1. From a thoughtful woman’s point of view, no ethical ideal has deserved our unconditional respect and adherence, because in every ethics crimes against women are mysteriously unnamed or glossed-over… The absence of respect for women’s lives is written into the heart of male theological doctrine, into the structure of the patriarchal family, and into the very language of patriarchal ethics… It is a fiction - not just an “unexamined assumption” - that respect for human life has been an ideal… Women, upon whom most of the burden of respect for life has been placed, know that it is not. We know too much at firsthand about the violence… which over centuries we have been told is the way of the world, but which we exist to mitigate and assuage.
    – Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, Tenth Anniversary Edition (Virago Press, 1992, first published 1976), p269

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