Mead and Hays, among others, have documented the tendency […] to see in woman a mystic continuity with non-human processes like rain and the fertility of plants. The question is why this should be so much more the case for woman than for man, who has his own metaphoric continuity with these non-human forces. Rain and sun, for example, have been represented in myth as male sources of life that kindle and fertilize the female earth; the sea and its winds have been thought of as male; the upthrusting of trees and green shoots is often viewed as a phallic event. And yet such metaphors dominate people’s everyday sense of what men are far less than their sense of what women are. D. H. Lawrence was right, I think, to complain that the animal mystery of men, the cosmic (or—to use the term broadly—religious) impact of their physical maleness, is on the whole underplayed in our life.

Dorothy Dinnerstein, The Mermaid and the Minotaur