The Man-Made World Quotes

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The Man-Made World The Man-Made World by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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The Man-Made World Quotes (showing 1-22 of 22)
“Through it [literature] we know the past, govern the present, and influence the future.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“If a given idea has been held in the human mind for many generations, as almost all our common ideas have, it takes sincere and continued effort to remove it; and if it is one of the oldest we have in stock, one of the big, common, unquestioned world ideas, vast is the labor of those who seek to change it.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World; Or, Our Androcentric Culture
“[Christianity] is a religion for slaves and women!' said the warrior of old. (Slaves and women were largely the same thing.) 'It is a religion for slaves and women' says the advocate of the Superman.

Well? Who did the work of all the ancient world? Who raised the food and garnered it and cooked it and served it? Who built the houses, the temples, the aqueducts, the city wall? Who made the furniture, the tools, the weapons, the utensils, the ornaments--made them strong and beautiful and useful? Who kept the human race going, somehow, in spite of the constant hideous waste of war, and slowly built up the real industrial civilization behind that gory show?--Why just the slaves and women.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“The world's last prison will be simply a hospital for moral incurables.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“What do we find, here in America, in the field of 'politics?'

We find first a party system which is the technical arrangement to carry on a fight. It is perfectly conceivable that a flourishing democratic government be carried on without any parties at all; public functionaries being elected on their merits, and each proposed measure judged on its merits; though this sounds impossible to the androcentric mind.

'There has never been a democracy without factions and parties!" is protested.

There has never been a democracy, so far--only an androcracy.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“The adjectives and derivatives based on woman's distinctions are alien and derogatory when applied to human affairs; "effeminate"--too female, connotes contempt, but has no masculine analogue; whereas "emasculate"--not enough male, is a term of reproach, and has no feminine analogue. 'Virile'--manly, we oppose to 'puerile'--childish, and the very world 'virtue' is derived from 'vir'--a man.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World: Or, Our Androcentric Culture
“Nowhere else in the whole range of life on earth, is this degradation found--the female capering and prancing before the male. It is absolutely and essentially his function, not hers.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“When we use our past merely as a guide-book, and concentrate our noble emotions on the present and future, we shall improve more rapidly.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World; or, Our Androcentric Culture
“The force of inertia acts in the domain of psychics as well as physics; any idea pushed into the popular mind with considerable force will keep on going until some opposing force--or the slow resistance of friction--stops it at last.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“Society' consists mostly of women. Women carry on most of its processes, therefore women are its makers and masters, they are responsible for it, that is the general belief.

We might as well hold women responsible for harems--or prisoners for jails. To be helplessly confined to a given place or condition does not prove that one has chosen it; much less made it.

No; in an androcentric culture "society," like every other social relation, is dominated by the male and arranged for his convenience.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“Women accept [man-made] conventions, repeat them, enforce them upon their daughters; but they originate with men.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“That which is desirable in young girls means, naturally, that which is desirable to men. Of all cultivated accomplishments the first is 'innocence.' Beauty may or may not be forthcoming; but 'innocence' is 'the chief charm of girlhood.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“There are many who think in one syllable, who say, 'women don't dress to please men--they dress to please themselves--and to outshine other women.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“[I]n exact proportion as women grow independent, educated, wise and free, do they become less submissive to men-made fashions.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“Punishment [is] applied like a rabbit's foot, with as little regard to its efficacy.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“A man hits me--I hit the man a little harder--then he won't do it again.' Unfortunately he did do it again--a little harder still. The effort to hit harder carried on the action and reaction till society, hitting hardest of all, set up a system of legal punishment, of unlimited severity. It imprisoned, it mutilated, it tortured, it killed; it destroyed whole families, and razed contumelious cities to the ground.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“Our laws as we support them now are slow, wasteful, cumbrous systems, which require a special caste to interpret and another to enforce; wherein the average citizen knows nothing of the law, and cares only to evade it when he can, obey it when he must.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“Democratic government is no longer an exercise of arbitrary authority from one above, but is an organization for public service of the people themselves--or will be when it is really attained.

In this change government ceases to be compulsion, and becomes agreement; law ceases to be authority and becomes co-ordination. When we learn the rules of whist or chess we do not obey them because we fear to be punished if we don't, but because we want to play the game.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“It is the old masculine spirit of government as authority which is so slow in adapting itself to the democratic idea of government as service. That it should be a representative government they grasp, but representative of what? of the common will, they say; the will of the majority;--never thinking that it is the common good, the common welfare, that government should represent.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“It is the inextricable masculinity in our idea of government which so revolts at the idea of women as voters. 'To govern:' that means to boss, to control, to have authority; and that only, to most minds. They cannot bear to think of the woman as having control over even their own affairs; to control is masculine, they assume. Seeing only self-interest as a natural impulse, and the ruling powers of the state as a sort of umpire, an authority to preserve the rules of the game while men fight it out forever; they see in a democracy merely a wider range of self interest, a wider, freer field to fight in.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“[C]rime does not decrease in proportion to the severest punishment.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World
“The connection between our archaic system of punishment and our androcentric culture is two-fold. The impulse of resistance, while, as we have seen, of the deepest natural origin, is expressed more strongly in the male than in the female. The tendency to hit back and hit harder has been fostered in him by sex-combat till it has become of great intensity. The habit of authority too, as old as our history; and the cumulative weight of all the religions and systems of law and government, have furthermore built up and intensified the spirit of retaliation and vengeance.

They have even deified this concept, in ancient religions, crediting to God the evil passions of men. As the small boy recited; 'Vengeance. A mean desire to get even with your enemies: 'Vengeance is mine saith the Lord'--'I will repay.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Man-Made World