separate lines competing against each other.
Woman, then, stands in patriarchal culture as a signifier for the male other, bound by a symbolic order in which man can live out his fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of a woman still tied to her place as the bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning.