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George Gissing

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Women, he held, had never been treated with elementary justice. To worship them was no less unfair than to hold them in contempt. The honest man, in our day, should regard a woman without the least bias of sexual prejudice; should view her simply as a fellow-being, who, according to circumstances, might or not be on his own plane. Away with all empty show and form, those relics of barbarism known as chivalry! He wished to discontinue even the habit of hat-doffing in female presence. Was not civility preserved between man and man without such idle form? Why not, then, between man and woman? Unable, as yet, to go the entire length of his principles in every-day life, he endeavoured, at all events, to cultivate in his intercourse with women a frankness of speech, a directness of bearing, beyond the usual. He shook hands as with one of his own sex, spine uncrooked; he greeted them with level voice, not as one who addresses a thing afraid of sound. To a girl or matron whom he liked, he said, in tone if not in phrase, "Let us be comrades." In his opinion this tended notably to the purifying of the social atmosphere. It was the introduction of simple honesty into relations commonly marked — and corrupted — by every form of disingenuousness. Moreover, it was the great first step to that reconstruction of society at large which every thinker saw to be imperative and imminent.
But Constance Bride knew nothing of this, and in her ignorance could not but misinterpret the young man's demeanor. She felt it to be brusque; she imagined it to imply a purposed oblivion of things in the past.
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Ch. II

 
George Gissing

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Men and women meet now to be idle. Is it extraordinary that they do not know each other, and that, in their mutual ignorance, they form no surer friendships? Did they meet to do something together, then indeed they might form some real tie.
But, as it is, they are not there, it is only a mask which is there — a mouth-piece of ready-made sentences about the "topics of the day"; and then people rail against men for choosing a woman "for her face" — why, what else do they see?

 
Florence Nightingale
 

I believe in moderate sexual harassment guidelines. But you can't the Stalinist situation we have in America right now, where any neurotic woman can make any stupid charge and destroy a man's reputation. If there is evidence of false accusation, the accuser should be expelled. Similarly, a woman who falsely accuses a man of rape should be sent to jail. My definition of sexual harassment is specific. It is only sexual harassment — by a man or a woman — if it is quid pro quo. That is, if someone says, "You must do this or I'm going to do that" — for instance, fire you. And whereas touching is sexual harassment, speech is not. I am militant on this. Words must remain free. The solution to speech is that women must signal the level of their tolerance — women are all different. Some are very bawdy. … You must develop the verbal tools to counter offensive language. That s life. Feminism has created a privileged, white middle class of girls who claim they're victims because they want to preserve their bourgeois decorum and passivity.

 
Camille Paglia
 

Men who are in prison for rape think it's the dumbest thing that ever happened... It isn't just a miscarriage of justice; they were put in jail for something very little different from what most men do most of the time and call it sex. The only difference is they got caught. That view is nonremorseful and not rehabilitative. It may also be true. It seems to me we have here a convergence between the rapist's view of what he has done and the victim's perspective on what was done to her. That is, for both, their ordinary experiences of heterosexual intercourse and the act of rape have something in common. Now this gets us into intense trouble. because that's exactly how judges and juries see it who refuse to convict men accused of rape. A rape victim has to prove that it was not intercourse. She has to show that there was force and she resisted, because if there was sex, consent is inferred. Finders of fact look for "more force than usual during the preliminaries." Rape is defined by distinction from intercourse—not nonviolence, intercourse. They ask, does this even look more like f**king or like rape? But what is their standard for sex, and is this question asked from the woman's point of view? The level of force is not adjudicated at her point of violation; it is adjudicated at the standard of the normal level of force. Who sets this standard?"

 
Catharine MacKinnon
 

Now just look at the degree in which women have sympathy — as far as my experience is concerned. And my experience of women is almost as large as Europe. And it is so intimate too. I have lived and slept in the same bed with English Countesses and Prussian Bauerinnen [farm laborers]. No Roman Catholic Supérieure [president of a French university system known for their diverse, eclectic teaching methods] has ever had charge of women of the different creeds that I have had. No woman has excited "passions" among women more than I have. Yet I leave no school behind me. My doctrines have taken no hold among women. ... No woman that I know has ever appris ? apprendre [learned to learn]. And I attribute this to want of sympathy. You say somewhere that women have no attention. Yes. And I attribute this to want of sympathy. ... It makes me mad, the Women's Rights talk about "the want of a field" for them — when I know that I would gladly give ?500 a year [roughly $50,000 a year in 2008] for a Woman Secretary. And two English Lady Superintendents have told me the same thing. And we can't get one.

 
Florence Nightingale
 

In some states of society it may even be that a form of dictatorship is necessary. No doubt in the hands of an able man it may possibly be more efficient than a democratic form of administration. But in the end, I am confident that a free government is best for free people. The old phrase, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people"*, represents a true ideal. It is best for the people as a whole. It is even more clearly the best for the development of the individual man and woman. And since in the end, the character and the prosperity of the nation depend on the character of the individuals that compose it, the form of government which best promotes individual development is the best for the people as a whole.

 
Robert Cecil
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