Cyprian Kamil Norwid

1821-1883 / Poland

From 'Emancipation Of Women'

Tao much has been written and said both in Poland and abroad regarding the inferiority of women for anyone still to engage with this formal paradox. The philosopher Trentowski raises this assumption to critical respectability when he says that, 'All women sew and cook, yet when we need a well-sewn garment or a good dinner, we choose a tailor or a chef, and not a seamstress or a cook.'

Rather than reply to this acerbum dicturrt, let us agree it is witty, although this is not a weighty virtue in a philosopher...

In our view woman is an organisation which is naturally higher than man The fundamental design of the structure of her body is more beautiful, because the skeleton divides into two almost equal halves. Her whole nervous system is more subtle - her endurance greater - she can bear hunger, thirst and worries longer than man.

Indeed, it must be so naturally, since her organism is through motherhood responsible for TWO lives and must therefore be more perfectly equipped. Aud so it is. From her superiority comes woman's distinctive charm and social influence which in reality confers on her a priesthood, because woman, being the high­est tie between the lonely I and the public We, becomes the first priestess na­turally immolating egotism and prcviding a grounding for the collective social body.

All the insignia of the most ancient peoples representing settlements and cities and also virtues and inspirations, are embodied in female shapes. I think that without the Trojan war there would have been no Europe, and not only I but everyone maintains there could have been no Hellas at all!
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