...Women have preserved this `baby look' for as long as possible so as to make the world continue to believe in the darling, sweet little girl she once was, and she relies on the protective instinct in man to make him take care of her.As with everything a woman undertakes on her own initiative, this whole maneuvre is as incredible as it is stupid. It is amazing, in fact, that it succeeds. It would appear very shortsighted to encourage such an ideal of beauty. For how can any woman hope to maintain it beyond the age of twenty-five? Despite every trick of the cosmetics industry, despite magazine advice against thinking or laughing (both tend to create wrinkles), her actual age will inevitably show'- through in the end. And what on earth is a man to do with a grown-up face when he has been manipulated into considering only helpless, appealing little girls to be creatures of beauty?What is a men to do with a woman when the smooth curves have become flabby tires of flesh, the skin slack and pallid, when the childish tones have grown shrill and the laughter sounds like neighing? What is to become of this shrew when her face no longer atones for her ceaseless inanities and when the cries of `Ooh' and Ah' begin to drive him out of his mind? This mummified `child' will never fire a man's erotic fantasy again. One might think her power broken at last.But no, she still manages to get her own way - and for two reasons. The first is obvious: she now has children, who enable her to continue feigning helplessness. As for the second - there are simply not enough young women to go around.It is a safe bet that, given the choice, man would trade in his grown-up child-wife for a younger model, but, as the ratio between the sexes is roughly equal, not every man can have a younger woman. And as he has to have a wife of some sort. he prefers to keep the one he already possesses. This is easy to prove. Given the choice, a man will always choose a younger woman.
A friend or an enemy can tell me something about my subjective being, a casual lover can judge my body — the man I love judges my entire being. Every one of his caresses tells me how I am: attractive, desirable. Every one of his questions and answers tells me what I am: a person with whom he wants to enjoy himself, who interests him more than all the others he knows. By choosing me among all others, my love has made me unique; I alone in all the world am the one he loves, and no other. If I am lucky in love, the definitions become more precise from day to day; after each date I know even better than before what I want to know about myself. The others can say what they like about me; I don't have to believe a word of it. Only the one I love can tell me about myself. Since his definitions grow increasingly precise, my dependence on him also grows more acute as time goes on, but he is in the same position with regard to me. I tell him that I belong to him alone, that he can do with me what he likes, that I cannot live without him.
There are men who carefully manoeuvre a large limousine out of the garage at eight o'clock every morning. Others leave an hour earlier, traveling in a middle-class sedan. Still others leave when it is not yet light, wearing overalls and carrying lunch boxes, to catch buses, subways, or trains to factories or building sites. By a trick of fate, it is always the latter, the poorest, who are exploited by the least attractive women. For, unlike women (who have an eye for money), men notice only woman's external appearance. Therefore, the more desirable women in their own class are always being snatched away from under their noses by men who happen to earn more.No matter what a particular man does or how he spends his day, he has one thing in common with all other men - he spends it in a degrading manner. And he himself does not gain by it. It is not his own livelihood that matters: he would have to struggle far less for that, since luxuries do not mean anything to him anyway it is the fact that he does it for others that makes him so tremendously proud. He will undoubtedly have a photograph of his wife and children on his desk, and will miss no opportunity to hand it around.No matter what a man's job may be - bookkeeper, doctor, bus driver, or managing director - every moment of his life will be spent as a cog in a huge and pitiless system - a system designed to exploit him to the utmost, to his dying day. (...) We have long ceased to play the games of childhood. As children, we became bored quickly and changed from one game to another. A man is like a child who is condemned to play the same game for the rest of his life.