21 June 1856
"No woman ever produced a great painting or statue."—Ex.
On the contrary, she has produced a great many "statues," who may be seen any sun-shiny day, walking Broadway, in kid gloves and perfumed broad-cloth, while "Lawrence" lies in ashes.
"No woman ever wrote a great drama."—Ex.
Aye—but they have lived one; and when worn out with suffering at hands which should have shielded them, have died without a murmur on their martry lips.
"No woman ever composed a great piece of music."—Ex.
What do you call a baby?
"No woman was ever a great cook!"—Ex.
True—it takes a man to get up a broil.
"Women have invented nothing outside of millinery since the world began."—Ex.
How can they? when they are so hooped in?
"Women have written clever letters, tolerable novels, and intolerable epics."—Ex.
Indeed! It strikes me, though, that we have furnished you the material for yours; just tell me what your "letters," your "novels," your "epics," would have amounted to, without the inspiring theme—woman. When the world furnishes us heroes, perhaps we shall write splendid novels, and splendid letters, and splendid epics. Pharaoh once required bricks to be made "without straw."
"Letters?"—No man, since the world began, could pen a letter equal to a woman. Look at the abortions dignified by that name in men-novels; stiltified—unnatural—stiff—pedantic or else—coarse. You can no more do it, than an elephant can waltz. The veriest school girl can surpass you at it. I have often heard men confess it, (when off their guard.) One thing at least we know enough to do, viz: when we wish to make one of your sex our eternal and unchangeable friend we always allow him to beat us in an argument.
Fanny Fern, "Try Again," The New-York Ledger (21 June 1856): 4
To cite this project:
Fanny Fern, "Try Again," Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2018) http://fannyfern.org.