“As early as 1959 or ’60, I’d noticed that there was something terribly wrong with the female characters in most novels I was reading. Most of the writers (men and women) tended to conceive of their male characters as combinations of purposeful actions, habitual actions, and gratuitous actions. A female character, in contrast, would be all gratuitous action if it was a “good woman,” with no purposes and no habits; if it was a “bad woman,” she would be all purpose, with no gratuitous actions and no habits. This seemed silly. Very early on I tried to think about women characters in terms of all three — actions purposeful, habitual, and gratuitous.”
–Samuel Delany, interviewed in Alive and Writing: Interviews with American Authors of the 1980s,by Larry McCaffery and Sinda Gregory, University of Illinois Press, 1987, pp. 99-100.