“Why CAN’T A Woman, Be More Like A Man?”

“Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man?"

“Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man?”

 

What is a woman’s mind? A woman’s soul? A woman’s heart? Does it exist? Is it any different from a man’s? Caitlyn Jenner thinks so. So does Vanity Fair. So do the misogynists in the Republican Party. And so, apparently did Henry Higgins, a century ago:

From My Fair Lady: “A Hymn to Him” (Henry Higgins, lamenting to his male friend Pickering, a century ago, of ‘Why can’t a woman be more like a man.”

Henry: What could’ve depressed her?

What could’ve possessed her?

I cannot understand the wretch at all.

Women are irrational, that’s all there is to that!

Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags!

They’re nothing but exasperating, irritating,

vacillating, calculating, agitating,

Maddening and infuriating hags!

[To Pickering]

Pickering, why can’t a woman be more like a man?

 

Pickering: I beg your pardon?

 

Henry:

Yes…

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;

Eternally noble, historically fair;

Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.

Why can’t a woman be like that?

Why does ev’ryone do what the others do?

Can’t a woman learn to use her head?

Why do they do ev’rything their mothers do?

Why don’t they grow up- well, like their father instead?

Why can’t a woman take after a man?

Men are so pleasant, so easy to please;

Wherever you’re with them, you’re always at ease.

Would you be slighted if I didn’t speak for hours?

 

Pickering:

Of course not!

 

Henry:

Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?

 

Pickering:

Nonsense.

 

Henry:

Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?

 

Pickering:

Never.

 

Henry:

Well, why can’t a woman be like you?

One man in a million may shout a bit.

Now and then there’s one with slight defects;

One, perhaps, whose truthfulness you doubt a bit.

But by and large we are a marvelous sex!

Why can’t a woman take after man?

Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind.

A better companion you never will find.

If I were hours late for dinner, would you bellow?

 

Pickering:

Of course not!

 

Henry:

If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?

 

Pickering:

Nonsense.

 

Henry:

Would you complain if I took out another fellow?

 

Pickering:

Never.

 

Henry:

Well, why can’t a woman be like us?

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Men are so decent, such regular chaps.

Ready to help you through any mishaps.

Ready to buck you up whenever you are glum.

Why can’t a woman be a chum?

Why is thinking something women never do?

Why is logic never even tried?

Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.

Why don’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?

Why can’t a woman behave like a man?

If I was a woman who’d been to a ball,

Been hailed as a princess by one and by all;

Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing?

And carry on as if my home were in a tree?

Would I run off and never tell me where I’m going?

Why can’t a woman be like me?

(This version redacted–only slightly– straight (?) from the Republican Party Platform of 2016, and from the Editorial Boad Policy of Vanity Fair Magazine.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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