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Marilyn French

  • She died for truth, and she died of it. Some truths are mortal illnesses.

  • 'I hate discussions of feminism that end up with who does the dishes,' she said. So do I. But at the end, there are always the damned dishes.

  • Marriage accustomed one to the good things, so one came to take them for granted, but it magnified the bad things, so they came to feel as painful as a grain in one's eye. An open window, a forgotten quart of milk, a TV set left blaring, socks on the bathroom floor could become occasions for incredible rage.

  • Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their relations with men, in their relations with women, all men are rapists and that's all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, and their codes.

  • Wife or whore, women are the most scorned class in America. You may hate niggers and PRs and geeks, but you're a little frightened of them. Women don't get even the respect of fear.

  • When a man loses superiority, he loses potency. That's what all this talk about castrating women is about. Castrating women are those who refuse to pretend men are better than they are and better than women are. The simple truth — that men are only equal — can undermine a culture more devastatingly than any bomb. Subversion is telling the truth.

  • All of the women I know feel a little like outlaws.

  • Survival is an art. It requires the dulling of the mind and the senses, and a delicate attunement to waiting, without insisting on precision about just what it is you are waiting for.

  • ... in a way it doesn't matter whether you open doors or close them, you still end up in a box.

  • ... loneliness is not a longing for company, it is a longing for kind. And kind means people who can see you who you are, and that means they have enough intelligence and sensitivity and patience to do that.

  • Habit is a good thing for the human race. ... You have to spend so much energy just getting through the day when you have no habits that you don't have any left for productive labor.

  • They leave the genitals off Barbie and Ken, but they manufacture every kind of war toy. Because sex is more threatening to us than aggression.

  • She turned, as always, to analysis, being a twentieth-century woman and so subject to the superstition that what the mind could understand couldn't any longer hurt the heart, that what the tongue could utter was in the hand's control.

  • Never underestimate the power of helplessness!

  • ... you can't equate passive dependent power with assertive power because the dependent kind isn't fun, it doesn't give you a kick, it just allows you to survive.

  • ... there's no justice, there's only love.

  • I'd discovered you never know yourself until you're tested and that you don't even know you're being tested until afterwards, and that in fact there isn't anyone giving the test except yourself.

  • There is no power greater than the power of passive dependency.

  • There's power to: and everyone should have that, but everyone doesn't. Power to play Bach, or tennis, or boccie if you like. And there's power over; and no one should have that, but people do.

  • ... it isn't success after all, is it, if it isn't an expression of your deepest energies?

  • ... rain is one thing the British do better than anybody else.

  • The very notion of superiority of one kind over another will have to disappear, although differences among kind will remain.

  • Even disasters — there are always disasters when you travel — can be turned into adventures.

    • Marilyn French

Marilyn French, U.S. writer

(1929 - 2009)

Full name: Marilyn Edwards French.