A few years ago, I wrote a book "about" certain pieces of women's history, especially how Women have long been the recipients of the World's well-intentioned advice. (We need "benevolent guidance," or a "firm hand," or "a moral education," or possibly something more modern like a "makeover" or "a series of condescending blog comments explaining why our thoughts, feelings and appearance are wrong," you know.)
I think I will post a poem from it, each day in March.
If you are interested in reading more "about" it, please go here and here and here.
The advice in the book ranges in time from 1882 to the present. Here is the preface, which I stole from the antique volume that inspired (infected?) me.
THE author of this book lays no claim to originality of subject-matter. She has nothing new to say. She does, however, claim originality upon one ground, that of making selections from the writings and teachings of others,and from observation and experience;that of culling here and there knowledge, facts, motives, ideas, and grouping them into practical form. Seeking to make the material for instruction as complete as possible, she has seized upon and appropriated anything which could contribute to the general design. She has only sought to adapt what others have said to the good of the class for whom she has written.
She herewith submits her efforts to the common sense of her audience, and the common need of our common natures.