To recommend that women become identical to men, would be simple reversal, and would defeat the whole point of androgyny, and for that matter, feminism: in both, the whole point is choice.— Carolyn Heilbrun
The most exciting Carolyn Heilbrun quotes that will inspire your inner self
A literary academic can no more pass a bookstore than an alcoholic can pass a bar.
Odd, the years it took to learn one simple fact: that the prize just ahead, the next job, publication, love affair, marriage always seemed to hold the key to satisfaction but never, in the longer run, sufficed.
Androgyny suggests a spirit of reconciliation between the sexes.
the term 'androgyny' ... defines a condition under which the characteristics of the sexes, and the human impulses expressed by men and women, are not rigidly assigned. Androgyny seeks to liberate the individual from the confines of the appropriate.
Professors of literature collect books the way a ship collects barnacles, without seeming effort.
Normal is absolutely my least favorite word.
Androgyny suggests a spirit of reconciliation between the sexes;
it suggests, further, a full range of experience…it suggests a spectrum upon which human beings choose their places without regard to propriety or custom.
Ardent, intelligent, sweet, sensitive, cultivated, erudite.
These are the adjectives of praise in an androgynous world. Those who consider them epithets of shame or folly ought not to be trusted with leadership, for they will be men hot for power and revenge, certain of right and wrong.
That is the point of quotations. One can use another's words to be insulting.
Nostalgia is a dangerous emotion, both because it is powerless to act in the real world, and because it glides so easily into hatred and resentment against those who have taken our Eden from us.
I don't know why togetherness was ever held up as an ideal of marriage.
Away from home for both, then together, that's much better.
The sign of a good marriage is that everything is debatable and challenged;
nothing is turned into law or policy. The rules, if any, are known only to the two players, who seek no public trophies.
The married are those who have taken the terrible risk of intimacy and, having taken it, know life without intimacy to be impossible.
Whether animals admit it or not, they and I communicate.
Thinking about profound social change, conservatives always expect disaster, while revolutionaries confidently anticipate utopia. Both are wrong.
The compulsion to find a lover and husband in a single person has doomed more women to misery than any other illusion.
Once you are thought selfish, not only are you forgiven a life designed mainly to suit yourself, which in anyone else would appear monstrous, but if an impulse to generosity should by chance overpower you, you will get five times the credit of some poor selfless soul who has been oozing kindness for years.
Most full lives are filled with empty gestures.
Why do long marriages occasionally endow their inhabitants with a rare kind of equilibrium otherwise almost unknown in human relations? My guess is that the value of the moment has at last overshadowed the long history of resentments, betrayals, and boredom.
We in middle age require adventure.
We cannot guess the outcome of our actions.
.. Which is why our actions must always be acceptable in themselves, and not as strategies.
Ideas move fast when their time comes.
Ironically, women who acquire power are more likely to be criticized for it than are the men who have always had it.
Today's youth seem finally to have understood that only by freeing woman from her exclusively sexual role can man free himself from his ordained role in the rat-race: that of the rat.
As long as women are isolated one from the other, not allowed to offer other women the most personal accounts of their lives, they will not be part of any narratives of their own…women will be staving off destiny and not inviting or inventing or controlling it.
Everyone likes to talk shop, which is the most interesting talk in the world, in the beginning.
. . . a relationship has a momentum, it must change and develop, and will tend to move toward the point of greatest commitment.
Power is the ability to take one's place in whatever discourse is essential to action and the right to have one's part matter.
Only a marriage with partners strong enough to risk divorce is strong enough to avoid it.
Life has this in common with prizefighting: if you've received a belly blow, it's likely to be followed by a right to the jaw.
Ideas move rapidly when their time comes.
Whether deliberately, unconsciously or accidentally, she seems to have composed her own life so that its fitful, rudderless, and self-doubting first half was alchemized into gold when the austere bluestocking became the fallen woman.
We women have lived too much with closure: "If he notices me, if I marry him, if I get into college, if I get this work accepted, if I get this job" -- there always seems to loom the possibility of something being over, settled, sweeping clear the way for contentment. This is the delusion of a passive life. When the hope for closure is abandoned, when there is an end to fantasy, adventure for women will begin.
One hires lawyers as on hires plumbers, because one wants to keep one's hands off the beastly drains.
... success always worries academics, when it moves into the popular world.
In former days, everyone found the assumption of innocence so easy;
today we find fatally easy the assumption of guilt.
Is there any vanity greater than the vanity of those who believe themselves without it?
one sank into the ancient sin of anomie when challenges failed.
You can flush my ashes down the toilet, for all I care.
People who are genuinely involved in life, not just living a routine they've contrived to protect them from disaster, always seem to have more demanded of them than they can easily take on.
a revolutionary marriage ... [is] one in which both partners have work at the center of their lives and must find a delicate balance that can support both together and each individually.
Power consists to a large extent in deciding what stories will be told.
Upon becoming fifty the one thing you can't afford is habit.
Women, I believe, search for fellow beings who have faced similar struggles, conveyed them in ways a reader can transform into her own life, confirmed desires the reader had hardly acknowledge-desires that now seem possible. Women catch courage from the women whose lives and writings they read, and women call the bearer of that courage friend. [p. 138]
Cynic' is the sentimentalist's name for the realist.
One cannot make up stories; one can only retell in new ways the stories one has already heard.
maturity ... is letting things happen.
Male friends do not always face each other; they stand side by side, facing the world.
Shifting problems is the first rule for a long and pleasant life.