Feminism or hooliganism? This image can inspire so many interpretations. I would rather stick with the most obvious reading: a bunch of people enjoying the snow. Except, the older fellow getting pelted with snowballs is definitely having no fun at that moment in this caricature. The January before this engraving was published in May 1794, Scotland suffered through an exceptional snowstorm that killed more than 1,800 sheep, several people, and many other animals. Perhaps the magnitude of that weather event stuck in the artist’s mind when he was drawing this satirical depiction of his “Old Buck,” in the balmy spring of 1794.
For more on feminism in eighteenth-century literature and culture, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
Rereading the Patriarchal Text: The Female Quixote, Northanger Abbey, and the Trace of the Absent Mother
Theodicy versus Feminist Strategy in Mary Wollstonecraft’s Fiction
‘Turning the World Upside Down’: Madness, Moral Management, and Frances Burney’s The Wanderer
“No place where women are of such importance”: Female Friendship, Empire, and Utopia in The History of Emily Montague
The Political Novel and the Seduction Plot: Thomas Holcroft’s Anna St. Ives
Gothic Origins: New Primary Scholarship