Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Madam, Control Your Temper

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Loretta reports:

So the question is, Does this make your blood boil?
Female Temper

It is particularly necessary for girls to acquire command of their temper, because much of the effect of their powers of reasoning and of their wit, when they grow up, depend upon the gentleness and good humor with which they conduct themselves. A woman who would attempt to thunder with her tongue, would not find her eloquence increase her domestic happiness. We do not wish that women should implicitly yield their better judgment to their fathers and husbands, but let them support the cause of reason with all the graces of female gentleness.

A man, in a furious passion, is terrible to his enemies; but a woman, in a passion, is disgusting to her friends ; she loses all that respect due to her sex, and she has not masculine strength and courage to enforce any other kind of respect. These circumstances should be considered by those who advise that no difference should he made in the education of the two sexes.

The happiness and influence of woman, both as wives and mothers, and indeed, in every relation, so much depends on the temper, that it ought to he most carefully cultivated. We should not suffer girls to imagine that they can balance ill humor by some good quality or accomplishment; because, in fact, there is none which can supply the want of tenderness in the female sex.

The Ladies' Companion, Volumes 3-4, 1835


Laura Mitchell said...

I guess Sybil Fawlty didn't get the memo LOL! From today's perspective it's a bunch of claptrap. You gotta remember though, until the latter part of the 18th century, it was a known fact that the uterus could wander around the body and will causing all sorts of mischief!

Karen Anne said...

I believe I've just lost my temper.

Laura, in my youth, which was not the 18th century, girls weren't supposed to participate in sports because it could harm our delicate organs.

Regency Romance Author, Donna Hatch said...

Yeah, I agree women should control their tempers, but so should men! This sexist mentality is why it's a good thing I wasn't born in those days, despite my fascination for the era.

Belinda Dalton said...

Quoted from 'The Ladies' Companion'... Perhaps it would've been better titled 'The Ladies' Frenemy' or 'The Conservative White Male's Companion'...
The sad thing is you can still find specimens with these attitudes running free today.

bonnie monsanto said...

Regarding the wearing of hoops - something I did in the 1950's - the trick to sitting down was to raise the hoops at the back - likewise for getting into cars - last thing you wanted was a faceful of dress!

melissa said...

This outlook is typical and angering; however, not much has changed since 1835. Man's anger is considered terrifying; a woman's anger shrewish. In the bedroom, a man's dalliance is his need to "sow oats," whereas a woman's is only whorish. I hate to say it, but not much has changed in almost two centuries. The more I read social history, religious history, and biography (past and present) the vast majority of women are viewed as wanton and the men as strapping, in-delicate instead of forthright, gold-diggers instead of placating savior of the family wealth. Please excuse my analogies for they are a bit weak; however, I haven't had my coffee. History is written by he who conquers, in this case the patriarchy. We shall remain voiceless until men realize they have nothing to fear from women who are intelligent, sensual, and passionate when it concerns their individuality and world they inhabit.

Grace Burrowes said...

What I take away from this is that the tone is inherently respectful. Women aren't supposed to be mindless, just the opposite. They're supposed to be shrewd as all get out, adult, self-possessed, and in control of their tempers. Admittedly, this is good advice to anybody aspiring to be respected, but when you're legally nothing more than your husband's chattel, you can't give those who would belittle or demean you any ammunition. I'm not approving of such a system, but I can understand why, in the historical context, this was prudent advice.

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