Quotations about:
    battle of the sexes


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“Educate women like men,” says Rousseau, “and the more they resemble our sex the less power will they have over us.” This is the very point I aim at. I do not wish them to have power over men; but over themselves.

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) English social philosopher, feminist, writer
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, ch. 4 (1792)
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Usually elided to "I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves."
 
Added on 10-Jan-23 | Last updated 10-Jan-23
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The commitment problem has caused many women to mistakenly conclude that men, as a group, have the emotional maturity of hamsters. This is not the case. A hamster is much more capable of making a lasting commitment to a woman, especially if she gives it those little food pellets. Whereas a guy, in a relationship, will consume the pellets of companionship, and he will run on the exercise wheel of lust, but as soon as he senses the door of commitment is about to close and trap him in the wire cage of true intimacy, he’ll squirm out, scamper across the kitchen floor of uncertainty, and hide under the refrigerator of nonreadiness.

Dave Barry (b. 1947) American humorist
The Greatest Invention in the History of Mankind is Beer (2001)
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Added on 7-Jul-22 | Last updated 8-Jul-22
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Men weren’t really the enemy — they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.

Betty Friedan (1921-2006) American writer, feminist, activist
The Feminine Mystique, Epilogue (1974 ed.)
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Sometimes paraphrased: "Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim."
 
Added on 10-Mar-22 | Last updated 10-Mar-22
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Agatha looked up. “I guess. I just wonder how many other girls have to worry about whether or not it’s smart to really trust their … you know, the guys they –”

Lady Vitriox crossed her arms. “All of them,” she said flatly.

“But mine has an army!”

The old woman shook her head. “They all do, my Lady. It consists of other men.”

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Agatha H. and the Siege of Mechanicsburg (2020) [with Kaja Foglio]
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Added on 6-Dec-21 | Last updated 6-Dec-21
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If Nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternately, there would never be more than three in a family.

Laurence Housman
Laurence Housman (1865-1959) English playwright, writer, illustrator
(Attributed)
 
Added on 30-Sep-21 | Last updated 30-Sep-21
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Men who don’t like girls with brains don’t like girls.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 3 (1966)
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Originally published in McLaughlin's "The Neurotic's Notebook" column in The Atlantic, some time in 1965.
 
Added on 24-Sep-21 | Last updated 10-Mar-22
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Man forgives woman anything save the wit to outwit him.

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Minna Antrim (1861-1950) American epigrammatist, writer
Naked Truth and Veiled Allusions (1901)
 
Added on 3-Sep-21 | Last updated 3-Sep-21
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There is, in fact, no incompatibility between the principles of feminism and the possibility that men and women are not psychologically identical. To repeat: equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group. In the case of gender, the barely defeated Equal Rights Amendment put it succinctly: “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” If we recognize this principle, no one has to spin myths about the indistinguishability of the sexes to justify equality. Nor should anyone invoke sex differences to justify discriminatory policies or to hector women into doing what they don’t want to do.

Steven Pinker (b. 1954) Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, author
The Blank Slate, Part 5, ch. 18 (2002)
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Added on 30-Jun-21 | Last updated 30-Jun-21
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The allurement that women hold out to men is precisely the allurement that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous and hence enormously fascinating.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“The Incomparable Buzz-Saw,” The Smart Set (May 1919)
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Added on 20-Apr-20 | Last updated 20-Apr-20
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Perhaps the condition of women affords, in all countries, the best criterion by which to judge the character of men.

Frances "Fanny" Wright (1795-1852) Scottish-American writer, lecturer, social reformer
Views of Society and Manners in America, Letter 23, Mar. 1820 (1821)
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Added on 2-Oct-18 | Last updated 4-Oct-18
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Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) British novelist [pseud. Currer Bell]
Jane Eyre, ch. 12 [Jane] (1847)
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Added on 2-Jun-17 | Last updated 2-Jun-17
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“The female mind is certainly a devious one, my lord.”

Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise. “Well, of course it is. It has to deal with the male one.”

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Unseen Academicals (2009)
 
Added on 17-Jun-15 | Last updated 17-Jun-15
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Men know that women are an over-match for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment

In James Boswell, Tour to the Hebrides (1785).
 
Added on 25-Jul-14 | Last updated 25-Jul-14
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“Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine. (I love that wonderful rhetorical device, “a male friend of mine.” It’s often used by female journalists when they want to say something particularly bitchy but don’t want to be held responsible for it themselves. It also lets people know that you do have male friends, that you aren’t one of those fire-breathing mythical monsters, The Radical Feminists, who walk around with little pairs of scissors and kick men in the shins if they open doors for you. “A male friend of mine” also gives — let us admit it — a certain weight to the opinions expressed.) So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) Canadian writer, literary critic, environmental activist
“Writing the Male Character,” Hagey Lecture, U. of Waterloo (9 Feb 1982)
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Published in a revised version as "Writing the Male Character," Second Words: Selected Critical Prose, 1960-1982 (1983).

Usually paraphrased, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them."
 
Added on 3-Jul-14 | Last updated 20-Dec-19
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