"The knowledge of woman is larger, bigger, deeper, less wordy and clever than that of men. Certainly. But why do not men acknowledge this? They talk about mother-love and mother-wit and instinct, as if they were mysterious tricks. They have no real knowledge, but of things; a sort of superiority they get by being free to be out in the world amongst things; they do not understand people. If a woman is good it is all right; if she is bad it is all wrong. Cherchez la femme. Then everything in life depends upon women? ‘A civilization can never rise above the level of its women.’ Perhaps if women became lawyers, they would change things. Women do not respect law. No wonder, since it is folly, an endless play on words. Portia? She had been quite complacent about being unkind to the Jew. She had been invented by a man. There was no reality in any of Shakespeare’s women. They please men because they show women as men see them. All the other things are invisible; nothing but their thoughts and feelings about men and brothers."
Dorothy Richardson, “The Tunnel” (1919)