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.
Love's absence ailed me. I could not imagine loving my husband. He was a superior and I did not know how to love and be subservient together. Nor had he ever thought of me as a human being, let alone a woman. For no reason had he ever softened towards me, I had stirred him that little.
There is, between the sexes, a law of incessant reciprocal action, of which God avails himself in the constitution of the family, when He permits brothers and sisters to nestle about the same hearthstone. Its ministration is essential to the best educational results. Our own educational institutions should rest upon this divine basis.
Men's ideas about what women are have been formed from their ruling caste position, and have assigned women characteristics that would most advantage their masters, as well as justify men's rule over them. They do not represent 'truth' but have been promoted as if they were, with the backing of science and patriarchal views of biology.
With a generous endowment of motherhood provided by legislation, with all laws against voluntary motherhood and education in its methods repealed, with the feminist ideal of education accepted in home and school, and with all special barriers removed in every field of human activity, there is no reason why woman should not become almost a human thing. It will be time enough then to consider whether she has a soul.
If the souls of lives were voiced in music, there are some that none but a great organ could express, others the clash of a full orchestra, a few to which nought but the refined and exquisite sadness of a violin could do justice. Many might be likened unto common pianos, jangling and out of tune, and some to the feeble piping of a penny whistle, and mine could be told with a couple of nails in a rusty tin-pot.