Feminists (and Anti-Feminists) In Their Own Words
In Rapture, Blister, Burn, playwright Gina Gionfriddo explores provocative ideas about the relationship between women and men. Consider these constrasting points of view, through offered in quotes from thinkers, writers, and activists mentioned in the play.
“The education of women should always be relative to that of men. To please, to be useful to us, to make us love and esteem them, to educate us when young, to take care of us when grown up, to advise, to console us, to render our lives easy and agreeable; these are the duties of women at all times, and what they should be taught in their infancy.”— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, or On Education, 1762
“A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, ‘Who am I, and what do I want out of life?’ She mustn’t feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children.
“The problem that has no name — which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities — is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease.”— Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963
“Some part of us chooses the pressure that perfectly fits our need to be taken, to be bad – yes, ultimately to reach orgasm. Need I add that we win in all of our fantasies? Yes, even those involving the so-called rapist, that deus ex machina we roll in to catapult us past a lifetime of women’s rules against sex.”— Nancy Friday, My Secret Garden, 1973
“What I am defending is the real rights of women. A women should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother.”— Phyllis Schlafly, People Magazine, 1975
“The new generation can brag all it wants about the new liberation of the new morality, but it is still the woman who is hurt the most. The new morality isn’t just a 'fad' — it is a cheat and a thief. It robs the woman of her virtue, her youth, her beauty, and her love – for nothing, just nothing. It has produced a generation of young women searching for their identity, bored with sexual freedom, and despondent from the loneliness of living a life without commitment. They have abandoned the old commandments, but they can’t find any new rules that work.”— Phyllis Schlafly, The Power of the Positive Woman, 1977
“CREATE a clear vision of what you want;
LOCATE the person you want to do it with;
ATTRACT him like a magnet;
INSPIRE him to want what you want long term;
MARRY him and get busy being happy!”— "Dr. Phil" McGraw, Love Smart, 2006
- Sam Lasman