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Betty Rollin

  • ... biological possibility and desire are not the same as biological need. Women have child-bearing equipment. To choose not to use the equipment is no more blocking what is instinctive than it is for a man who, muscles or no, chooses not to be a weight lifter.

    • Betty Rollin,
    • "Motherhood: Who Needs It?" in Look ()
  • ... unlike a disappointing marriage, disappointing motherhood cannot be terminated by divorce.

    • Betty Rollin,
    • "Motherhood: Who Needs It?" in Look ()
  • Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman who longs to be a sex object. The difference is that is not all she longs to be.

  • [On her mastectomy:] Fact is, I'm the same car I always was, except now I have a dent in my fender.

  • ... in my mother's ferocious striving to give me 'everything,' she had never considered that giving me 'everything' would make me (1) different (from her), and (2) guilty (about what I got). Different and Guilty are not the stuff on which comradeship is built.

  • [On her mastectomy:] Pity is delicious. I was crazy about the pity I got. It was the best kind, too. I did not get, nor did I want, the drooling, mewing kind. I preferred something more restrained but deep-felt. Quality pity.

  • ... to be afraid is in a way to be hopeful, because to be afraid means that you haven't given up. You know it doesn't help, but you keep thrashing. The monster has you pinned to the wall, but you're not ready to say, 'Oh, hell, eat me.'

  • ... if analysis works, you find out that the awful truths about yourself are not so awful. At the very least, you find out they're not original.

  • ... what happened to her is what happens to a lot of older people for whom things have turned out pretty well. They quit squeezing life as if it were a recalcitrant piece of fruit and start drinking the juice.

  • Disease may score a direct hit on only one member of a family, but shrapnel tears the flesh of the others.

Betty Rollin, U.S. writer, actor, TV journalist