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The editors would like to invite everybody to submit their favourite fin de siècle anti-feminist squibs and cartoons!
'Angry Old Buffer' complains that...
... a new fear my bosom vexes;
Tomorrow there may be no sexes!
Unless, as an end to all pother,
Each one in fact becomes the other.
Woman was woman, man was man,
When Adam delved and Eve span
Now he can’t dig and she won’t spin,
Unless ‘tis tales all slang and sin!
(Punch, 27 April 1895, 203)
There is a New Woman, and what do you think?
She lives upon nothing but Foolscap and Ink!
But, though Foolscap and Ink form the whole of her diet,
This nagging New Woman can never be quiet!
(Punch, 26 May 1894, 252)
About Annie Besant's marriage:
"She could not be the Bride of Heaven, and therefore became the bride of Mr Frank Besant. He was hardly an adequate substitute." (W. T. Stead, The Review of Reviews, October 1891)
"She was much more a man than a woman; outspoken, decided, prompt, strong
willed, genial, humorous, free from pettiness, and without malignity, she
was wholly different from the average female type." (Annie Besant, on Helena
P. Blavatsky after her death, The Review of Reviews, July 91)
“And here--in the land of Hannibal, in the conquest of Scipio, in the Phoenicia whose loveliness used to flash in the burning, sea-mirrored sun, while her fleets went eastward and westward for the honey of Athens and the gold of Spain--here Cigarette danced the cancan!” (from Ouida’s 1867 novel, Two Flags, whose heroine is called Cigarette)
Lady Wargrave: Excuse my ignorance, but I have been away from England for so many years. Can this be the New Woman I have read about?
Colonel: Everything’s New nowadays! We have a new Art--
Enid: A New Journalism--
Victoria: A New Political Economy—
Doctor: A New Morality—
Colonel: A New Sex!
Lady Wargrave [smiling]: Ah!
Doctor: Do you object to modernity?
Lady Wargrave: I’ve only one objection to new things; they are so old.
Victoria: Not the New Woman!
Lady Wargrave: No, she is generally middle-aged. [Colonel turns to Gerald, to hide his chuckles.]
Enid: Then, do you take Man’s part in the discussion?
Lady Wargrave: I take no part in it.
Doctor: Do you deny that Woman has arrived, Man has departed?
Lady Wargrave: I don’t wonder at it. But Man has an awkward habit of coming back again.
Lady Wargrave: Then Woman will go after him. [Colonel roars out aloud—the Women survey him with disgust.]
(from Sydney Grundy, The New Woman: An Original Comedy, in Four Acts, 1894)