it was about men, the kind who caused women to fall. I did not ascribe any intentions to these men.

They were like the weather, they didn’t have a mind. They merely drenched you or struck you like lightning and moved on, mindless as blizzards. Or they were like rocks, a line of sharp slippery rocks with jagged edges. You could walk with care along between the rocks, picking your steps, and if you slipped you’d fall and cut yourself, but it was no use blaming the rocks.

That must be what was meant by fallen women. Fallen women were women who had fallen onto men and hurt themselves. There was some suggestion of downward motion, against one’s will and not with the will of anyone else. Fallen women were not pulled-down women or pushed women, merely fallen.

Of course there was Eve and the Fall; but there was nothing about falling in that story, which was only about eating, like most children’s stories.

Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

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