"Because woman did not fight back, man quickly took the advantage and made her the scapegoat for all his vices and fears.
He was abashed that his penis moved, unbidden, when he looked at Eve, and so he invented penis envy.
He was terrified by the prospect of his own demise, and so he invented God and His Son to resurrect and redeem him.
He was resentful that another man had preceded him and made love to his mother, so he invented the Virgin Birth and vasectomized his father.
He was intimidated by woman's sexual desire, and so he invented the mutually exclusive virgin and the whore.
He was worried lest woman, resenting his freedom, should want to live and work as he did, and so he invented and ordained the mother in honored vassalage to him.
He was ashamed of growing old and ugly, and even more ashamed of being ashamed, and so he invented female vanity to exorcise and account for these fears."
- Molly Haskell
This quotation is the most "feminist" Molly Haskell ever gets in her excellent overview of the treatment of women in movies from the earliest days of the silents up until the seventies. So if you made it through THAT passage, fellas, you have nothing more to fear. The book is not a shrill feminist diatribe but an extremely readable and cogent examination of these themes. Haskell has described herself as a film critic first and a feminist second and this fact is demonstrated in this admirable film study that I heartily recommend for any and all film fans. And no, at no time does Haskell engage in any "male bashing" so really. . . fellas, don't be scared. Molly won't hurtcha.