Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feminism: 1822

Is a woman tolerably handsome? She is not allowed to be so quietly. Wherever she goes, she is accosted in the language of adulation: in public places and in private conversation: a gentleman can scarcely address a sentence to her without seasoning it with a little flattery; not in praise of her sense, her knowledge, or the justness of her sentiments, but of her shape, her air, her face, or some hitherto undiscovered charm. In short she is taught by their behavior to believe that there is nothing amiable, or praise worthy in a woman unconnected with beauty. And even men who are esteemed to be uncommonly sensible and discerning, often pay more respect to a pretty face, though its owner be an idiot, than to a lady of an improved and polished understanding, if she does not excel in exterior form. Since this is the case, is it not reasonable to suppose that women will pay most attention to their appearance, and spend much time (which might be better employed,) in decorating their persons, and setting them off to advantage?
--From Masonic miscellany and ladies' literary magazine--

This is why after all the victories of feminism, women still read Cosmo to find out how to please a man.


dr kill said...

Men hunt, women nest.

Jason (the commenter) said...

dr kill,

This goes beyond that, each sex does stuff to get the other sex's attention. When women change, men change with them. Will we be more or less misogynistic in the future? I don't think feminism can answer that question, or predicatively cause changes to happen.