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Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

  • Hedda was queasily phobic of children and, by extension, of short people in general. They were too condensed, like undiluted cans of soup — too intensely human and, therefore, too intensely not to be trusted. The mistakes in the basic ingredients — the stupidity, the cruelty — were overpoweringly present.

  • ... gender biases ... have, in our more enlightened spheres, retreated largely to an unconscious level, yet they are all the more powerful for that, making women hesitant to enter the fray and increasing the likelihood that, when they do, their temerity will be rewarded by their being dismissed, sidelined, sloppily and mockingly misconstrued, or — the most elegant of all obliterations — merely ignored. It's all so civilly done that you're never sure that it isn't your own shortcomings being justly evaluated.

    • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein,
    • in Free Inquiry ()
  • [On subtle gender discrimination:] Psychologists call these small but relentless I'm-not-even-sure-if-I'm-imagining-it-perhaps-I'm being-too-sensitive interactions 'micro-aggressions,' and they cite evidence that for women as well as other marginalized groups, these micro-aggressions take more of a psychological toll than overt, hate-filled attacks.

    • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein,
    • in Free Inquiry ()
  • To matter ... Is there any human will deeper than that? ... We don't want to live when we become convinced that we don't, can't, will never matter. ... We no sooner discover that we are than we desperately want that which we are to matter.

  • To matter, to mind. ... What we mind is in our power, but whether we matter may not be — and there's the tragedy. ... Can anyone truthfully say, I don't matter and I don't mind?

  • Everyone loves a hero. What we differ on is the question of who the heroes are, because we differ over what matters. And who matters is a function of what matters. [If] what matters is intelligence, the people who matter are the intelligent, and the people who matter the most, the heroes, are the geniuses.

  • Those who share my heroes are, in the deepest sense, of my own kind.

  • Having your husband at a party is like adding anchovies to a salad. I love anchovies, but you can't taste anything else.

  • That's one of the compensations for being mediocre. One doesn't have to worry about becoming mediocre.

  • 'Mother' is not an identity one can just try on for size ...

  • And now having a child has been taken out of the sphere of biological determinism and placed instead in the domain of intentional action. Another option to consider and decide upon. And ... not to choose is to choose.

  • Youth is not an essential, but rather an accidental property. Nobody is in essence young. One either ceases to be or ceases to be young.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, U.S. writer

(1950)