Women's Decision-Making: Common Themes-- Irish Voices

By Nancy W. Veeder | Go to book overview

2
How Women Are Supposed to Make Decisions: Old Explanations

Simply, you reply, that we, daughters of educated men, are between the devil and the deep sea. Behind us lies the patriarchal system; the private house, with its nullity, its immorality, its hypocrisy, its servility. Before us lies the public world, the professional system, with its possessiveness, its jealousy, its pugnacity, its greed. The one shuts us up like slaves in a harem; the other forces us to circle, like caterpillars head to tail, round and round the mulberry tree, the sacred tree, of property. It is a choice of evils. Each is bad.

Virginia Woolf ( 1938)

On the world scene, do we not see a supremely gifted yet somehow boyish mankind playing with history and technology, and this following a male pattern as embarrassingly simple (if technologically complex) as the play constructions of the preadolescent? Do we not see the themes of the toy microcosm dominating an expanding human space: height, penetration, and speed; collision, explosion--and cosmic super-police? In the meantime, women have found their identities in the care suggested in their bodies and in the needs of their issue, and seem to have taken it for granted that the outer world space belongs to the men.

Erik Erikson ( 1965)

Most anthropologists, developmental psychologists, and sociologists have evolved a static deterministic model of female personality development, which is said to be affiliative rather than active, expressive/affective rather

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