Oscar Wilde explains Men and Women – take I

Gerald – I suppose society is wonderfully delightful!
Lord Illingworth – To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it simply a tradegy. Society is a necessary thing. No man has any real success in this world unless he has got women to back him, and women rule society. If you have not got women on your side you are quite over. You might just as well be a barrister or a stockbroker, or a journalist at once.
Gerald – It is very difficult to understand women, is it not?
Lord Illingworth – You should never try to understand them. Women are pictures. Men are problems. If you want to know what a woman really means – which, by the way, is always a dangerous thing to do – look at her, don’t listen to her.
Gerald – But women are awfully clever, aren’t they?
Lord Illingworth – One should always tell them so. But, to the philosopher, my dear Gerald, women represent the triumph of mind over morals.
Gerald – How then can women have so much power as you say they have?
Lord Illingworth – The history of women is the history of the worst form of tyranny the world has ever known. The tyranny of the weak over the strong. It is the only tyranny that lasts.”

by Oscar Wilde in A Woman Of No Importance


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