The Head of the House

“The man is the head of the house, while the woman is the heart of the house. The definition of the head is that it is the thing that talks.

“The head of an arrow is not more necessary than the shaft of it; perhaps not so much. The head of an axe is not more necessary than the handle; for mere fighting I would sooner have the handle alone than the blade alone. But the head of axe and arrow is the thing that enters first; the thing that speaks.

“If authority means power (which it does not), I think the wife has more of it than the husband. If I look round any ordinary room at all the objects — at their colour, choice and place — I feel as if i were a lonely and stranded  male in a world made wholly by women. All the same, if a canvasser comes to urge the cause of the Conservative-Radicals, or of the Radical-Conservatives, it is I who ought to see him. If a drunkard has wandered into my front garden and lain down on the principal flower-bed, it is I who ought to inspect him. If a burglar wanders about the house at night, it is I who ought to parley with him.

“Because I am the head; i am the tiresome excrescence that can talk to the world.”

~Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Brave New Family, pp 143-144~

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