To say that men and women are different by nature does not imply that their development and actions are fixed in their genes; it implies only that - to the extent that they are different - they will react in different ways to similar environments.
Women are hardly in a better position than men to know about the nature of women...A person's nature is not something that person can find out just through introspection.
Most feminists, with the exception of a few very radical ones who regard nature as part of the great conspiracy against women, have no worries about any inherent tendencies to differences between the sexes.
Anyone who has tried looking feminine in a gathering of extreme feminists knows that the pressure against that sort of appearance are every bit as strong as any pressures about dress in the wider world...
We want to be loved because we please our lovers; nobody wants to be loved in spite of being unpleasing.
Even if you would have been beautiful according to the taste of five hundred years ago it is not much consolation for being thought ugly now.
Techniques of observation and control have appeared that were unavailable in Mill's time, and these seem to be confirming
that the sexes really are different by nature.
It is hard to imagine anything better calculated to delight the soul of patriarchal man than the sight of women's most vociferous leaders taking an approach to feminism that continues so much of his own work: luring women off into a special area of their own where they will remain screened from the detailed study of philosophy and science to which he always said they were unsuited, teaching them indignation instead of argument, fantasy and metaphor instead of science, and doing all this by continuing his very own technique of persuading women that their true interests lie elsewhere than in the areas colonized by men.
Ideal femininity has never consisted in weakness and incompetence...[N]o man ever wanted a total loss of a woman.
It can be no part of a serious feminism to argue that there is anything inherently wrong with the sensual enjoyment of sex.
Radical feminism cannot go in for a simple rejection of everything which happen to have male fingerprints on it, because to do that is to accept part of the legacy of patriarchy, by conceding that the traditional packages must be left intact, to be
accepted or rejected as wholes. It is to accept that if certain things exist at all, they must take the form they have always taken: one oppressive to women. But that is not in the least radical. What is necessary is to insist on splitting up the
packages...That is the radical thing to do, even though it may produce policies which look reformist to the casual glance.
All of the above excerpts belong to Janet Radcliffe Richards.
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