These housewives, said Gilman, comprise an "endless array of 'horse-leech's daughters, crying, Give! Give!'" This "parasite mate devouring even when she should most feed" possesses "the aspirations of an affectionate guinea pig."
taken from Domestic Tranquility
Are quotes like this supposed to make me angry? They make me laugh. Let's dissect the invective. . .
First, the idea of ANY housewife, tranquil or un, crying "Give! Give!" is contradictory. You cannot simultaneously argue that the housewife is an unfulfilled drudge enslaved by the patriarchs in society and that she is a selfish beast intent upon her own pleasure. The two are mutually exclusive.
Second, if we grant the housewife's status as a "parasite mate" (being one that relies on or feeds off of another) I feel compelled to point out that a vast number of parasites in our world participate in a symbiotic relationship in which their hosts either placidly comply or gratefully revel. (There. See how easily an insult is turned into a beautiful metaphor?) As for the bit about voracious appetite, I refer you to the first point.
Third, what's wrong with guinea pigs? They like clean, comfy places to live. They like good food to eat and refreshing water to drink. They show affection (presuming, as the quote says, that they are affectionate ones); they snuggle and nuzzle and hug. They fear rats. They need vitamin C and don't like milk (an important similarity, if you ask me). They are easy to care for, cute, and develop attachments to their "herd"--be it human or rodent. Most importantly, they do not have hair on the soles of their feet. So, as long as we're talking about affectionate types. . .I'm not seeing the problem here. Honestly.
Perhaps I'm over-romanticizing a bit. But it made you laugh, didn't it? And it made me laugh. So those vituperative vixens of feminist fame can keep cracking their whips, as far as I'm concerned.