Some have felt that these blundering lives are due to the inconvenient indefiniteness with which the Supreme Power has fashioned the natures of women: if there were one level of feminine incompetence as strict as the ability to count three and no more, the social lot of women might be treated with scientific certitude. Meanwhile the indefiniteness remains, and the limits of variation are really much wider than any one would imagine from the sameness of women's coiffure and the favourite love stories in prose and verse.
George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian) Evans] (1819–1880), British novelist. Middlemarch, Prelude (1871).
Referring to the unsuccessful lives of intelligent, gifted nineteenth-century women who felt driven to accomplish important things but had no opportunities. She was pointing out that women's natures were various while the activities available to women were uniform—and unchallenging.