"Men in Western cultures began redefining themselves and their relationship to the world in an effort to free themselves from the Divine Right of kings, oppressive myths, and religions. They would be separate, autonomous indiviudals, guided by reason alone...Because males set the standard, maturity in the New World became equated with autonomy and independence."
All social relationships are distorted when it is believed that maturity requires cutting ties to others, when the assertion of self is thought to be at the expense of others (Hirsch 1989). A woman who holds the view that one advances at the expense of others will feel forced to choose between herself and others (Gilligan, 1982/1983). She can either assert herself and cause harm to others or she can stand in the background curtailing her own development so her children and husband might prosper. In contrast, those like Harriet Jacobs who assume they can advance themselves while lifting up others have a way of thinking that can empower everyone in the relationship (Debold, Wilson, and Malave, 1993)."
— Mary Belenky, et al, A Tradition That Has No Name