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Quiz: Whose terrible thoughts about English women are these?

A naughty English tart
A very naughty English tart

Today, a sort of quiz. Below, you’ll find extended excerpts from a rather Man Boobzy article about young English women. Afterwards, I want you to guess where, and when, this article came from.

The girl of the period is a creature who dyes her hair, and paints her face … whose sole idea of life is plenty of fun and luxury; and whose dress is the object of such thought and intellect as she possesses. …  and as she dresses to please herself she does not care it she displeases every one else. Nothing is too extraordinary and nothing too exaggerated for her vitiated taste … .

[S]he cannot be made to see that modesty of appearance and virtue ought to be inseparable, and that no good girl can afford to appear bad, under penalty of receiving the contempt awarded to the bad. …

The girl of the period envies the queens of the demi-monde far more than she abhors them. She sees them gorgeously attired and sumptuously appointed, and she knows them to be flattered, feted, and courted with a certain disdainful admiration of which she catches only the admiration while she ignores the disdain. …

No one can say of the modern English girl that she is tender, loving, retiring, or domestic. … Love indeed is the last thing she thinks of, and the least of the dangers besetting her. …

The legal barter of herself for so much money — representing so much dash, so much luxury and pleasure — that is her idea of marriage; the only idea worth entertaining. For all seriousness of thought respecting the duties or the consequences of marriage, she has, not a trace.

If children come, they find but a stepmother’s cold welcome from her; and if her husband thinks that he has married anything that is to belong to him … the sooner he wakes from his hallucination and understands that he has simply married some one who will condescend to spend his money on herself, and who will shelter her indiscretions behind the shield of his name, the less severe will be his disappointment.

She has married his house … his balance at the banker’s, his title; and he himself is just the inevitable condition clogging the wheel of her fortune; at best an adjunct, to be tolerated with more or less patience as may chance. For it is only the old-fashioned sort … that marry for love, or put the husband before the banker.

But she does not marry easily. Men are afraid of her; and with reason. They may amuse themselves with her for an evening, but they do not take her readily for life. Besides, after all her efforts, she is only a poor copy of the real thing; and the real thing is far more amusing than the copy … Men I can get that whenever they like …

[I]t cannot be too plainly told to the modern English girl that the net result of her present manner of life is to assimilate her as nearly as possible to a class of women whom we must not call by their proper-or improper-name.

And we are willing to believe that she has still some modesty of soul left hidden under all this effrontery of fashion, and that, if she could be made to see herself as she appears to the eyes of men, she would mend her ways before too late.

It is terribly significant of the present state of things when men are free to write as they do of the women of their own nation. …

It is only when these [women] have placed themselves beyond the pale of masculine respect that such things could be written as are written now; when they become again what they were once they will gather round them the love and homage and chivalrous devotion which were then an Englishwoman’s natural inheritance. The marvel, in the present fashion of life among women, is how it holds its ground in spite of the disapprobation of men.

It used to be an old-time notion that the sexes were made for each other, and that it was only natural for them to please each other, and to set themselves out for that end.

But the girl of the period does not please men. She pleases them as little as she elevates them; and how little she does that, the class of women she has taken as her model of herself testifies.

All men whose opinion is worth having prefer the simple and genuine girl of the past, with her tender little ways and pretty bashful modesties, to this loud and rampant modernization, with her false red hair and painted skin, talking slang as glibly as a man, and by preference leading the conversation to doubtful subjects. …

[S]he will not see that though men laugh with her, they do not respect her, though men flirt with her they do not marry her; she will not believe that she is not the kind of thing they want, and that she is acting against nature and her own interests when she disregards their advice and offends their taste….

[A]ll we can do is to wait patiently until the national madness has passed, and our women have come back again to the old English ideal, once the most beautiful, the most modest, the most, essentially womanly in the world.

Ok, now comes the quiz part.

So where did I get this from?

A) The Thinking Housewife blog, in April of 2011

B) “Whore-Imitating Sluts Are Ruining England,” The Spearhead, in August of 2012

C) Margaret Thatcher, “Up From Sluttery,” Tory Press, 1972.

D) “The Girl of the Period,” The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times, 6/5/1868

Click on this link to find out the answer.

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NOTE: I cheated a teensy bit by taking out some of the more egregiously old-fashioned language. But if you ignore the old-fashioned style, the content of the piece is strikingly similar to a lot of stuff posted in the more traditionalist corners of the Manosphere today.

Thanks to Magpie for posting a link to this piece in the comments!

PS: Margaret Thatcher didn’t actually write a book entitled “Up From Sluttery,” nor did The Spearhead run a piece titled “Whore-Imitating Sluts Are Ruining England.” At least it hasn’t yet.

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Kamilla
Kamilla
8 years ago

There is a great book from circa 1860 called The Habits of Good Society, with an informative section on “The Fast Young Lady.”
http://archive.org/details/habitsofgoodsoci00newyrich

bahumbugi
bahumbugi
8 years ago

yes. THIS IS WHERE THEY FIND THEIR INSPIRATION. thank you david and if someone emailed you this, that person rocks my socks.

Graham
Graham
8 years ago

While reading I guessed it was from the 1920s or 30s, but wow!

“It is terribly significant of the present state of things when men are free to write as they do of the women of their own nation. …It is only when these [women] have placed themselves beyond the pale of masculine respect that such things could be written as are written now.”

Indeed.

bahumbugi
bahumbugi
8 years ago

“if her husband thinks that he has married anything that is to belong to him”

they literally could easily write this now. and have a billion times…this is too funny/depressing (my colleague calls it hatereading)

bahumbugi
bahumbugi
8 years ago

What was ruining their women at that place and time in history?

bahumbugi
bahumbugi
8 years ago

i say “their women” sarcastically/ironically. can i be gyronic as a lady?

pecunium
8 years ago

bahumbugi: They wanted tp be treated as people. Pure Misandry.

Alex
8 years ago

Right, so women should be docile and modest because it pleases men. The men that traditional womanly behaviour does not please? Well, they are not “men whose opinion is worth having”. Got it.

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
8 years ago

“Kids these days” are always the worst kids ever and are the straw breaking the camel’s back. If only their morals were not so loose and their work ethic so poor. Their parents should teach them more discipline!

The more things change the more they point the blame.

boumbette
boumbette
8 years ago

Without the choice of answers, I would have guessed it was a polemic piece during the querelle des femmes, probably 17th century. It even sounds retrograde for 1868. I thought it was a kind of English version of Passi’s “the Defects of Women” (1599) that was common at the time.

They all sound the same anyway.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

But she does not marry easily. Men are afraid of her; and with reason. They may amuse themselves with her for an evening, but they do not take her readily for life

They are CGTOW, chaps going their own way. They will no longer tolerate such haughty ladybirds enjoying spirits and coloring their hair red.

Amnesia
Amnesia
8 years ago

She has married his house … his balance at the banker’s, his title; and he himself is just the inevitable condition clogging the wheel of her fortune; at best an adjunct, to be tolerated with more or less patience as may chance. For it is only the old-fashioned sort … that marry for love, or put the husband before the banker.

Those dastardly women, thinking too much about whether they’ll be able to eat and live in a house for the rest of their life rather than whether the man gives them the FEELS! How irrational and hysterical of them. *rolls eyes*

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

boumbette | May 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm
They all sound the same anyway.

Yes, they do. They have a long history of intellectual bankruptcy to live down to.

Amnesia
Amnesia
8 years ago

Seriously, you set up the system so that women can only get a reasonably comfortable lifestyle by getting married to a man that makes good money, and then you condemn them for marrying for money. Women: Where the only winning move is NOT TO PLAY!

pineapplecookies
pineapplecookies
8 years ago

oooooooooooh….. so they came in a Time Machine!

wordsp1nner
8 years ago

the simple and genuine girl of the past, with her tender little ways and pretty bashful modesties

and

[S]he will not see that though men laugh with her, they do not respect her, though men flirt with her they do not marry her; she will not believe that she is not the kind of thing they want, and that she is acting against nature and her own interests when she disregards their advice and offends their taste….

I’m not sensing a whole lot of respect for the “simple” girl of the past “with her tender little ways”. If you aren’t going to get respect either way, might as well as have some fun.

theseventhguest
8 years ago

@Graham
I also thought it was from the ’20s or ’30s. Seems like things that would be said of flappers, the age of the “bright young things”.

wordsp1nner
8 years ago

Block quote fail. The last bit is me.

Hyena Girl
8 years ago

If you want real fun in the same period vein try “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women” John Knox (1559). It’s the same old timey nastiness that AVFM seems to love, although it’s a bit better written despite being truly awful in its sheer hatefulness.

La Stega
La Stega
8 years ago

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” as one venerable Victorian put it.

Really. This isn’t the first time I’ve been struck by the parallels between the Victorians and the New Misogynists. ( Roosh, for example, iisn’t all that different in his fundamental attitudes about sex than the anonymous writer of that pornographic classic, “My Secret Life.”)

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

boumbette — it’s the linguistic style that gives it away. Or maybe I’m just acquainted with Victorian writing. Far too proper to be the MRM in any case, the English is too…correct, not made of errors and violence.

BritterSweet
BritterSweet
8 years ago

I had already seen Magpie’s comment, so this wasn’t much of a quiz for me ^^;

But it’s unsurprising how little of a difference there is between the misogyny of the 19th century and today.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Like BritterSweet, I read Magpie’s comment last night, so knew the answer.

I don’t know what our laws were here in 1868, but I’d guess little different from England’s in our still-colony-states days, in which case – hello, pre-Married Woman’s Property Act! This bloke pontificating that women want a man’s goods and money is blithely overlooking that not only did she not have any access or control over them, she lost everything she owned or earned when she married.

The hypocrisy, it burns.

katz
8 years ago

’20s was going to be my guess, too. They could so easily be talking about flappers, whereas I don’t know what 1860s trend they’re talking about.

Zanana the Pegging Queen
Zanana the Pegging Queen
8 years ago

WOW is all I have to say to what you just added, David.

On the OP, I was legit gonna guess Thinking Housewife until I was more than halfway through.

Zanana the Pegging Queen
Zanana the Pegging Queen
8 years ago

Her writing style is almost as archaic and overwrought as all that. Though I did wonder why she was getting worked up over English women.

titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

Yep, as ever, misogyny & racism marching hand in hand.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Three young student employees are having a fascinating politics- and gender-related discussion outside of my office. One of them is spouting standard glibertarian/MRA talking points, and the other two are demolishing everything he says.

I am so proud of them.

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

The girl of the period is a creature who dyes her hair, and paints her face … whose sole idea of life is plenty of fun and luxury; and whose dress is the object of such thought and intellect as she possesses. … and as she dresses to please herself she does not care it she displeases every one else.

I must confess this is how I live my life…at least in the fashion manner. It’s fun. The author should join the darkside, it’s much more fun when ::cackles evilly::

[S]he cannot be made to see that modesty of appearance and virtue ought to be inseparable,

Is it like weird that I feel like the author (*cough* quoted misogynist *cough*) keeps describing me?

to this loud and rampant modernization, with her false red hair and painted skin,

Ohmigod, my hair is a really fakey red color too!!!!!!!!eleven *twin buddies with whoever the author’s hate crush is on*

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Part of why is bloomers where becoming A Thing — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomers_(clothing)

Women! In pants!

Falconer
8 years ago

dogs and cats, mass hysteria, &c., &c.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

The late 1860s saw the extreme and end of the crinoline fashion; it had changed from a dome shape to being more stretched out at the back. Hairdos were becoming much more elaborate and false hair was coming in to fashion for building it up – by the 1870s hairstyles were getting huge, too big to wear a bonnet with. Aniline dyes had been around for a while and colours were bright and harsh, with geometric decoration more the thing than florals, for instance. It was a high-impact look. The first pic here is from 1864, the second from 1865, a few years earlier than the article – and fashion moved fairly fast then, too.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JF6gescswVg/TI_IYvErmOI/AAAAAAAAAso/vAzigVVSbl0/s1600/chiya.jpeg

http://0.tqn.com/d/womenshistory/1/0/u/s/2/90009040_10a.jpg

On top of that, women were taking part in more sport and outdoor activity; in the 1840s and 50s it had been frowned upon if a woman even wore solid boots to go walking (boots! Unladylike!) despite the example set by, f’rinstance, Queen Victoria on her Highland expeditions. Young women getting out and about more and caring less what people thought probably set the chaps’ alarm bells jangling wildly.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

The song remains the same. These woman hating toads haven’t had an original thought ever.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Nary a one. Hell, they’ve hardly caught up with heliocentrism yet.

serrana
serrana
8 years ago

and if her husband thinks that he has married anything that is to belong to him … the sooner he wakes from his hallucination and understands that he has simply married some [person]”

My husband didn’t marry a thing that belongs to him, he simply married a person. I am half-English, so I guess The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times were right!

serrana
serrana
8 years ago

[S]he cannot be made to see that modesty of appearance and virtue ought to be inseparable,

Is it like weird that I feel like the author (*cough* quoted misogynist *cough*) keeps describing me?

You should be pale and invisible until a man wants to find you so that you can do something for him. Dress to imitate the wallpaper! Then snap to it when he calls your name.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

The whole thing’s also a reminder of what a joke the “egalitarianism” and “mateship” prattled about here were. Yeah, if you’re a male WASP, but otherwise, forget it.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
8 years ago

In England at that time the women were getting very uppity. Divorce and property laws had been changed and suffrage was next.
You may have noticed that Time magazine used the “kids today” boilerplate for the cover of their current issue. I think every newspaper and magazine in the country has had someone dust off up date and republish this article quarterly for three hundred years.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
8 years ago

It also reminded me of the conversation about young girls being out or not out in Mansfield Park.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Off-topic: I just found a documentary about those “Love Shy” and “Incel” types who come up in these parts occasionally.

It’s short at 31 minutes and has in-person interviews with “Incels” and PUAs. They’re surprisingly similar to what you’d expect from reading their keyboard screeds.

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@serrana

You should be pale and invisible until a man wants to find you so that you can do something for him. Dress to imitate the wallpaper! Then snap to it when he calls your name.

Maybe I could infuse myself with the DNA of a chameleon? it sounds easier.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

“Maybe I could infuse myself with the DNA of a chameleon? it sounds easier.”

And more fun!

Dressing to imitate the wallpaper reminds me of a friend who worked at the Melbourne Concert Hall in the 90s. The walls were beige leather (yes, leather) and the customer service uniforms were … beige. She said they looked like floating heads if they ever stood still.

serrana
serrana
8 years ago

Maybe I could infuse myself with the DNA of a chameleon? it sounds easier.

Marie, then you could make your neck really large and pink whenever you wanted! Definitely easier.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

And think of being able to look in two directions at once!

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

Marie, then you could make your neck really large and pink whenever you wanted! Definitely easier.

I’m not sure when, but that’s got to come in handy sometime XD

serrana
serrana
8 years ago

It would be like a built-in airbag, but appropriate for all occasions.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

And being able to see in all directions means you could see an MRA or PUA coming and use your protective colouration to become invisible.

Or possibly just catch some flies with your tongue and gross ’em out enough to go away. 😛

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

Or possibly just catch some flies with your tongue and gross ‘em out enough to go away. 😛

Grossing out mras would be the funnest way to eat in public 😉

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

^besides the whole ‘having to be around mra’s in public’ thing, which would not be fun.

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