Friday, November 2, 2012


Men Are Like This, Women Are Like This

"The Atlantic on Women and Men, From 1859 to Now" is a fun look back at the publication's coverage of gender issues, beginning with the 1859 article, "Ought Women to Learn the Alphabet?"

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Well, I am eager to read more about "The Devil-Baby at Hull House"!


@meetapossum My sister and mom hate the Hull House. It's the most hilariously random hatred. I don't know if it still exists (sorry), but one time I was talking about old-time Chicago and mentioned it and my sister said, "Oh, I hate that place."

"Me too," said my mom casually.

I think they meant they were just tired of hearing about it any time you read about social conditions of that era, or about Chicago history, or something. (We're not even from Chicago and don't live there, either.) My mom and sister, being the awesome people they are, are all about social justice and improving the lives of women and anyone underprivileged. They are just sarcastic and enjoy making fun of unexpected targets.

mousie housie

But if women learn the alphabet... making cross-stitch samplers will slowly languish into obsolescence! What ever will we do then?


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Also, I respect The Atlantic's history a lot more now, having read excerpts from some of these articles.


Why Women Still Can't Learn the Alphabet and Have it All

fondue with cheddar

@TheBourneApproximation Women laughing alone with the alphabet.

The Lady of Shalott

I vote no. The alphabet has brought me nothing but trouble since I learned it!


@The Lady of Shalott Come to think of it, my life HAS become far more complex and difficult since learning the alphabet...Used to have naps all them time, people gave me hugs and snacks when I was cranky...


"Now this impression of feminine inferiority may be right or wrong, but it obviously does a good deal towards explaining the facts it takes for granted. If contempt does not originally cause failure, it perpetuates it. Systematically discourage any individual or class, from birth to death, and they learn, in nine cases out of ten, to acquiesce in their degradation, if not to claim it as a crown of glory."

well, I am going to steal half of those phrases next time there is a good choose-my-choice argument around here.

there really is no lucid, well-constructed, airtight argument like an oldfangled feminist argument. blah, blah, Samuel Johnson, antifeminists more often require to be reminded than to be instructed, blah.


@queenofbithynia I was a big fan of:

"But we must remember that all our American institutions are based on consistency, or on nothing; all claim to be founded on the principles of natural right, and when they quit those, they are lost. In all European monarchies, it is the theory, that the mass of the people are children, to be governed, not mature beings, to govern themselves. This is clearly stated, and consistently applied. In the free states of this Union, we have formally abandoned this theory for one half of the human race, while for the other half it still flourishes in full force. The moment the claims of woman are broached, the democrat becomes a monarchist."

Springtime for Voldemort

@queenofbithynia That's probably going to come across more condescending and patronizing than tends to be really effective for having a successful conversation in which both parties actually listen and consider the other party's position.


@Springtime for Voldemort Well, it doesn't do any good to tell Sam Johnson that now, he's dead!

Miss Maszkerádi

Wait....what the shit? Were women mostly illiterate in 1859? Even among the upper/middle classes? I mean, was that whole thing a snark of Swiftian proportion or have I been drastically misinformed about history?


@Countess Maritza I'd say, Swiftian snark used to make a broader point re: equality (which some people seem not to have learned to this day. Cough**GOP**cough.)

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia You know...


@fondue with cheddar Hey, girl.


Ought Women Be Taught To Read?

Only their P's & Q's, so that they might mind them.

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