From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

13 Things Men Have Written About Women

Thursday Thirteen


Keely picked up a little book of quotations for me at a thrift shop. Its title is Women: Pro and Con, and it was published in 1958 by the Peter Pauper Press, Mount Vernon. No editor is listed.

The foreword suggests that the book presents a balanced view of women because the few quotations that praise women are much more heartfelt than the multitude of sarcastic quotations about women. Well, maybe. At any rate, here are thirteen interesting quotes.

 1. "Never any good came out of female domination. God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoiled all."
-- Martin Luther (1483-1546)

 2. "In the East, women religiously conceal that they have faces; in the West, that they have legs. In both cases they make it evident that they have but little brains."
-- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

 3. "Women have great talent, but no genius, for they always remain subjective."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

 4."Women are nothing but machines for producing children."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

 5. "Woman's advice has little value, but he who won't take it is a fool."
-- Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

 6. "Nature has given women so much power that the law has wisely given her very little."
-- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

 7. "If you wish women to love you, be original; I know a man who wore fur boots summer and winter, and women fell in love with him."
-- Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

 8. "When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues."
-- Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

 9. "Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man, but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool."
-- Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

10. "Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade, since it consists principally of dealings with men."
-- Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

11. "Women, cats and birds are the creatures that waste the most time on their toilets."
--Charles Nodier (1780-1844)

12. "To be beautiful is enough! If a woman can do that well who shall demand more from her? You don't want a rose to sing."
-- William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

13. "A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner than when his wife talks Greek."
-- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

3 comments:

Sarabeth said...

Only Joseph Conrad said something worthwhile. Those are gross. I'm ill now.

However, I adore the header of your blog.

Genevieve said...

Hi, Sarabeth. Yes, there are some disgusting and downright irritating quotes in this little book. This post is just a little representation.

But there are also some very flowery words of praise for women, though I didn't include any of them in the 13. Here are three of the more favorable quotations to balance out the negative ones-- these are much more sincere, so they have much more weight, you know.

1. "O woman! lovely woman! Nature made you to temper man; we had been brutes without you. Angels are painted fair, to look like you; there is in you all that we believe of heaven -- amazing brightness, purity, and truth, eternal joy, and everlasting love."
-- Thomas Otway (1652-1685)

2. "I have often had occasion to mark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man and prostrate him in the dust seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give them such intrepidity and elevation to their character that at times it approaches sublimity.
-- Washington Irving (1783-1859)

3. "To describe women, the pen should be dipped in the humid colors of the rainbow, and the paper dried with the dust gathered from the wings of a butterfly."
Denis Diderot (1713-1784)

Sarabeth said...

Much better. Thank you, Genevieve.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.