A story is told of Amma Sarah, one of the many desert mothers during the early centuries of Christianity, who refused to be denigrated for being a woman:

“Another time, two old men, great anchorites, came to the district of Pelusia to visit her. When they arrived one said to the other, ‘Let us humiliate this old woman.’ So they said to her, ‘Be careful not to become conceited thinking to yourself: Look how anchorites are coming to see me, a mere woman.’ But Amma Sarah said to them, ‘According to nature I am a woman, but not according to my thoughts.'”

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