"Publick practice of any art, and staring in men's faces, is very indelicate in a female." An exception to this rule were actresses who in Johnson's opinion had a long history of "indelicacy." Women should also not talk more than necessary and certainly not become preachers because "a woman preaching was like a dog walking on its hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all."
Of course when a woman called him out on his sexism, Johnson responded with little reason but with just as much dry humour. Mrs Knowles commented to him about the double standard women face and Johnson responded with "It is plain, Madam, one or the other must have the superiority. As Shakespeare says, 'If two men ride on a horse, one must ride behind.'"