Punch,  52 (1867), 220.

The Enfranchisement of Persons (A Lecture Delivered at an Institute, by Professor Barnowl)



Address, Spoof


Gender, Politics, Psychology, Instinct, Reason, Physiology, Mathematics, Nutrition, Chemistry, Methodology

    Opposes the enfranchisement of women by challenging the arguments of John S Mill and others that women have the qualities to make them 'free and independent' voters. Denies that women are 'endowed with reason' and insists that they are 'actuated by instinct', blindly driven by fashion, and governed by the heart—'a muscle of involuntary motion' that 'pulsates under the influence of a part of the nervous system distinct from that through which other muscles are moved and controlled'. Argues that since 'cookery is a rational art', women only make 'good executive cooks' while men alone can act as the 'head-cook', and adds that 'There are female mathematicians—they are very few; but perhaps a female mathematician is less rare than a female chef'. Continuing the culinary theme, Barnowl explains to his audience that while a woman may obediently 'boil a round of beef [...] after the manner prescribed by Liebig', she will not 'apprehend the principle of the process'. Concludes by conceding that there are undeniably some women 'endowed with reason' but that since 'the rational faculty [...] remains undeveloped' in women, they are 'unfitted to exercise political functions'.

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