Public Opinion

"All you've done is to be different from other women and you've made a little success at it. As I've told you before, that is the one unforgivable sin in any society. Be different and be damned! Scarlett, the mere fact that you've made a success of your mill is an insult to every man who hasn't succeeded. Remember, a well-bred female's place is in the home and she should know nothing about this busy, brutal world."

Explanation: 

pg. 678 Rhett trying to explain to Scarlett why the other women disapprove of her.

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Virtue is that quality of generosity which offers itself willingly for another's service, and, being this, it is held by society to be nearly worthless. Sell yourself cheaply and you shall be used lightly and trampled under foot. Hold yourself dearly, however unworthily, and you will be respected. Society, in the mass, lacks woefully in the matter of discrimination. Its one criterion is the opinion of others. Its one test that of self-preservation. Has he preserved his fortune? Has she preserved her purity? Only in rare instances and with rare individuals does there seem to be any guiding light from within.

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You know what crazy is? Crazy is majority rules. Take germs, for example. Uh-huh. Eighteenth century: no such thing, nada, nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person. Along comes this doctor, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He's trying to convince people, other doctors mainly, that's there's these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. He's trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do they call it? Uh-uh, germs? Huh? What? Now, up to the 20th century — last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole — I go in to order a burger at this fast-food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. James, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it's all OK. "What about the germs? " I say. He says "I don't believe in germs. Germs is a plot made up so they could sell disinfectants and soaps." Now he's crazy, right? See? Ah! Ah!

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"Conceived in iniquity and born in sin, " is the unnatural interpretation put upon the process by the extreme religionist, and the world, by its silence, gives assent to a judgment so marvelously warped.
Surely there is something radically wrong in this attitude.
The teachings of philosophy and the deductions of biology should find more practical application in the daily reasoning of man.
No process is vile, no condition is unnatural.

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