Molly Guinness

Liberate women…from the rotten dictatorial group-think of ‘feminism’

Good on David Cameron for refusing to wear that hideous T-shirt. Feminists these days spend an awful lot of time telling people what to think and what to wear. It’s easy to forget the heady days of feminism’s innocence, when it lobbied for freedom, the freedom for women to operate telegraphs, for example.

The deft fingers of women were to set in action the wires of the telegraph with as much swift dexterity as they do those of the piano. They were to write messages about iron and steel and stocks and shares with the same easy celerity that they corresponded about the last new ribbon or baby’s first tooth. The sweet graciousness of their manners and the quick intuition of their brains were to make the sending of messages a task of true delight, which would refine the office boy and elevate the most elegant of clerks. The process of asking for information as to the weight of a book, or the postage to Kamtschatka, was to be a liberal education for both sexes. The inquiring male was to have his manners softened, and not allowed to be ferocious; the informing female was to have her mind broadened and her intellect strengthened by contact with the realities of life.

The article, which is from 1883, says Silly Season ought really to be called Grumbling Season because already a backlash had started.

We are told that “brazen pertness” is characteristic of female Post-office clerks, that they snub heavy fathers, and actually converse in audible tones in full official time as to the young men who have kissed them, though, happily, they are not so far sank as to relate in the same audible tones whether, like the mermaids, they returned the compliment. Not merely have they been contrasted or compared with the other sex, but other members of their own sex have been held up as examples to them.

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