For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay...
No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman.
Where is the woman who has ever really torn from her heart the image that has been once fixed in it by a true love? Books tell us that such unearthly creatures have existed - but what does our own experiences say in answer to books?
I'd have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister--anything a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don't realize it. You really are a part of me.
I looked silently at her lips. All women are lips, all lips. Some are pink and firmly round: a ring, a tender guardrail from the whole world. And then there are these ones: a second ago they weren't here, and just now - like a knife-slit - they are here, still dripping sweet blood.
The whole world is one immense woman, and we are in her very womb, we are not yet born, we are joyfully ripening.
Generally, women can't do this, but men retain the ancient ability to leave a family and a past. They just unhook themselves, like removing a fake beard, and skulk discreetly back into society, changed men. Unrecognizable.
She couldn't make him look just like any other man to her. He looked like the love thoughts of women. He could be a bee to a blossom - a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung above him. He was a glance from God.
From the first day we hid the woman within the man, so that at the right time we could remove her from within him. We didn't create man to live alone; she was purposed from the beginning. By taking her out of him, he birthed her in a sense. We created a circle of relationship, like our own, but for humans. She, out of him, and now all the males, including me, birthed through her, and all originating, or birthed, from God.
Women, in general, will find it difficult to turn from a man and stop demanding that he meets their needs, provides security, and protects their identity, and return to me. Men, in general, find it very hard to turn from the works of their hands, their own quests for power and security and significance, and turn to me.
Art is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.
I don't think that women ought to sit down at table with men. It ruins conversation and I'm sure it's very bad for them. It puts ideas in their heads, and women are never at ease with themselves when they have ideas.
Now for a handful of guilders I happen to have a private and uncut performance of the rape of the Sabine Women - or rather woman, or rather Alfred -Get your skirt on Alfred!
Anyhow they're always exceptions. But most women, their only relationship to a man is having. Either owning or being owned.
A man without a woman is like a pistol without a trigger; it is the woman who makes the man go off.
At that moment of love, a moment when passion is absolutely silent under omnipotence of ecstasy, Marius, pure seraphic Marius, would have been more capable of visiting a woman of the streets than of raising Cosette's dress above the ankle. Once on a moonlit night, Cosette stopped to pick up something from the ground, her dress loosened and revealed the swelling of her breasts. Marius averted his eyes.
He caught her, she fell, he caught her in his arms, he held her tightly unconscious of what he was doing. He held her up, though tottering himself. He felt as if his head were filled with smoke; flashes of light slipped through his eyelids; his thoughts vanished; it seemed to him that he was performing a religious act, and that he was committing a profanation. Moreover, he did not feel one passionate desire for this ravishing woman, whose form he felt against his heart. He was lost in love.
In fact, he who has only beheld the misery of man has seen nothing; the misery of woman is what he must see; he who has seen only the misery of woman has seen nothing; he must see the misery of the child.
It was all over with him. Marius loved a woman. His destiny was entering upon the unknown.
Straightening himself and stealthily fingering his pocket-knife he started after her to follow this woman, this excitement, which seemed even with its back turned to shed on him a light which connected them, which singled him out, as if the random uproar of the traffic had whispered through hallowed hands his name, not Peter, but his private name which he called himself in his own thoughts.
This late age of the world's experience had bred in them all, all men and women, a well of tears.
Women's rights, that antediluvian topic.
They came to her, naturally, since she was a woman, all day long with this and that; one wanting this, another that; the children were growing up; she often felt she was nothing but a sponge sopped full of human emotions.
Yet, she said to herself, form the dawn of time odes have been sung to love; wreaths heaped and roses; and if you asked nine people out of ten they would say they wanted nothing but this--love; while the women, judging from her own experience, would all the time be feeling, This is not what we want; there is nothing more tedious, puerile, and inhumane than this; yet it is also beautiful and necessary.
It's not men who limit women, it's not straights who limit gays, it's not whites who limit blacks. What limits people is lack of character. What limits people is that they don't have the fucking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it.
And all the nursemaids and kitchen maids I ever knew when I was a child, always had a aunt, who knew a woman, whose first cousin's boy had been put into just such a box, and had never been seen again.
And such a pinched-looking ruin of a thing now! I shall advice all the good-looking woman of my acquaintance not to die.
I have always heard that Italian women are rather fierce.
I began to see why woman-haters could make such fools of women. Woman-haters were like gods: invulnerable and chock full of power. They descended, and then they disappeared. You could never catch one.