"So almighty womanish..."
If her concentration will hold, she will endeavour to convey these to her readers in a manner which has some degree of logical stucture.
Some decades ago, when the young Lady Bracknell was reading for her degree at one of our country's most highly-respected seats of learning, Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd was one of the texts she studied for her optional "Themes of redemption in Literature" finals paper. Said classic text contains a description of Bathseba Everdene which has always stayed in her ladyship's memory.
Bathsheba is wholly infatuated with the outwardly charming Sergeant Troy but, knowing that his character is not generally respected, is tormented by her feelings towards him. She tells her servants that she hates him. When they agree with her that he is indeed hateful, she rails against them for judging the poor man so harshly. Ultimately, she threatens to dismiss her maid, Liddy, should the poor girl ever repeat the private conversation the two have had about the tortures of being a woman in love. Quickly repenting of this threat, she asks Liddy a question:
"I hope I am not a bold sort of maid -- mannish?"
"Oh no, not mannish; but so almighty womanish that 'tis getting on that way sometimes".
Lady Bracknell anticipates that it will come as no surprise to her regular readers - nor, indeed, to anyone who has read Mr Wilde's play - that she is constitutionally incapable of behaving in a demure, simpering and girlish manner. Nevertheless, she refuses to accept the universally held axiom that only such women who concern themselves with powder, paint and uncomfortably elegant shoes - and who subjugate their own wishes to those of whichever man is their current companion - are worthy of the epithet "feminine". There is, she believes, a great deal of more worth to celebrate about womankind than their ability to ensure that The Men always have clean underpants.
Forthright ladies with strong opinions - opinions which they do not shrink from expressing publicly and with no little vehemence - all risk being accused of behaving in an "unfeminine" manner. Lady Bracknell does not really give a fig whether she is considered unfeminine, but neither does she believe that her character is in any way masculine. She believes "almighty womanish" to be as good a description as any.
The above preamble being out of the way, Lady Bracknell wishes to record two occasions on which young ladies have spoken their minds without prevarication and in a manner which would probably not be considered as meeting the feminine ideal. Feminine or not, however, Lady Bracknell believes their responses to have been entirely female.
The first anecdote dates back once again to Lady Bracknell's days as an undergraduate. Every October, the new influx of students to the city in question would galvanise the local flashers into action.
The young gel of whom Lady Bracknell speaks was but eighteen years of age, and had vacated the bosom of her family less than a week prior to the event in question. Consider, then, the admirable presence of mind required to respond calmly, upon being presented somewhat forcefully with a dangling male appendage, with the words, "Yes, I see. Are you boasting or complaining?".
Some years after this, Lady Bracknell was in conversation with Panayiotta, a young Greek Cypriot woman of her acquaintance. It is, of course, true that Greek persons are generally more direct in their speech than are their British counterparts. Nevertheless, the following - to employ the modern idiom - "takes some beating".
In their teens and twenties, forceful women often find themselves doggedly pursued by otherwise passive young men who would willingly leap to do their every bidding. This sort of adoration can quickly become exceedingly tedious, particularly when what one wants is someone with whom one can interact on equal terms rather than a whipping boy.
Panayiotta, faced with one such individual who had proved himself impervious to subtle hints, eventually dismissed him with the words,
"Yes. I think I've reached the end of your personality now".
(Admirers of her ladyship - should any exist - who are uncertain of their capacity to fascinate her indefinitely, would be advised to bear in mind that it has long been her ambition to have the opportunity to repeat this inspired line herself.)