weaker vessel

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weaker vessel (plural weaker vessels)

  1. (idiomatic, dated, now offensive) A woman; women collectively.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible - King James Version, First Epistle General of Peter, 3:7:
      Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.
    • 1868, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, ch. 41:
      When women are the advisers, the lords of creation don't take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do. Then they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it. If it fails, they generously give her the whole.

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