I'm with you all the way. Anyone who promotes this "virtue of the famale" stuff is a goddamn crank. I still see it in the new agey goddess circles I sometimes hang out in, and I just laugh it off--part of being in a goddessy new age milieu is permission to be kind of nutso and visionary, but I can't believe serious people believe women are inherently good. Wishes for it, yes, but I think those wishing folk should be writing sonnets instead of discourse.

h sofia

While I don't believe women are inherently good, I do believe that we can learn much from models of power that are more feminine. Unfortunately, as you allude to, things are still done "the male way." It's been less than 100 years since women have been participating in leadership in this country in any measurable way. Yet, this is still a patriarchal society. This is STILL a patriarchal society.

A Pang

"Finer feminine values"? Excuse me while I throw up.

A large part of me says, If that's what women are, think of me as a man! (Where'd that come from?)

"'You can't unite woman and human any more than you can unite matter and anti-matter; they are designed not to be stable together and they make just as big an explosion inside the head of the unfortunate girl who believes in both.'" - Joanna Russ, The Female Man, in 1975, for God's sake. Why are we still dealing with this now?

Dissident Daughter

It's the same ole' garbage. Simultaneous idealization and devaluation of the female. When will it stop?


But if we start assuming women are not morally superior, then people like Starr have no excuse for being immature and behaving badly. In his mind, you see, it's the job of women to be the civilizing force; men therefore can act however awfully they wish, since they're not, like, girls. But if the females turn out to be just as capable of thuggery as the males, why, we're all responsible for our own behavior! Horrors!


Yes! Excellent post, HF. I only wish yours were the final word on this matter, but I'm sure they'll recycle this crap again. *sigh*


"equal rights need no justification. Why should women need to prove that they are worthy of being treated like full members of society who have ambitions to earn money and play soccer and engage in all the other activities available to men? The right of women as a class to do these things should never be contingent on women acting like sweetness and light.

Thus, I don't see any "irony" in women who have equal rights behaving badly, as people are wont to comment. There is no irony unless you believe that women's angelic behavior justifies equal rights. I don't think that women's angelic behavior is necessary to justify equal rights because I see equal rights as a good in and of itself."

Very well said Happy. I agree.

Anyone who has ever worked in an office full of women should know that women are not inherently good or inherently more moral than men.


Ah yes, the dehumanizing part of the "virgin" part of the virgin/whore dicotomy.

Women aren't saints: we're human. That means some are good, some are bad, some act good sometimes, and bad others. Human is a whole spectrum, not a narrow avenue.

Gender essentialists (on either side) irritate the hell out of me.


I hate it when violent women are dismissed as "trying to be men." No, they're trying to be VIOLENT, and I'd appreciate it if people would stop treating violence as a natural male thing.


This makes me really glad again that I`m pushing all my kids to do karate, where boys and girls really are treated equally.

But my husband initially opposed it for our daughter, because it`s "not a feminine sport, like volleyball or tennis."

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