Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Previous Chapter Table of Contents Next Chapter
Gentleness in Men.
    Dear Madam--Much time and space have been devoted to
the discussion of what women should do to make themselves
attractive to men.  I want to appeal to your generous and
fertile brain to throw a few suggestions to men on the same
subject.  A few hints would be profitable to the men and
agreeable to the women.  The theme of attractiveness is
certainly important to all, and liberal opinions on the subject
might start men and women on a mutual improvement move,
the benefits of which might extend out into the centuries.
Men are so wise in the study of womankind
they do not need much coaching to play their
parts effectively.
    It is not a difficult matter for a man to win a
woman's interested regard, and then her heart,
provided no one has pre-empted the claim.  Woman
is born expectant.  She is looking for the possible
lover before she is out of short skirts.
    The man who knows how to be delicate enough,
and bold enough, attentive and indifferent enough,
yielding and strong willed enough, considerate and
aggressive enough, may win her with the addition
of thoughtful attentions and well-turned compli-
    After he has won her, however; life and labor
have only begun for him.
    He must continue to be delicate and attentive,
but never indifferent or aggressive.
    Those qualities interest a woman in a lover, but
they disillusion her with a husband.
    Neither must he be yielding, save in small mat-
ters.  In the large affairs of life he must be firm--
like a rock against which she may lean in every
gale, unafraid.
    A woman is charmed when she wins a lover away
from some bugbear of duty to her side.  This duty,
before marriage, ofttimes seems to her a rival; after
she is his wife, his duty is her welfare, and she does
not approve if he neglects it for her caprice.
    She likes to make a fool of a man before marriage,
but she wants no fool for a husband.
    Yet, if his duty takes the form of an infatuation
for business which absorbs him, mind, soul, and
body, she regards is as a mistress who aims at
destroying the peace of her home.
    A woman likes a man to be well dressed--addicted
to baths and athletics, careful about hygienics,
tobacco, deodorizers for the breath, well shaven and
brushed, and more attentive to her at home and
abroad than to any other being-- woman, child, or
man.  She likes him to be admired by other women,
however, and to know how to entertain them with-
out becoming entangled--a nice and delicate art.

Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.

Previous Chapter
Return to the Table of Contents
Next Chapter