In 1884 J.W. Burgon says about the radical idea that women should be admited to universities:
Will none of you have the generosity of the candour to tell [Woman] what a very disagreeable creature, in Man’s account, she will inevitably become? If she is to compete successfully with men for ‘honours’, you must needs put the classic writers of antiquity unreservedly in her hands – in order words, must introduce her to the obscenities of Greek and Roman literature. Can you seriously intend it? … I take leave of the subject with a short Allocution addressed to the other sex … Inferior to us God made you: and our inferiors to the end of time you will remain.”
(Quoted in Manguel, A History of Reading, after Jan Morris, ed., The Oxford Book of Oxford)
126 years later, if there’s one thing I can vouch for, it’s that I have become the disagreeable creature — so disagreeable in fact that she demands to be called “human”, not “creature” — Burgon seemed to be so afraid of; and also, it was not Suetonius’ fault.
Not even Cicero’s, or Caesar’s.
I’ll take the whole responsibility for that. Disagreeably. Hah.