I told my parents I wanted to study Medicine. They refused me to do this. Among other things it was "unsexing". They said they thought I had not the brains to pass the examinations, nor the physical stamina for the hard work involved in the seven years study.
One evening my mother came into my room to talk to me. 'If you are still thinking of being a doctor, you'd better give it up at once. The whole thing is not practical. For one thing you're too old. The profession is already overcrowded and hundreds of girls are going into it. Besides, you would have to live in London. You are too young to live in London'.
'Just now you said I was too old, and now I'm too young,' I remarked. I said that Dr. Louisa Martindale had told me the supply didn't meet the demand and all the woman doctors she knew were doing well. 'Women are so inaccurate, I don't believe her, said my mother. 'But as regards the living in London and training, I tell you at once, I couldn't afford it, so that's the end of it. I spend everything I have on making your father's remaining years happy.'
I was hating the whole conversation, but keeping very calm and cool, my mother continued 'Also it wants great physical strength and you aren't at all strong. You would be wasting the best years of your youth and happiness - you would lose all your friends
You would be mixing with girls of a lower class. The majority would be much beneath you. You couldn't possibly do anything socially, and you would ruin your chance of a woman's only real happiness - being a mother.'
'I feel sure you will regret it later. You would only be able to attend women
It would be a very dull life. Dorothy (Octavia's married sister) has a most interesting life. And she has the satisfaction of knowing that she is making one man perfectly happy', Then she went off into a lecture on the happiness to be obtained from a marriage for money.