Friday, July 10, 2009

Thought for the Day: Lewis Hyde on Maternal Virtues and Gender

[Walt] Whitman was a maternal man—a person who cares for and protects life—and the hospitals afforded him a chance to live out his maternalism, his “manly tenderness.”

+ + + + +

To make the wider point here, what we take to be the female professions—child care, social work, nursing, the creation and care of culture, the ministry, teaching (these last, when done by men, being done by effete men, as Vice President Spiro Agnew told us)—all contain a greater admixture of gift labor than male professions—banking, law, management, sales, and so on. Furthermore, the female professions do not pay as well as the male professions.

Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World (NY: Random House, 1979): (p. 269, p. 138).