The shipping industry  is so staid and conservative that those who speak or write candidly often invite disdain or even anger from their audience. However, a little more candour would be good for the maritime community. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing if seafarers stood up for their rights and raised their individual and collective voices against abuses.

The following quotes, all from women, deal with the general subject of men. The authors do so with such frankness that the less enlightened males might feel offended. But given the fact that the world of shipping is still very much dominated by men and haunted by machismo, these quotes make for interesting reading — for men as well as for women.

Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are young men to rocks and mountains?

— Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

I don’t think, sir, you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.

— Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)

Immodest creature, you do not want a woman who will accept your faults, you want the one who pretends you are faultless – one who will caress the hand that strikes her and kiss the lips that lie to her.

— George Sand (pen name of Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin), (Letter, 17 June 1837) The Intimate Journal of George Sand (1929) translated and edited by Marie Jenney Howe

I do like men who come out frankly and own that they are not gods. How can we think them so when such awful mistakes are being made all the time by these great creatures? See them sick, as I do, then you know them.

— Louisa May Alcott, Jo’s Boys (1886)

Meek wifehood is no part of my profession;
I am your friend, but never your possession.

 Vera Brittain, “Married Love”, Poems of the War and After (1934)

Men are made fools by the gleaming limbs of women, and, lo, in a minute they are become discolored carnelians. A trifle, a little, the likeness of a dream, and death comes as the end.

— Agatha Christie, Death Comes as the End (1945)

It is primarily men who turn to electuaries, and ‘virility pills’ and hormone therapy to preserve their powers of erection. Nowadays there are some women who undergo treatment to delay the menopause. But although they may still be anxious about remaining young, after the menopause has happened, they do not have to worry about retaining sexual ‘vigour’.

— Simone de Beauvoir, The Coming of Age ((La Vieillesse) (1970); 1996 edition translated by Patrick O’Brian

Men in general, the sisters concluded, were gullible but not to be trusted, greedy but frivolous with money, predatory but easily trapped.

? Karen Abbott, Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America’s Soul (2008)

It’s always an imprudence to step between a man and the reflection of his own cleverness.

— Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (2005)

Men of the most brilliant intelligence can be born, live and die in error and falsehood.

— Simone Weil, Simone Weil : An Anthology (1986) edited by Sian Miles

The man looks the world full in the face, as if it were made for his uses and fashioned to his liking. The woman takes a sidelong glance at it, full of subtlety, even of suspicion.

— Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography (1928)

Without tenderness, a man is uninteresting.

— Marlene Dietrich, as quoted in

Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him–or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.

— Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1935)

The driving in Riyadh was deadly. Turbocharged testosterone without creative or sexual outlet translated into deadly acceleration.

— Qanta A. Ahmed, M.D., In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom (2008)

Janie had robbed him of his illusion of irresistible maleness that all men cherish, which was terrible.

— Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

~ Barista Uno

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