Why can’t a man be more like a woman?

My title was a deliberate inversion of a line from George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion and the musical show based on it, My Fair Lady, which is probably better known. In exasperation, Professor Higgins cries ‘Why can’t a woman be more like a man?’ Why, I am inclined to ask, would anyone want such a thing!

My paper was published in the American journal, Educational Theory  Vol 40 No 1, 1990. I wrote in dissatisfaction with the standard assertions about the educational philosopher John  Locke, accusing him of being concerned only with the education of refined English gentlemen. It seems to me he was really saying, and saying vigorously, that the schools of his time were destroying what was good (and gentle) in boys and more  attention was needed to what a truly educated person should be.

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