Montesquieu

There are so many imper­fec­tions atta­ched to the loss of vir­tue in women, their entire soul is so degra­ded by it, and this prin­ci­pal point lost makes so many others fall, that in a popu­lar state we can regard public dis­so­lu­te­ness as the worst of mis­for­tu­nes and the cer­tainty of a change in the cons­ti­tu­tion.

Good legis­la­tors have in conse­quence requi­red of women a cer­tain gra­vity of conduct. From their repu­blics they have ban­ned not only vice but the very appea­rance of vice. They have for­bid­den even the gal­lant exchange that pro­du­ces idle­ness, leads women to cor­rupt even before they are cor­rup­ted, pla­ces a value on all those nothings and deva­lues what is impor­tant, and makes a per­son cease to conduct him- or her­self by any but the maxims of the ridi­cu­lous which women are so adept at ins­ti­ga­ting.