Peter Montgomery wrote:
> It's not what they said, Nancy. That's the whole point.
> It's what they did.
I don't understand this. Mary Wollstonecraft _did_ very little (except
survive and also make a mess of much of her life) -- we remember her
_only_ for what she _said_.
There are those we remember both for what they said and what they did:
Mary Wollstonecraft is not really among them.
From another perspective yet, how can you draw such a sharp distinction
between saying and doing. In innumerable instances (probably the vast
majority of really world-changing instances) the doing _was_ the saying.
Consider the ticking time-bomb in The Gettysburg Address, in its opening
words: "Four Score and Seven." Do the arithmetic: those words include
the Declaration of Independence in the Constitution. That has never been
accepted, but it is ticking away there.
> Instead of letting themselves be blocked
> by the male establishment, they challenged it, and rose above
> its pettiness, to do great things for their sex.
Sure, they said things that still ring a bell. And while I don't know
Virginia Woolf anywheres near as well as I would like to, my impression
is that part of what she "said" was to reveal precisely how pettiness
adds up to horror unless challenged, in a big way and constantly. She
suffered from bipolar affective disorder, and no one who had had _that_
experience would ever underestimate the importance of the petty.
> They didn't
> waste their time continually batting at the small-minded for
> recreation. They moved on. Their saying was to a meaningful
> purpose, not for mere personal relief.
Come off it! You're claiming powers of mental telepathy (at a distance
in time and space) here. Neither you nor I have the remotest notion of
what the private motives of either might have been.