“This fearful and wonderful product of American progressiveness—this worst type of monomaniac (man-o-maniac, one might more appropriately term her) is driving men to drink. The mother-in-law is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, compared to the mannish woman; the female book-agent takes on new lustre and even the poetess is a desirable companion beside her. The mannish woman wears a coat and vest and—no, she doesn’t wear trousers, because she doesn’t dare, but a vertical strip of braid down the middle of her skirt suggests the effect. From a distance you couldn’t distinguish between her and a man to save your life, for her hat, shirt-bosom, collar and tie are the real thing. She has pockets in her skirt, one on each side, and, sometimes at the club, she puts her hands in them and, with arms akimbo, admires herself in the glass. At the club also she does other things to show how independent she is. She slaps her friend on the back with a ‘Hello, Gertie. How’s tricks?’ and orders a glass of soda-lemonade with a cherry in it. She wouldn’t take a man’s arm for the world, which is perhaps fortunate, for she seldom gets a chance. But she likes to talk to a man about the races and exhibit her knowledge of baseball slang.
“A friend of mine has an elderly sister who is a mannish woman. Contrary to the popular belief, she never borrows his neckties or collars, but perhaps this may be accounted for by the fact that Fred is rather stout in the neck and seldom wears a tie. She got him to tie a four-in-hand for her one day. Fred used to be a sea-captain in his early days and, although he could make all kinds of splices with a rope, he had never tackled a four-in-hand. He was game, however, and, after a hard tussle, accomplished what is known in nautical parlance as a ‘clove hitch.’ Fred’s sister wore it night and day for a week and then cut it off with a pair of scissors.
“Fred had another experience some time after this which nearly proved serious. His sister was on the reception committee for a club function one evening and asked her brother’s advice in regard to mixing punch. Fred is an obliging fellow, so he got his friend, who is a barkeeper, to mix up a couple of gallons and send it over to the clubhouse with his compliments. The barkeeper thought it was for Fred’s club so he made it good and stiff. It was an innocuous looking mixture and tasted innocent enough, so the club women said it was ‘bully’ and partook freely.
“About twelve o’clock that night, somebody telephoned for Fred to come quick. Just exactly what happened, Fred never would tell, but it cost him about $40 for cab fares and an equal amount to keep it out of the papers. Now, whenever one of the club women sees him, she crosses the street.
“I don’t believe there is any province in Heaven for the mannish woman. If there is, I know lots of men who would enter upon a life of crime rather than take a chance of going there when they die. I think there is a special place in Hades, where the mannish woman will be made to wear a mother-hubbard and let down her back hair. If there isn’t, Mephistopheles don’t understand his business a little bit.”