"We are only just now beginning to consider the relation of one individual to a second individual objectively and without prejudice, and our attempts to live such a relationship have no model before them. And yet in the changes that time has brought about there are already many things that can help our timid novitiate.
The girl and the woman, in their new individual unfolding, will only in passing be imitators of male behavior and misbehavior and repeaters of male professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions, it will become obvious that women were going through the abundance and variation of those (often ridiculous) disguises just so that they could purify their own essential nature and wash out the deforming influence of the other sex. Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully, and more confidently, must surely have become riper and more human in their depths than light, easygoing man, who is not pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of any bodily fruit and who arrogant and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity of woman, carried in her womb through all her suffering and humiliation, will come to life when she has stripped of the conventions of mere femaleness in the transformations of her outward status, and those men who do not feel it yet approaching will be astonished by it. Someday (and even now, especially in the countries of northern Europe, trustworthy signs are already speaking and shining), someday there will be girls and women who name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only of life and reality: the female human being.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
(Excerpt from Letters to a Young Poet. May 14, 1904)