A Woman to Know: Margaret Mead

Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump: you have to get it right the first time.— Margaret

This newsletter was very hard to write because Margaret Mead is endlessly quotable.

Throughout her seven decades of groundbreaking anthropological field work, she studied sexual freedom in South Pacific cultures, authored dozens of books on Western family life, traveled the world researching gender politics and drew controversy for her then-radical opinions on women's liberation.

A selection of Mead quotables, for your own rotation:

"Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man."

"Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited."

"I must admit that I measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to his or her fellow human beings."

"I think extreme heterosexuality is a perversion."

"I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world."

"I do not believe in using women in combat, because females are too fierce."

"I have spent most of my time studying the lives of other peoples — faraway peoples — so that Americans might better understand themselves."

"Sooner or later I'm going to die, but I'm never going to retire."

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