Maternity is on the face of it an unsociable experience. The selfishness that a woman has learned to stifle or to dissemble where she alone is concerned, blooms freely and unashamed on behalf of her offspring.
In contemporary society [the typical lady] is an archaism, and can't hardly understand herself unless she knows her own history.
The lady is proverbial for her skill in eluding definition ... she may be described merely as the female of the favored social class.
Every discussion of the status of woman is complicated by the existence of the lady. She overshadows the rest of her sex.
The lady ... is an anomaly to which the western nations of this planet have grown accustomed but which would require a great deal of explanation before a Martian could understand her.
The lady ... is not a producer; in most communities productive labor is by consent unladylike. On the other hand she is the heaviest of consumers, and theorists have not been wanting to maintain that the more she spends the better off society is.
the true lady is in theory either a virgin or a lawful wife.
the lady is almost the only picturesque survival in a social order which tends less and less to tolerate the exceptional. ... In the age-long war between men and women, she is a hostage in the enemy's camp. Her fortunes do not rise and fall with those of women but with those of men.
The idle wife ranked with the ornamentally wrought weapon and with the splendid offering to the gods as a measure of the man's power to waste, and therefore his superiority over other men. ... As is the case with any other object of art, her uselessness is her use.
As the gentleman decays, the lady survives as the strongest evidence of his former predominance.
Until changing economic conditions made the thing actually happen, struggling early society would hardly have guessed that woman's road to gentility would lie through doing nothing at all.
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