Why is it when you are what some might consider beautiful, that they often like to assume that you must at least be stupid as well? As if the gods could not be bothered to give you both intelligence as well as attractiveness! I find myself being talked down to on a regular basis. Then if by chance they do find out that you actually have wit and intelligence to match the package, they almost instantly become intimidated by it. Every moment that follows thereafter they spend trying to discern what your flaws are. I have seen some literally scrunch up their faces with determination while trying to ferret out what it might be that could be my Achilles’ heel.
I recently received a correspondence from a ruler of my acquaintance.
I am astonished that you have come to know how to read and write, Madame! Surely this is an unnatural state for a woman! Such things, in my experience, are unfit for women to know. Begging your pardon, I find it unbelievable that you do not have a male scribe to dictate your correspondence to! Surely your race and your people know that it is absurd to teach learning to women! Surely a woman as beautiful as yourself has no need to take upon herself such tasks that are ill suited to her. You, Madame, should beseech your greatest advisers to find you a suitable match who can alleviate such concerns from your brow. Certainly some women are quite able to handle the arduous duties of commerce and rulership, but if left unchecked without the guiding hand of a man, a woman will be left helpless and fall into the trap of mental imbecility. Your people do a grave disservice to you, Madame, if you are left to your own devices so tragically!
A woman’s attention should focus upon her appearance, with the closest attention to her garmenture and appropriate jewellery. She should be of good temperament and docility in order to be nothing but the greatest pleasure to her husband. Giving a woman over to learn those things which are the realms of men gives her to arrogance and self-conceit. Such are the consequences of filling a woman’s head with more than she can readily handle. It is by far the best institution of the Gods that most women should die upon the pyre with the bodies of their husbands, since they are mostly incapable of acting for themselves. These are wise regulations for any man to live by and women should feel protected by such considerations to her care!
I am unclear as to how I should react to such a ridiculous missive! I have ruled alone for many more years than this over bloated and certainly overdressed popinjay has been alive. If it were not so tragic it would be laughable. My only hope is to one day meet this man face to face and make his wives widows and with the right of conquest set them all free and leave his wealth to dispose of as they choose.
But what is true, it was not so very long ago that even the so-called modern world viewed women with such disdain.