Carol Gilligan

Carol
Gilligan
1936

American Feminist, Ethicist, Psychologist, Professor at New York University and Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge

Author Quotes

While men represent powerful activity as assertion and aggression, women in contrast portray acts of nurturance as acts of strength.

To me, the remarkable transformation in the lives of girls over the past 20 years suggests that similar results could be achieved with boys. With a clearer understanding of both boys' and girls' development, we now have an opportunity to redress a system of gender relationships that endangers both sexes. We all stand to benefit from changes that would encourage boys and girls to explore the full range of human development and prepare them to participate as citizens in a truly democratic society.

The women's movement is taking a different form right now, and it is because it has been so effective and so successful that there's a huge counter movement to try to stop it, to try to divide women from one another, to try to almost foment divisiveness.

The hardest times for me were not when people challenged what I said, but when I felt my voice was not heard.

The blind willingness to sacrifice people to truth, however, has always been the danger of an ethics abstracted from life.

My research suggests that men and women may speak different languages that they assume are the same, using similar words to encode disparate experiences of self and social relationships.

Many women have told me they remember where they were when they read the book, and how they felt suddenly that what they really thought or felt about things made sense.

I've found that if I say what I'm really thinking and feeling, people are more likely to say what they really think and feel. The conversation becomes a real conversation.

It all goes back, of course, to Adam and Eve - a story which shows among other things, that if you make a woman out of a man, you are bound to get into trouble.

In the different voice of women lies the truth of an ethic of care, the tie between relationship and responsibility, and the origins of aggression in the failure of connection.

Implicitly adopting the male life as the norm, they have tried to fashion women out of a masculine cloth. It all goes back to Adam and Eve a story which shows . . . that if you make a woman out of man, you are bound to get into trouble.

I used to tell women graduate students, half-seriously, that the role of slightly rebellious daughter was one of the better roles for women living in patriarchy.

I don't see myself as an icon. I was very moved by the response to my book it brought me into relationship with many people whom I otherwise would not have met. I also discovered that in becoming a public figure, I became a focus for all kinds of projections that had little to do with me.

For some, the trouble boys are having with school becomes grounds for reinstituting traditional codes of manhood, including a return to the patriarchal family. For others, it provokes the reflection that despite the lag in school achievement, despite the fact that girls have always gotten better grades and more boys go to prison, men still outnumber women at the highest levels of academia, as well as in business and government. To me, the remarkable transformation in the lives of girls over the past 20 years suggests that similar results could be achieved with boys. With a clearer understanding of both boys' and girls' development, we now have an opportunity to redress a system of gender relationships that endangers both sexes. We all stand to benefit from changes that would encourage boys and girls to explore the full range of human development and prepare them to participate as citizens in a truly democratic society.

Author Picture
First Name
Carol
Last Name
Gilligan
Birth Date
1936
Bio

American Feminist, Ethicist, Psychologist, Professor at New York University and Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge