These ‘Rules’ For Women Were Written In The 1800s…And They Are Ridiculous
We’ve come a long way as a society from where we were in the 1800s. Politically, the social climate is very different — namely in regard to the fact that women can vote and, like Secretary Clinton is proving as we speak, run for the highest office in America. While there’s still a long way to go, women have made incredible strides over the years despite being met with obstacles at every turn.
To fully appreciate how far women have come in the face of adversity, let’s have a look at what is going on in this ridiculous 19th-century etiquette book. A guide called Moral Encyclopaedia by Charles Varle, it hit the shelves in 1831. It details some decidedly misogynistic social rules to which he thought all women should adhere.
1. “Endeavor to write and speak grammatically.”
2. “If you talk in society, talk only about those things which you understand.”
3. “Let not love begin on your part.”
4. “Know that a man of good sense will never marry but the pious, industrious, and frugal.”
5. “Give your hand, when necessary, modestly.”
6. “Make no great intimacies with any body.”
7. “Form no friendship with men.”
8. “Never be afraid of blushing.”
9. “Read no novels, but let your study be history, geography, biography, and other instructive books.”
10. “Be not too often seen in public.”
11. “Pride yourself in modesty.”
12. “Consult only your own relations.”
13. “Trust no female acquaintance.”
14. “Sympathize with the unfortunate.”
15. “Avoid everything masculine.”
16. “You cannot be too circumspect in matters of love and marriage; and remember that whereas the character of a young lady is considered angelic, any blemish in it would withdraw the respect men have for you.”
What’s most alarming is that some of these ideas still exist in the cultural consciousness. Stop telling ladies what to do, people! Let’s not be this guy. He was clearly the worst.