Counsel tells you that I am a woman. I wonder that the planets did not stand still in their course and rivers cease to run to the sea at the announcement of this startling discovery. I am amazed that His Honor did not faint upon the bench and that you gentlemen of the jury have survived this awful shock to your nervous systems.
Let me kindly admonish the learned counsel that in a matter of great pith and moment like this he should break the news gently and not plunge such an original thought upon an unprepared jury. A few more such thoughtless revelations and your nervous forces will be destroyed and your reason dethroned. Counsel should beware how he heedlessly enlightens an unprepared jury on such a vital topic.
Again he tells you that I am a woman. By a natural antithesis I presume he would have you infer that he is not. I suppose he wants me to tell you that he is a man and he takes this hurried opportunity and adroit method of testifying to the fact. Though nobody has yet denied it, he seems to be in a fever of anxiety to emphasize that he is a man. I don’t know why he should make such unseemly haste in announcing it…
I am that formidable and terrifying object known as a woman — while he is only a poor, helpless, defenseless man, and he wants you to take pity on him and give him a verdict in this case. I sympathize with counsel in his unhappy condition. True, the world is open to him. He is the peer of all men — he can aspire to the highest offices, he can carry a torch over our streets during a political campaign and sell his vote for a dollar and half on election day, and yet he isn’t satisfied. Like Alexander, who wanted more worlds to conquer, he wants verdicts, and in order to awaken your sympathy for him, he tells you that I am a woman and he is only a man.
—Clara Shortridge Foltz, 1890
(Quote is in response to attorney Thetas Stonehill noting that she was a woman.)
On The Art of The Smack-Down