Give Her a Pattern by D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Simple ideas, taken seriously

The real trouble about women is that they must always go on to adapt themselves to men’s theories of women, as they always have done. When a woman is thoroughly herself, she is being what her type of man wants her to be. When a woman is hysterical it’s because she doesn’t quite know what to be, which pattern to follow, which man’s picture of woman to live up to.

For, of course, just as there are many men in the world, there are many masculine theories of what women should be. But men run to type, and it is the type, not the individual, that produces the theory, or “ideal” of woman. Those very grasping gentry, the Romans, produced a theory or ideal of the matron, which fitted in very nicely with the Roman property lust. “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion.”–So Caesar’s wife kindly proceeded to be above…

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