Criticized yes, looked down upon no way, and I believe that 's the point on which Kwordgazer was drawing our attention. Women cannot win: if they fit the model thought appropriate by the last 5000 generations of males, they aren't criticized, but the praise they get is tinged with the "it's a mere female" demeaning attitude. If they don't fit the pattern and exhibit qualities thought to be more " male" (although there isn't such a thing as a male or female quality as Nomad remarked ) they inspire a grudging respect while they are buried under criticism. As far as men are concerned, I tend to think they aren't that much better served. Those who fit the "norm" are respected (as Kwordgazer said) but are forever trapped in their role. Those who stray from the approved exclusive male pattern aren't even considered part of human kind. Actually, what seems to be the most critisized quality in a woman or a man, is independant thinking and faithfulness to oneself.