The Public Interest

Girls just wanna have fun

Diana Schaub

Fall 1997

SPEAKING of the burgeoning feminist movement, Henry Jamess tough-minded female doctor in The Bostonians (1886) says:

“Well, what it amounts to is just that women want to have a better time. That’s what it comes to in the end.”

“And don’t you sympathize with such an aspiration?”

“Well, I don’t know as I cultivate the sentimental side,” said Doctor Prance. “There’s plenty of sympathy without mine. If they want to have a better time, I suppose it’s natural; so do men too, I suppose. But I don’t know as it appeals to me—to make sacrifices for it; it ain’t such a wonderful time—the best you can have!”

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