Quotes – historical obstacles

QUOTES – HISTORICAL AND CURRENT BIASES

Women have often been the brunt of insult, as well as praise. The care role in particular has been put on a pedestal as nurturing society  yet devalued in tax law for years. It may be instructive to examine some of the prejudices and stereotypes that have surfaced in history

SAMPLE BIASES

It  is the law of nature that woman should be held under the dominance of man, Confucius 551- 479 BC

Women may be said to be inferior to men  A proper wife should be as obedient as a slave. Aristotle 384- 322 BC

Woman is always a fickle, unstable thing  .A woman is an unpredictable and fickle creature- Virgil 70 – 19 BC

It is better to be alone with God than in company with a woman – St. Jerome- 347-420  AD

Women are one and all a set of vultures- Petronius  27- 66AD “Satyricon”

Women are less perfect than men because their blood is colder –  Galen 129-210 AD

Bitter it is to have a  woman’s shape. It would be hard to name a thing more base. If it’s a son born to the hearth and home, he comes to earth as if he’s heaven sent. To breed a girl is something no one wants. – Fu Hsuan 200 AD

A wife and children are impediments to great enterprises –  Francis Bacon 1561- 1626

A woman is but an animal and an animal not of the highest order- Edmund Burke 1729- 1797

Most women have no character at all  – Alexander Pope 1688- 1744

Woman was made especially to please man- Jean Jacques Rousseau- 1712 – 1778

Like her sex in general, she had disputed his little point, merely for the sake of disputing it. Jean – Paul Friedrich Richter 1763- 1825

When female minds are embittered their malignity is generally exerted in a rigorous and spiteful superintendence of domestic trifles – Samuel Johnson 1709- 1784

 A woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well but you are surprised to find it done at all- Samuel Johnson 1709-  1784

Nature intended women to be our slaves. They are our property. Napoleon Bonaparte 1769- 1821

Female evolution stopped before men’s to preserve their organs for childbearing Herbert Spencer- 1820-1903

Higher education has eliminated the witty woman- H. G. Wells 1866- 1946

I consider that women who authors, lawyers or politicians are monsters- Pierre Auguste Renoir 1841- 1919

What a typical women you are. You talk sentimentally and you are thoroughly selfish the whole time..Women are the decorative sex. They never have anything to say but they say it charmingly- Oscar Wilde 1854- 1900

With women, the heart argues, not the mind- Matthew Arnold 1822- 1888

Few of the soft sex are very stable- Lord Byron 1788- 1824

When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her  sexual organs. Everything in woman has one solution. It is called pregnancy.  Friedrich Nietzsche – 1844- 1900

Home is a charitable institution for indolent women. August Strindberg 1849- 1912

I consider that women who authors, lawyers or politicians are monsters- Pierre Auguste Renoir 1841- 1919

Female evolution stopped before men’s to preserve their organs for childbearing Herbert Spencer- 1820-1903

Women are frequently referred to as poultry. We cluck at hen parties. When we aren’t henpecking men, we are egging them on. In youth we are chicks. Mothers watch over their broods. Later we are old biddies with an empty-nest syndrome.  Is it just a coincidence that so many women’s wages are chicken feed? -Association of Operating Nurses Journal- 1800s

When children cease to be altogether desirable, women cease to be altogether necessary – John Langdon Davies 1897- 1971


Educating a beautiful woman is like pouring honey into a fine Swiss watch- everything stops- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.  1922- 2007

They have the right to work wherever they want to as long as they have dinner ready when you get home John Wayne  1907- 1979

All mass movements have a lunatic fringe but women’s lib seems to have a lunatic centre – Dr. John Rich 1971

Move on, little girl. We have more important issues to talk about here than women’s liberation  William F. Pepper 1960s

All mass movements have a lunatic fringe but women’s lib seems to have a lunatic centre – Dr. John Rich 1971

2003 – Canada -submissions by lobby groups to the Canadian government arguing for 3rd party childcare and hinting that anything else was not worthwhile

            High quality regulated child care is better than informal situations in which   children are likely to spend their days in environments that may be neither             stimulating nor safe

            The daycare program promotes women’s equality by enabling women to             participate in the workforce 

            With daycare, women are much more likely to use their full range of talents and             abilities

            Daycare gives an opportunity for parents, especially mothers to be economically             productive

            A cut in welfare payments of 20% would make staying at home with children less             attractive and less feasible for many lone mothers The number employed is             projected to increase by nearly 11 percentage points 

            .A combination of reduced social assistance payments and enhanced wages will             encourage employment, raise average incomes and increase the number of             children participating in organized early childhood care 

Child care is acore service and one of the city’s competitive advantages 

We need daycare to ensure that families have the capacity to succeed   

B. Comment:

The care role, historically done by women more than men, has anchored society yet not been valued officially. In economics it has been ignored and in tax policy actively discouraged, with pressure to do paid work instead. To address why the care role has been treated as lesser is complicated.

Over the years some have felt the best answer was just to escape the role. Some felt the answer was to get women into paid careers to have the income that goes with those, as the liberation.  Others felt the answer was to get men to share some of the care roles at home as shared burden.


However these steps alone did not lead to valuing the care role itself,.

It became apparent that there were levels of the problem – discrimination against women in general, discrimination against women in the paid workforce and discrimination against the care role.  Addressing these biases has been done, step by step and often separately.

Removing gender bias in the language, in voting rights, in property and banking rights was one step.


Removing gender bias at the paid workplace was another step. Women wanted equal hiring rights, equal promotions rights, maternity benefits, equal pay there and equal presence on board of directors, equal numbers as CEOs and legislators, judges and prime ministers

The third step however is also vital. It is to value the care role in the home.

In the 1960s and 70s it may have seemed like challenge enough to notice that the blue collar work and the white collar worker are of equal value in society. It was not yet on the radar to value the ones whose work clothes had no collar and were practical washable outfits for taking care of children.

 It seemed like challenge enough to notice that those who worked sitting down got paid more than those who worked standing up.  It was not even on the radar to notice that those who were on the floor cleaning it, also had equal value.


It seemed like challenge enough to notice that pregnant employees needed to give birth and  nurse a baby  so deserved time away from the paid job. It was not even on the radar to say that giving birth and nursing a baby are vital to society, even without paid work attachment.


However in most nations the first two goals have been mostly met.  Addressing the biases is not complete until the care role is also valued. The role itself, done by women or men, has not been fully recognized for its economic contribution to the economy and the rights of those who provide care of others has not been respected for its dignity and equality.

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