chapter  4
14 Pages

Woman's Intellectual Capacity

They who are most truly women are naturally most conscious of this power; and such are, for the most part, like wise courtiers, content to hide the appearance of power behind its reality, and make little outcry for more privileges for their sex. Such women deal with men much as they do with spoiled children, and let them have their way, while all the time securing their own. 9

This argument, used to rationalise women's subordination to men,

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for higher education by parents on behalf of their daughters, if only to prove their concern for their daughters' state of health. Written references to physiological details alluded obliquely to results 'we all know', leaving them unspecified. However, during the 1870s the restraints of prudery snapped, and opponents of higher education for women were free to write blunt descriptions of the gynaecological dangers awaiting the university-educated woman. It is to this subject we now turn.