excerpted from Joanna Russ’ The Female Man:
…I wept aloud, I wrung my hands, crying: I am a poet! I am Shelley! I am a genius! … Lady, your slip’s showing. …
There is the vanity training, the obedience training, the self-effacement training, the deference training, the dependency training, the passivity training, the rivalry training, the stupidity training, the placation training. How am I to put this together with my human life, my intellectual life, my solitude, my transcendence, my brains, and my fearful, fearful ambition? I failed miserably and thought it was my own fault. You can’t unite woman and human any more than you can unite matter and anti-matter; they are designed to not to be stable together and they make just as big an explosion inside the head of the unfortunate girl who believes in both.
Do you enjoy playing with other people’s children-for ten minutes? Good! This reveals that you have Maternal Instinct and you will be forever wretched if you do not instantly have a baby of your own (or three or four) and take care of that unfortunate victimized object twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, for eighteen years, all by yourself. (Don’t expect much help.)
Are you lonely? Good! This shows that you have Feminine Incompleteness; get married and do all your husband’s personal services, buck him up when he’s low, teach him about sex (if he wants you to), praise his technique (if he doesn’t), have a family if he wants a family, follow him if he changes cities, get a job if he needs you to get a job, and this too goes on seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year forever and ever amen unless you find yourself a divorcee at thirty with (probably two) small children. (Be a shrew and ruin yourself, too, how about it?)