"It is quite possible that in this manner a man’s sensibility and sexuality are being modified. A new aesthetics has already been born. If the fashion of flat chests and narrow hips — the boyish form — has had its brief season, at least the overopulent ideal of the past centuries has not returned. The feminine body is asked to be flesh, but with discretion; it is to be slender and not loaded with fat; muscular, supple, strong, it is bound to suggest transcendence, it must not be pale like a too shaded hothouse plant, but preferably tanned like a workman’s torso from being bared to the open sun. Woman’s dress in becoming practical need not make her appear sexless: on the contrary, short skirts made the most of legs and thighs as never before. There is no reason why working should take away woman’s sex appeal. It may be disturbing to contemplate a woman as at once a social personage and carnal prey: in a recent series of drawings by Peynet (1948), we see a young man break his engagement because he was seduced by the pretty mayoress who was getting ready to officiate at his marriage. For a woman to hold some “man’s position” and be desirable at the same time has long been a subject for more or less ribald joking; but gradually the impropriety and the irony have become blunted, and it would seem that a new form of eroticism is coming into being — perhaps it will give rise to new myths."
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
"…the more powerful a woman is under patriarchy, the more “unsexed” she becomes in the eyes of others as her female cultural identity recedes beneath the mantle of male-identified power and the masculine images associated with it."
Allan G. Johnson, The Gender Knot
"The world I think anticipates your gender before you do. I think finally gender is a public thought."
Eileen Myles, “What Is Gender Today?”