• bust pride 1c65d a4eef

    Pride Month is upon us, and with it comes a bunch of fabulous ways to celebrate your individuality, including a dope party hosted by BUST, Ace Hotel New York, and The John Dory Oyster Bar in New York. The John Dory Oyster Bar located inside the Ace Hotel (20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001), and conveniently happens to be on the same street (W 29th ) this year's Pride march wraps at 3 pm on June 24th. The sunny venue is the perfect place to fuel up on food specials and party 'till the sun goes down. 

    Screen Shot 2018 06 12 at 1.10.37 PM 8aaacDJ Gooddroid

    The event will feature NYC-based DJs DJ Gooddroid, owner and CEO of Loveless Records; and DJ Sheila B, host of Sophisticated Boom Boom on WFMU and Bound resident DJ, Night Doll. These artists will feature queer musicians and promote the visibility of underrepresented artists. By RSVPing, you'll be able to enjoy celebratory menu options, giveaways, music and more.

    Dust and Grooves 9014 418f0DJ Sheila B via Instagram

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    Night Doll


    Come join BUST on June 24th at 3 pm and celebrate Pride with us at The John Dory Oyster Bar.

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    Week Of Women: June 8-14, 2018 

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    It's our birthday and we want to celebrate! For over 25 years, BUST has been releasing content that pushes feminism, equality, and inclusion forward. We take pride in the number of influential, inspiring, and hard-working feminists we have had the chance to collaborate with over the years. In order to honor the hard work and love that has gone into BUST with the combined help of staff, contributors, and of course our subscribers, we are throwing a party—and you are all invited! Join us Tuesday, August 28th at the iconic House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY) for a party you won't want to miss. A portion of all ticket sales donated to the reproductive rights organization NNAF National Network of Abortion Funds.

    BUST 25th Party Banner final HOY Banner df6b6


    Comedian and actress Jenny Slate will host and entertain between our Golden Bra Award presentations. The event will also feature comedy from Aparna Nancherla and Patti Harrison, an appearance by Amber Tamblyn, a special DJ Set by DJ Low Down Loretta Brown (aka Erykah Badu) and so much more!

    jenny f5035Host Jenny Slate

    Screenshot 89 cd3bcPatti Harrison and Aparna Nancherla

    The Golden Bra Awards will be presented to some of our favorite luminaries in women’s culture. Past recipients include Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna, Margaret Cho, and Jean Grae.

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    And to keep the party going, we will feature a number of musical acts, including Miss Eaves.

    st0QS5AQ b18ebMiss Eaves, photo by Sarah Jacobs

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    Get your tickets before they sell out!

    General Admission is $40. The first 100 people to walk through the door will get free swag bags! 

    VIP tickets are $100 and include the following:

    Special seated area.

    2 drink tickets per person.

    VIP swag bags.

    A 1-year subscription to BUST Magazine.

    Special issues from the archives.

    The chance to come up onstage with us and wish us a happy birthday!

    Meet-and-greet with BUST's founders and publishers Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel and the rest of the BUST team.


  • badu5 e3a10 7438c

    We previously highlighted all the amazing comedians who will grace the stage at our 25th Anniversary Party on August 28. But they won’t be the only ones—we also have an amazing lineups of musicians and DJs who will keep you dancing all night long. The party will take place at Brooklyn’s iconic House of Yes, and a portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the NNAF (National Network of Abortion Funds).

    Check out our list of musical acts, grab your ticket today, and stay tuned for more updates! 

    image.pngPhoto by Nadya Wasylko for BUST

    DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown

    Erykah Badu (aka DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown, and former BUST cover star) will be playing a special DJ set at our anniversary party! Badu is a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and producer whose debut album, Baduizm (1997) was certified triple platinum. Her music has also been distinguished by the BET Awards, NAACP Image Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards.

    Miss Eaves

    This Brooklyn-based rapper first stole our hearts with her body-positive anthem “Thunder Thighs,” and we were honored to premiere her music video for “Paper Mache (Single AF)” in January. Her other iconic song titles have included “Fuccboi Salute” and “Bush for the Push,” and we’re so excited she’ll be bringing her girl power to BUST’s stage.


    Described by NPR as “glam-grunge,” Brooklyn-based Sharkmuffin is known for fierce femme angst and raw, explosive sounds. Their music has been featured on Billboard, Noisey, NYLON, and, of course, BUST. Check out the band’s most recent singles, “Liz Taylor” and “Your Stupid Life” on Spotify, and catch them at our event on August 28. 

    DJ Dirtyfinger

    Brooklyn’s DJ Dirtyfinger, who’s previously joined us at several of our annual Craftaculars, will be bringing the party to the House of Yes! Check out some of his mixes on Soundcloud, or right here:

    The Resistance Revival Chorus

    We’ve featured The Resistance Revival Chorus a couple times in BUST, and we’re honored that this group of musical activists will be joining us to celebrate! The collective, which boasts over 60 women, have performed everywhere from on the subway to at the Grammys with Kesha.

    Kembra Pfahler With The Girls of Karen Black

    Artist Kembra Pfahler will be performing with some of the members of her glam punk band, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. Pfahler’s done it all: though she’s known for her music and filmmaking, she’s also an accomplished, iconic performance artist who’s participated in political pieces including Sewing Circle (1992) and Womanizer (2007).

    Top photo by Nadya Wasylko for BUST

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  • JaneElliottFinal 5b95b

    When Jane Elliott walked into her classroom in 1968, she introduced an exercise about racism that is still repeated all over the world. We caught up with the ground-breaking educator to discuss teaching kids about race, how there’s no such thing as “white” people, and why Black women are her heroes

    In June, Black Lives Matter uprisings against racial violence and police brutality raged from New York to Minneapolis, following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Riah Milton, and more. In response, the Internet buzzed with viral anti-racist videos and bestselling-book lists about race. Rapper and activist Killer Mike followed suit by giving a homework assignment to white Americans while appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the midst of global protests. “Google Jane Elliott and spend one hour” learning from her on YouTube, he advised.

    Killer Mike’s directive and the recirculation of Jane Elliott’s past conversations on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk series reignited interest in her notorious yet controversial “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” exercise. In the midst of this momentum, footage featuring Elliott—now a spirited 86-year-old Iowan schoolteacher-turned-diversity trainer and advocate—made the rounds on social media as headlines noted unprecedented white participation in Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

    On the upswing of protests worldwide, Elliott declares, “Young people are saying, ‘We cannot go along with this. We cannot call this a democracy and have 15 to 30 percent of our population being treated the way we treat people of color in this country.’”

    Elliott’s moment of inspiration came while watching TV on the evening of April 4, 1968. At that time a teacher in Riceville, IA, she had been ironing a teepee she planned to use in a classroom activity about empathy the next day. She rooted her lesson in the message from a prayer often attributed to the Sioux: “Oh great spirit, keep me from ever judging a man until I have walked in his moccasins.” While she prepared for the day ahead, the news tragically turned to the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., rocking the nation and transforming Elliott’s classroom—and many others for years to come.

    When Elliott walked into her third-grade classroom in the aftermath of King’s death, her all-white students from a town of fewer than 1,000 people awaited her with questions about why someone would kill their “Hero of the Month.” In response, she devised a lesson to not just teach them about racism, but also what it feels like to be discriminated against. She has since repeated the exercise with thousands of people. Coverage by BBC, PBS, ABC, and other outlets has catapulted Elliott’s methods into classrooms and workplaces around the world from the United States to Saudi Arabia.

    While it has changed a bit over the years, the class basically runs the same way each time, as seen in a 1970 documentary. After discussing racism with her all-white students, she acknowledges that it would be difficult for them to know what it would feel like to be judged by the color of their skin. She then asks if they would like to find out. The students eagerly say “Yes!,” and Elliott’s experiment begins. “I’m the teacher, and I’m blue-eyed. In fact, the blue-eyed people are the better people in this room. They’re smarter than the brown-eyed people,” she proclaims, as a few students giggle. Without cracking a smile, she doubles down, letting the kids know she’s serious. Pointing out one student in the back of the classroom, she asks, “Is your dad brown-eyed?” When the boy answers in the affirmative, she continues. “One day you came to school and you told us that he kicked you. Do you think a blue-eyed father would kick his son?” Another student quickly raises his hand to respond. “My dad’s blue-eyed, he’s never kicked me!” he shouts. The game is on.

    Throughout the day, Elliott provides blue-eyed students special privileges, while sidelining brown-eyed students. “Blue-eyed people get five extra minutes of recess, while brown-eyed people have to stay in. Brown-eyed people do not get to use the drinking fountain; you have to use the paper cups. Brown-eyed people are not to play with blue-eyed people in the playground,” she commands, demanding that the brown-eyed kids put on ugly collars “so we can tell from a distance what color your eyes are.”

    Not surprisingly, and by design, the brown-eyed students grow frustrated and distressed after being singled out, repeatedly scolded for their mistakes, and segregated from their friends. At the same time, the so-called “superior” blue-eyed students begin mirroring the anti-brown-eyed narrative by mistreating, bossing around, and ignoring their “inferior” schoolmates.

    The next day, Elliott changes the rules. “Yesterday I told you that brown-eyed people weren’t as good as blue-eyed people,” she announces. “I lied to you yesterday. The truth is, brown-eyed people are better than blue-eyed people.” The lesson is now played in reverse, but the results are the similar: “superior students” behave more arrogantly and authoritatively towards their lower-status counterparts, while “inferior” students isolate themselves with increased reticence. Even students’ performance on educational tasks is impacted by their position in their classroom power structure, with kids performing worse when they are assigned to the “inferior” group, and performing better when “superior.”

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    Elliott teaching the “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment to her students in 1970

    Oftentimes, when she runs this exercise with older students or adults, like on Oprah, someone from the “inferior” group will become so frustrated at how they are being treated, they’ll get up and leave. But Elliott has no patience for this type of “white fragility,” and uses it to illustrate her point. “When you get tired of being treated unfairly because of your eye color, you can just walk out that door!,” she’ll bark, heatedly. “But [people of color] can’t [do that], because there’s no place in this country where they aren’t going to be exposed to racism. They can’t even stay in their own homes and not be exposed to [it] if they turn on the television!”

    When I first call Jane Elliott to set up our interview, she gives me a friendly-but-firm note: “When you write this, make sure you don’t introduce me as an anti-racist educator, I prefer to be described as doing pro-human work.” She then clarifies her perspective in our follow-up conversation. “If we teach children to save their lives, then we had best teach children that we are all members of the same race,” she says. “Human beings come in different shades of brown, but we are all shades of brown. There are, however, no people who are white.”

    Reflecting on the upsurge of progressive kids’ literature and specifically best-selling books about race in recent months, Elliott suggests that “somebody use the Pantone color wheel in a children’s book,” to educate the next generation about racism and equality. “Put it in a book. And then say to the children, ‘Find the color of the back of your hand or your face on this color wheel. That’s the color of your skin. Your skin is that color because the first modern human beings that evolved on Earth were exposed to great amounts of sunlight, so their bodies produced a lot of melanin. Your great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother was one of those. But as those people moved farther from the equator, they were exposed to less sunlight, so their bodies produced less melanin. That’s [how] people came up with the name white.’” When asked about critics who today, many years after she taught kids about race in school, still disavow using children’s books to introduce youth to concepts like race and systemic power, she sharply retorts, “Do we teach three-year-olds to stay out of the road so they won’t be hit by a car?”

    “What’s happening now is the result of  Black mothers who refused to give up and refused to believe the 
nonsense that we’ve all been told all our lives.”

    Although Elliott is most well-known for her trailblazing solidarity work in racial justice spaces, she is also well-versed on the persistent forces barring equality for all people. While noting the Trump Administration’s threats to reproductive justice, Planned Parenthood, and immigrant rights, she rejects labeling herself as a humanist or feminist, saying, “I see myself as an individual. I won’t join a group. Because then I would have to take on the principles and the policies of that group. And invariably, there would be something where I would say, ‘There is no way I’m going to spout that nonsense.’ I won’t join groups that are calling themselves ‘allies’ of Black people. Because practically all of them have taken on words like ‘unconscious bias’ and ‘conscious bias.’ We would rather talk about [bias] in psychological terms, than say, ‘Here’s what you just said, and here’s what you just did. And here’s why I find it ugly, and I won’t tolerate it.’”

    Full of vigor and hope to continue her work, Elliott notes that once the threat of Coronavirus is behind us, she’s keen on reigniting in-person events, especially with her previous co-panelists Angela Davis and Willow Smith. Throughout our conversation, her insistence on centering the leadership and vision of Black women as a path to progress is clear. “I’m not taking credit, nor do I deserve credit, for anything positive that’s happening today,” she says. “The people [who deserve] credit are those Black women who refused to be kept down. My heroes are Black women. Make no mistake about this. They keep on keeping on. And they will overcome. No doubt about it. Because they have to. They have no choice. They have developed coping skills that I will never develop because I don’t have to. What’s happening now is the result of Black mothers who refused to give up and refused to believe the nonsense that we’ve all been told all our lives.”

    After inviting me to join her for a “cup of something hot” in Iowa to strategize about remaking the world for the present and future, Elliott chuckles. “Willow [Smith] said to me after I was done with the Red Table thing, ‘Can we go on the road together when this is over? I’d like to go on the road with you.’ I said, ‘When you’re ready to go, give me a call.’ And she laughed, and I laughed.” 

    By Jamia Wilson 
    Illustrated by Laura Freeman

    This article originally appeared in the Fall 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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  • fb event lindy 4cfa0

    These may be days of rage for women’s rights activists burning it all down in the age of Trump, Weinstein, and #MeToo. But here at BUST, we also know that feminism can be super fun, and we’ve got a bunch of great activist-inspired workshops at this year’s BUST Holiday Craftacular—Dec. 9 & 10, Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St.—that prove exactly that.

    First up, we have amazing talks featuring Lindy West, Amber Tamblyn, and Kristen Sollee

    Then, we've got amazing classes going on all day. Gather your girl gang together and try out a workshop onAncestral Memory and Body Decolonization. Or get grounded with a tutorial on#MeToo Tools & Active Meditationthat will help transform your relationship to power.

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    And for those who want to get crafty, our ‘Zine Makingclass and Patches for Revolution demo will help you channel your inner riot grrrl.


    You’d be hard pressed to find such a diverse and expansive lineup of interactive programming anywhere else, especially at this price. Tickets for individual workshops are only $15. But if you want to workshop-hop all day long, a day pass is $40 and a weekend-long pass is $75. These passes also get you into all music performances and talks from feminist luminaries including Lindy West, Amber Tamblyn, and Liz Winstead! So gather up your posse and prepare for a fantastic feminist weekend of good vibes and skill sharing at the BUST Craftacular!

    Special thanks to our art supply vendor Artists and Craftsman Supply.

  • 800px Donald Trump closeup b362e

    This morning, The Wall Street Journal asserted that Trump “personally directed” his former attorney Michael Cohen and son, Eric Trump, in planning efforts to stop adult film star Stormy Daniels from further sharing details of their affair.

    The Journal wrote that, according to several individuals close to the situation, Trump suggested Cohen get a restraining order to prevent Daniels from speaking with the media. He also said that he would pay all costs and that Cohen should work with his son on necessary paperwork, reported NBC.

    This is major, since—as Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote on Twitter—the news “describes what we have been saying for months and what Trump and Cohen denied repeatedly.” 



    Back in January, the Journal revealed that Trump and Cohen paid Daniels $130,000, around the time of his election, to stay silent about the affair, which Trump continues to deny—though Cohen admitted to the hush money and pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes in August. 

    But despite Trump’s attempts, Daniels won’t stay silent. Her memoir, Full Disclosure, is out today. In it, she shares the details of her affair with Trump, her thoughts on how it was revealed to the public, and the constant manipulation and harrassment from Cohen and her former attorney Keith Davidson, wrote the Hollywood Reporter. (She also shares some, uh, unsavory information about Trump’s penis.) 

    After all, as Daniels says in her book’s synopsis: “Standing up to bullies is kind of my thing.”

    Top photo via Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore

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  • XD oHmRx 054c4

    An imperial city with a seedy communist past, Budapest sits directly at the intersection of glamour and grit. By night, the “Capital of Freedom” is an illuminated fairytale split in half by the black waters of the Danube river, animated by partiers both foreign and domestic. By day, it’s a bustling capital boasting Turkish influences, Habsburg history, and the many scars of war. Like any good love affair, this affordable Central European gem is a heady combination of pleasure and history, destined to seduce even the most seasoned traveler.

    Budapest has two main shopping centers, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Andrássy Avenue, and the Jewish Quarter. Sandwiched between the two you’ll find boutiques boasting distinctly Hungarian designs. Don’t miss Margot (Irányi u. 10, 1056), a boutique hosting only female Hungarian designers and hyper-feminine looks. It’s staffed by the designers themselves, so you’ll get the chance to chat about the pieces—like a pink velvet wide-brimmed hat or a leather handbag covered in hand-drawn naked ladies—with the women who made them. Then mosey on down to The Garden Studio (Paulay Ede u. 18, 1061) or Lollipop Factory(Király u. 24, 1061) for some seriously eclectic designs that could only be found in Eastern Europe. Think metallic hot pants, jewelry made from AstroTurf, and looks inspired by retro-futurism. For more sophisticated pieces hit Nanushka (Bécsi u. 3, 1052), run by a husband-and-wife team quickly gaining an international following for their satin dresses.

    WmEE5r1W 04536The Garden Studio

    TLfLYpsO 3b870Lollipop Factory

    Budapest is perhaps most famous for its thermal baths, and rightly so. Where else is it socially acceptable, nay, encouraged, to spend entire days soaking in hot water while drinking wine? The Turkish bath known as Rudas (Döbrentei tér 9, 1013) is a true Hungarian treasure. Floating around among the steam, waterfalls, and Medieval architecture, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world where pleasure reigns and wine is cheaper than water. Since it’s open until 4 a.m. on weekends and boasts an on-site bar and nap room, there’s no reason to cut the fantasy short. Gellért Thermal Baths (Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118) is another local favorite. This art nouveau masterpiece is not to be missed by lovers of indulgence or architecture.

    iBkWlqu0 29d0fGellért Thermal Baths

    For dinner, stop by Onyx (Vörösmarty tér 7, 1051) to explore Michelin-starred interpretations of Hungarian cuisine. What’s Hungarian cuisine like? It’s basically comfort food whipped up by the most loving grandmother in the world—hot stews, potato dishes, and lots and lots of cheese. If you like a more traditional approach, grab a table at Drum Cafe (Dob u. 2, 1072) for hearty fare and decadent desserts flavored with nostalgia. Hungarians are famous for their sweets, so don’t miss the honey cake or palacsinta (Hungarian crepes). After a night of partying, score some langos—deep fried dough covered in garlic, sour cream, and local cheese—Hungary’s national hangover cure, on virtually any street corner.

    vQ1J509q 3a3f2Onyx

    Iconic buildings destroyed by war, then reclaimed decades later by a bunch of aesthetically minded young folks in need of a place to party—what could be more Hungarian than Budapest’s famous ruin pubs? Don’t miss the gorgeous restaurant and ruin pub Mazel Tov (Akácfa u. 47, 1072), serving up artisan cocktails and Israeli fare. Just next door is the grungy, psychedelic Fogasház Kert(Akácfa u. 49-51, 1073). Eastern Europe might not always be the most friendly place for queer folk, but you can certainly find a safe haven at Auróra (Auróra u. 11, 1084), a queer community space, nightclub, and bagel shop. And of course, you can’t miss the one that started it all, the original ruin pub, Szimpla Kert (Kazinczy u. 14, 1075). Go on a weekday to skip the crowd. 

    6VdwhFLY c4ebaSzimpla Kert

    Beauty abounds in Budapest. Fisherman’s Bastion, a lookout point on the Castle Hill (Szentháromság tér, 1014), hosts romantic views of the Danube. Art lovers can head to the nearby Hungarian National Gallery (Szent György tér 2, 1014) inside Buda Castle to see the most beloved pieces of Hungarian art. For a more mystical experience, glide over to Gellért Hill Cave and wander around the once forbidden Cave Church (Szent Gellért tér 1, 1111). Conquered time and time again, Budapest still showcases art bearing the influences of its many invaders, while remaining true to Hungarian culture. One of the best examples of the singularly Hungarian cultural legacy is the Museum of Applied Arts (Üllői út 33-37, 1091), which spotlights the architectural elements that have made Budapest so strangely majestic.

    8ZKGQc5B c0c55Fisherman's Bastion

    By Isabella Beham
    Photographed by Anna Illés
    Top photo: Buda Castle on Castle Hill
    This piece originally appeared in the January/February 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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    suf city11 51b38

    Suffragette City is a collective made up of artists, writers, and musicians aiming to break up the cis male-dominated creative scene. Their DIY zine elevates work made by women and genderqueer artists. Suffragette relies heavily on its punk rock ethos, providing a zine that is independently produced by a small team of local artists. But don't let the word "DIY" fool you into thinking that this is some amateurish endeavor! Gwynn Galitzer, founder of Suffragette City, is a self-proclaimed "graphic design nerd" and no newcomer to the world of printmaking. Galitzer has been making zines since high school and studied printmaking at SVA.

    suf city 2ec2aSuffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

    As a native New Yorker, Galitzer works with long-term friends, members of her tight-knit artist community, and even top industry professionals to print a high caliber magazine that is as aesthetically compelling as it looks. The zines, which are produced out of Galitzer’s living room, are all handmade and created with tremendous love and care. To pay for production costs, fundraising parties featuring local bands and artists are thrown regularly. 

    suffff 5edbcSuffragette City Issue #1 (painting: Katelan Foisey)

    Having a professional looking magazine produced at a DIY level provides local underground artists the unique opportunity of getting their work out into the world and being taken seriously. Suffragette aims to bring marginalized voices into the light; bridging the gap between female creators around the world. Galitzer hopes the work will reach young girls who may not have immediate access to this kind of community and inspire them to keep creating. 


    13174005 1069322766423858 5419952796144149452 n 39df3Suffragette City table at 2016 Pioneer Works Zine Exchange

    First photo by (Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell, illustration: Harley Kinberg)

     You can catch Suffragette City at this year's BUST Holiday Craftacular. Attendees will have the opportunity to make their own zine out of a single piece of paper and learn basic zine folding techniques. You can even leave behind your zine at the workshop and Suffragette City will print and distribute it for you!


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  • Quarreling c. 1874 76 by James Tissot. cropped 1bc07

    Nobody likes to be shouted at or spoken to in an abusive, combative tone. In the Victorian era, however, such behavior was especially distasteful when engaged in by a man and directed at a woman. Men were generally larger in size and more powerful in position. It was seen as their duty as gentlemen to treat women with respect, whether those women be the lowliest of servants or the grandest of ladies. 

    Etiquette books of the day offered plenty of advice on the subject of a gentleman’s behavior toward the so-called weaker sex. For instance, in his 1873 book The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, Cecil B. Hartley states that “civility is particularly due to all women,” even those women who were abusive or provoking. He explains, “The greatest man would justly be reckoned a brute if he were not civil to the meanest woman. It is due to their sex, and is the only protection they have against the superior strength of ours.”

    This sentiment is echoed in the 1877 book The Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Etiquette, in which Eliza Bisbee Duffey argues that “a true gentleman” should always be “helpful and protecting to the weak.” As such, “Women—all women, of whatever age or condition—claim his respectful care and tender and reverential regard."

    arrufos by belmiro de almeida 1887 e1538346436724 bd092The Spat by Belmiro de Almeida, 1887. (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes)


     There was no excuse for a man to speak harshly, either to a woman or in the presence of one. No matter the circumstances, a true Victorian gentleman was always supposed to control his temper and moderate his tone. According to the 1889 Hand-Book of Official and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonials at Washington, “Exhibitions of excitement, impatience or anger in the presence of ladies are a disrespect, no matter what may have happened.”

    Gentlemen of fiery disposition were advised to keep a firm hold on their tempers when in company with women. Hartley instructs his male readers, “Learn to restrain anger. A man in a passion ceases to be a gentleman, and if you do not control your passions, rely upon it, they will one day control you.”


    An Argument in the Corridors of the Opera by Jean Georges Beraud 1889 fbe36An Argument in the Corridors of the Opera by Jean-Georges Béraud, 1889.


    For those gentlemen who needed added incentive to remain civil toward a provoking woman, Hartley offers the following advice: “If you are ever tempted to speak against a woman, think first—‘Suppose she were my sister!'”

    Men who verbally attacked women were no gentlemen. Even worse, they were seen as cowardly. The sort of fellows who, according to Hartley, would “absolutely be afraid, to speak against a man, or that same woman, had she a manly arm to protect her.”

    Instead, gentlemen were urged to take an almost paternalistic view toward the women they encountered. It was more than refraining from shouting at a woman or holding the occasional door. There were hundreds of little services a Victorian gentleman might perform. Anything and everything, from offering his arm to help a lady cross a street to giving up his seat on a public conveyance.

    Today, there is greater (though still not perfect) equality between the sexes. Most women prefer to be treated as equals rather than put on a pedestal. Nevertheless, the sight of a man being verbally aggressive toward a woman still makes many of us uncomfortable. Is it because the behavior is ungentlemanly? Or because—given the physical and power differential—it’s downright abusive? As always, I’ll let you be the judge.


    Top image:Quarreling by James Tissot, c. 1874-76. (Private Collection)

    This post originally appeared on MimiMatthews.com and is reprinted with permission. 

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