"When thou goest to woman, take thy whip."
On the surface it sounds misogynistic, but as with many of his aphorisms there are multiple interpretations that spur thought. The reason I think about it a lot is that I think each possible interpretation illuminates an essential fact of male / female relations.
Out of all the possible reasons to "take thy whip" I have come up with the following interpretations:
1. The whip as a tool of domination over women.
2. The whip as a tool for keeping women at bay, much like a lion tamer keeps lions at bay.
3. The whip as a means to punish yourself in front of women or because of women.
4. The whip as a tool a woman uses to dominate men, ie. take your whip so that she can whip you.
5. The whip as a tool for spurring action.
In any case, I think there is something thought provoking about it. And I consider it often. There is a force at work that keeps us at odds with one another. And that same force attracts us irrevocably to one another.