By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Woman in Modern Society
Author: Barnes, Earl, 1861-1935
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Woman in Modern Society" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.











This volume is dedicated to a woman endowed by her ancestors with
health and strength, reared by a wise mother, trained to earn her own
living, and university bred, at one time an independent wage-earner and
now equal partner in the business of a home, a social force in the life
of her community, member of a woman's club, a suffragist, the devoted
and intelligent mother of a group of fine children, and the center of a
family which loves and reverences her and finds the deepest meaning of
life in her presence.


CHAPTER                                         PAGE

   I.  WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WOMAN                 9
  II.  WOMAN'S HERITAGE                           31
 III.  WOMEN IN EDUCATION                         57
  IV.  THE FEMINIZING OF CULTURE                  85
  VI.  WOMEN IN INDUSTRY                         123
  IX.  THE MODERN FAMILY                         207
   X.  FAMILY LIFE AS A VOCATION                 231
  XI.  CONCLUSION                                251



What it Means to be a Woman

If we go back to the earliest forms of life, where the unit is simply a
minute mass of protoplasm surrounded by a cell wall, we find each of
these divisions to be a complete individual. It can feed itself, that
its life may go on to-day; it can fight or run away, that it may be here
to fight to-morrow; and by a process of division it can create a new
life so that its existence may continue across the generations. With
such units it is quite conceivable that life might go on through all
eternity, death following birth, were it not that protoplasm contains
within itself a principle of change. Life and change are synonymous.

And this change moves ever toward a complexity, which we call
development, where cells unite in a larger life, and functions and
organs are specialized. Thus there comes a time when the part split off
carries with it power to eat and digest, to fight or run away, but only
half the power of procreation. This half unit, this incomplete
individual, is either male or female, and from this time on, the epic of
life gathers around the search of these half-lives for their
complements. The force that impels to this search, while at first
valuable only for the perpetuation of the generations, gathers into
itself modifying feeling and desires and, at a later period, ideas and
ideals, which finally, when men and women appear, make it the greatest
of all the shaping forces in life.[1]

[1] The fact that sexual selection does not play the part in organic
evolution which Darwin assigned it does not affect this statement. See
chapter on Sexual Selection in YVES DELAGEE and MARIE GOLDSMITH, _The
Theories of Evolution_, New York: Huebsch, 1912.

Of course, in such a sweeping statement as this, one must include under
sex hunger all the forces that drive men and women to seek each other's
society, rather than that of their own sex. In this sense, it can be
truly said that it gives a motive for our care of offspring, and for
all our other most self-forgetful devotions, our finest altruisms, our
most polished expressions in language, manners and dress. It justifies
labor, ambition, and at times even self-effacement. It underlies nearly
all the lyric expressions in art; furnishes almost the only theme for
that delineation of modern life which we call the novel; and is a main
support for music, painting, statuary and belles-lettres. It gives us
the institution of the family, which is the parent of the state; it is
closely allied to religion; and in our individual lives it lifts us to
the heights of self-realization and happiness, or plunges us down to the
depths of degradation and tragedy.

While this sex hunger belongs equally to men and women, it has come to
be associated with women, until we even speak of them as "the sex."
Hence, when we are discussing women, we are generally discussing the sex
interest common to both men and women, and this disturbs our point of
view. The fact is that sex interest is a common possession, that the
unit in human life, even more than among lower animals, is always a male
and a female bound together by love. Just as a body can function in
sleep or under the influence of a narcotic, for a time seemingly
independent of the mind, so a man or a woman can live for a time in
seeming independence of the opposite sex; but from any biological point
of view, such a separate existence of male and female is only a
transient effort. The half-life must find its mate or, after a few brief
days, it dies, leaving its line extinct. For all the larger purposes of
life, man is but a half-creature, and woman is equally a fragment.

It is, of course, conceivable that these two halves of the biological
unit might have been made, or might have developed, alike in everything
except the sexual function. At least they might have been as much alike
as men are alike. They might have been of the same size, possessed of
the same strength, of the same figures and gestures, complexion and
hair. Their voices might have been alike. They might have had the same
kinds of nervous systems, with the same desires, feelings, ideas and
tendencies. In the assertions and arguments born of intellectual,
industrial, social and political readjustments, it is often assumed
that this is the case. Differences are minimized or denied, and an
attempt is made to resolve the world of men and women into a world of
human beings capable of living together in mingled competitions and
coöperations, regardless of sex, except where the reproductive process
is considered. But this view is superficial; born of argument it breaks
down when confronted by any body of significant facts.

Again, it has happened that in the long struggle of developing
civilization, sometimes one and sometimes the other sex has gained what
has seemed an advantage over the other, just as in the development of
any man's individual life, his brain may gain a seeming advantage over
his stomach, so that it has more than its fair share of nourishment and
activity. Arguing from such a case, we might declare the brain superior
to the stomach in power, health and function; but in the long
accounting, all such temporary superiorities are wiped out. So with men
and women, seeming advantages for either are gained only at the expense
of the common life; and in the last analysis, each finds his individual
value only in the common life of the unit.

Let us try then to see what the special characteristics of women are,
ignoring as far as possible the accidental variations of individuals,
and the temporary advantages or disadvantages due to economic or
ideational forces, and all assertions of what would be if things were
not as they are.

While the whole matter of sex differences is in a state of unsettlement,
it seems very certain that males are more active and more variable than
females. This superabundant vitality appears in the males of the higher
animals in secondary sex characteristics, such as more abundant and
unnecessary hair and feathers, tusks, spurs, antlers, wattles, brilliant
colors and scent pouches. It also appears in mating calls, songs, and
general carriage of the body. Correspondingly, the female is smaller,
duller colored, and less immediately attractive than the male.

All the studies that have been made on men and women, also confirm our
ordinary observation that men are taller, heavier, stronger and more
active than women, and this holds true in all stages of civilization,
wherever tests have been made. In strength, rapidity of movement, and
rate of fatigue Miss Thompson's studies[2] show that men have a very
decided advantage over women. Thus in strength tests, the men in Yale
have double the power of women in Oberlin;[3] while our college athletic
records place men far ahead of women in all events requiring strength
and endurance.

[2] HELEN B. THOMPSON, _Psychological Norms in Men and Women_, p. 167.
University of Chicago Press, 1903.

[3] THOMAS, _Sex and Society_, p. 21. University of Chicago Press, 1907.

The differences in structure between men and women are such as to
correspond with the functional differences just stated. A woman's bones
are smaller in proportion to her size, than are those of a man. The body
is longer, the hips broader, and the abdomen more prominent. Relatively
to the length of the body, the arms, legs, feet and hands are shorter
than in men, the lower leg and arm are shorter in proportion to the
upper leg and arm. Man has the long levers and the active frame. One has
only to look at two good statues of a man and a woman to realize the
greater strength and activity of the man.

Woman, as she actually appears in modern society, is also less subject
to variation than man;[4] she is much less liable to be a genius or an
idiot than her brother.[5] She offers greater resistance to disease,
endures pain and want more stoically, and lives longer; so that while
more boys than girls are born in all parts of the world, where
statistics are kept, in mature years women always outnumber men.

[4] KARL PEARSON denies this. See _The Chances of Death_, Vol. I, p.
256. London, 1897.

[5] C.W. SALEEBY, in _Woman and Womanhood_, p. 54, New York, Mitchell
Kennerley, 1911, maintains that woman is biologically more variable than
man, and that woman's less variable activity is due to her training.

All these statements are summed up by saying that not only in women, but
in most female animals of the higher orders, life is more anabolic than
in males. They tend to more static conditions; they collect, organize,
conserve; they are patient and stable; they move about less; they more
easily lay on adipose tissue. Compared with the female, the male animal
is katabolic; he is active, impulsive, destructive, skilful, creative,
intense, spasmodic, violent. Such a generalization as this must not be
pushed too far in its applications to our daily life; but as a statement
of basal differences it seems justified by ordinary observation as well
as by scientific tests.[6]

[6] PATRICK GEDDES and ARTHUR THOMPSON, in _The Evolution of Sex_, D.
Appleton & Co., 1889, first advanced this position.

Meantime, it is probably true that the female, as mother of the race, is
more important biologically than the male, since she both furnishes germ
plasm and nourishes the newly conceived life. The latest studies, along
lines laid down by Mendel, seem to indicate that the female brings to
the new creation both male and female attributes, while the male brings
only male qualities. Thus when either sex sinks into insignificance, as
sometimes happens in lower forms of life, it is generally the male which
exists merely for purposes of reproduction.[7]

[7] C.W. SALEEBY, _Woman and Womanhood_, Chapter V. New York: Mitchell
Kennerley, 1911.

The differences in the nervous systems of men and women are now fairly
established on the quantitative side. Marshall has shown that if we
compare brain weight with the stature in the two sexes there is a slight
preponderance of cerebrum in males; but if the other parts of the brain
are taken into consideration, the sexes are equal.[8] Havelock Ellis has
carefully gathered the results of many investigators and declares that
woman's brain is slightly superior to man's in proportion to her
size.[9] But these quantitative differences are now felt to have
comparatively little significance; and of the relative qualities of the
brain substance in the two sexes we know nothing positively. In fact, if
we give a scientist a section of brain substance he cannot tell whether
it is the brain of a man or a woman.

[8] MARSHALL, _Journal of Anatomy and Physiology_, July, 1892.

[9] HAVELOCK ELLIS, _Man and Woman_, p. 97, Contemporary Science Series.

It is very probable that the average woman's mind is capable of much the
same activity as the average man's mind, given the same heredity and the
same training. They are both alike capable of remarkable feats of
imitation, and an ordinarily intelligent man could probably learn to
wear woman's clothes, and walk as she generally walks, so as to deceive
even a jury of women, if there were a motive to justify the effort.
Women also can perform, and they do perform, most of the feats of men.

At the same time it is desirable to note present differences in modes of
thinking and feeling, for while they may have been produced by
environment and ideals, and may hence give way to education, they must
be reckoned with in making the next steps. In the chapter on education
we shall discuss certain academic peculiarities of women's minds, but
here we are interested in seeing what fundamental differences
characterize the thinking of the sexes.

Women seem more subject to emotional states than men;[10] and this
general observation agrees with the fact that the basal ganglia of the
brain are more developed in women than in men, and these parts of the
brain seem most intimately concerned with emotional activity. Whether
emotion follows acts or leads to acts remains a disputed question, but
certainly emotion gives charm and significance to life and distinguishes
modes of thinking. Particularly in the dramatic art, this quality of
mind gives women special excellence. The fact that she more often
appeals to emotion than to reason, as cause for action, in no way marks
her as inferior to man, but simply as different. As Ellen Key says:
"There is nothing more futile than to try to prove the inferiority of
woman to man, unless it be to try to prove her equality."[11]

[10] HELEN BRADFORD THOMPSON, _Psychological Norms in Men and Women_, p.
171, University of Chicago Press, 1903.

[11] ELLEN KEY, _Love and Ethics_, p. 52. New York: Huebsch, 1911.

Most women think in particulars as compared with men. The individual
circumstance seems to them very important; and it is hard for them to
get away from the concrete. On the other hand, a man's thinking is more
impersonal and general; and he is more easily drawn into abstractions.
It is true that woman's domestic life would naturally develop this
quality but we are not now concerned with the question of origins. Most
women find it easy to live from day to day; the man is more given to
systematizing and planning. Thus in offices, men are more efficient as
heads of departments, while women handle details admirably. In public
life we have recently seen thousands of women eager to depose a United
States Senator, accused of polygamy, without regard to the bearing of
the concrete act on constitutional guarantees. Women have done little
with abstract studies like metaphysics; they have done much with the
novel, where ideas are presented in the concrete and particular.

This habit of dealing with particulars, and disinclination for
abstraction, leads easily to habitual action. It is easy for women to
stock up their lower nerve centers with reflex actions. This, of course,
goes along with the general anabolic characteristics of the sex. Hence
women are the conservers of traditions; rules of conducting social
intercourse appeal to them; and they are the final supporters of
theological dogmas.[12] Women naturally uphold caste, and Daughters of
the Revolution and Colonial Dames flourish on the scantiest foundations
of ancestral excellence. Man, on the other hand, is more radical and
creative. He has perfected most of our inventions; he has painted our
great pictures; carved our great statues; he has written music, while
women have interpreted it.

[12] HELEN B. THOMPSON, _Psychological Norms in Men and Women_, p. 171,
University of Chicago Press, 1903.

Along with these fixed qualities of action, women have a tendency to
indirection when they advance. We say they have diplomacy, tact and
coquetry, while man is more direct and bald in his methods. Of course,
one easily understands how these qualities may have arisen, since "fraud
is the force of weak natures," and woman has always been driven to
supplement her weakness with tact, from the days of Jael and Delilah
down to the present day adventuress.

These qualities of mind naturally drive women to literary interests
which are concrete, personal and emotional. Men turn more easily than
women to the abstract generalizations of science. Of course, there are
marked exceptions to these general statements, in both sexes. Madame
Curie, who was recently a candidate for the honors of the French
Academy, and who, in 1911, was given the Nobel prize for her
distinguished services to chemistry, is but one of many women who are
famous to-day in the world of science. Still the private life of these
women, as in the case of Sónya Kovalévsky, seems to bear out our general
conclusion. Men, on the other hand, as milliners and editors of ladies'
journals, show marked skill in catering to women's tastes; but on the
whole the differences indicated seem important and widely diffused.

Another profound difference between men and women is the woman's greater
tendency to periodicity in all her functions and adjustments to
life.[13] In all normal societies the life of the man is fairly regular
and constant from birth to old age. He moves along lines mainly
predetermined by his heredity and his environment, his habits and his
work. Even puberty is less disturbing in its effect upon a boy than upon
a girl; and often by eighteen we can anticipate the life of a young man
with great accuracy. The one element in his life hardest to forecast is
the effect of his love-affairs.

[13] See chapter on Periodicity in G. STANLEY HALL'S _Adolescence_, Vol.
I, p. 472.

With a woman, it is quite different. As a girl, the period of puberty
produces profound changes; and after that, for more than thirty years
she passes through periodical exaltations and depressions that must play
a large part in determining her health, happiness and efficiency. In the
forties, comes another great change which affects her life to a degree
strangely ignored by those who have dealt with her possibilities in the

[14] KARIN MICHAËLIS, _The Dangerous Age_, John Lane Co., 1911, is said
to have sold 80,000 in six weeks when it first appeared in Berlin. _The
Bride of the Mistletoe_, by JAMES LANE ALLEN (Macmillan), deals with the
same period.

But the great element of uncertainty, always fronting the girl and young
woman, is marriage. Marriage for her generally means abandonment of old
working interests, and a substitution of new; it brings her geographical
change; new acquaintances and friendships; and the steady adjustment of
her personal life to the man she has married in its relation to
industry, religion, society and the arts. If children come to her, they
must inevitably retire her from public life, for a time, with the danger
of losing connections which comes to all who temporarily drop out of the

A boy, industrious, observant, with some power of administration,
studies mining engineering, moves to a mining center and expresses his
individual and social powers along the lines of his work until he is
sixty. The women who impinge against his life may deflect him from the
mines in California to those in Australia, or from the actual work of
superintendence to an office; or from an interest in Browning to
Tennyson; or from Methodism to Christian Science. The girl with
industrious and observant interests studies stenography and
type-writing, moves to the vicinity of offices, but is then caught up in
the life of a farmer-husband who shifts her center of activity to a farm
in Idaho where she must devote herself to entirely different activities,
form new associations, think in new terms, respond to new emotions, and
adjust herself to her farmer-husband's personality. When, after
twenty-five years, she has reared a family of children, and when
improved circumstances enable them to move up to the county seat, she
confronts many of the conditions for which she originally prepared
herself, but with farm habits, diminishing adaptability and diminishing
power of appealing to her husband. His powers are still comparatively
unimpaired, and as a dealer in farm produce or farm machinery his
interests undergo slight change. In general, it may be said that a
woman's life falls into three great periods of twenty-five years each.
The first twenty-five years of childhood and girlhood is a time of
getting ready for the puzzling combination of her personal needs as a
human being, her needs as a self-supporting social unit, and her
probabilities of matrimony. The second twenty-five years, the domestic
period of her life, is a time of adjustments as wife and mother, which
may instead prove to be a period of barren waiting, or a time of
professional and industrial self-direction and self-support. The third
twenty-five years is a time of mature and ripened powers, of lessened
romantic interests, and if the preceding period has been devoted to
husband and children, it is often a time of social detachment, of
weakened individual initiative, of old-fashioned knowledge, of
inefficiency, of premature retirement and old age.

On the moral side, as Professor Thomas has so admirably pointed
out,[15] women have evolved a morality of the person and of the family,
while men have evolved a morality of the group and of property. Since
men have had a monopoly of property and of law-making they have shaped
laws mainly for the protection of property, and in a secondary degree
for the protection of the person. Under these laws a man who beats
another nearly to death is less severely punished than one who signs the
wrong name to a check for five dollars. Man's katabolic nature and his
greater freedom have given him almost a monopoly of crime under these
laws which he has made. Offences against the coming generation, against
health, social efficiency and good taste have until recently been left
to the tribunal of public opinion as expressed in social usage; and
here, as we have seen, women are generally the judges and executioners.
In this, her own field of moral judgment, woman is idealistic and
uncompromising. If one of her sisters falls from virtue she will often
pursue her unmercifully. If a man, on the other hand, commits a burglary
or forgery her sympathy and mercy may make her a very lenient judge.

[15] WILLIAM I. THOMAS, _Sex and Society_, p. 149. University of Chicago
Press, 1907. ELLEN KEY, in _Love and Marriage,_ G.P. Putnam's Sons,
1911, traces the same lines of growth.

In æsthetics, the differences follow the same general law. Women express
beauty in themselves; jewels are for their ornament; and rooms are
furnished as a setting for themselves. The lives of millions of workers
go to the adornment of women. In painting they sometimes excel, but a
Madame Le Brun does her best work when she paints herself and her child,
and when Angelica Kauffmann would paint a vestal virgin, she drapes a
veil over her own head and transfers her features to the canvas.
Sculpture and architecture are too impersonal and abstract to attract
much attention from women at present. Even a sculptor like Mrs. Bessie
Potter Vonnoh finds her truest theme in statuettes of mothers with their
children about them.

During the past few years psychologists have paid great attention to
secondary sex characteristics of the mind, and doubtless many qualities
of the thought and feeling of men and women owe their origin to the same
source as brilliant plumage, antlers, combs and wattles. Thus the shy,
retiring, reticent, self-effacing, languishing, adoring excesses of
maidenhood and the peculiar psychological manifestations of the late
forties must probably be understood from this point of view. So, also,
must the bold, swaggering, assertive, compelling bearing of youth be
interpreted. The shy or modish, dandified, lackadaisical cane-carrying
youth is naturally disliked as a sexual perversion.

Women alone, whether individually or in groups, tend to develop certain
hard, dry, arid qualities of mind and heart, or they become emotional
and unbalanced. Losing a sense of large significances, they become
overcareful, saving, sometimes penurious, while in matters of feeling
they lavish sentiment and sympathy on unimportant pets and movements.

Men, when alone, become selfish, coarse, and reckless; their judgments
become extravagant and their pursuits remorseless.

Thus it is certainly true that men and women supplement each other in
the subjective as in the objective life. Man creates, woman conserves;
man composes, woman interprets; man generalizes, woman particularizes;
man seeks beauty, woman embodies beauty; man thinks more than he feels,
woman feels more than she thinks. For new spiritual birth, as for
physical birth, men and women must supplement each other.

To be a woman then, is to be for twenty-five years a girl and then a
young woman, capable of feeding and protecting herself, possessed of
preparing and conserving powers superior to her brothers. After that,
for twenty-five years, she is a human being primarily devoted to
romanticism, finding her largest fulfilment only in wifehood and
motherhood, direct or vicarious; in the last twenty-five years, she
should be a wise woman, of ripe experience, carrying over her gathered
training and powers to the service of the group. All this time she is,
like the man, an incomplete creature, realizing her greatest power and
her greatest service only when working in loving association with the
man of her choice.


Woman's Heritage

So thoroughly have modern men fastened their attention upon the problems
of the immediate present, that one feels driven to justify oneself in
taking up an historical investigation of any subject presented in a
popular manner. And yet it takes little argument to show that what we
shall be depends in large measure on what we are; and that what we are
rests back on what we have been. In anything we try to think or feel or
do, we quickly reach a limit; and this limit is determined by the
original quality of our nervous system plus the training it has
received. For here is the curious fact about this instrument of thought
and feeling which at once takes it away from comparison with mechanical
instruments. Whatever it does, becomes a part of itself, and then helps
to determine what it will do the next time and how it will do it. With
the making easy of mental operations through repetition, and with the
formation of associations based on our choices, it may be truly said
that we become whatever we habitually think and feel and do.

Every choice we make is thus literally built into our character and
becomes a part of ourselves. After that, the old choice will help
determine the new, and we shall find ourselves being directed by all of
our past choices, and even by the choices of our ancestors. Since, then,
all our earlier selves are continued in us and make us what we are, we
are simply studying ourselves when we study the history of our
ancestors. If we would go forward, we must first look backward; for we
must rise on stepping-stones of our dead selves.

But history is not merely the story of the past. To relate that, would
take as long as it took to live it, and the result would be but
weariness of spirit. History, to be significant, must select the events
with which it will deal; it must arrange these in series that are in
accord with the constitution of things; and then it must use the
generalizations it reaches to interpret the present, and even to
forecast the future. It is obvious that this interpretation will depend
on the point of view held by the interpreter.

Hence we must ask in what fundamental beliefs this presentation rests.
These are, first, that life tends to move along certain lines that
constitute the law of human nature. Just as the infant tends first to
wriggle, then creep, then walk, then run and dance, so human nature
tends to move upward from savagery through primitive settled life to the
complex forms of larger settled units. In this progress, material or
economic forces play a large part; but ideas, originally born out of
circumstances, but sometimes borrowed from other people, sometimes
degenerate remnants of past utilities, also play a large part. The
progress we finally make is thus directed by this human tendency, by
material circumstances, and by ideas. Sometimes it keeps pretty closely
to what seems to us to be upward human growth; sometimes it stagnates;
sometimes it gives us perverted products; and sometimes it destroys

Thus it becomes necessary to trace the past experiences of woman that we
may see with what heritage she faces the future. She is all that she
has felt and thought and done. She started with at least half of the
destiny of the race in her keeping. Handicapped in size and agility, and
periodically weighted down by the burdens of maternity, she still
possessed charms and was mistress of pleasures which made her, for
savage man, the dearest possession next to food; and for civilized man,
the companion, joy and inspiration of his days.

Of woman's position in early savage times we know only what we can learn
from fragmentary prehistoric remains, from the structure of early
languages, from records of travelers and students among savages of more
recent times; or what can be inferred from human nature in general. Most
of this data is difficult to interpret, but it is probable that woman's
position was not much worse than man's. It is a bad beast that fouls its
own food or its own nest; and the female had always the protection of
the male's desire. If she could not entirely control her body, she could
still control her own expressions of affection and desire; and, without
these, mere possession lost much of its charm.

As keeper of the cave, cultivator of the soil, and guardian of the
child, woman, rather than her more foot-loose mate, probably became the
center of the earliest civilization. The jealousy of men formed tribal
rules for her protection; and to these, religion early gave its powerful
sanctions. Thus there came a day when the woman took her mate home to
her tribe and gave her children her own name. Even if the matriarchal
period was not so important as has sometimes been assumed, woman
certainly had large influence over tribal affairs in early savage life.

With the increase in population, and the consequent disappearance of
game, man was forced to turn his attention to the crude agriculture
which woman had begun to develop. The superior qualities which he had
acquired in war and the chase, enabled him slowly to improve on these
beginnings and to shape a body of custom which made settled society
possible. With man's leadership in the family the patriarchal form of
government developed, and man's power over woman was sanctioned by
custom and law. The woman was stolen, or bought; and while sexual
attraction did not play the continuous part which it plays in developed
society, it must have done much to protect women from abuse and neglect,
at least during the years of girlhood and child-bearing. It is at this
point that our historical records begin.

In the pages of Homer, or of the Old Testament, in Tacitus's "Germania,"
or in the writings of Livy, we find woman's position well defined. True,
she stands second to the man, but she is his assistant, not his slave.
She must be courted, and while marriage presents are exchanged, she is
not bought. In times of emergency, she steps to the front and
legislates, judges, or fights. It is possible in the pages of the Old
Testament to find women doing everything which men can do. Even where
the power is not nominally in her own hands, she often, as in the cases
of Penelope or Esther, rules by indirection. Her body and her offspring
are protected; and the Hebrew woman of the Proverbs shows us a
singularly free and secure industrial position.[16] Such was the
condition in primitive Judea, in early Greece, in republican Rome, or
among the Germans who invaded southern Europe in the third and fourth
centuries of our era.

[16] _Proverbs_ xxxi, 10.

Man's jealousy of his woman as a source of pleasure and honor to
himself, and to his family, must have always acted to limit woman's
freedom, even while it gave her protection and a secure position in
society. With the development of settled government in city states, like
Athens or early Rome, the necessity for defining citizenship made the
family increasingly a political institution. A man's offspring through
slave women, concubines, or "strangers" lived outside the citizen group,
and so were negligible; but the citizen woman's children were citizens,
and so she became a jealously guarded political institution. The
established family became the test of civic, military, and property
rights. The regulations limiting the freedom of girls and women were
jealously enforced, since mismating might open the treasures of
citizenship to any low born or foreign adventurer.[17]

[17] T.G. TUCKER, _Life in Ancient Athens_, Chapter VIII, Macmillan Co.,

In the ancient Orient, in Greece, Rome, and in later Europe, these
stages have been repeated again and again. Woman is first a slave,
stolen or bought, protected by sexual interest to which is later added
social custom and religious sanction. Early civilization centers around
the woman, so that she becomes in some degree the center of the
home-staying group. In primitive civilization man takes over woman's
most important activities; but she gains a fixed position, protected,
though still further enslaved, by political necessities.

But with the increase of wealth, whether in terms of money, slaves, or
trade, woman found herself subject to a fourth form of enslavement more
subtly dangerous than brute force, lust, or political and religious
institutionalism. This was the desire of man to protect her and make her
happy because he loved her. He put golden chains about her neck and
bracelets on her arms, clothed her in silks and satins, fed her with
dainty fare, gave her a retinue of attendants to spare her fatigue, and
put her in the safest rear rooms of the habitation. But it is foolish to
talk of conscious enslavement in this connection. Rich men and luxurious
civilizations have always enslaved women in the same way that rich,
fond, and foolish mothers have enslaved their children, by robbing them
of opportunity, by taking away that needful work and that vital
experience of real life which alone can develop the powers of the soul.

Thus in the Periclean age in Greece, in the Eastern Kingdoms established
by Alexander, in Imperial Rome, in the later Italian Renaissance, in
France under Louis XIV and Louis XV, in England under the Stuart kings,
and in many centers of our own contemporary world, women have given up
their legitimate heritage of work and independent thought for trinkets,
silks, and servants, and have quickly degenerated, like the children of
rich and foolish mothers, into luxury-loving parasites and

[18] OLIVE SCHREINER, _Woman and Labor_, Chapters on Parasitism. New
York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1911.

To maintain this luxurious setting for their mistresses, whether wives
or irregular concubines, men of the Occident have generally been driven
to ever fiercer struggle with their fellows. Thus a Pericles, at the
zenith of his powers, facing difficulties which strained and developed
all his forces, had for his legitimate wife a woman, bound hand and
foot by conventions and immured in her house in Athens. But a man is
only half a complete human being, and the other half cannot be furnished
by a weak and ignorant kept-woman, no matter how legal the bond. Hence
the forces always driving men to completeness and unity drove Pericles
away from his house and his legitimate children and his mere wife to
find the completion of his life.

In these cases, as elsewhere, demand creates supply, and there were to
be found everywhere in Athens able and cultivated foreign women, many of
whom had come over from the mainland of Asia Minor; and one of these,
Aspasia, became the mistress of Pericles and bore him children. She was
no adventuress of the street, but an educated and brilliant woman, in
whose home you might have met not only Pericles, but also Socrates,
Phidias, Anaxagoras, Sophocles and Euripides.

This is the stage that always follows the period of the luxury-loving
wife. It was so in Imperial Rome, in later Carthage, in Venice, and in
eighteenth-century France. But the normal human unit is the man and
woman who love each other, not these combinations of illegality, law,
lust, love and dishonor. Such a triangle of two women and a man rests
its base in shame, and its lines are lies, and its value is destruction.
So virile republican Rome swept over decadent Greece and made it into
the Roman province of Achaia; later the chaste Germans swarmed over the
decadent Roman Empire and then slowly rebuilt modern Europe; the ascetic
Puritans destroyed the Stuarts; while the French Revolution was the
deluge that swept away Louis XVI and put the virtuous, if commonplace,
bourgeoisie in power.

So far we have dealt with the position of women as though it depended
alone on human hungers, passions and environment; but while these are
the driving forces of life, they are very subject to the repressing and
diverting power of ideas, working in an environment of economic
conditions. These ideas may themselves date back to earlier passions and
economic conditions, but they often survive the time which created them,
and then they enter into life and conduct as seemingly independent
forces. These ideas played a large part, even in the ancient world.

The Jews organized their religious and political practices about a
patriarchal Deity ruling a patriarchal state; and their tradition
handicapped all women with the sin of Eve, the sin of seeking knowledge.
The Greeks, on the other hand, gave woman a splendid place in the
hierarchy of the gods, and idealized not only her beauty in Aphrodite
but her chaste aloofness in Artemis, her physical strength in the
Amazons, and her wisdom in Athena and Hera. They covered the Acropolis
with matchless monuments in honor of Athena, patron goddess of their
fair city, and celebrated splendid pageants on her anniversaries. So,
too, republican Rome, while it gathered its civic life about patriarchal
ideas in which the father was supreme, gave women positions of high
honor in its religion, whether as deities or as servitors of the gods.
In the Niebelungenlied, the Germans bodied forth their splendid
conceptions of female beauty, strength and passion in such figures as
Brunhilda. These ideas must have done much to offset the physical
weakness and functional handicaps of women in the ancient world.

The Christian ideas, which have dominated us now for nearly two
thousand years, are generally considered to have been favorable to
women. In their insistence on the value of the human soul, and on
democratic equality, they have doubtless helped to raise the status of
women along with that of all human beings. But, as between man and
woman, Christianity has given every possible advantage to men, and has
added needlessly to the natural burdens of women.[19]

[19] JAMES DONALDSON, _Woman: Her Position and Influence in Ancient
Greece and Rome and Among the Early Christians_, Longmans, Green, and
Co., 1907.

From Judaism, Christianity borrowed Eve, with her eternally operative
sin, and thus placed all women under a perpetual load of suspicion and
guilt. The Founder of the new faith never assumed the responsibilities
of a family, and he included no woman among his disciples. Example, even
negative example, is often more powerful than precept. Paul, the most
learned of the disciples, in his writings, and as an organizer of the
Church, emphasized the older Jewish position. In the new organization,
women filled only lesser places, while the men settled all points of
dogma, directing and mainly conducting the services of worship. Meantime
each woman's soul remained her own, to be saved only by her individual
actions; therein lay her hope for the future, both on earth and in

But it was those later developments of belief and practice that gathered
around Christian asceticism which placed woman and her special functions
under a cloud of suspicion from which she is not even yet entirely
freed. Celibacy became exalted; virginity was a positive virtue;
chastity, instead of a healthful antecedent to parenthood, became an end
in itself; and monasteries and convents multiplied throughout
Christendom. Something of shame and guilt gathered around conception and
birth, as representing a lower standard of life, even when sanctified by
the ceremonies of the Church. From the second century to the sixth, the
ablest of the Church Fathers, Greek and Latin alike, formulated
statements in which woman became the chief ally of the devil in dragging
men down to perdition. We still hear ancestral reverberations of these
teachings in all our discussions of woman's place in civilization.

But ideas can only for a time overcome or divert the primitive human
hungers, and slowly Mary, Mother of Jesus, won first place among the
saints. Celibate recluses who feared to walk the streets for fear of
meeting a woman, and who spent the nights fighting down their noblest
passions, starving them, flagellating and rolling their naked bodies in
thorny rose hedges or in snow-drifts to silence demands for wife and
children, threw themselves in an ecstacy of adoration before an image of
the Virgin with the Baby in her arms. So Maryolatry came to bless the

But even this blessing was not without alloy, for it gave us an ideal of
woman, superhuman, immaculate, bowing in frightened awe before the angel
with the lily, standing mute with crossed hands and downcast eyes before
her Divine Son. She represented, not the institution of the family, but
the institution of the Church. Even when she appeared in representations
of the Holy Family, Joseph, her husband, was not the father of her
child, but his servant.

Chivalry took up this conception, and shaped for us the fantastic lady
who stands back of much of modern romantic love. Robbed of her simple,
human, pagan passions, she became often an anæmic and unfruitful, if
angelic, creature. For the direct and passionate assurances of a
virtuous and noble love she substituted sighs and tears, languishing
looks and weary renunciations. This sterile hybrid, bred of human
passions and theological negations, must be finally banished from our
literature and from our minds before we can have a healthy eugenic
conscience among us.[20]

[20] R. DE MAULDE LA CLAVIERE, _The Woman of the Renaissance. A Study in
Feminism_, translated by George H. Ely. New York: C.P. Putnam's Sons,

The Protestant Revolution went far to restore the special functions of
women to respect. Belief in her individual soul, and in its need of
salvation through individual choice, was supplemented by the belief that
this choice must be guided by her individual judgment. Celibacy ceased
to be a sign of righteousness; and the best men and women married. But
beliefs cannot be directly destroyed by revolution; they can only be
disturbed and modified. The teachings of Paul, Augustine, Tertullian and
St. Jerome were still authoritative, and Calvin and Knox reaffirmed
many of them. The family was still subordinate to the Church; and
marriage still remained a sacrament, with theological significances,
rather than the simple union of a man and woman who loved each other.
The choice of a mate once made was final, because theological, and it
could be broken only with infinite pain and disgrace.

The great political upheaval, which we call the French Revolution,
carried in its fundamental teachings freedom and opportunity for men and
for women; but like the corresponding revolution in religion, it
required time to make adjustments, and so we have been content to live
for more than a hundred years in the midst of verbal affirmations which
we denied in all our institutional life.

In America, conditions have always been favorable for women to work out
their freedom. Among the immigrants who came to our shores before 1840
there were, of course, a few traders, adventurers and servants who hoped
to improve their financial conditions; but the leaders, and most of the
rank and file, came that they might be free to think their own thoughts
and live their own lives. If this selection of colonists, through
religious and political persecution, sometimes gave us bigots with one
idea, it also gave us people who knew that ideas can change. Along with
Cotton Mather it gave us Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams and William

Most of these who came in the early days belonged to extreme dissenting
sects believing in salvation through individual choice, based on
personal judgments. Preaching was exalted at the expense of ritual; and
by substituting new thinking for old habits in religion, the American
settlers made it less difficult for other adjustments to be made, even
in such a conservative matter as woman's position. It is through no
accident that Methodists, Friends, Unitarians and the Salvation Army
have been much more sympathetic to woman's progress than have the older
ritualistic faiths.

And these theological ideas had to be worked out under the material
conditions of the New World, which were also favorable to the
emancipation of women. Facing primitive conditions in the forest, it
became a habit to do new things in new ways. Woman's work and judgment
were indispensable; and these picked women showed themselves capable in
every direction. They did every kind of work; and when it came to
enduring privation or even to starving, they set an example for men.

But while every new movement in ideas always carries with it other
radical ideas, the practical difficulties of mental, social and legal
adjustment always prevent the full and harmonious development of all
that is involved in any new point of view. In the American colonies the
need for new adjustments in religion, government and practical living
made it inevitable that any very important change in woman's position
should linger. In fact, the student of colonial records finds many
traces of ultra conservatism in the treatment of women, though the
forces had been liberated which must inevitably open the way for her
through the New World of America into a new world of the spirit.

And before the quickening influence of the new life had time to become
commonplace, the struggle with England began. The Revolutionary period
was a time of intense political education for every one. War and
sacrifice glorified the new ideas; and even the children and women could
not escape their influence. Why then did not the American Revolution
pass on to full freedom and opportunity for women? For the same reason
that it did not forever abolish slavery in America. The vested interests
involved were so many, and the changes so momentous and difficult, that
only the most imperative needs could receive attention.

But this does not mean that the interest in a larger life for women was
not active or that women were making no advance in self-direction. There
is evidence that women like Abigail Adams realized the abstract
injustice of their position, and the fact that as early as 1794, Mary
Wollstonecraft's "Vindication of the Rights of Woman" was republished in
Philadelphia shows that her ideas must have had some currency in

After the Revolution, the intimate, stimulating influence of Europe,
which the earlier colonists had enjoyed, was for a time almost entirely
lost. The new States became extremely provincial; and minds untouched by
the larger world always tend to conservatism. Noah Webster, in "A
Letter to Young Ladies," published in Boston, in 1790, declared that
they "must be content to be women; to be mild, social and sentimental."
Three years later the "Letters to a Young Lady," by the Reverend John
Bennett, were republished in Philadelphia, after going through several
London editions. He placed the qualities to be cultivated in this order:
"A genteel person, a simple nature, sensibility, cheerfulness, delicacy,
softness, affability, good manners, regular habits, skill in fancy work,
and a fund of hidden genteel learning." Through the first half of the
nineteenth century these ideals struggled along parallel with the new
ideas that were everywhere springing up from the colonial forest
experiences of the last two generations.

As conservers of morals and as leaders in higher ideals of life, the
advanced women of America came early face to face with two outgrown
abuses. One of these was human slavery and the other was intemperance.
In attacking these abuses, women had to break with all the traditions
that defined their position.

The wealthy and intelligent Englishwoman, Frances Wright, who came to
this country in 1818 to attack slavery, found herself doubly opposed
because she was a woman speaking in public. Had not St. Paul declared:
"It is a shame for women to speak in the church"? Lucretia Mott, born in
the Society of Friends in Nantucket, had escaped the full force of this
injunction, but even she found, when she attacked slavery in public,
that she had invaded a world sacred to men, and she was sternly warned
back. Miss Susan B. Anthony also began her public life as a teacher and
a temperance reformer. It was only when she found herself helpless, in
presence of the prejudices against her sex, that she turned her
attention to freeing women from all purely sex limitation in public

When the Civil War broke out, the women were ready to do their part. It
is quite possible that the names of Clara Barton and Dorothea Dix may be
remembered when Grant and Sherman are forgotten. With the establishing
of new human values the historian of the future may consider the saving
of life and the preventing of misery as more worthy of lasting record
than even military genius. These women and their millions of helpers
had not the resources of organized government at their disposal; but,
instead, they had oftentimes to work against the jealousy of those in
authority. At the close of the war, the Sanitary Commission comprised
seven thousand aid societies scattered over the country, and it had
raised over fifteen millions of dollars. Those women who remained at
home, in the absence of fathers and sons for four years, faced all the
problems of practical life. Who can estimate the value of training in
coöperative work and organization which the Civil War gave to the
American women?

In the Civil War, women directly served men; but in the great industrial
reorganization which came afterward they served mainly women and
children. Here the victories have been won in the press, in the
legislative halls, and in courts of law. Working with men, or alone,
they have perfected organization, agitated, raised money, printed
appeals, and carried cases through the courts, until factories and
stores have been made safer, excessive working hours have been cut down,
young children have been exempted from labor, many sweat-shops have
been closed, and women workers have begun to be organized to care for
their own needs. Much has been done; more remains to be done; but the
training of the women has gone steadily forward.

These, then, are the forces which have pushed women forward in America:
European political and religious persecution, the forest necessities of
colonial life, the American Revolution, the struggle with slavery and
intemperance, the Civil War, the industrial struggle and the need to
protect women and children from capitalistic exploitation. Possibly
women have now reached a point in their development where they can turn
to public service and to a full realization of their powers and
responsibilities without the goading necessity of a great wrong. If not,
there are sufficient wrongs still calling to lead them for many years.
Intemperance is not yet banished; the negro is not yet freed from the
effects of his slavery; working women and children are not yet fairly
protected; disease reaps needlessly large harvests; Lazarus still begs
at the table of Dives; our public education leaves much to be desired;
criminals are badly handled; millions of European refugees come marching
into our land needing guidance. Meantime, millions of women are content,
because themselves comfortable, and there are some even willing to aid
the powers of obstruction.

In these later years, marvelous changes have taken place all over the
world. Even in China, official attempts are now being made to leave
women free to walk by abolishing the bandaging of infants' feet. In
Turkey, women are going out from the harem to participate in public
life. In Germany, they are escaping from the exclusive service of the
home. In England, they are repeating the cries of the men of 1776 and of
1789: "All men and women are born free and equal." "No taxation without
representation." "One person, one vote." In Finland, Australia, New
Zealand, Norway and Sweden, women have all the essential civic and
political rights of men.

But, as in all human progress, first the ideas of a few leaders change;
they shape legislation; and the new organization slowly makes over the
practices and then the deep-seated mental and moral habits, which
constitute popular prejudices. These old unreasoning feelings still
largely dominate us, blinding us to the facts of life and blocking each
new advance by which women might pass into the world of free choice and
adjustment of their lives as co-workers with men. In the next chapters
we must study these present-day conditions in detail.


Women in Education

In discussing woman's relation to formal education we are really
examining her ability to master and teach certain intellectual
exercises, for in our modern industrial democracies our efforts are
confined almost exclusively to training the mind and to stocking it with
information. Each year we talk more and more about physical, moral,
political, social and industrial education; but requirements for
entrance into schools, promotions in them, and graduation from their
courses, still rest almost entirely on information acquired; and in a
less degree, on intellectual ability displayed.

Even in selecting and certifying teachers, the emphasis is all laid on
intellectual equipment. On the physical, moral, or social sides we at
most demand that the candidates shall not be too bad; on the political
side we do not demand even this, since nearly 80 per cent. of our whole
teaching force is declared legally unfit to vote or hold office, and is
yet employed to train our future citizens. But on the intellectual side
we demand positive proof of fitness. Thus it is fair to say that our
modern education deals almost exclusively with knowledge.

Knowledge, in the past, has nearly always been considered much as we
consider dynamite to-day. It was a dangerous force, useful to a ruling
class, and hence preserved in the hands of a cult, generally a
priesthood; but it was thought capable of working endless mischief in
the hands of ignorant people. Through all the pages of history we find
individuals, and weaker groups, driven away from the accumulated
treasure; and if detected in their desire to know, especially if they
sought knowledge through original investigation, they were branded with
such titles of disgrace as "wizard" or "heretic;" and, as a warning to
others, they were often burned in the public square or buried alive.

Women, as an inferior class, were especially restrained from learning.
Knowledge would breed discontent in them; it would make them question
the binding power of the conventions and beliefs which held them in
their place; and it would show them how to achieve their freedom, and
might even encourage them to assume leadership. Here and there,
individual women gained the training necessary for leadership, as in the
cases of Sappho, Aspasia or Hypatia; but the great mass of women was
sternly repressed. Eve leads a long line of women martyrs who, across
the ages, have paid a great price for their desire to eat of the tree of
knowledge. For herself, she might have paid the price but, with subtle
understanding of women, the penalty was made to involve all whom they
loved; the terrors of that price have held the sex in restraint ever
since. Eurydice, Pandora, Eve, Lot's wife and Bluebeard's wife have in
turn served as awful warnings. After a time it came to be understood by
women that they should fix their eyes on their husbands and never look
forward or backward, lest they lose their Eden and drag those whom they
loved after them to destruction.

Of course, if women could not learn they could not teach; at least, they
could not teach where it was necessary to impart knowledge; and so their
share in formal education has been slight, until our own time. Young
children have been considered their special charge, and the care and
culture of infancy and young childhood have always rested in the hands
of mothers, grandmothers, aunts and female servants. Beyond these early
years, however, woman's part has been restricted to emphasizing, mainly
with girls, the dogmas and practices of caste, kitchen and church.

These were the conditions which prevailed through early Oriental and
Classical times. Christianity brought women some degree of intellectual
freedom, but it also imposed new forms of restraint. Its fundamental
teachings, based as they were on a belief in individual values, were
favorable to the extension of knowledge and to the opening of
opportunity for all. The Church, however, shaped under the
half-civilized conditions of the Middle Ages, quickly took knowledge
into her own keeping, forbade its extension, and increasingly held
before woman, as her highest ideal, the negative virtues of the

The humanistic and theological changes which came with the awakening of
the European mind at the close of the Middle Ages, did much to set free
the accumulated treasures of knowledge. Protestantism, by exalting
individual judgment and insisting on the necessity of each one reading
and judging the sacred records for himself, made it possible for even
women to enter into the heritage of the ages. At least, the key to
learning, reading, was given into her hands. Later Protestant sects
broke down the limits of sacerdotalism, until women found that they
could look forward a little way without losing their Edens, or could
even glance backward without being turned into pillars of reproach.

The political revolutions of the eighteenth century also affirmed in
their point of view the same intellectual freedom for women as for men.
It has taken a long time to make the practical adjustments, but they are
now well under way. Since 1870, women have had very great freedom in
their approach to knowledge; and having knowledge, they have been
allowed to impart it to others.

In America, freedom for women to study has moved more rapidly than in
Europe. Even in the colonial period, there were emancipated women, as
we have seen; and in the last half of the eighteenth century several
schools were opened for girls, which were more than polite finishing
schools. Notable among these institutions were the seminary at
Bethlehem, Pa., opened in 1753 by the Moravians, and the school
established by the Society of Friends, in Providence, R.I., in 1784. But
nearly all girl's schools before 1800 were limited to terms of a few
months, where girls attended to learn needle-work, music and dancing,
and to cultivate their morals and manners.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, the leaders of public opinion
universally recognized that their new experiment in government would
succeed only if the voters were intelligent. This statement of belief
became the major premise on which all arguments for free and compulsory
education were based; and while we have practically accepted a much
wider justification for education, in connection with the care of
defectives, industrial training, and other recent movements, we have not
yet changed our formulated philosophy concerning the relation of the
state to its children. Free and compulsory education is still mainly
justified on the ground that it produced good citizens.

But the women had not full citizenship and hence the argument for
general education did not apply to them. Had they been enfranchised
after the Revolution, all educational opportunities would have been open
to them at once as a matter of course; and an immense amount of
struggle, futile effort, and unnecessary friction would have been saved.
But this larger view of woman's rights and powers would have required an
adjustment in deep-seated ideas and prejudices, concerning her proper
position, too great to be undertaken by men facing a new form of
government and the material problems of a new world.

But even without this change in ideas, economic conditions steadily
forced the women into educational activity. There were not enough men
available to teach the scattered country schools, and citizens had to be
trained for the needs of the new democracy. John Adams recognized this
when he wrote to Mr. Warren that their wives must "teach their sons the
divine science of politics;" though he would have been one of the last
to favor admitting women to full participation in public life. He did
not realize that if women were to train men for citizenship, the
rudiments of knowledge which they had learned in scattered schools and
in their poor little academies must be greatly supplemented. Life,
however, is never logical, and at this advance men balked. Necessity was
forcing women into schools as teachers, and hence into larger
preparation for their own lives; but public opinion, here as elsewhere,
failed to recognize the forces that were compelling its action.

Thus the work of furnishing more advanced intellectual training for
American women had to be started by the women themselves. This is
possibly the first time in human history that a great group of people
feeling itself irresistibly moving toward a social, industrial and
political readjustment, little less than revolutionary in its nature,
has gone deliberately to work to prepare for the change through
education. The working classes of the world are doing the same thing
now; but women showed them the way. In some vague degree, American
women recognized the truth which Dr. Gore recently brought before a mass
of working men in England. "All this passion for justice will accomplish
nothing," he declared, "unless you get knowledge. You may become strong
and clamorous, you may win a victory, you may affect a revolution, but
you will be trodden down again under the feet of knowledge if you leave
knowledge in the hands of privilege, because knowledge will always win
over ignorance."[21]

[21] _The Highway_, London, Nov., 1911.

American women were fortunate, too, in having for their leaders such
women as Emma Willard, Mary Lyon and Catherine Beecher. Emma Willard was
a woman of the world; she had traveled abroad and she brought to her
work a cultivated nature, wide experience of life and natural
leadership. Her personality went far toward lifting the movement to a
plane of respect. After trying a little academy in Vermont, she appealed
to the State of New York in 1814 for help. In this appeal, she wisely
adopted the prevailing view of the relation of the state to education.
The state must have good citizens, she repeats, and then goes on, "The
character of children will be formed by their mothers; and it is through
the mothers that the government can control the character of its future
citizens." The State of New York granted her articles of incorporation
for her academy at Waterford, N.Y., but refused her the modest sum of
five thousand dollars for which she had asked. In 1821, she established
the Troy Female Seminary, where for years she trained and led the
intellectual life of American women.

Miss Mary Lyon begged the money from the common people with which she
opened Mount Holyoke Seminary in 1837. Those who feared the education of
women were disarmed by the fact that in the new institution domestic
service was emphasized to the extent of having the girls do all their
own work. Another group of possible critics was won over by the fact
that religious instruction received constant care. But notwithstanding
the conserving influence of housework and religion, there went steadily
out from Mount Holyoke during the following years a strong line of
teachers demanding ever larger opportunity for themselves and for those
they taught.

Miss Catherine Beecher added to her work in schools for girls a general
propaganda for woman's education, and she devised large plans for its
development. In 1852, she organized the American Woman's Educational
Association "to aid in securing to American women a liberal education,
honorable position, and remunerative employment." She helped to start
girls' schools in half a dozen cities, and by writing and talking she
sowed in the hearts of women, especially in the Middle West, a
discontent with existing conditions and a deep desire to know.

From the time of this awakening in the thirties and forties, two lines
of educational activity for the advancement of woman's education
steadily developed. One was the effort of women to educate themselves in
distinctly women's schools; and the other was the movement by which
existing institutions for boys and men were gradually opened to girls
and women. These two lines of activity still remain distinct, and not
always sympathetic with each other's aims.

The effort to establish distinctly women's schools was continued after
the Civil War by Matthew Vassar, who founded in 1861, and opened in
1865, the first adequately endowed and organized college for women in
America. Ten years later, Miss Sophie Smith founded and endowed Smith
College to furnish women "with means and facilities for education equal
to those that are offered in colleges for young men." The institution
was opened in 1875; and in the same year Henry Durant established
Wellesley College.

The last Report of the United States Commissioner of Education shows
that there are now 108 institutions of higher learning to which men are
not admitted; but most of them have modeled themselves so closely upon
men's colleges that they have not been able to work out lines of
distinctive instruction specially fitted to women. One cannot help
feeling that since they do not open their doors to men they should do
something more toward working out an ideal education for women than they
have so far undertaken. When the Association of Intercollegiate Alumnæ
met in New York, in the autumn of 1911, its discussions gathered around
the possibility of adding to college courses subjects of special value
to women. Hygiene, biology and sociology were the subjects most favored;
but the matter needs attention from women and men who stand outside the
group dominated by our older college traditions. This movement to
provide distinctive schools for women had brought together, in 1910,
35,714 girl students in private secondary schools and 9,082 women
students in higher institutions of learning.

The second line of development, which sought to open up all existing
schools to girls and women, began when Boston opened a high school for
girls in 1825. New York opened a high school for girls three years

It was in the West, however, that this movement took strongest root and
made most steady advance. The West has always led the East in opening
equal opportunity to women, even equal suffrage. The forest and the
frontier compel such action even in such commonwealths as Australia, New
Zealand and Canada, where there has been no political revolution to
hasten it. Labor is scarce; the invading people are intelligent and
ambitious for their children and desire them educated. The women must
teach them to read and write; the girls learn with their brothers; and
so the women master the mysteries of formal education.

Thus it is no accident that Oberlin, in the western forest, was the
first college to open its doors to women. Antioch, under Horace Mann's
direction, was, however, the first institution of higher learning to
give men and women equal opportunity. The new States of the Mississippi
Valley early established State universities. These institutions were
little more than seminaries, but the free spirit of the frontier was so
strong in them that in 1863 Wisconsin University admitted women to its
privileges, and Kansas and Indiana followed shortly after.

It is the year 1870, however, that marks the beginning of a new period
in the higher education of women as in so many other lines of advance.
In that year, Michigan University, California University and the
University of Evanston, adopted co-education. Michigan was just entering
on a great career and her influence was very important. There, for the
first time, women could follow a university curriculum under the same
conditions as men. Two years later, Andrew D. White introduced the
Michigan idea at Cornell.

In the forty years since Michigan opened her doors, the advance of women
under conditions of co-education has been steady and rapid. In Harvard
and Columbia opportunity takes the form of annexes where women can
secure almost any educational opportunities they desire. In other
universities, like Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins, women are admitted to
graduate study. Most of the institutions of higher education that do not
yet admit women are theological and technical schools, or small colleges
like Haverford, where there are equivalents in Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr,
for women who wish to attend a Friend's College. A woman can work in
almost any important university in America to-day if she cares to do so.
In 1910 there were conferred in the United States 12,590 A.B. degrees,
and women took 44.1 per cent. of them.

Meantime, there have been no important reactions in institutions which
have once opened their doors to women.[22] In 1902, Chicago University
separated men and women students, but only during the first two years of
their undergraduate work. Practically this has affected only one-half of
the women in the first year and a very much smaller proportion in the
second year.[23] When Leland Stanford Junior University was opened in
1891, 25.4% of the students were women. This proportion rose in
successive years as follows: 1892, 29.7%; 1893, 30.4%; 1894, 33.8%;
1895, 35.3%; 1896, 36.6%; 1897, 37.4%; 1898, 40.1%. Fearing that the
institution would be swamped with women, and that able men students
would stay away, Mrs. Stanford ruled that there should never be more
than five hundred women students in the university at one time. This
limit was reached in 1902, and it was then provided that women should
not be received as special students, nor in partial standing. Later, men
in partial standing were cut out, though they continued to be received
as special students. Women are now admitted in order of application,
but preference is given to juniors and seniors. This really establishes
a higher standard for women than for men, and one would expect that men
would be kept away from an institution requiring a higher standard for
women quite as much as from one where there were many women working on
an equality with men. In 1910, Tufts College decided to separate men and
women, for local reasons. The statement was made at the time that a
philanthropist had promised a gift of $500,000 for a woman's college, if
the sexes were separated.[24] The doors of Wesleyan are to be closed to
women after 1912, but this is due to local and financial reasons.

[22] HELEN R. OLIN, _The Women of a State University_, G.P. Putnam's
Sons, 1909.

[23] MARION TALBOT, _The Education of Women_, University of Chicago
Press, 1910.

[24] _Report of the United States Commissioner of Education_, p. 132,

The movement in European universities, while not so uniform as in
America, has been in the same direction. Miss Buss, Miss Beal and Miss
Emily Sheriff led an early movement for higher secondary education of
girls similar to that which gathered around Miss Willard in America. In
1871, Miss Clough started in England the lectures for women which led
to the establishment of Newnham and Girton at Cambridge, and opened
Oxford to women. Now women can study almost any subject they like at
these universities and take the same examinations as the men. They do
not receive degrees, but they have most of the other advantages of men,
and for forty years they have carried off many honors. In the newer
universities of London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and in the Welsh
University they have every advantage open to men.

In Germany, the opportunities for higher education of women have changed
from year to year; but in 1910, there were 1,856 women in the
universities as compared with 1,108 in 1909, and this notwithstanding
the Emperor's well known belief that woman's sphere should be limited to
domestic activities.

The claims advanced in opposition to the higher education of women have
largely broken down to-day. It was long maintained that her mind was
inferior to man's mind in kind and quality, and that she could not do
the work required. In the presence of thousands of young women carrying
all kinds of university work with credit and honor such charges become
absurd. The belief that woman's health could not stand the strain fails
for the same reason. The fear that she would be less likely to marry; or
marrying, would be less likely to have children, has been seen to have
some body of fact behind it; but we have seen also that university
students are recruited from groups that are not the most fecund, and
that the same danger applies to men students as to women.[25] Women in
higher education are now accepted as a regular part of our modern life.

[25] Eight hundred and eighty-one Harvard graduates, twenty-five years
after graduation, had but 1,226 children. If half were boys, we have but
613 sons for 881 Harvard graduates. HUGO MÜNSTERBERG, _The Americans_,
p. 582. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1901.

And yet there is one objection that still remains unanswered in very
many minds. It has always been feared that women would lower the
standard of scholarship; and there is much in the quality of the present
generation of women students that may strengthen this belief. In the
seventies and eighties, the fear of being thought peculiar still kept
many ordinary women away from colleges. Now it has become fashionable,
and a woman who has been to college stands better in a community than
one who has not. Add to this the freedom and romance of "going to
college" and it follows that many young women, with increasing economic
freedom, are tempted to go up to the universities just as well-placed
young Englishmen go to Cambridge or Oxford as passmen. They have no
special interest in scholarship; but they like the life. This large body
of young women, and of men under similar conditions, will doubtless
lower the scholarship of modern college and university life as a whole.
But possibly the need of the world for all-around men and women is even
greater than its need for scholars; and in that case we may find
justification for both passmen and passwomen.

With the opening of knowledge to women it became possible for them to
instruct children in matters intellectual; and since our school learning
was almost entirely a matter of information and mental training, they
early became an important part of the teaching profession in America.

Once started, all our conditions favored the rapid increase of women
teachers. There were industrial openings for men on every side; and with
our rapid increase in population, an army of teachers was required.
Since the calling had in the past been filled by inferior members of the
clergy, broken-down soldiers, or old women, there was a tradition of
constant change, and young men on their way to permanent professions
were steadily supplanted by young women on their way to the altar.

Co-education very materially assisted this substitution. Social,
religious and economic reasons early combined to establish co-education
in elementary schools in America, and now it has become a national
custom. In cities like Philadelphia and Brooklyn there are some separate
schools; but in 1910, only 4 per cent. of all the elementary children
and only 5 per cent. of the children in public high schools were in
separate classes. In private schools, which care for less than 10 per
cent. of the children of the country, the percentage of children in
separate schools is greater.

Practically all American children are now in co-educational
institutions. Had the boys been in schools by themselves it would have
been more difficult to place women teachers over them, but in mixed
schools the question does not arise. Even where the boys and girls were
separated, however, that fact did not prevent the employment of women
teachers, though it may have retarded it. Thus in Philadelphia, in 1911,
there were 125 boys' classes, 174 girls' classes, and 894 mixed classes
in the grammar grades; still there were but 175 men teachers employed
and, of course, the girls' classes were all taught by women.

While administrative positions are less monopolized by women than
teaching posts, they are being steadily filled by them. For fifteen
years Idaho has had able women State superintendents elected by popular
suffrage; Colorado and Montana have also given this highest educational
post to women. In most of our States we have women serving as county
superintendents; and in Idaho women fill nearly all these positions.
Several of our largest cities, notably Chicago and Cleveland, have women
superintendents; while many high schools and most of our elementary
schools have women principals. In 1909, Mrs. Ella Flagg Young was
elected president of the National Education Association; and in 1911,
Miss Alice Dilley was elected president of the Iowa State Teachers'
Association. Both of these elections were victories for women won in the
face of determined opposition from many of the men.

Another feature of this monopoly of teaching by women should be
emphasized. Many boards of education require a woman to resign her
position if she marries, and married women are seldom appointed to
teaching positions, except where they are widows or separated from their
husbands. In a test case recently carried to the Supreme Court of the
State of New York a decision was rendered that the Board of Education of
New York City could not dismiss teachers for marrying; but by refusing
leave of absence to prospective mothers the Board is still able to
remove all women who dare to have children. Thus we have a modern
industrial democracy being educated almost entirely by celibate women.

But why should a woman be forced to leave teaching because she marries?
Would not married women do much to strengthen and broaden the calling?
Are not married women better fitted than celibates to deal with boys and
girls in the period of adolescence? There is doubtless a feeling that a
married woman should make way for some girl who needs the position to
help herself along; but schools should not be used for the needs of
teachers, no matter how deserving the individual may be.

There is, too, a possibility that a married woman might have a child,
and a feeling that this would shock the other teachers and the children.
Surely we have grown beyond this condition; the teacher could easily be
given a leave of absence for a few months, or for a few years; and
nowhere else could the children better meet this fact of universal
existence around which our Anglo-Saxon reticence has woven such a
shameful conspiracy of silence. At least, when a woman has passed the
period of childbearing she could bring to the school incalculable gifts
of balanced judgment and ripe understanding of life.

Meantime all the influences which have brought about the monopoly of
teaching by women are increasingly operative. Every year more able women
leave our high schools, normal schools and universities, with no
corresponding new lines of occupation open to them. The feeling of
rivalry between men and women teachers grows stronger each year.
Powerful teachers' federations, such as those in Chicago and Buffalo,
composed mainly of women, are said to be using their influence to favor
women. In New York City, the women teachers have compelled the city to
equalize the wages of men and women, at an annual expense of $3,500,000,
after a bitter fight lasting several years.

The effects of this monopoly upon the women themselves are very
difficult to estimate. Some alarmists tell us that women teachers face
the danger of a premature and loveless old age; that the celibate
communities they form in the commonwealth are marked by pettiness and
emotionalism; that the salaries paid teachers are so small that they
cannot provide for sickness and old age, and that, unless pensioned by
the state, some of them must one day eat the bread of charity.

On the other hand, we are told that education is the natural province
of women; that teaching fits them to be good mothers and helpful
citizens; that women alone can form the character of girls; and that
boys are refined and perfected by the constant contact with women.

Probably neither of these statements is wholly true. It is certain that
many women teachers do marry, do become the mothers of fine children,
and are social forces in their communities. With advancing standards of
scholarship, better salaries, old age pensions, and a popular demand for
professional efficiency in teachers, it will be increasingly difficult
for men to use the calling as a preparation for law and medicine, or for
women to use it as a preparation for matrimony. The calling doubtless
does offer a greater equivalent for marriage than most others; and many
women live their mother life vicariously for other people's children.

At the same time, however, when a woman has given fourteen years of her
life to preparation for teaching, eight years in an elementary school,
four in a high school, and from two to four in professional training,
she has made an investment and formed habits which will make her
hesitate before turning to matrimony. The independence and income will
prove attractive during young maidenhood; and matrimony can hardly yield
its best results to the woman who enters it after she is thirty. It is
certainly true that women are decreasingly willing to enter the teaching
profession; and in many parts of the country there is a chronic dearth
of trained teachers.

Meantime, for good or ill, women have eaten, and are eating of the tree
of knowledge as they will. If this has driven them out of the little
paradise of the past, they are in a fair way to make the whole world
into a paradise of the present. Only through training their minds could
they have broken away from an outworn past. In this time of readjustment
there must be many mistakes and many tragedies.[26] The fool-killer will
gather a rich harvest, but if we are open-minded and eager to see the
truth, each martyr will teach her sisters, and the future generations
of women will conserve the values of the past and add to them new
treasures and new graces of knowledge and understanding.

[26] See chapter on Education of Adolescent Girls, in _Adolescence_, by
G. STANLEY HALL. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1904.

It is most unfortunate that these real issues should be obscured by sex
rivalry. There can be no real rivalry between a man's soul and his body,
between science and religion, between man and woman. Such antagonisms
rest back in the failure to realize the incompleteness of man or woman
alone, for any purposes of life. And there is, too, that evil notion
which still affects economics, that when two trade one must lose. The
fact is that in all honest exchange buyer and seller gain alike, and all
who participate become rich. It is so in all honest relations between
these half-creatures we call men and women. In agreement, association,
coöperation, lies strongest significant life for both. In separation,
competition and antagonism lie arid, poor, mean lives, conceited and
egotistic, vapid and contemptible.


The Feminizing of Culture

With the weakening of sex prejudices and the removal of legal
restrictions on women's freedom it was inevitable that they should
invade fields of activity where formerly only men were found. Since
women must eat every one knew that they must work, and the sight of a
woman at work was no new experience. Even in the days when they were
most secluded and protected, the number kept in ease was always very
small compared with the women slaves and servants who spun, cooked and
served. Hence men were used to seeing women at work; and while
industrial adjustments have not been easily made, they have still been
accepted as a matter of course. But who, fifty years ago, could have
imagined that to-day women would be steadily monopolizing learning,
teaching, literature, the fine arts, music, the church and the theater?
And yet that is the condition at which we have arrived. We may scoff at
the way women are doing the work, and reject the product, but that does
not alter the fact that step by step women are taking over the field of
liberal culture as opposed to the field of immediately productive work.

Some of the reasons for this change are so clear that it seems as though
they might have been anticipated. In a comparatively few years the
greater part of Western Europe and all of America has become rich, not
this time through the enslavement of other peoples and the confiscating
of their wealth, but through the enslaving and exploitation of the
material forces of nature. This wealth is not well distributed, but
large numbers of families have received enough so that the women do not
have to work constantly with their hands. At this point all historic
precedent would have turned these women into luxury-loving parasites and
playthings. A good many of them have taken this easiest way and entered
the peripatetic harems of the rich. But several million women refused to
repeat the old cycle of ruin; they knew too much.[27] What then should
they do? Faith in the value of conventual life for women had passed;
industrial changes had transformed their homes so that the endless
spinning, weaving, sewing and knitting were no longer there, even to be
supervised. Penelope's tasks had passed to foremen, working under trades
union agreements, in the factories of Fall River and Birmingham. Even
the function of the lady bountiful who looked after the spiritual and
family affairs of her tenants and servants and distributed doles and
Christmas baskets was gone. Her tenants owned their own farms, and her
chauffeur resented her interference with his personal life. What should
she do?

[27] RHETA CHILDE DORR, _What Eight Million Women Want,_ Boston: Small,
Maynard & Co., 1910.

And this movement was not confined to the rich, for those who were not
yet economically free were still deeply influenced by the changes which
were taking place. The Goulds, Stanfords, Vanderbilts, Floods, Carnegies
and Schwabs had all been lifted from the level of the masses to
financial grandeur before the eyes of the multitude, and democratic
ambitions drove parents who thought themselves in the line of financial
advancement to secure culture for their girls in time. If the daughter
was destined to live on Fifth Avenue, or to marry a duke, it was best to
get her ready while young. In all our industrial democracies, armies of
American parents have devoted themselves to labor, and even sacrificed
comforts and necessities, that the daughters might get ready to live
easier and fuller lives than the parents had known. If the choice had to
be made between the girl and her brother, the chivalry of the father and
the ambition of the mother very often gave the opportunity to the girl.

And so an emancipated army of leisure has been formed which has
transformed the very nature of the culture with which it has busied
itself. Books, periodicals, musical instruments, travel became cheaper
and cheaper as the demand increased. Wholesale production makes almost
any luxury accessible to every one. It is also possible to find modern
and agreeable forms for older academic exercises. If Greek and Latin
were too full or too difficult, courses in Romanic and Germanic
philology would do as well. Anglo-Saxon gave way to Old English; and
Chaucer to the Lake Poets. Philosophy struggled for favor with the
English novel on equal terms. The works of Raphael were photographed and
lithographed until the Sistine Madonna became as commonly known as the
face of any strenuous and popular statesman of the day. With the aid of
these art productions, and John Addington Symonds, every woman with
leisure became an art critic. If economics was not interesting,
sociology was available; and it could be democratized to any degree
desired. If travel was troublesome, one could leave it to Cook; buy a
ticket and he would do the rest.

If these awakening hungers and corresponding opportunities had affected
only the period of life formerly thought available for education, these
changes would have come about much more slowly than they have. But the
genetic conception of life, steadily popularized since 1870, has led us
to see that education is coterminous with life. It seems strange that we
should have ever thought that mental activity belongs alone to youth.
Dorland's study shows that in a list of four hundred fairly
representative great men, only 10.25% ceased their mental activity
between the ages of forty and fifty; 20.75% between fifty and sixty; 35%
between sixty and seventy; 22.5% between seventy and eighty; and 6%
after eighty.[28]

[28] W.A. NEWMAN DORLAND, _The Age of Mental Virility_. New York: The
Century Company, 1908.

The recognition of such facts as these has given us a new genetic sense
of life, under the influence of which mothers and grandmothers have
joined the younger women in the pursuit of culture. They have formed
clubs--study clubs, current events clubs, camera clubs, art clubs,
literary clubs, civic clubs. They have organized courses of university
extension lectures; enrolled in Chicago University correspondence
courses; and have flocked to Chautauqua by the thousand in the summer,
when not abroad. It is not through the generosity of men that liberal
culture has come into the possession of women; they have carried it by
storm and have compelled capitulation.

Judging by the facts presented in the last chapter, women are pretty
fully in possession of formal education. If we examine this monopoly a
little more carefully, we shall find that while in the kindergarten and
in the elementary schools boys furnish 51% of the enrollment, simply
because more boys are born in civilized communities than girls, as soon
as we reach the high schools, girls increasingly take the lead. In 1910,
the girls formed 56.45% of the enrollment in high schools--or there were
110,249 more girls than boys. The proportion of girls increased through
each of the four years of the course, and of the graduates, 60.8% were
girls. In the public normal schools, 64.45% of the students were girls.

The universities, colleges and technical schools, which are massed
together in our government reports, had hardly any women students in
1870; in 1880, 19.3% of the students were women; in 1890, 27%; in 1910,
30.4%. In all these institutions we had enrolled in 1910, 17,707 women.
Of 602 institutions reported in 1910, 142 were for men only; 108 were
for women only; and 352 were open to both sexes. But here again the
influence of women increases during each of the four years for, as we
have seen, the women took 41.1% of the A.B. degrees granted in 1910. It
is surely not too much to say that, if present conditions continue,
women will soon be in an overwhelming majority in all secondary and
higher education in the United States.

If we examine the teaching force, we find this monopoly already
established. In 1870, when our government records begin, 59% of the
teachers were women; in 1880, 57.2% were women; in 1890, 65.5%; in 1900,
70.1%; in 1910, 78.6%. The more settled and intelligent the community
the more rapid this advance has been. Thus Arkansas has 52.4% women
teachers; but Massachusetts has 91.1% and Connecticut has 93%.

In cities, too, the women fill nearly all teaching positions. New York
City has 89% women in its force; Boston, 89%; Philadelphia, 91.4%;
Chicago, 93.3%. In many cities the proportion is even greater than this:
Omaha has 97%; Wheeling, W. Va., 97.5%; Charleston, S.C., 99.3%; and in
forty-six American towns of 4,000 to 8,000 inhabitants there is no man
teaching. When we remember that many of the men indicated above are in
high schools or in supervising posts, we are prepared for the statement
in a report recently laid before the Board of Education of New York City
that in half the cities of the United States there are virtually no men

In our high schools, 54% of the teachers are women; in public normal
schools, 65%; and in institutions of higher learning 17.6% are women.
Even in supervising positions, there are more women than men in the
large centers of population. Certainly these figures justify us in
saying that women have established a monopoly of education in the United
States, except in the higher institutions.

In order to discuss the effects which this monopoly of education by
women is having on the curriculum of the schools we must first agree on
what constitutes the peculiarity of women's minds as compared with men's
minds.[29] In our first chapter, it was asserted that women are more
interested in the concrete, human, personal, conserving and emotional
aspects of life; while men more easily turn to the abstract, material,
impersonal, creative and rational aspects. To put it broadly, women are
more interested in the humanities; men more readily pursue the sciences.
Let us admit at once that there are many individual exceptions to this
statement. Some women have reached great excellence in abstract studies;
and some men are notoriously concrete and emotional; but nevertheless
the general statement seems borne out by a wealth of common observations
and detailed comparisons.

[29] See _The Americans_, by HUGO MÜNSTERBERG, pp. 558-589. Boston:
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1901.

Personal observation must always be colored by prejudices and
prepossessions, but my own have been so wide, and so uniformly in one
direction, that it seems justifiable to report them.

       *       *       *       *       *

For a quarter of a century I have been working in schools or with
teachers, and my personal observations all agree with the above
characterization. I have spent five years in Cornell University, New
York; one year in Zurich University in Switzerland; two years in the
State University of Indiana and seven years in Stanford University in
California. These institutions are widely distributed; they were all
fully co-educational; and they each had a wide range of elective
studies. In all of them, class-rooms devoted to literature and modern
languages had a large attendance of women, while lecture-rooms and
laboratories devoted to abstract science were almost deserted by them.
This could not have been due to commercial considerations, for many of
these women were facing teaching; and during all this time the demand
for women who could teach science has been much greater than for women
who could teach literature.

In my work with teachers, both in the classroom and in the field, I have
carried out many inductive, quantitative studies, based on measurements
or returns from large numbers of children. I have never found women
teachers taking up and carrying out this kind of work with any such
enthusiasm as men apply to it, though it lies at the base of their
professional life.

Institutional generalizations seem all to point in this same direction.
For instance, the Girls' Evening High School in Philadelphia is managed
by one of the best known scientific women in the country, Dr. L.L.W.
Wilson, head of the biological department of the Philadelphia Normal
School. With a thousand girls of high school grade, under the leadership
of a scientific woman, the only science courses given in the school are
those in domestic science. The reason is that the girls, most of them
not being candidates for a degree, will not take up science work, though
they form strong classes in literature and languages.

If, from such general facts of observation, one turns to exact
comparisons, where quantities can be measured, the results are all the
same. Of students enrolled in classical departments of universities,
colleges and technical schools reporting to the United States Bureau of
Education, in 1910, 36.5% were women, while of those enrolled in general
science courses, but 17.2% were women. In 1,511 public and private high
schools and seminaries, reporting to the Bureau of Education in
1909-1910, a larger percentage of boys than of girls was enrolled in
algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, physical geography,
civil government and rhetoric, which is a scientific study of language.
A larger proportion of girls enrolled in Latin, French, German, English
literature and history, and there was a slightly greater enrollment of
girls in botany, zoology and physiology.

In the further discussion of this subject it will then be taken for
granted that in education, feminization means emphasis on languages,
literature and history, as opposed to mathematics, physics, chemistry
and civics. For the elementary schools we have no data capable of
reduction to figures, but general observation, backed by an examination
of courses of study and textbooks, will compel any one to say that in
twenty years we have made wonderful progress in reading, language,
stories, mythology, biography and history; while all our efforts to
bring nature work into vital relation with the schools have borne little
fruit. Our country schools need lessons in agriculture, and the children
should gain a deep sense of country life. But how can celibate young
women, longing toward the towns, give this? Any subjects well taught are
sure to be increasingly taught, and it takes no extended study to see
that our elementary schools are being feminized in the direction of
literature. This is the more striking when we remember that these twenty
years have been dominated, in the larger world, by scientific interests.

In the high schools and seminaries, we have fairly complete returns
showing the number of students enrolled in certain subjects since 1890.
The pupils taking Latin have increased 15%; French, 4%; German, 13%;
English literature has increased in ten years 7% (there is no record for
this subject before 1898); and European history, 27%. There has also
been an increase of 11% in algebra and 10% in geometry, probably partly
due to vocational need and to the emphasis laid on these subjects for
admission to college. But physics, in the twenty years under
consideration, has fallen off 7%; chemistry, 3%; physical geography, 5%;
physiology, 15%; and civics, 7%.[30] A careful study of these figures
must convince any fair-minded person that our school curriculum, even in
the secondary field, where women's control is least complete, is moving
rapidly in the direction of what we have called feminization.

[30] _Report of the United States Commissioner of Education_, 1910, Vol.
II, p. 1139.

The schools, too, must increasingly do something more than train the
intellect; and in all physical activity involuntary suggestion is very
powerful. Playgrounds are laboratories of conduct, and they should not
only give physical exercise, but should also furnish standards and
ideals. There can be no doubt that women are physically more restrained,
retiring, non-contesting, and graceful than men; but can dancing,
marching, and gymnastics take the place of more aggressive, direct and
violent contests in the training of boys? So in industries, women are
more given to conserving, arranging and beautifying, more given to
clerking and recording, while men are more creative, disbursing, more
given to mining, agriculture and commerce. Even granting equal
understanding and experience, the tradition of the race must count for
much; and it would seem that at every stage of growth, boys and girls
alike should feel the impulse to imitate men who have an instinct to
make and unmake, to trade and carry. It is no justification of existing
conditions to say that the men now in the teaching profession lack
these qualities; if they do, let us get rid of them and have real men.
And for purposes of political life, does it not seem strange to bring up
a generation of boys and girls who are to be the future citizens of a
democracy under the exclusive leadership of people who have never been
encouraged to think about political life nor allowed to participate in
it? Let us by all means enfranchise women; but even then they cannot
hope to quickly catch up with those who have some thousands of years the
start, even after allowing for the fact that girls inherit from both
father and mother.

Most of these differences which we have been discussing seem to rest in
the fact that women are more personal in their interests and judgments
than men are. This may be due to their education for thousands of years;
but that makes it no less true. Women certainly, in a great majority of
cases, are more interested in a case than in a constitution; in a man
than in a mission; in a poem that in a treatise; in equity than in law.
In a generation when everything is tending toward great aggregations,
consolidated industries, segregated wealth, and new syntheses of
knowledge, both boys and girls should have such training as will fit
them to play their part in these larger units.

As to the feminizing influence of exclusively women teachers on manners
and morals and general attitude toward life there can be no real doubt.
Boys and girls cannot spend eight or twelve impressionable years of
childhood and youth under the constant daily influence of women without
having the ladylike attitude toward life strongly emphasized. To deny
this is to repudiate the power of constant involuntary suggestion and
association. Whether it is desirable or not, is another question. The
change may be all in the direction of advancing civilization; but just
as in the assimilation of our subject races, the philosophic mind must
be distressed by the disappearance of so many varieties of speech,
customs, and artistic and industrial products, so in this present
assimilation, one cannot help regretting the steady disappearance of the
katabolic qualities of the human male. One does not need to say that
this feminized product is better or worse than what we have had, but it
is certainly narrower, and less in harmony with the world's thought and
work, than it formerly was.

If we turn from education to the press we have similar conditions.
During these past few years, hundreds of journals have sprung up devoted
to women's special interests. They are almost all of them showy,
fragmentary, personal, concrete and emotional. It is difficult to find
one that represents general or abstract interests. At least one of these
journals which boasts a fabulous circulation is supported by its women
subscribers and readers to oppose the larger interests of women in
education, industry and political life. At least, if it does not oppose
these interests, it does not aid them. Imagine a million German women
sending the Kaiser one dollar and a half a year to induce him to tell
them once a month to go back to their kitchens, churches and children!

The newspapers of America have steadily changed during the last three
decades in the same direction. Editorial pages and news columns have
been steadily modified in the direction of fragmentary, egoistic,
personal and sensational, or at least emotional, appeals. These are the
qualities of children's minds and of undeveloped minds everywhere. The
change is, of course, a part of the larger democratic movement of our
time, and many causes have contributed to bring it about. Had women not
been so active, something of the same sort would have happened; but if
women were all to forget how to read overnight, there is little doubt
that the newspapers would find it advantageous to print more
statesmanlike editorials and more general and abstract news.

With the weeklies and monthlies, the change taking place is the same.
The new reading public, brought in by increase in population and by
popular education, does not support the _Atlantic_, the _Century_ and
_Scribner's,_ but turns to _Munsey's_, _McClure's_ and _Everybody's_.
The very change in names speaks of the new personal and egoistic element
that has come into journalism. Of course, such changes are only in part
due to the influence of women, but the change is in the direction of the
qualities that characterize distinctively women's journals.

In books, the personal and romantic novel has taken precedence over
every other form of literature. Many of these are written by women;
their circulation, both through libraries and through sales, is much
greater with women than with men; and in many of them the personal
gossip is as transient as that which fills the evening papers.[31]

[31] _The Feminine Note in Fiction_, by W.L. COURTNEY, London, Chapman &
Hall, 1904; the author tries to prove that there is such a thing as a
feminine style in fiction.

In the churches, especially in the ritualistic churches, women have long
been the faithful attendants. Nowhere, except in the churches which make
a rationalistic and abstract appeal, and in the Ethical Societies, does
one find a preponderance of men. In 1903, a careful enumeration of all
attendants at places of worship was made in the city of London. The
count was taken on fair Sundays in autumn, and covered both morning and
evening services. Sixty-one per cent. of all adult attendants were
women, 146,372 more women than men passing through the doors.

About the same time a similar census was made in the part of New York
City lying on Manhattan Island. The women were in excess by 171,749,
and formed 69 per cent. of all attendants. Even church service, if not
entirely tied to set forms, must seek to interest those who occupy the
pews; and no observer can fail to note in both England and America, a
movement toward ritualism on the one hand, and on the other, toward
popular, personal, concrete and sometimes sensational preaching. The
same general changes are taking place in libraries, in the drama, in
concerts, in all group activities connected with learning and the fine

But on the other side, if emancipated women had not applied themselves,
since 1870, to the direction of education, literature, religion and
amusements, all these interests must have suffered serious neglect and
probable deterioration through the concentrating of the interests of the
ablest men in engineering, manufacturing, commerce and other fields of
pure and applied science. By popularizing these interests, women have
really humanized them, as all similar revolutions have done in the past.
In breaking up old forms and intellectual conventions they have set free
new and vital impulses. Whether the historian of the future will
consider this period of democratization and feminization a time of
advance may be uncertain; but it is certainly a time of liberated energy
and of broadening participation in all that is best in life.


The Economic Independence of Women

Nowhere does a human being escape compulsion. Even were he alone in the
world he would be forced to obey the physical laws governing gravity,
heat, cold, hunger and disease. No matter what his desires might be, he
would find himself limited and constrained by fixed laws, the inexorable
penalties of which he could escape only by obedience. If the man were
not alone, then each one of his companions would limit his freedom, and
he would limit each one in the group, if they were to live together in
peace and efficiency; and yet each of the man's companions would help to
free him from the tyranny of physical forces, from the social pressure
of others, and even from the bondage of his own nature.

Independence is thus an ideal to be achieved only through obedience. It
begins in self-subordination and reaches its finest realization in
social subordination. Since the beginning of time men who thought have
always dreamed of freedom; and for two hundred years now independence
has been a word to conjure with. But in so far as independence means
freedom to follow one's own unregulated desires, it is a fantastic and
dangerous dream; and yet this dream of impossible independence has been
among the greatest influences in furthering human development in the

The old-time dependence of one individual on the immediate caprices of
another largely disappeared with the passing of slavery. But in place of
this personal subjection has come a more complex and in some ways more
compelling and crushing control through the monopoly of wealth. Property
has become the medium through which the most binding of human relations
are organized. Accumulated wealth has become a great reservoir of power
to which some individuals gain access through rights of birth, others
through carefully guarded privileges, and still others through cunning
devices or through force; but the masses of the people must gain their
fragments of this wealth through arduous lifelong labor. Even the earth,
the original source of all wealth, is parceled out, and all of it is now
owned by individuals or groups who control it in their own interests.
One man may thus have thousands of acres which he cannot use, and which
he will not allow others to use, while another has not where to lay his
head. Laws jealously guard this wealth, which is the key to all
opportunity; and public opinion, that most subtle, pervasive and
compelling of all forms of law, gathers a thousand sacred initiations,
rites, ceremonies, prohibitions and ex-communications around it. A man
who has killed his neighbor, or ruined his friend's family, may be less
punished by society than one who cheats at cards.

In primitive life a man may be a man by virtue of what he is; to-day he
may have all the rights and privileges of any man by virtue of what he
possesses. In any community can be found strong men, honest, though
misplaced or unfortunate, begging bread, wasting their lives for want of
money to live decently. And beside these one sees other men of weak
physique and feeble minds, who have lived as parasites on society all
their lives, but who are handsomely dressed, well fed, and possessed of
power to do as they will, simply because they have access to wealth. It
is no wonder that if one would seek freedom to-day in America he must
look for her image on a gold coin.

It is not difficult to see why property has become such a powerful
instrument in civilization. Anything which a person really owns, in a
psychological sense, is a home for his soul. Really owning an object, a
toy, a garment, a watch or a home, means infusing one's personality into
it. A man who possesses significant things has a new body through which
his soul can work; this body trains his powers; and it should give him
life more abundantly. A landless man must become a soulless man. Of
course, we are not here speaking of legal ownership. Many people own
legally things into which they have never infused themselves; sometimes
they have so many things that no individual could possibly infuse
himself into them.

These conditions may prevail even in primitive life, but to-day they
have been vastly increased through the fact that with advancing
civilization money was devised. This is a system of counters, generally
coin or paper, not really valuable in themselves, but always resting
back for value on the earth, or on something derived from it. In the
past it was supposed that there were some things which, because of their
nature, were not marketable, while others were beyond price. To-day we
set values on everything, even on men's bodies; eyes, ears, legs and
lives can be priced. There are, in fact, insurance companies and
factories that have regular schedules of value for various parts of the
body. Our courts set prices on blighted affections, damaged reputations,
social advancements, impaired digestions, damaged complexions, nervous
shocks and extreme humiliations. Even a woman's honor may have a price
in dollars.

These property rights, like the rights of the person, have always been
subject to violence. Powerful individuals and groups have always been
able to overstep legal restrictions and public opinion, and seize what
they desired. The land grabbing going on in North Africa and Persia
to-day and the activity of great industrial monopolies at home, show us
that some property rights still need to be secured by force. In this
struggle, it has come about naturally that men, being stronger, freer
and less scrupulous than women, have outstripped them and have so far
had a pretty complete monopoly of wealth. In fact women themselves have
at times become property. In such times a man who stole or bought a
woman, naturally took over with her all her rights in real estate and
personal property as well as her person and her services.

Only gradually did women gain power to hold property themselves. Mainly
because fathers wished to preserve property in their families, the right
of women to inherit became slowly established as civilization advanced.
In Judea, Greece and Rome, certain rights of a woman to hold property
were clearly settled. In the reversion to force under feudalism, woman's
rights to outside property suffered; but they have been gradually
restored during the last few centuries. To-day, in civilized lands, a
woman's rights to property, inherited or definitely given her or
purchased by her, are everywhere recognized, if she does not marry. In
France, and other Latin countries, she may still lose control of her
property if she takes a husband; but in northern and western lands, even
a married woman may retain her possessions.

Woman's body, too, is increasingly looked upon as her personal property.
With the raising of the age of consent; with increasing severity in laws
punishing rape, and with the abrogation of judicial orders for the
restitution of marital rights, it is now quite generally recognized that
a woman should have the right to control her own person. Still, in many
lands there is much to be done before this right is fully safeguarded.

The place where a woman has not yet achieved economic freedom is in the
disposal of her labor. One must remember, however, in this connection,
that not only is there no fixed standard of values in human service as
yet, but that many indispensable forms of service have not even been
legally recognized as valuable. In early forms of civilization, fighting
and praying were considered the most important work the community
received, and warriors and priests gained the big rewards. They
received lands, gold, servants and dignities, while industrial workers,
even the directors, were despised. To-day we have reversed all this and
we may pay a general only five thousand dollars a year, and a priest
eight hundred dollars, while a man who develops a big industry may
receive a hundred thousand dollars annually. Again, a man who invents a
new gun may be given a fortune, like that of Herr Krupp, while a man who
invents a surgical instrument is prevented by the ethics of his
profession from even patenting it. If Pasteur had been paid for his
services to France and to humanity, he would have ranked in the
financial world with Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Schwab. We pay a State
superintendent of public instruction ten thousand dollars a year; but
Miss Jane Addams, as instructor in ethics to the United States, receives
no salary, and she must even beg the money to maintain her laboratory at
Hull House. The whole question of payment for services is in a chaotic
condition. Those who serve mankind most faithfully are rewarded on the
principle, "From each according to his ability;" but nowhere is the
remainder of the principle, "To each according to his needs,"
recognized. Hence our greatest servants must still beg support from our
cleverest exploiters.

Domestic service is indispensable to society, but so far it has remained
in the field of semi-slavery and uncertain barter; in a word, it is
still in the feudal stage. The woman gives what she is and has, and
nominally she gets protection and support. Sometimes these fail and, on
the other hand, she occasionally receives the unearned gifts supposed to
befit a potentate or a shrine. As women become educated they find this
condition of uncertainty and instability unbearable. They are willing to
work, but they must have a chance to think and to plan their lives
according to their individual needs. Some degree of economic
independence is necessary to intelligent thinking and orderly living. It
is not that women are demanding more property; they are demanding some
definite individual property as a home for their souls; and they are
coming to realize that if this property rests on some one else's
feelings and caprices it is no home for the soul; it is only a tavern.

This conception is well illustrated by the case of a woman in western
New York, who married about 1850, and went to live on a farm with her
husband. They had small means, but she brought seven hundred dollars to
the altar, which was more than he possessed in ready capital. Her part
was, however, soon swallowed up in the general business, and while there
was a tacit agreement, voiced at long intervals, that she had put
something into the business, her part never increased, though the man
with whom she worked grew well-to-do. Certain feudal rights in the
butter the woman made and in the chickens she raised, yielded her small
sums, which often escaped her, but which she sometimes secured and put
into a few silver spoons and dishes for her table, a square of Brussels
carpet, three lace curtains, a marble topped stand, and six horsehair
covered chairs for her parlor. These articles were considered in a very
special sense her own. The man might have sold them and used the money,
but public opinion would have condemned him had he done so.

Meantime the woman cooked for the family and the hired men, scrubbed
and washed and mended. She strained and skimmed the milk from a dozen
cows, and churned the butter; she fed the calves; cared for the hens;
dug in the garden; gathered the vegetables; did the family sewing; and
stole fragments of time for her flower-beds. Her hours were from five in
the morning until nine at night, three hundred and sixty-five days in
the year, with no half-days or Sundays off.

Incidentally she read her Bible, maintained religious exercises in the
village, provided the church with a carpet by methods of indirection and
kept the church clean. She upheld a moral standard toward which men only
weakly struggled; hunted down and drove away all other women who refused
equal service to their lords; ministered to the neighboring sick; and
doled out alms in winter-time. Her home was a social and industrial
microcosm which she conducted as a feudal holding under the protection
of her lord. It would be an interesting study to work out the rules of
this feudal relation between husband and wife in any agricultural
community. They would be found as varied, as unjust and arbitrary, and
as generous, as those of the old régime in France.

A woman in a home is supposed to furnish three kinds of service. She
must be a housekeeper, a wife and a mother. As housekeeper, her services
can be estimated in current values running from three to twenty-five
dollars a week with board and lodging. The other two kinds of service
have never been reduced to monetary values.

As a wife, a woman is supposed to give her love, her person, her
sympathy and inspiration; the personal care of a husband, including his
clothes, attention to his relations and friends and general management
of his social position and reputation. If she fills this position well,
she is mistress, valet, confidential adviser and public entertainer.
Possibly these services can be rated except the first, and even here the
divorce courts scale alienated affections all the way from five hundred
to twenty-five thousand dollars, according to the appearance of the
woman and the skill of contending lawyers.

As a mother, the woman is supposed to give children a good heritage,
nurse them, care for them, doctor them and train them. We have
established values for these services as wet-nurse, nurse-maid,
governess, doctor and teacher, but who can estimate a woman's value in
giving a child a good heritage?

It is no wonder that such a difficult problem has remained thus far
unsolved. Here and there a man gives his wife a household allowance,
from the money they earn in common, and she struggles to save from it
some fragments for her individual needs; others put their wives on a
salary; and some others divide the income on a fractional basis. But the
slightest study of existing conditions must convince any one that women
are everywhere deeply dissatisfied with their economic relations to the
family. On referring recently to this fact before an audience almost
equally divided between suffragists and anti-suffragists, I found every
woman present applauding the statement. Another time when I asked more
than sixty of the wealthiest women in one of our cities how many were
dissatisfied with their relations to the family property, explaining
that I was not asking how many wanted more money but how many wanted a
different relation to the family money, all the women raised their
hands except three and they all had private property.

Meantime, economic changes, to be described in the next chapter, have
transformed our homes and nearly eight million women have gone outside
to earn money. The gladness with which they have gone shows that they
were not afraid to work, though at first the money did not belong to
them, but to their families. Almost everywhere in the United States the
money women now earn is their own; only in Louisiana can the husband
collect his wife's wages. Any one who reads Mrs. Gilman's masterly study
of the evil effects accompanying woman's economic independence must feel
how far-reaching are not only the discontent but also the evil
influences of our present system through over-emphasizing sex and
through corrupting the public thinking and feeling concerning services
and wages in general.[32]

[32] CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN, _Woman and Economics_, Boston: Small,
Maynard & Co., 1898. See, also, _Woman and Labor_, by OLIVE SCHREINER,
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1911.

Yet no one can seriously approach this problem in his own person
without feeling that the relations of husband and wife contain elements
that not only make it impossible to resolve the woman's service into
money values, but that would make it useless to do so even if it could
be done. The most distinctive quality of love is its desire to give.
Love that seeks to get is not love. If when a woman gives herself she
tries to secure individual property it will be only that she may give it
to the man she loves. Marriage is a partnership of soul and body, and
this includes property. It still remains true, however, that each must
have in order that he may give. Besides this, there are always outside
obligations, and special needs within the group, that require individual
property for their realization.

In the past, the partnership of marriage has been incomplete on the
property side; why not complete it? Why not reorganize our laws and our
public opinion so that two people who establish a family, putting into
it all they have, should pay out of the income the necessary family
expenses and divide all else equally between the parties? Property
acquired before marriage, and all inherited property, might well be held
in individual right since it should never be a prize for prostitution,
not even when it is euphemistically termed "a good home."

Under equal suffrage Idaho has passed such a law, and all property
gained after marriage belongs equally to husband and wife. If the wife
dies, her heirs, in absence of a will, inherit half of the family
property. If the two separate, the court, in absence of an outside
agreement, settles the property as it does the children. The judge may
order that it be divided equally, or he may give it all to either party,
according to conditions; but the woman has identical rights with the
man. Surely some such solution is demanded by our present unrest. No one
will ever be economically independent; but husband and wife should be
economically equal.


Women in Industry

In all the animal world one can hardly find a place where orderly
effort, planned to secure some future advantage, does not appear.
Getting food, defending life, and caring for offspring have all combined
to drive not only the descendants of Adam, but his ancestors as well, to
sweat-producing effort. Of course this is not definitely planned;
getting food often waits on appetite; defense is sometimes merely
running away; and the young are frequently left to feed themselves or
die. But the fact remains that in digging burrows, building nests,
laying up honey and nuts, and in protecting and providing for the young,
a vast deal of effort is put forth in forest and field which is not
immediately productive of pleasure.

This work is seldom equally shared by all the members of the group. With
bees, the drones and the queen are alike exempt from work, and an
asexual group has been developed to feed and protect them. Some ants
compel others to do their work; and everywhere there seem to be
individuals who are constitutionally lazy and others who, because of
strength or sex attractiveness, are able to get more than their share of
food and protection with less than their share of effort.

From the first, some division of work between male and female grows
almost inevitably out of their different relations to reproduction.
Following conception, the male can always run away and leave the female
to feed and fight for herself and her offspring, and he is very prone to
do so. Even when he stays by and shares in the joy of the newly born he
generally leaves the female to get ready the nest, and largely she
protects and provisions it.

Among domesticated animals, where their working possibilities have been
very highly developed, females are much more desirable workers than
males. The maternal function partly explains this, as in the case of
cows and hens which give us milk and eggs; and even with mares and sheep
the offspring adds to the general working value. Still, it seems to be
true that even for purposes of draught, the males are of less value than
the females, unless reduced to the non-sexual condition of geldings and
oxen. The stallion, bull or ram is too katabolic, too much of a
consuming, distributing, destroying force to be very valuable in the
daily routine of agriculture or commerce. While the female is generally
smaller and less powerful than the male, she is quiet, easily enslaved;
and, as we have said, her maternal functions can be diverted to our
daily use. She produces more workers, and her flesh is more palatable,
because less distinctive, than that of the male. Hence, among
domesticated animals, selection, based on considerations of work,
multiplies females and keeps males only for breeding purposes.

As a quadruped, the female suffers very little handicap from the
functions peculiar to her sex, except when actually carrying her young
or nursing them. When she stands erect, however, the support for the
special organs of reproduction is far from ideal; heavy lifting, or
long-continued standing, often leads to disaster, and the periodic
functions, even in the healthiest conditions, must always place women
at a working disadvantage as compared with men. Add to this the fact
that women are smaller, less agile, and far less strong, than men, and,
even when not encumbered with young, it is clear that a woman, when
confronting physical work in competition with men, needs something more
than a fair field and free competition.[33] Idealists and travelers
among primitive people love to tell us how easily women meet their
special functions, carrying burdens equal to those carried by men when
on the march, and dropping out from the caravan for only a few hours to
give birth to a child; but the fact remains that women in all primitive
societies age quickly and that those who are spoiled are thrown aside
and forgotten.[34] Woman's handicap as a working animal in competition
with man is too obvious and too deep-seated to be idealized away.

[33] The Supreme Court of the United States, in passing on the "Oregon
laundry case," in 1907, declared a bill limiting a woman's working hours
constitutional. See the _Brief for the State of Oregon_, prepared by
LOUIS D. BRANDEIS, published by The National Consumers' League, 105 East
22d Street, New York.

[34] DUDLEY, _Principles and Practices of Gynecology_, pp. 23-24, says
that among Indian women want of care during and after labor leads to
numberless evils.

In all savage societies labor is clearly specialized between the sexes.
The man, because of his superior strength and mobility, fights, hunts
and makes weapons of the chase. The woman fetches and carries, digs and
delves, cures the meat, makes the rude huts, clothing and pottery.
Gradually she changes wild grasses to domesticated plants, and rears the
young animals brought home from the chase, till they follow and serve
their human masters. She is truly the mother of industries, and it in no
way detracts from her credit that her motherhood is here, as elsewhere,
mainly unthinking.

With the exhaustion of the supply of wild animals, man is forced to turn
his attention to the world of vegetation and he takes over the direction
of the plants and animals which woman has largely domesticated. In his
career as fighter and hunter he has learned to coöperate with his
fellows to a degree which aids him greatly in dividing the arable land,
protecting his crops, and using grazing lands in common with the tribe.
He has also learned to make stone hatchets, spears and bows and arrows.
Woman has not felt the same necessity to invent in her work; such new
tools as she has devised have been helpful, but men who could not invent
have been wiped out by those who learned to make stronger spears or
better arrow-heads.

It is the same difference in adaptability which one observes to-day
between the farmers on the western frontier of America and those who
remain in their peasant homes in Europe. The peasant has even greater
need of inventing than has his expatriated countryman in Colorado, but
he lacks the driving impulse. It was the same with women and men under
the conditions of savage life. Thus it came about that man's greater
strength and mobility, backed by power of coöperation and invention,
gave him the leadership in such primitive life as we find depicted in
the pages of Homer or in the epic of the Jews. True, woman was his first
lieutenant, but he spoke for her in most of the larger matters of the
industrial life.

With settled conditions and accumulation of wealth, the most desirable
women were almost entirely freed from physical labor and gradually
became luxury-loving parasites and playthings, as we pointed out in the
second chapter of this volume. Meantime slaves were multiplying, male
and female and, while the most desirable women passed to the harem, the
mass of them became drudges in house and field. It is hard for us to
realize that it is exactly in those times when a few women are
surrounded with great luxury that most of the sex are reduced to heavy
labor and wretchedness.

During the early Christian ages, a tradition was gradually formed
concerning woman's place in industry, or rather three traditions were
formed. The working woman of the lower classes was to be the
housekeeper, which meant that she was to care for food, cook, spin,
weave, sew and mend, scrub and wash, bear children and nurse and tend
them. If she were of the middle class, she was to be a mother, to
supervise this range of work, look after dependents, conserve social
conditions and be the lady bountiful of her district. The second ideal
was the woman of religion, who was to subdue her passions, observe set
prayers and other religious exercises, and do the menial work of the
convent. The third ideal was the lady of chivalry, who appeared after
the tenth century. She was to be cared for and protected from work or
anxiety; menials were to prepare her food, clothes and ornaments;
gallants were to await her orders and do her bidding.

With the rise of Protestantism, and later with the rise of modern
democracy, these ideals were blended, and women found themselves, not
indeed slaves and subject to sale, but serfs, entangled in a mass of
feudal obligations and bound to the house. Practically, most men still
hold this threefold conception of woman's place in the social organism.
She is to be a combination of housekeeper, nun and lady. It is the
kitchen, church and children ideal of the German Emperor.

Meantime forces were set at work which were to change the economic
foundations of the family and enable the woman to emerge from serfdom
into some new form of industrial relationship. From the rise of the
European cities in the twelfth century, certain industries have tended,
especially in the Netherlands and in England, to segregate themselves in
farm-houses and towns. Women naturally participated in these
activities, generally taking the least desirable parts. With the freeing
of the mind, which followed the democratic revolutions at the end of the
eighteenth century, inventions blossomed out and perfected steam
engines, cotton gins, spinning jennies, and a thousand other machines
driven by steam or water power, which have changed the civilization of
Europe and America. Miss Edith Abbott has shown us how this change,
involving increasing segregation and specialization, came into America
even in the pre-Revolutionary time.[35]

[35] EDITH ABBOTT, _Women in Industry: A Study in American Economic
History_, New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1910.

Spinning and weaving industries led the way in this movement, but its
full force was not felt until the late eighteenth century. Since then,
one industry after another has left the home for the factory until
to-day, in all large communities, even the preparation of food
increasingly goes to the packing-house, the canning establishment, the
bakery and the delicatessen-store. These industries needed hands, and so
the women followed them to the factories.

As 1870 marks the beginning of higher education for women, so it also
marks the beginning of her industrial self-consciousness. The perfecting
of such inventions as the typewriter, the telegraph and the telephone,
and the creation of a great variety of office appliances, together with
the perfecting of highly elaborate means of distribution, like the
departmental store, called for thousands of cheap workers possessed of
some slight intelligence but not necessarily having any serious
preliminary training. Our elementary schools and high schools have
increasingly turned out a multitude of girls who could meet these
requirements. The increased cost of living, the lessened labor demands
of the home, and the attractions of the pay envelope, have called
millions to work in industrial plants. In 1890, there were 4,005,532
wage-earning women in the United States; in 1900, 5,319,397; while in
1910, we have probably nearly 8,000,000.

Like most other great changes in civilization, this industrial
transformation was neither preceded nor accompanied by any general
consciousness of what was happening. Daily necessities were offset by
weekly pay envelopes, or the failures fell out of sight, and so the next
week and the years followed. Country populations moved away; cities grew
enormously, leading to congestion in living which, combined with the
daily absence of women, has often transformed the old time homes into
communal tiers of tenements occupied, during working hours, only by the
young and the infirm.

The children of all ages after a while followed their mothers into the
factories; but the evil effects of child labor were so apparent that
repressive legislative measures have increasingly raised the age of
their admission until now, in the more advanced communities, they must
stay outside the factory doors until they are twelve or fourteen years
old. Some growing self-consciousness, largely of a police nature, has
led us to institute measures for the protection of the children who are
not allowed to work. Schools, playgrounds, day nurseries, institutional
churches, college settlements and public social centers now bid against
the streets and vacant lots, the nickel shows and the dancing halls, for
the children's patronage.

Education, however, true to its origin as the assistant of theology,
refuses to recognize in any large way the new world into which we have
come, and where the next generation of children must follow. Manual
training has, here and there, quieted the fears of some who had
disturbing visions; and we go on employing an army of unenfranchised,
celibate women, with little or no industrial experience, to teach ten
million boys how to be good citizens of a republic, and how to serve in
a modern industrial army; and ten million girls how to work in shops and
factories, and how to live without homes. As a consequence, girls come
up to the factories from their schools with ideals,[36] so far as the
school has shaped them, founded on unmarried school mistresses and
George Washington; and they pass, by way of the altar, into cheerless
tenements which the school still thinks of as places where children are
cared for, family clothing is made and the family baking is done.
Practically, of course, most education is given outside the schools, and
there the evils of an unregulated time of transition are multiplied
through imitation.

[36] EARL BARNES, Children's Ideals, in _Studies in Education_, Vol. II,
p. 237; also School Girls' Ideas of Women's Occupations by SARAH YOUNG,
in _Studies in Education_, Vol. II, p. 259.

The wealth and material comfort produced for the fortunate classes by
these segregated industries have blinded us to their effects on human
life, and we have all been bribed to silence concerning everything which
could discourage enterprise or frighten capital. Like most bribes,
however, these have largely stopped in the pockets of the exploiters of
public opinion.

In the opening years of this new century, public consciousness has had a
wonderful awakening.[37] The popular mind, quickened by universal
education, and freed from a burden of fixed beliefs, is turning
restlessly to inquire about everything that affects human life. Work
could not escape this inquisition, and so we are asking not only for a
fairer division of the profits of work, but we are also inquiring what
occupations are unfit for women, with their special limitations and
obligations. When the work is reasonable, how long should a woman work
daily? Should she work at night and overtime? Should she work with
dangerous machinery? Should she handle substances that endanger health?
Should she be required to stand through hours of continuous work? Should
she work in bad air, due to dust, moisture, or excessive heat or cold?
Should she have a decent retiring-room? Some daring inquirers are even
asking whether industrial efficiency, gained through specialization and
keying up, may not be purchased at too high a price of mental monotony
and nervous strain. Most people are content to learn that the effects
are not immediately destructive to the girls and women involved; but
some day we shall demand that the barons of industry shall not be
allowed to squander the heritage of the unborn generations.

[37] C. HANFORD HENDERSON, _Pay-Day_, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Co.,

Women have themselves done much to quicken this public consciousness.
Enrolled in labor unions, they have shown power to stand together and
make sacrifice, as in the shirt-waist makers' strike in New York in
1908, which commanded the admiration of all fair-minded observers. The
more fortunately placed women have aided these movements toward
self-betterment; and, through such organizations as the National
Consumers' League, they have compelled manufacturers and shopkeepers to
observe more reasonable hours, pay better wages, and furnish decent
material conditions for their employees.[38]

[38] See the recent volume, based on investigations made by the National
Consumers' League, _Making Both Ends Meet_, by SUE AINSLIE CLARK and
EDITH WYATT, The Macmillan Co., 1911. See, also, _Saleswomen in
Mercantile Stores_, by ELIZABETH BEARDSLEY BUTLER, published by the
Charities Publication Committee, for the Russell Sage Foundation, 1912.

The solution of woman's present industrial problem is not an easy task,
but out of the present unsettlement certain facts are emerging with a
good deal of clearness. The efficiency in production, secured by
concentration and specialization, make it certain that the old-time home
with its multiplied industries will not return, but that more and more
even of its present lessened activities will be transferred to factories
and to their equivalents. It is also certain that women are not going to
be supported in indolence by men, because when deprived of the
discipline which full participation in life gives, they must always
degenerate. For themselves, and for the sake of their children, they
will demand a chance to live abundantly. It is also clear that our
present chaotic conditions are destructive of health, happy marriages,
effective homes, and the strong line of descendants which must always be
the chief care of an intelligent society.

In the first place, then, we must work to produce an entire change in
our present mental attitude toward organized industries. Our present
worship of industrial products, no matter how obtained, must give way to
a recognition of the fact that the chief asset of a nation is its
people; that a woman is more important than the clothes she makes in
factories or sells in stores; and that to needlessly destroy or
scrapheap a working woman is worse than to needlessly destroy or
scrapheap the finest and most costly machine ever devised by man. Such a
statement seems to carry conviction in its every phrase, but the fact is
that we do not believe it, and until we do believe it, there will be
little help for our present absurd and wretched conditions. Unregulated
competition, backed by greed of individuals and groups, will go on
wasting the wealth of women's lives until we cease to be fascinated and
hypnotized by the display of products which they make possible. Better
fine women and children, and few things, than stores and warehouses
crowded with goods, and the women and children of our present factory
towns. By fixing our attention on people instead of things, we should
almost certainly secure more and better things; but, regardless of cost,
we must change the focus of our attention.

In the second place, girls must get ready to be women. The education of
the home and the school must be unified, and together they must give a
training that will lead girls into the actualities of the life that lies
before them. Our present elementary schools, and still more our high
schools, lead girls neither to intelligent work nor to intelligent
living as women and mothers. Up to at least the age of fourteen, the
education should be general, looking to the development of all the
powers of body, mind and sensibilities. But through all these eight or
ten years of training, two factors should receive constant and
intelligent attention. In the first place, we should realize that we are
not fitting women for drawing-rooms nor for convents, but for a working
world; therefore well graded and interesting manual training should run
through all these years and should furnish a well-developed base for
later special industrial preparation of some kind. In the second place,
the girls should be taught by men and women, married and unmarried, and
fine ideals of actual womanhood, not alone in shops and factories, in
school-rooms, and in professions--but also in homes, should be
constantly held before them. Our present education leaves this training
mainly to the homes, and neither the parasitic rich nor our eight
million wage-earning women, when mothers, can or will attend to it.

After the girl reaches the age of fourteen, she should have at least two
years of further education in which she could master the details of some
necessary work which would enable her to look the world in the face and
offer fair payment for her living. With most girls, this work would be
connected with children and the service of the home; for domestic
service, no matter how organized, must always occupy a multitude of
women. All girls should have at least rudimentary training in these

During the period of transition from schools to their own family life,
the girls might well give a half dozen years to work in factories and
stores where the conditions should be as good, and as well guarded, as
in our best school buildings--in factories, in a word, where the
employers would be willing that their own daughters should work. This is
surely a fair standard. Work which is not safe or fit for me to do, is
not fit for me to hire done. If this principle fails, then democracy is
but a dream.

But during all this period of preparation we should never forget that,
as Madame Gnauck-Kühne so admirably points out, "women's work has to a
large extent an episodic character."[39] All women confront romantic
love, marriage and children; and any woman who misses them misses the
crowning joy and glory of her life. Vicarious realization may save the
soul, but it can never fill the place of reality. The man fronts these
same experiences, but they are not related to his work as they are
related to the work of women. Surely there can be no doubt that the
ideal solution, in this period, is a man and woman so deeply bound
together by love that there is no question of self-protection, either in
terms of work or money; and the man being freed from the burdens of
maternity, should mainly earn the income. We shall discuss the new type
of home and family in a later chapter, but in any home where there are
children there is need of an intelligent mother's very constant care.

[39] Madame GNAUCK KÜHNE, _Die Deutsche Frau_.

If a happy home were the universal destiny of women, our problem would
be greatly simplified; but this is far from being the case. Not more
than one-half of all women over fifteen are married at any one moment.
From the ages of twenty to thirty-five, one-half are married; but it is
only from thirty-five to fifty-five that as many as three-fourths are
married; over fifty-five there are less than one-half married, and most
of the others are widows.[40] Most of these women who are not married
must work outside the home, and no girl, rich or poor, should be allowed
to reach maturity without being prepared to face this possibility. Work
is not a curse but a blessing; it is an indispensable part of every
well-ordered life; and without it, the individual and the group will
certainly degenerate. Rich and foolish parents, who cannot realize this
basal fact, should nevertheless see that, even as insurance, their
daughters must be able to pay their way in life, if need comes, without
selling themselves either in marriage or out. Even if the woman marries
happily, she is never sure that she may not some day have to face
self-support, and possibly for more mouths than her own.

[40] B.L. HUTCHINS, Woman's Industrial Career in _The Sociological
Review_, October, 1909.

But the woman who marries during her adolescent period, between the ages
of twenty-five and fifty, must also work, and here we meet the hardest
problem of all. More money is often needed than the man can earn; the
wife may bring an industrial or professional equipment which is too
valuable to discard; often the demands of the home, especially where
there are no children, do not call forth the best energies of the
woman, and she needs the larger life of outside work. Hence many married
women must continue to work away from the home. In any of these cases,
the problem is difficult. Bearing and rearing a child should retire a
mother from fixed outside occupation for at least a year. Arguments born
out of conflict cannot change this primitive fact.[41] Women should not
do shop or factory work during the last months of pregnancy, and babies
should be nursed from seven to nine months. A baby should be nursed for
twenty minutes, every two or three hours of its waking time; and since
it does not always waken regularly, the nursing mother is debarred from
most continuous work, even if it does not interfere with her
effectiveness as a milk producer.

[41] Dr. ETHEL VAUGHAN-SAWYER, speaking before the Fabian Women's Group,
in 1910, said: "Fortunately, after the first two or three months, most
children will thrive equally well when artificially fed, so long as the
milk is good and reliable, and is properly prepared." All of our facts
go to disprove this statement.

The question of maternal care for children after they are weaned is more
difficult to settle, but notwithstanding certain statistics gathered in
Birmingham,[42] in February, 1910, which showed that the infant
mortality among working mothers was one hundred and ninety per thousand,
while, among those not industrially employed, it was two hundred and
seventy per thousand, it seems sure that infant mortality is extremely
high in foundling asylums and in factory homes. In Fall River, where out
of every one hundred women, forty-five are at work outside the home,
three hundred and five babies, out of every one thousand born, die
before they are a year old; while even in New York City, but one hundred
and eighty-nine out of a thousand die. The natural location of Fall
River should make it a very healthy city. One remembers, too, the
classic statement that deaths among little children fell off steadily in
Paris during the siege of 1870. Little children seem better off even in
time of war, with the mothers at home, than in time of peace with their
mothers in the factory.

[42] Pamphlet entitled _Report on Industrial Employment of Married Women
and Infant Mortality_, signed by Dr. JOHN ROBERTSON, the Medical Officer
of Health, Birmingham.

A few years ago, we turned to sanitary day nurseries, and to
pasteurized milk and other prepared baby foods, as the solution for
neglected or unhygienic feeding. To-day we know that even a dirty and
ill-conditioned mother secretes better milk for her baby than can be
prepared in any laboratory. We must wash the mother and feed her the
milk, and then let her give it to her baby, instinct with her own life.
It is quite possible that our recent talk of ignorant mother love and of
the necessary substitution of sanitary nurseries, canned care and
pre-digested affection must all go the same way. We shall probably get
our best results by cleaning up the home, enlightening the mother, and
then letting her love her child into the full possession of its human

Economically, too, at least with factory workers, it is questionable if
their wages will support sanitary day-nurseries, with intelligent nurses
for small groups of children, and at the same time pay some one to cook
and scrub at home. If the mother must still cook and care for her house,
in addition to her factory work, the burden is too great; and if money
for nurses must come from the state, or from charity, then we all know
the danger of such subsidies to industry, in its effect on wages.

Surely the ideal toward which we must work is for the mother, during the
period when she is bearing and rearing children, to be supported by the
father of her children. Let her do the work meantime which will best
care for her children, and at the same time conserve and strengthen her
powers for the third period of her life.

This period, from fifty to seventy-five years, is now more shamefully
wasted than any other of our national resources. If one attends a State
federation of women's clubs one will find nearly every delegate of this
age. They are women of mature understanding and of ripe judgment, still
possessing abundant health and strength, and where relieved by economic
conditions from the necessity of manual work, they have to live such
irregular and uncertain relations to life as can be maintained by
mothers-in-law, grandmothers, club secretaries, and presidents of town
improvement societies. Remove all restrictions on woman's activity, and
these strong matrons would vitalize our schools, give us decent
municipal housekeeping, supervise the conditions under which girls and
women work in shops and factories, and do much to clean up our politics.
Debarred from direct power as they are, they are still making us decent
in spite of ourselves.

For the future, then, it seems that we must accept working women in
every path of life. We must remove all disabilities under which they
labor, and at the same time protect them by special legislation as
future wives and mothers. All girls must master some line of
self-supporting work; and, except in the cases of those who have very
special tastes and gifts, they should select work which can be
interrupted, without too great loss, by some years of motherhood. During
this time, the mother must be supported so that she can largely care for
her own child, though she must also maintain outside interests through
work, which will keep her in touch with the moving current of her time.
Industries must be humanized and made fit for women. The last third of a
woman's life must be freed from legal limitations and popular
prejudices, so that we may secure these best years of her life for
private and public service. And meantime, it is well to remember that
every step we take in making this a fit world for woman to work in,
makes it a fit world for her father, her brothers, her lover and her
husband to work beside her.


The Meaning of Political Life

It is a well-known fact that when words have been long and vigorously
used they gather within and around themselves varied meanings. Some
parts of these meanings are remnants of historic, and possibly outworn,
experience; other parts are the result of more or less deliberate
perversion under the stress of deep feelings aroused by opposition and
fighting. This is especially the fate of words in any way associated
with politics. Think how battered and useless for purposes of ordinary
discussion "democrat" and "republican" or "socialist" have become in

In the struggle of the last fifty years over woman's suffrage, most of
the words involved have undergone such transformations; and so many
prejudices have become associated with them, that no one can think or
speak clearly and fairly to-day in these terms. "Woman's Rights,"
"enfranchisement," "Votes for Women," "suffragette," "polls," "ballot,"
"political issues," and many other words, have gone through this
destructive process.

To read some of the most popular literature on this subject one might
imagine that women had all deserted home and fireside, babies and
baking, and were lined up, struggling fiercely to deposit certain
printed slips, called votes or ballots, dealing with esoteric mysteries
understood only by men like Mr. Bryan or Mr. Roosevelt, in ballot-boxes.
These receptacles are supposed to be behind, or very near, lawless
saloons, where gangs of hoodlums are waiting to assault the bearers of
these mysterious tickets. Thus Miss Seawell writes in the _Atlantic
Monthly_ for September, 1910: "The trouble would begin with the mere
attempt of women to deposit their ballots. A dozen ruffians at a single
polling-place would prevent a single woman from depositing a single
vote. There can be no doubt that this means would be used by the rougher
element and that the polls would become a scene of preordained riot and
disorder." Of course, such statements could not appear in a leading
magazine, in a land where women have been voting quietly for many years,
were it not for the perversity of the words which the author tries to
use, but which really use her. In other periodicals, equally
respectable, one learns that women, goaded on by the intolerable
political tyranny of men, have agreed as one soul to advance, with
ballots in their hands, and sweep graft and greed, drink and all other
human wrongs, into the sea of oblivion forever. Of course, this is
nonsense, or worse, and in this chapter I should like to turn away from
this warfare, leaving even the battered and prejudiced-soaked words
alone, as much as may be possible, and simply ask: What is political
life, not as defined in books, but as actually lived by a
self-respecting farmer or merchant of our acquaintance? What qualities
does political life presuppose in a participant? How does its use affect
him? What does it enable him to accomplish? What is the relation of a
woman--not some militant or unsexed ogre, nor a female breeding animal
in a harem, but our own sisters, wives and daughters as they really
are--what is their relation to this mysterious process?

If one approaches the political life of our modern democracies in this
simple spirit of inquiry it would seem that the first requisite for
participation is the ability to form sound judgments concerning
political matters; and all matters are now becoming political which
affect the welfare of the community. Certainly the citizen cannot devise
political machinery nor select candidates to work such machinery, much
less "cast a ballot," until he knows what he wants done. What are some
of the questions, then, on which he must form judgments?

First of all, he must be prepared to think intelligently about
protecting his life and property. He must know something of the danger
of foreign invasion, of the consequent need of a navy and standing army.
He must make up his mind whether it is necessary to spend $123,000,000
yearly on an American navy and $156,000,000 on an American army, as we
are at present doing, that we may be ready to fight England, Germany or
Japan if at any time we want to do so. He must ask himself whether this
money might not better be used in fighting ignorance, crime, poverty and

The would-be citizen must also think about protecting himself from
assault as he walks about the streets; about protecting his house from
thieves as he lies asleep at night. He must have thought about the
careless use of cars, automobiles, firearms and explosives in general.
He must consider the danger from fires, contagion, diseases, mobs; he
must think intelligently about contaminated water and impure foods. All
these things are necessary for the physical well-being of the community
life. Of course, if either man or woman cannot think intelligently about
these things, he ought not to have control of them; he should leave such
matters to those who can think of them.

In the second place, the would-be citizen must have fairly sound
judgments on questions of raising and spending necessary revenue. What
are the effects of direct and indirect taxation? Would a heavy tax on
land force unused lands, including mines and waterways, into use? Should
a man with a cash income of $50,000 a year pay more to support
government than one with a cash income of $500? What are the objections
to an income tax? How does it work in England, where it has been fairly
tried? Should a great corporation pay taxes in proportion to its wealth,
and in places where the wealth is protected by the law? If so, how can
it be reached? Should churches, museums, libraries and schools be taxed;
if not, why not? Should taxes be laid on flour, meat and eggs, on woolen
cloth, on silks, velvets, ostrich plumes and diamonds? Should taxes be
laid on whiskey, wines, tobacco, cigars and race-tracks? Should taxes be
devised, or continued, to protect such infant industries as now handle
our kerosene oil, meat, sugar and steel? Surely no one who cannot form
independent judgments on these matters should presume to direct them
through voting.

But not only must a nation raise revenue in the wisest and most
equitable manner possible, and spend it effectively and economically,
but it must also care for its present possessions. So the would-be
citizen must know about the wealth in which he wants to share. What do
the national, State and municipal governments own? How should the vast
domains of land, the onetime inexhaustible forests, the mines of coal
and metal, the waterways and water-powers, the special privileges and
franchises belonging to the people be used? Should they be thrown away,
gambled away, given away as favors, rented, sold, or handled directly by
the people? On what terms or under what guarantees should they be turned
over to individuals or companies, if this is to be done? Those who
cannot form judgments on these matters should not be entrusted with such
vast responsibility, be they men or women.

Questions of our foreign relations must also occupy the thought of the
citizen. Are foreign entanglements necessary or desirable? If so, with
what European or Asiatic nations should we seek to strengthen our
friendship? Are our interests nearly identical with those of England? If
we formed a close defensive alliance with her should we be thereby
aiding universal peace as much as we might by maintaining more generally
friendly relations with all European powers? Would an alliance with
England probably draw us into her troubles, if she has any, in Egypt or
India? How would such an alliance affect our relation with England's
present ally, Japan? Are we fitted by the genius of our institutions
and by our experience to handle a foreign empire? If not, what should
we do with the Philippines?

So, too, those who are to direct the destinies of the country must think
out what our relations are to be with Latin America. In the past some
statesman, a Richelieu or a Bismarck, had a policy and led his nation to
it by devious paths of indirection. But now that each citizen is a king,
he must have a policy for his realm. Are our republican neighbors to the
south to be increasingly recognized as under our protection and
direction? If so, how are we to maintain the peace and secure payment of
their foreign debts? All these problems are bound up with the management
of the Panama Canal. They confront us in different forms in connection
with immigration, especially of Asiatics.

Our institutional life must also be regulated by the citizens, and so
they must have judgments about each of its details. They must know what
they think about the family, forms of legal marriage and divorce, and
the care of children when the family fails. The Church must be
considered and protected; possibly it should be encouraged; and
possibly its unwarranted assumption should sometimes be checked. Schools
must be founded, supported, directed. Art galleries, museums and clubs
must be chartered, and then controlled; and so must all the other
institutions of our modern society. The would-be citizen must be able to
think about all this work.

Industries, on which our individual and collective well-being depend,
must be encouraged by special favors, limited to the public good,
protected from violence, inspected in the interest of employees. Hours
must be regulated, disputes settled, conditions of labor and safety
secured. Children should be protected against employers' greed; and
working women must receive special consideration, if the race of strong
men is to continue. Here again the citizen must have judgments, or the
power to make judgments, as new needs arise.

Then, too, there is a tradition of government, established by the
fathers and modified by experience, which should be understood by the
citizens. It recognizes certain rights as being reserved by the
individual States, and others as belonging to the national government.
The would-be citizen should be acquainted with this tradition so that he
can determine how far it is desirable to adopt a new nationalism. He
will have to pass judgment on the control of interstate commerce,
national or State control of public lands, national divorce and liquor
laws, national food inspection, and other practical subjects which may
destroy the older balance of power so jealously guarded by our earlier
statesmen. The citizen must make up his mind if this is desirable.

Newer political theories must also receive the citizens' attention. Many
people believe that wealth created by the people can be enjoyed by the
people only when they control the sources of supply and the means of
production and distribution. The citizen should know whether these
socialist tendencies should be favored or suppressed. There are others
who believe that government is unnecessary, and that men and women can
be happy and effective only when formal laws are abrogated. The citizen
must determine whether he will allow those who hold such doctrines to
express them; or whether he will suppress their meetings and forbid
them to enter the country. These are but a few of the subjects
concerning which the citizen must think, but they are typical and they
may represent the rest.

In the last analysis, it is these judgments on political matters which
govern a modern democracy, whatever the laws on the statute books may
be, and whatever machinery of government may be established.

Not long since, I visited one of our States where the laws forbid any
one to make or sell, as a beverage, any intoxicating liquors, within the
State. At the leading hotel, in the large city where I stopped, beer and
whiskey signs were displayed outside the entrance; and at an open bar,
in the center of the hotel, four bartenders were dispensing all kinds of
drinks, while at the tables of the hotel restaurant, liquors were openly
bought and drunk. There are many indictments standing against this
hotel, but in two test cases juries have refused to convict the
proprietors. I am told it is the same in all of the principal hotels in
the larger cities of this State. In this same State, the laws forbid the
manufacture or sale of cigarettes, but they are openly displayed and
sold in nearly all cigar stores. In the same State, whites and blacks
live under the same laws, but blacks seldom vote; they do not use the
parks, attend white people's meetings nor ride with the whites in public
conveyances. And yet the city was quiet and orderly and I felt as safe
in person and property as though the laws on the statute books, instead
of the judgments in the public mind, were being obeyed. Since this form
of public opinion is so powerful, it is well that it should be

Granted, then, that the candidate for citizen honors is prepared to pass
judgment on such matters as we have indicated, he must next be prepared
to devise and control means to carry these judgments into effect. Here
he approaches the problems of statescraft. He must have in his mind a
general scheme of government, with a sense of legislative, judicial and
executive functions. He must realize the value of a constitution, as a
point of departure; and have a theory as to safe ways of modifying it.
He must have fairly clear notions of legislation, and of the kinds of
laws that are desirable and effective. He should know how far
representative legislative bodies can be trusted to express the will of
the people; and he should have studied the working of the initiative and
the referendum. It is also desirable that he should know the theory of
two chambers, and should have ideas as to how the members of the second
chamber, if there is to be one, should be chosen.

The candidate for citizen honors should know something of the
organization of the judicial branch of government. He should know
something of the powers and duties of local magistrates, of county,
State and national courts. He should recognize the difference between
civil and criminal jurisdiction. He should have an opinion as to whether
judges should be elected or appointed, and if appointed, who should
select them. He should realize the grave dangers that surround a corrupt
judiciary, and he should know the means by which a court is enabled to
maintain its standing and authority.

So of the executive power, he should see its relation to the other
powers, from the constable to the president. He should know the
qualities required in a good executive and should be able to
distinguish them in possible candidates. He should know that when the
executive is lax the best of laws fall into abeyance, and he should know
how such officers can be held up, through criticism by public opinion
and penalties, to the fulfilment of duties. The recall should have been

In the third place, the citizen should know how to select the right kind
of people to carry his political judgments into effect. Possibly, under
a representative form of government, this is the most necessary
qualification for a good voter. Many of the matters with which modern
government must deal are technical, and the citizen here, as in his
private affairs, must rest on the judgment of those he employs. And yet,
in general, he must know what he wants.

He must know the general laws that govern the organization of parties;
and he should be somewhat acquainted with the psychology of crowds. He
should know how candidates are selected under the convention or caucus
system; he should have an independent judgment on direct primaries.

In selecting men, the citizen must be able to recognize general ability
and intellectual fitness. It is at this point that modern democracies
are most apt to go wrong. The standards by which we measure men and
women are most imperfect; and we are prone to let one good or bad
quality overshadow all others. Thus in an extended study on school
children's attitude toward Queen Victoria in England, and toward
President McKinley in America, made while these rulers were alive, we
found that less than twenty per cent. mentioned any kind of political
ability, nor did they often mention their general ability, nor their
honesty. They admired them primarily because they were "good and kind."
In other words the school children of these two lands approve their
rulers because, in a vague general way, they like them.[43] The
significance of the study lies in the fact that in all democracies a
large number of the voters live on an intellectual plane represented by
these school children.

[43] EARL BARNES, _Studies in Education_, Vol. II, pp. _5-80_.
Philadelphia, 1902.

This conclusion is borne out by the judgment of Miss Jane Addams who,
writing of foreign voters about Hull House, says: "The desire of the
Italian and Polish and Hungarian voters in an American city to be
represented by 'a good man' is not a whit less strenuous than that of
the best native stock. Only their idea of the good man is somewhat
different. He must be good according to their highest standard of
goodness. He must be kind to the poor, not only in a general way, but
with particular and unfailing attention to their every want and
misfortune. Their joys he must brighten and their sorrows he must
alleviate. In emergency, in catastrophe, in misunderstanding with
employers and with the law, he must be their strong tower of help. Let
him in all these things fill up their ideal of the 'good man' and he has
their votes at his absolute disposal."[44]

[44] JANE ADDAMS, _Democracy_, p. 221. New York: The Macmillan Co.,

To be a safe citizen one must be able to go beyond this kindly feeling
and ask, Does the candidate know enough to do what I want done? Has he
the honesty to resist the temptation to exploit me? Has he the
leadership to command the best efforts of the subordinates in his
department? Has he serious defects that may cause his failure? Is he an
opportune man for the time and place?

This selection is made very difficult to-day by the misrepresentation of
interested individuals and political parties; and especially by the
reports in the press, which seek to discredit candidates they oppose,
and to gloss over or deny defects in their chosen leaders. Thus the
whole public atmosphere in the midst of a campaign is intended to
confuse and bewilder the citizen who is honestly seeking the best
candidate. Only ripened intelligence, experience with men and women, and
ability to judge conflicting evidence, can enable the voter to select

In the last place, if the citizen knows what he wants, how to devise the
governmental machinery to get it, and how to select the right men to see
that it is done, he must register his desire by a vote; and then watch
his servant carefully to see if he justifies the trust imposed in him.
If he does not, then the citizen must criticise, threaten, and, if
necessary, finally dismiss the unfaithful employee. Only one who can
fulfil all these functions can be considered a desirable citizen from
the point of view of a modern democracy. "Eternal vigilance is the price
of liberty."

And why should one desire to undertake this arduous responsibility? In
the first place, because he wants the public work well done, as he
understands it; and the only way to have it done in this manner is to
attend to it himself. If he does not attend to it, some one else will do
so; and if the intelligent citizens do not look after it then the public
business will be exploited by individuals, or groups, in their own
interest; and, before the citizen realizes what is happening, he will be
deprived of that political liberty to secure which millions of men and
women have struggled and suffered and even given their lives in the
years which lie behind us.

And yet possibly the most important value of participation in political
life to-day is the byproduct of continuous education which it gives.
Modern political life has probably done more to train the men involved
in it than have schools or churches. Business and industries alone might
claim to be its rivals. In a despotism, all the events of public life
are uncertain and seemingly accidental, depending as they do on the
caprice of an individual. This discourages thought among the masses,
paralyzes action, and breeds inertia and hopelessness. At best, it gives
rise to periods of desperation and violence; at its worst, it gives us
the hopeless masses of Mohammedan lands. In a free democracy, on the
other hand, those who participate are in a continuous process of
education, judging, selecting, willing, and always with regard to
realities that affect daily life. Citizenship gives one a continuous
laboratory course of training in the art of right living.

Nor can the full value of this continuous training be obtained by the
onlooker, no matter how intelligent he may be. For full growth of mind
and spirit one must participate; just as in athletics one must leave the
spectator's bench and play the game if one would develop one's own
powers. Participation means love, hate, devotion and sacrifice, and only
when all these powers of the soul are brought into play, together with
the judgment, is the character strengthened and life more abundantly

It must be evident to any one who has carefully followed this analysis
that hardly any of the adult male voters in our modern democracies have
the qualifications of good citizens. How, then, is good government
achieved? It is not achieved. We have very bad government. Everywhere
there is waste and inefficiency. Wealth is unjustly divided; great
corporations seize public utilities and exploit them for private gain;
enormous sums are squandered on unnecessary and dangerous battle-ships
and soldiers; in building a single State Capitol, $3,500,000 was
recently stolen, not only wasting public wealth, but corrupting public
morals; in some parts of our land little children still drive the wheels
of industry; and it is everywhere cheaper to scrap-heap men and women
than machines; most of our cities are ugly and badly ruled; drunkenness,
gambling and prostitution are common; life is not always secure from
lawless attack; and the machinery of justice is clogged and moves
slowly. Part of our intelligent adult population has no direct share in
the government under which it must live. We have just such a government
as we should expect where incompetent people decide such vast issues of

But, on the other hand, we are vastly better off than any great people
has ever been before us. The mistakes are our own; they are made by us
who participate in government, and we are learning from them. Those who
exploit us may be called to account; and frequently they are caught and
punished. Of those who stole the millions in Harrisburg, nearly a score
have died disgraced, or are in prison or exile; and $1,300,000 has been
returned to the treasury of the State. Even when those who betray us are
not caught red-handed we learn to distrust and then to despise them.
They pass their last years in exile, and when their statues are erected
in our State Houses they are memorials of shame. Thus we learn the art
of living, we who participate in political action.

The whole business of a modern democracy is to educate itself through
doing, and we are all at school. If the bills are heavy, they are our
bills; and we are steadily learning how to make them less. In the past
no one learned. "The Bourbons learned nothing, and forgot nothing;" and
the common people were too discouraged to think. It is on these lines
that our modern democracies must be judged, not as efficient and
economical political machines, but as educational institutions. Judged
by this standard, we believe ourselves to be the triumph of the ages.

Nor can it be possible for people to enter political life fully prepared
for its duties. Even when a young man approaches a business career we do
not ask that he shall possess a knowledge of the business before
beginning. If he has general preparation, and a desire to learn, he is
admitted to share in its responsibilities, and then learns as he goes
along. It is the same in political life; few young men at twenty-one or
foreigners at the time of naturalization, have the knowledge indicated
in the preceding pages. If they have general preparation and a desire to
learn, we admit them to participation, and they learn through doing.

Years ago, while discussing education with an English statesman, he
asked whom I considered the leaders of education in his country. Knowing
his Tory instincts, I replied, "Bradlaugh, Annie Besant, William T.
Stead, John Burns and Keir Hardie." He laughed contemptuously: "Why
those people," he said, "are merely educating themselves in public." The
statement was true and far-reaching; that is what we are all doing in
our modern democracies; and that is at the same time our weakness and
our glory.


Woman's Relation to Political Life

In discussing woman's right to vote it is well to remember that the
right to rule, which is implicit in the right to vote, has always been
limited by conditions of birth, residence, wealth, morality or
intelligence. Universal manhood suffrage has never yet been achieved,
and probably never will be. Under the best Greek conditions, it was only
the free-born citizen, residing in his native city state, who voted. In
both Greece and Rome, the suffrage was limited to classes defined by
social position, wealth or military service. In our modern democracies
there have always been limitations of birth, which might be overcome by
naturalization; of residence, which could be overcome by living for a
certain time in a locality; of wealth, which was supposed to insure a
stake in the communal well-being; and of morals and intelligence, which
at least shut out criminals, the insane and the imbeciles.

Thus the right to vote is not the same thing as the right to live; and
even in a commonwealth founded on ideal justice only those having a
stake in the community life, and possessing normal intelligence and
morality, will be allowed to rule. In a word, equal suffrage is
possible, while universal man or woman suffrage is not.

All through our colonial period women had a large influence in
determining community questions, and in Massachusetts, under the old
Providence Charter, they voted for all elective officers for nearly a
hundred years. Here and there women--like Margaret Brent, of Maryland;
Abigail Adams, of Massachusetts; or Mrs. Corbin, of Virginia--put
forward their right to participate in the public life around them. But,
in 1776, women were not voting, and the Federal Constitution left the
matter of determining electoral rights to the several States. They all
decided for male suffrage.

The initial impulse to secure suffrage for American women came from
Europe. After the Revolution, Frances Wright, a young Scotchwoman, came
to America to lecture and write, claiming equal political rights with
men. In 1836, Ernestine L. Rose came from Poland and also advocated
equal political rights. All the teachings of the American Revolution had
favored the idea of human equality; and, as has been pointed out, when,
with established peace after the War of 1812, women engaged in
anti-slavery, temperance and allied movements, they were driven by the
logic of events to demand the suffrage.

In 1848, the women of the country began to organize. Mrs. Elizabeth Cady
Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Martha C. Wright called together at Seneca
Falls, New York, the first convention in America to further equal
suffrage. No permanent organization was founded, but in 1850 a
convention was held in Salem, Massachusetts, and in 1852 a Woman's
Rights Convention was called in Syracuse, New York, with delegates
present from eight States and Canada. Miss Susan B. Anthony had meantime
joined the movement; and from this time on conventions and appeals
became common.

The Civil War distracted attention from all social and political issues
but one. The Equal Rights Association turned its attention mainly to the
rights of negroes; and in 1869 the National Woman's Suffrage Association
was organized to work exclusively for woman's rights. Backed by such
women as Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe, and aided by
men like Henry Ward Beecher, the association became a national power. In
1890, the two organizations were united under the name of The National
American Woman's Suffrage Association. This organization still leads the
movement in America.[45]

[45] _The History of Woman Suffrage_, by ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, SUSAN
B. ANTHONY, and IDA HUSTED HARPER, 4 vols. Rochester, N.Y.

In 1902, an international meeting was called in Washington; and in 1904
the International Suffrage Alliance was formed in Berlin with Mrs.
Carrie Chapman Catt as president. Thirteen nations are now affiliated
with the Alliance; and the women of the world are highly organized to
further equal suffrage.

Two generations of women have given themselves to this movement, and a
third still faces it. To the first group belong those leaders we have
already named: Emma Willard, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Julia Ward Howe,
Susan B. Anthony and their associates. It was their problem to secure
woman's control of her own body and property, some share in the
direction of her children, and some opportunity to train her own mind
and earn an independent living. These women bore the heat and burden of
a conflict in which all the blind prejudices of a fixed régime were
strongly massed, presenting few promising points of attack. It is small
wonder that some of these leaders gained a reputation for being hard,
dogmatic, aggressive, and sometimes careless of popular sensibilities.
The first generation of reformers in any field must be made of stern
stuff; and their beneficiaries are apt to forget the conditions that
justified means no longer necessary.

The lives of these women could not be expected to fully illustrate the
type of life they hoped to see their sisters living when opportunity was
finally won. Only women who participated in this struggle could fully
appreciate the splendid devotion of these lives to the service of a
group many of whom, being personally comfortable, were insensible to the
needs of less fortunate women; and were sometimes even willing to fight
back any advanced ideas which might disturb their own comfort. The
feeling within this group of leaders, and the failure of oncoming
generations of American women to recognize the debt of obligation they
owe to its efforts, was illustrated by an incident that came up in
connection with the Third International Congress of Women which met in
London in 1899. The session was opened in Westminster Town Hall, with
seven hundred delegates present, representing the most thoughtful women
of the world. Lady Aberdeen was in the chair, and Mrs. Creighton, wife
of the late Bishop of London, was reading a paper. In the midst of deep
attention, a door at the rear of the platform was gently opened, and
Miss Susan B. Anthony stepped onto the stage. She had just arrived from
America. Her strong figure was bent with the weight of years; her face
was squared by the conflict and partial ostracism she had met; but her
glance had lost none of its stern kindliness, and her bearing none of
its indomitable courage. As she appeared, this most representative
audience of women in the world sprang to its feet and burst into wild
cheering. In vain did Lady Aberdeen rap for order and beg the audience
to let Mrs. Creighton proceed. Not until Miss Anthony came to the front
and urged the women to sit down was quiet restored. These women knew the
price of a life which their champion had paid for their opportunities.

A few months after this the school children of the prosperous city of
Rochester, N.Y., where Miss Anthony had been a leading citizen for many
years, were asked to write school compositions in which they named the
person they would most wish to be like. Over three thousand girls, in
the elementary grades, wrote these papers, but not one chose Miss
Anthony. This first generation of women reformers could not establish
the type of womanhood for the modern world; they had not the leisure,
nor the freedom, nor could they see all that lay in the future. But all
the more, because their lives were hard, should they be held in grateful

To the second generation of leaders belong women like Alice Freeman
Palmer, Mary Sheldon Barnes and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. They came on
the scene when the first campaign had been won; they could command their
own bodies and property; college doors were swinging open where they
could secure the training that should fit them for the struggle to win
educational, industrial, social and political opportunity for all their
sisters. They were still looked upon as blue-stockings and queer; they
had often to serve as the butt of ridicule; but they had education,
income, a certain degree of leisure, and a social recognition which, if
grudging in some quarters, was all the more generous in others.

With the rapid development of higher education, these women found
themselves associated with large groups of independent women who could
create a society of their own in advanced centers of population. There
was still much to be done in securing opportunity for women; but they
could go on establishing the type of life that free women were to live.
Their problems were, however, even more complex than those which
confronted their predecessors. What line of education should women
pursue? What lines of work could they best undertake? How could they
combine an independent professional or industrial career with the life
of a home and the responsibilities of a mother? How far must older
social restraints be modified in the interest of intellectual and
industrial freedom? It was a time for constructive statesmanship, rather
than for revolution; and each woman knew she was under criticism, and
that her success or failure was vastly more than her own personal
concern. In her all free women were being judged.

To the third generation belongs the host of women who are to-day filling
our college halls, managing the women's clubs, teaching the state
schools, and competing with men in every industrial calling. Theirs is
the task of completing woman's social and political emancipation, and of
educating them to meet their newfound liberties. It is possible that
this present generation has a keener sense of rights than of duties; and
the young women of to-day must be led to realize that the delicate
adjustments still to be worked out require devotion equal to that of
the earlier generations, if the toll of wasted life is not to be

What now is the relation of women to the range of political activity
described in the last chapter? Have they need of the protection which
government gives? Are they able to form political judgments? Have they
knowledge of the working of political machinery; or, lacking it, are
they prepared to obtain it? Are they able to make a wise selection of
people to represent them in political action? Have they need of the
training which participation in political life gives? Have they the
preliminary preparation to take up that training to advantage, and can
they undertake these duties without serious loss of qualities desirable
in women?

Women certainly have need of protection; each has a life dear to her,
and honor which is dearer to her than life. In this respect she has a
greater need than men. Most women, also, have property of some kind, and
we are increasingly recognizing their right to control this for
themselves; hence they need property protection the same as men. We do
not need to think of Mrs. Sage, Mrs. Harriman, Miss Gould or Mrs.
Green, in this connection, for in every community we now have many women
who are immediately responsible for large property interests which new
legislation might affect most seriously.

In matters of institutional regulation by government, women are at least
as vitally interested as men. In all that touches the family, marriage,
or divorce, women have more at stake than men; and there are as many
wives as husbands involved. The schools are also nearer to women than to
men; more girls than boys attend them; more women are teachers; and more
women than men are interested parents of school children. The church is
also more vital to women to-day than to men. On the side of industries,
it is clear that our 8,000,000 independent wage-earning women have a
desperate stake in all governmental action touching the regulation of
working conditions. In whatever concerns general sanitation, safe water,
and pure foods, all are equally interested who must breathe and eat to
live. Surely the need of women for political protection is quite as
great as that of men.

In the matter of forming political judgments, not even the wisest men
are beyond improvement. International affairs, monetary systems, the
best way of raising taxes, and similar problems, often divide the male
electorate pretty evenly into rival parties. Since both cannot be right,
a great deal of poor political thinking must be done by the present body
of voters. Meantime, women are showing their ability to deal
intelligently with all sorts of subjects in our educational
institutions, in business and in social life. Their judgments command
respect in every other field; and it is hard to see why they could not
apply their powers to political questions.

We must remember, too, that during these last years the field of
political life has been rapidly broadening, through the awakening of
social consciousness among the people. To concern one's self with
politics now is to be interested in good market facilities, in rapid
transit for cities, in recreation centers for children, in honest
labelling of food products, in reformation of criminals, in preventing
marriage among the unfit, and in a hundred similar matters. Here women
will doubtless bring us a strong addition to our political efficiency.
They have long been considered the natural directors of social life and,
in spite of being disfranchised, they mainly handle such matters at
present. Now that these subjects are being brought into the political
field, women should follow them there, as they have followed their
industries from the homes into the factories. There is no reason to
believe that their judgments will be less sound than those of their
brothers and husbands.

Of course, women's knowledge of means and methods is much less than that
of men in their own class. Not only have they not participated in
political life, but they have been steadily warned away from that
particular tree of knowledge. Yet the present generation of women has
gone through the same preliminary education in schools with its
brothers; and many women in high schools and colleges have made a more
extended study of political institutionalism. Still more important, more
than a million women have been educating themselves for some years in
this direction through voluntary associations of some kind; while in
most States they have had some political practice through limited
suffrage, and in a few States full experience.

In selecting representatives to carry out their will, women have certain
obvious defects of temperament and training. Having been brought up for
generations to judge men only as providers of sustenance and fathers of
children, they must at first find it difficult to consider candidates
impersonally. Still, their general morality and their standards of right
are probably superior to those of men, and they are more intolerant of
faults, and they find it harder to compromise on matters of character
than do men. One can hardly believe that 1,700 women could be found
among the respectable, church-going, American-born residents in any
county of America, who would sell their votes, year after year, as that
number of men voters has recently confessed to doing in Adams County,
Ohio. In fact, Judge Blair says: "There was one class of the population
which rebelled against the practice. It was the womanhood of Adams
County, which had never become reconciled to the custom, and whose
continual hostility has resulted finally, I hope, in its

[46] Seventeen Hundred Rural Vote-Sellers, by A.Z. Blair, _McClure's
Magazine_, November, 1911.

Of the need of women for the training which participation in political
life gives there can be no doubt. Their lives have always been directly
dependent upon other individuals, and they are prone to think in small
details. Any training which extends the horizon of their interests and
enables them to deal more largely with these details will fit them
better for living in a world where industrial, business and social
changes are so rapidly merging details in larger wholes. Experience in
selecting candidates for public office would also do much to broaden
women's judgments of life, and would help to break down the pettiness
which sometimes characterizes their personal relations.

In the case of women, the community has a double reason for desiring
that they shall develop political judgments and become acquainted with
political methods. It is not only that they may share in the general
intelligence and carry their fair part of the political burdens; but
they have become the teachers, both in homes and schools, of the
oncoming generation of male voters. We no longer live in small
communities where children can see the simple processes of government
operating around them, but in a complex civilization where it must all
be interpreted to them, and mainly by women. Many boys who complete our
elementary schools never work a day under the direction of a man. In the
homes, busy fathers increasingly turn over the training of children to
their wives. How can these women train safe citizens for the future if
they do not understand the processes involved well enough to use them

Meantime the old arguments against woman suffrage are too outworn to
need serious attention. In the past decades our civilization has become
so complex, with so many groups carrying on differentiated functions,
that even if we had not the millions of educated, property-owning,
wage-earning, voting women that now fill our public life, the old
arguments would still be obsolete. The issues of life are no longer
primarily military, and but a fraction of men voters is capable of
meeting modern requirements as policemen and soldiers; in time of
crisis, all men would be called into the reserves; but in such periods
women have always fought in the breach, from Carthage to Paris. Still,
in modern warfare, those who guard the rear and furnish supplies are as
necessary as those who go to the front.

It has also long been recognized that women who rear finest sons and
daughters must sometimes turn away from the cradle to refresh their
lives with the touch of other interests. It has also been demonstrated a
thousand times over that women do not incite the lawless element to riot
about the polls; but that, instead, their presence tends to remove the
polling-place from the saloon and make it safer for men to go there on
election-day. The plea that women would introduce a new element of sex
into politics, thereby confounding its real issues, is certainly not
well grounded. Sex has always played a great part in politics, as it has
in all the vital affairs of life. In the open competitions of education,
business or politics, sex ceases to be as significant as it is in the

Nor do thoughtful people imagine to-day that if women participated in
political life they would suddenly bring about a reign of universal
peace and righteousness. It has taken many centuries for men to learn to
play the game of politics indifferently well as they do. The first
effect of woman's participation would probably be to lower the
efficiency of the electorate in some directions; but they are starting
much farther along than men began, and they would learn more rapidly
than men have learned.

It is often claimed that women do not want to vote; and, of course,
there are many who do not care to assume such arduous and often
difficult duties, if they can avoid it. The same holds true of many
intelligent, but selfish men who desire the advantages of good
government without its burdens. All such must be urged to do their duty
to the state. Those who have vision and a large sense of duty can be
trusted to do their fair part in caring for the public welfare. Those
who wish to enjoy the benefits of peace and settled government,
participating in the advantages of education, engaging in business, and
having their persons and property protected, without sharing the burdens
of government, should be forced to play their part.

If a woman should board a street-car to-day and, when asked for her
fare, should hide her face with womanly modesty and declare that she did
not wish to be involved in such public matters, but preferred that the
man swinging on the strap before her should pay, she would be informed
that all who use the cars must pay for their maintenance. Women in
America now have more than their share of education and leisure. If they
do not wish to pay their fair proportion of service, they should
withdraw from the high schools and colleges, from literature and music,
from offices and factories, and not crowd into places where they are
unwilling to play the game. The woman who leads the movement against
equal suffrage in England has made a fortune in the open market as a
writer, protected by the national copyrights; she maintains a house
where she is protected in person and property by the city of London, the
organization and administration of which calls for the constant
attention of all intelligent citizens; and yet she urges women to take
what they can get, but to refrain from doing their fair share of the
city and national housekeeping, lest they lose their feminine charm.
Surely those who profit by government should give their share of

It is idle to claim that equal suffrage will make no change in women. It
will certainly accentuate the changes already made by higher education
and by a freer business life. Some loss there must inevitably be in any
such far-reaching change. We lost something of chivalry and of the
spirit of _noblesse oblige_ in the transition from feudalism to
democracy. In transferring causes of personal difference from the
dueling field to the courts of law, we lost a degree of poetic feeling
and tragic exaltation, of personal initiative and physical courage. So
when women passed from slavery to serfdom we lost something of male
dominance and of female submission. We shall lose something in the
present transition; but one must be content to lose Louis XIV and
Versailles if one thereby finds modern France; one must be satisfied to
lose an institution which gave us the tragically pathetic death of
Alexander Hamilton, if it increases human justice and saves fathers to
their families. We must even be content to lose the languishing and
weeping lady of chivalry, and the coquetting, crocheting and confiding
maiden of the eighteenth century if we gain in return fair minded
comrades in daily living, devoted partners in family life, and strong,
intelligent mothers for the coming generations. The sex instinct needs
no fostering; it has led us to our best developments in civilization;
and its work has only begun.

So far we have taken the popular position, and have discussed this
matter as though it were still in the period of debate. The fact is, it
long ago passed from the field of theory; it is now a condition. In six
of our States, women have now full participation in managing public
affairs. In Wyoming, since 1869; in Colorado, since 1893; in Idaho,
since 1896; in Washington, beginning in 1910; and in California, since
1911, women have been sharing the vote with men. In twenty-nine States
they have school suffrage, and in many places municipal suffrage.[47] In
newer parts of the world, like New Zealand and Australia, women have
complete suffrage, while in old countries, like Norway, Sweden and
Finland, they have essentially all the rights of men. In England, there
are 1,141 women on Boards of Guardians and 615 on Educational
Committees; and they are demanding full participation in all political
life. In Canada they have school and municipal suffrage. It is no longer
a time for argument; it is time for adjustment.

[47] BERTHA REMBAUGH, _The Political Status of Women in the United
States_, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1912, gives complete information to date.

Meantime the results of woman's full participation in political life,
even where they have had the suffrage for some years, are difficult to
determine, because of the fact already pointed out that political life
in a modern democracy is so closely bound up with all the other life
about it. It is quite as difficult to estimate these effects as it would
be to estimate the effects of housekeeping or of woman's special
costume. And yet some results are clear enough to have a large bearing
on the extension of woman's suffrage in new localities.

In 1906, the Collegiate Equal Suffrage League engaged Miss Helen Sumner
to make a careful study of the actual working of equal suffrage in the
State of Colorado. Miss Sumner, aided by several assistants, spent
nearly two years in the investigation. She gathered and carefully
analyzed written answers to an extended set of questions from 1,200
representative men and women of Colorado, some opposing and some
favoring equal suffrage; and she and her assistants interviewed many
more. They also made a general study of industrial conditions and of
legislation for the State as a whole, and a detailed study of election
records and newspaper files for representative cities and counties. Her
report is a masterpiece of patient research and scientific

[48] HELEN L. SUMNER, _Equal Suffrage. The Results of an Investigation
Made in Colorado for the Collegiate Equal Suffrage League of New York
State._ New York: Harper & Bros., 1909.

Equal suffrage goes back to 1893 in Colorado; and while the influence of
women has been in no way revolutionary, this report shows that, on the
whole, political conditions have improved and woman's intelligence and
her general public spirit have increased with no appreciable loss in
distinctive feminine charm. One cannot help feeling as one reads this
report that it is what a disinterested observer would have to say about
the effect of woman's larger educational or industrial life since 1870.

In all democracies it is difficult to bring voters to the polls unless,
as in some Swiss cantons, they are fined for absence. In Colorado, Miss
Sumner shows that women cast about forty per cent. of the total vote in
the earlier years of their enfranchisement, though they were in a
minority of the total population.[49] In the work of the primaries they
were in a much smaller minority, except when some special problem or
candidate appealed to them. The more intelligent the community, the
larger the woman's vote; and it is largest of all in the best residence
districts of Denver, the capital city. The vote of American born women
is larger than that of foreigners; and while the prostitutes of Denver
have been voted in the interests of the party in power, public opinion
is steadily making this more difficult. In Idaho, all residents of the
red light district have been disfranchised by statute; and practically
they do not vote.

[49] Mr. LAWRENCE LEWIS, in the _Outlook_, for January 27, 1906,
analyzes the election returns for parts of Pueblo City and vicinity, and
he finds from 25 to 46 per cent. of the vote was cast by women, and the
proportion of women increased with the intelligence and _morale_ of the

There is no appreciable tendency on the part of women to form a new
party, nor to favor their own sex. They are more inclined than men to
scratch the ticket and, as illustrated in the case of Judge Lindsey,
they sometimes rally efficiently around an independent candidate,
especially on a moral issue. On the whole, women vote with their
husbands, just as sons vote with their fathers; but the strength of the
family vote, as compared with the vote of unsettled people, is certainly

Since the beginning of equal suffrage, Colorado has fully held her own
with other States in advanced legislation, especially in social and
educational lines. Women have suffered no insult at the polls, and on
the whole polling-places have improved; but how far this is due to
women's presence no one can say. Women have occasionally held
legislative and executive offices; but they have especially
distinguished themselves as State and county superintendents of schools.

When it comes to estimating the effect of voting on the women
themselves, it is still harder to form an opinion. A large majority of
those reporting to Miss Sumner think that women have become more
intelligent and more public-spirited, but some doubt it. Morally, they
have shown themselves less corrupt than men; but a considerable number
think women as a whole have suffered some deterioration. This is a
question bound up with our deepest feelings and our most conservative
ideals; and it is inevitable that some observers should find any change
for the worse. On the whole, belief in equal suffrage seems to have
increased in Colorado during the twelve years under survey. Probably the
results are much what they would be if one were to study a group of the
most intelligent and refined men in the same community.

During the summer of 1911, I spent a month in the State of Idaho; and as
I had long been interested in the problem of equal suffrage, both in
England and America, I seized eagerly on the opportunity to study its
practical workings at first hand. On the streets and in the tram-cars,
in hotel lobbies and in lecture halls, when dining out or when making a
call, few people escaped inquisition. I interviewed working men and
women, men of affairs, ranchers, sheep raisers and miners, doctors,
lawyers, teachers, ministers and practical politicians, both men and

The thing that first impresses one who has been intimately in touch with
the excited and turbulent condition of mind among the English
suffragettes, and the sustained and often impassioned feeling of Eastern
suffrage leaders, is the absence of any burning interest in the subject
on the part of men or women in Idaho. In London or New York, a suffrage
inquirer would constantly strike "live wires;" in Idaho, every one is
insulated. The subject is no more an issue than civil service reform or
state versus national control of banking systems. Most people have even
forgotten the passage of the constitutional amendment conferring equal
suffrage, in 1896. Since then, men and women have gone on voting and
holding office until the woman's right has become as commonplace as, and
no more interesting or questionable than, the vote of any busy citizen
in New Jersey.

The first question that one raises, is naturally whether women do
actually vote and hold office in Idaho. To answer this question, there
is no body of statistics available. Every one, however, declares that
they pretty generally vote. On account of long distances in the country
side, they poll less votes than men, especially if the weather is bad.
Probably about three-quarters as many women as men go to the polls.
Often I met women who said that they did not care for the vote, and
sometimes one who said she thought women ought not to vote; but these
same women often added that since they had the responsibility they felt
it their duty to cast a ballot; and no woman told me that she did not
fulfil the obligation.

In the first legislature which met after the granting of equal suffrage,
that of 1898, three women were seated, Mrs. Hattie F. Noble, Clara L.
Cambell, and Mary A. Wright; Mrs. Wright afterward became chief clerk of
the House. In 1908, another woman, Mrs. Lottie J. McFadden, was
returned; but there was no woman in the last legislature, and so far as
I can learn, only these four have taken part in law-making. When asked
why, after the first ardor of emancipation, women have taken so little
part in legislation, most people said it was because they had found the
work and conditions surrounding it unsuited to them. It seems generally
agreed, however, that a woman could be elected to the legislature at any
time if she represented a cause which needed to be brought before the
people through that body.

Theorists have always insisted that equal suffrage would greatly improve
the material conditions which surround the polls on election day. One of
the prominent political leaders in Idaho, who has been intimately in
touch with conditions for a quarter of a century, said that of course
there had been great improvement in the last fifteen years. "Things
would have improved any way," he said, "but I am sure that the women
have had a large influence. No woman has ever been insulted at the polls
in Idaho and she runs no more danger of annoyance than she would in
buying her ticket at a railway window. Men are not always sober in
either place; but if a man made a remark to a woman that was not polite,
or used annoying language in her presence, he would be mobbed by the
men even in the roughest mining camp in the State." Doubtless women have
helped to break the connection between the saloon and the polling-place,
but no one claims that women have made voting into a drawing-room
ceremony. On the contrary, women are very persistent workers at the
polls, seeking to direct doubtful voters.

Advocates of equal suffrage have pretty generally held the belief that
if women were given the ballot their superior moral standards would lead
to a marked change in the handling of such problems as the liquor
traffic and the control of red light districts. Of woman's superior
moral standards there can be no doubt; of the actual effect of her vote
upon these questions there is a great deal of doubt. While I was in
Idaho, the question of local option came up before the voters of Salt
Lake City, in the neighboring equal suffrage State of Utah, and the
"wets" won by a vote of 14,775 to 9,162. Thousands of women must have
voted for license to bring about this result. In April, 1911, the
question of license or no license was voted on in Boisé. In this case
again the "wets" won by a considerable majority.

Take another case. For several years in Boisé, until 1909, the red light
district was segregated in two alleys in the heart of the city. In the
municipal election of that year this issue came fairly before the
voters, and the democratic nominee for mayor, who was pledged to break
up the system, was elected by a considerable majority, though the city
is strongly republican. This result was undoubtedly due to the women's
vote. After two years, the issue came up again; and the republican
nominee, who was opposed to the scattering policy though not pledged to
segregation, was elected; and this result must again have been due to
the woman's vote. Prominent women of the city told me that during the
two years when the scattering policy prevailed, the evil was very
conspicuous, and women going about alone felt far less comfortable than
under the older system.

There are two ways to explain the fact that, after fifteen years of
political experience, the women of Boisé voted in large numbers for
license and for a policy in handling the red light district which they
knew would mean a return to police control. In the first place, it may
be said that fifteen years of steady contact with political life had
blunted the sensibilities of women and dulled their moral feeling. On
the other hand, it may be held that practical experience, under the
steady pressure of responsibility, had made them realize the
difficulties involved in the handling of these great social problems and
had made them feel that a law which could command the support of public
opinion, even though it regulated these difficulties, was better than a
law which they might consider ideal, but which was incapable of

In Idaho, as in Colorado, the payment of women political workers seems
to have become a rather wide-spread abuse. Under the conditions of the
State, with many new settlers constantly arriving, it has long been
thought necessary to employ paid workers to register voters, get them
out on election-day and influence those who are uncertain. After 1896,
women were often hired to do this work, and were paid from three to five
dollars a day. With their weak sense of party affiliation, it is
claimed that they will work for the party that pays best. A candidate
with plenty of money may hire so many workers that it becomes a system
of wholesale bribery. It is universally conceded that this is an abuse,
and that many women look upon election service as a source of pin money
to a degree that is undesirable. Meantime, practical politicians assured
me that it was a system the women found in operation when they came in;
that far more men than women were paid; and that the abuse could be
corrected by proper legislation.

To summarize the matter, we may say that equal suffrage in Idaho has
simply accentuated the movement toward setting women free to live their
individual lives which general education and participation in industrial
life has already carried so far all over the country. Equal suffrage is
accepted there, as the higher education of women is accepted in
Massachusetts, and the results in the two cases have been much the same.

Surely these reports carry the matter beyond the experimental stage.
Conditions in Colorado and Idaho are not identical with those in the
East, but they are similar enough to make the experience of these States
amount to a demonstration. Meantime the new obligation resting on women
is profound. They must learn to "sweat their tempers and learn to know
their man." They must become students of public affairs and of
institutional life. Old issues are past; and equal suffrage will soon
prevail everywhere. Women, like men, have more "rights" in our modern
democracies than they can use. Woman's Rights are largely realized; from
now on we must front Woman's Duties.


The Modern Family

The most powerful influence in shaping our lives to-day is the sexual
impulse which has created the institution we call the family. Few of us,
at least in our modern democracies, live in daily fear that our
neighbors will attack and kill us, or carry us off into slavery. Even
the hunger for food, that once forced men into action, plays little
direct part in the shaping of the lives of most of us. None of those who
read these pages would starve if they never did any more work. If they
tried to starve, they would be arrested and sent to jail; and if they
persisted, they would be fed by force.

Meantime it is sex hunger, manifesting itself in a hundred forms of
beauty and ugliness, courtesy and insult, cultivated conversation and
ribald jest, beautiful dancing and suggestive indecencies, honor and
dishonor, self-repression and prostitution, love and lust, children of
gladness and children of shame, that lifts us to such heights as we
attain, or plunges us into the hells we create for ourselves. If one
could insure one good thing in life for the child one loves, one would
ask, not money nor fame, but a continuously happy marriage.

In the past, women have always looked upon marriage and family life as a
career; and the majority of men have found their most significant life
in the building up of the family institution. To-day, however, family
life as a career is everywhere called in question. Many women claim to
prefer educational opportunity, professional recognition or an
independent bank account to husband and children. Social service is
exalted; domestic service is debased. Why is it so much nobler to care
for other people's children in a social settlement, or in a school, than
to care for one's own in a home? Why should women mass themselves
together in vast groups as industrial workers, as teachers, as
suffragettes? We hear of women's work, of women's careers, of women's
clubs, associations and parties, of women's interests, movements,
causes. In November, 1911, two hundred and twenty women were arrested
in London for assaulting the English government in the supposed interest
of women. Why do women prefer social to domestic service?

Two reasons spring at once to the mind of any intelligent observer of
the life about him. The first is the complexity of our modern life; the
second is the nature of the institution of marriage.

A man or woman wishes to live with the one he or she loves. Sexual love
is in its very nature restricted, circumscribed, monopolistic--in a
word, monogamic. As has been said repeatedly in this volume, the human
unit is neither a man nor a woman; it is a man and a woman united in a
new personality through the unifying and blending power of love. To say
that this unit is exclusive and monogamic is simply saying that it
respects its own personality. It can no longer act simply as a man or a
woman; it is a family and it must act as such in order to satisfy its
own demands. A man can no more act independently of the woman he loves
than the heart can act independently of the lungs. The man and woman who
compose the new unit are not only flesh of one flesh, but they are one
soul, one life; they are a complete organism. And the life of this
organism must be persistent to realize its own aims. In all the higher
forms of existence, processes move slowly. For nine months a woman
carries her baby as a part of her own body; then for three years the
father and mother carry the child in their arms; for a score of years
they must support, protect and train it before they let it go to seek
its own. Hence sexual love must be persistent as well as monogamic.

From all this it follows that each half of the human unit must find the
major part of its adult life in devotion to the one it has chosen as its
complement. This is no hardship; it is divine opportunity, if love binds
the lives in harmonious unity. If love is lacking, then there is no new
organism; and such a case falls outside this discussion.

Under the simpler forms of civilization that have prevailed in the past,
it was comparatively easy to find the complement for any particular man
or woman. With physical sympathy and desire, little more was needed than
common race and the same general social position. With simple
personalities even the marriage of convenience was apt to prove happy.

But, to-day, not only have men become infinitely more complex and
self-conscious than formerly, but women have ceased to be a general
class; and, in becoming individuals, they have developed wide ranges of
individual needs. Instead of fitting at the two or three points of
physical desire, race and social position, a man or woman, to live
strongly and well in this close union of body and soul, must fit each
other at many points. To the older sympathies must be added a common
attitude toward religion, education, artistic tastes, social ambitions,
industrial aptitudes, and a score of other living sympathies, if the
days are to pass in happiness, and each is to maintain his fair share of
the life of the new unit. Physical desire still remains the paramount
thing, but these other sympathies tend to strengthen it, or their
absence may weaken and ultimately destroy it. It is comparatively easy
for a person to find a complement to two or three of his, or her,
qualities; it is very difficult for a person to find fulfilment for a
score of his personal needs in another personality.

In earlier times, too, the individual reached such maturity as he or she
was to attain much earlier than now, when education has become a
life-long process. Once united, there was comparatively little danger
that passing years would develop latent tastes that might prove
dissimilar. To-day, complete union at twenty may mean many oppositions
at forty, if each half of the unit goes on developing its powers. And we
must add to this individual complexity and slower development of the
present-day men and women the intense self-consciousness of modern times
which makes it impossible for us to forget our conditions and go on
living in a world once significant and true but now empty or false.

A second cause for the unrest of the present is doubtless to be found in
the inflexibility of the institution of the family, under which lovers
are allowed to live together and bring into existence the children of
their love. The family, as we have it, was shaped under the stress of
mediæval disorder. In such a time men are willing to pay any price for
peace and quiet. And so the barbarian invaders, living among the broken
fragments of Greek and Roman civilization, gradually shaped feudalism,
culminating in absolute monarchy, which gave them political security.
They shaped the Holy Roman Catholic Church that they might worship in
peace. They shaped the guilds that they might work quietly, and enjoy
the fruits of their labors. The family, with its civil and
ecclesiastical sanctions, was formed to protect the personal lives of
men and women who wished to live together and rear children.

But with peace, life grew stronger and more intense; and the bonds which
the people had shaped, and which had given them security, reached their
limits of growth, became painful, and threatened to prevent all further
development. The rising cities bought their freedom from feudal lords;
even the serfs won better conditions; and the rising national units beat
down the older political institutions with their swords. Finally the
movements that gather around the French Revolution opened the way for us
into the democratic freedom and security which we enjoy to-day. The
guilds were broken up and a measure of freedom was secured, though the
industrial institution which shall give us freedom and security in our
work is yet to be formed. The Protestant Revolution led us by devious
ways into religious freedom where men can worship as they will.

Of all these older institutions, shaped under iron necessity, the only
one that remains practically unchanged is the family. Dealing with the
most powerful of all our human hungers, as it does, we have not dared to
make it fit our modern life. Not only is this true, but the forces of
the older state and church which survived, fastened themselves upon this
institution and strengthened its resisting power. The church
increasingly made marriage into a holy sacrament, so that it not only
protected lovers, but became a subtle, inviolable and indissoluble
mystery. The state sanctioned the family, and made it an instrument for
regulating political and property rights. Formal society proclaimed the
family and made it the standard for respectability.

Two centuries hence, our family, with its sacramental significances, its
lack of a eugenic conscience, its financial subordination of women, its
frequent lack of love and sympathy, its primogeniture, and its
determining power over social opportunity, will be as incomprehensible
to students of institutional forms as the Holy Roman Empire is to us
to-day. Who will then understand how church and state could have
licensed and consummated marriages between young and inexperienced
people, marriages which were to be binding on their thought, feeling and
action for life without requiring some time, however brief, between the
application for a license and the final binding of vows? Who will be
able to understand how church and state could have sanctioned marriage
between a broken-down old noble and a young and inexperienced girl of
seventeen? How will the future student explain the fact that in New
Jersey state and church combined to sanction and bless the marriage of
an imbecile woman and of her offspring until they had produced 148
feeble-minded children to curse the state.[50]

[50] See _The Kalikak Family_, by HERBERT H. GODDARD, New York:
Macmillan Company, 1912.

Who will then understand why a man and woman who had not only ceased to
love each other but had come to feel a deep repugnance for each other
should have been compelled to share bed and board, even when there were
no children, until even murder seemed preferable to such slavery of soul
and body? How can this student understand woman's economic dependence,
her uncertain income, her insecure rights in property for which she
toiled side by side with her husband? Who will then believe that in the
year 1911 an English citizen could go before a court and secure an order
for legalized rape, under the name of restitution of marital rights?

Meantime every issue of the daily press counts as its choicest items
stories of the shameful and soul-destroying ways in which men and women
are trying to live their lives in spite of this mediæval institution. So
far-reaching is the unrest, that at each new revelation of marital
heresy, society feels constrained to rush forward and frantically
denounce the heretic in order to prove its own orthodoxy.

Our own attitude toward marriage as a sacrament to be directed by a
church, or as a pleasure to be exploited by individuals, must be
changed if the life of the family is to be re-established as the great
vocation of earnest men and women. Intelligence must be turned upon this
problem as upon all others that vitally affect our lives. What President
Eliot has called "the conspiracy of silence touching matters of sex"
must be broken, and when it is, I believe honest men will agree with
Ellen Key that "In love humanity has found the form of selection most
conducive to the ennoblement of the species."[51]

[51] ELLEN KEY, _Love and Marriage._ New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1911

In this field, at least, a eugenic conscience must take the place of the
older theological conscience.[52] We must recognize the infamy of
knowingly bringing defective children into existence. We must agree that
under no conditions should people tainted with syphilis be allowed to
marry; and that those subject to imbecility or insanity should not be
allowed to live together unless they are unsexed.[53] Justice to future
generations, and protection of the state, demands at least this much.

[52] See the publications of the Eugenic Education Society, especially
files of _The Eugenics Review_, 6 York Buildings, Adelphi, London.

[53] Indiana has an admirable law on this subject, and New Jersey has
just added the same to her statutes.

Whether alcoholics, those suffering from congenital sense defects, and
near relatives, should be allowed to marry may still be an open
question; but it should be recognized that the state has the right and
the duty to inquire into these conditions and to impose restrictions.
Society must come to feel that it is at least as shameful for a broken
old noble to live with a young girl under the forms of marriage as for
two young lovers to live together outside them.

As to what the personal, social and industrial relation of man and wife
should be, we have widely different views and practices. The older view,
still embodied in the practice of most nations, and best seen in Germany
and England, is that the woman's duty is to complement the husband. He
does what he wishes, so far as he can, and the wife rounds out the
whole. It is the old ideal of later savagery, that the man should
provide and protect, and the woman should breed children, care for the
home, pray and wait.

This is really the same ideal that dominated our political life until a
hundred and fifty years ago. It was the duty of the lords to direct and
fight; the peasants should work and wait. In politics there gradually
grew up a middle class which combined with the peasants to overthrow the
older privileges; and now all classes direct, fight, wait and watch
together. Whether this democratic idea is finally to prevail, we may not
know; but it is well worth trying, and the results so far are full of

In the same way, in the family, a great middle class of wives has grown
up, largely since 1870, through education and industry, as the burgers
did in political life, and these emancipated women are insisting that
the peasant of the family, the _Hausfrau_, shall join with them and
dethrone the husband so that all shall share life's responsibilities
together as free and equal partners. In fact, in America, the revolution
has already come; and, as in the earlier stages of political
revolutions, those deposed are having a hard time to maintain even their
equal share of opportunity.

But the parallel between political and domestic life is not complete,
and if pushed too far the analogy is mischievous. The assumption of
physical, intellectual and social superiority on the side of political
lords and domestic lords was the same. It is possible, however, rightly
or wrongly, to reduce all the people to the same political level and set
them all at work doing the same things. But between men and women there
was not only the assumption of physical and mental difference, but there
was and must always be the infinite difference of sex. In domestic life,
the women cannot live without men nor the men without women. Not only
would the generations fail, but the present generation would lose its
deepest meaning, if either sex were banished or debased.

In their reactions against old abuses, writers like Mrs. Gilman or Olive
Schreiner try to create a world for women alone, on the political
analogy. Men might be tolerated as fathers; but, to secure political
freedom, these leaders would turn to that nebulous creation of social
reformers, the state; and it should subsidize the mothers in their
periods of need. But there are only two ingredients out of which a
nation can be formed: one is women; the other is men. Shall woman in
her time of need turn to a state made up of other women, or to a state
made up of men? Obviously it must be to both; and if woman is to depend
on men, she might as well depend on man. No, in the political
revolutions we broke up artificial, outworn and unjust combinations; but
in this domestic revolution we are breaking up and must readjust the
fundamental unit of life.

Men and women must live and work together in the domestic unit, and they
cannot do the same things. Nature has specialized their functions and
each must supplement the other. Even in Germany, the _Hausfrau_ is not
going back to an exclusive service of children, cooking and church; nor
in America will man continue to be merely the breadwinner and the father
of children. With the enlightenment that is on the way, we shall see
that husband and wife can have no antagonistic differences. Each profits
in all that really benefits the other; and slowly we shall shape a new
institution based on absolute equality, and at the same time on
complementary service.

In this adjustment, legal forms can help or hinder; but they cannot
prevent nor compel the final action of human beings. Sex instinct is
stronger than any human law. The law can, however, help us in regulating
conditions of marriage, in settling disputes about common property and
children, and in determining how the contract may be set aside when that
becomes necessary.

The right of the church to sanction or regulate the family, rests in a
belief that marriage involves spiritual changes and obligations that
make it a sacrament, in its nature inviolable, and to be administered
only by the church, like the sacrament of baptism. This is a belief
resting not in eugenic considerations, nor in the human needs of the
persons involved, but in theological dogmas with which this chapter
cannot deal. Hence we shall maintain that the church has no more right
to control matters of marriage than it has to interfere in business or
political relations.

The state, on the other hand, meaning by the state the whole community,
must concern itself with the marriage of its individuals. The
commonwealth must have future citizens, and these should be strong and
intelligent; hence it must prevent the breeding of the unfit. If parents
die, or fail in obligations, the community must care for the children.
In case of disagreement between married people, the courts of the
community must settle disputes about children and property; hence the
state must know when a man and woman determine to live together. The
regulation of marriage certainly belongs to the state, that is, to all
of us.

Marriage should therefore always be a matter of definite and open record
in the archives of the community. It should also be advertised, through
the public record, for a considerable time, preferably six months or a
year, before consummation, that the past experiences of contracting
parties may be looked up by interested friends or officials, and the
marriage of the unfit prevented; and so that mere caprice and passion
shall have time to realize their mistake and turn away. The form which
the final ceremony of marriage will take can well be left to the tastes
and traditions of the contracting parties.

The question of rights in children, or in property acquired after
marriage, should be settled by the state; and it is hard to see how it
can ever be settled satisfactorily except on a basis of equal
partnership. No man should be contented with a woman to bear and train
his children, and create a social atmosphere for his home, who is not
worth half of what he makes; and the same holds true of a woman. So with
regard to children, while one parent or the other may, under certain
conditions, be given the direction of the child's life, it is hard to
imagine any circumstances that would justify society in refusing either
father or mother the right frequently to see his child.

Since marriages must be contracted in youth and since inexperienced
people must make mistakes and the wisest must sometimes change, it will
sometimes happen that men and women must face the possibility of
separation. The problem of divorce is very difficult.[54] In less than
twenty years, from 1887 to 1906, 945,625 divorces were granted in the
United States; so that probably to-day there are nearly one million
divorced people in this country. Generally speaking, the divorce rate
increases as one goes westward. In 1900, the State of Washington led the
country with 184 divorces for each 100,000 of population. For the whole
country we averaged 73 per 100,000 of population. Japan alone leads us
with 215, while England and Wales had only 2. England grants divorce
only for infidelity; and on the man's side it must be accompanied by
cruelty; all divorce cases must be tried in London, and the expense,
never less than two hundred dollars, is prohibitive for the poor.
Meantime, England grants many separation orders; and it seems sure that
the Royal Commission, which has been taking evidence for the past three
years, will favor a freer system of divorce.

[54] See _Statistics of Marriage and Divorce_, prepared by the Bureau of
the Census, beginning in 1906, and published in 1910.

While divorce is increasing steadily all over the world, and most
rapidly in the most intelligent and progressive sections, the subject is
so bound up with our most deep-seated prejudices that it is difficult to
secure any intelligent thinking on the subject. Thus, most people think
Sioux Falls, in South Dakota, and Reno, Nevada, are places of free
divorce, but the fact is that twenty-one other States have a higher
divorce rate than South Dakota; and fourteen have a higher rate than
Nevada. So, too, the impression that divorces spring from hasty action
is certainly wrong, for in 46.5 per cent. of those for which we have
records there had been a separation of more than three years before the
divorce was granted. The idea that people generally seek divorces that
they may marry some one else seems also unfounded, since in the cases
for which we have records, less than forty per cent. remarry within a

There are three main objections which one hears urged against free
divorce. The first is that organized society rests on the family, and
with free divorce anarchy would ensue. In reply, it is pointed out that
the same argument was used to support kings, aristocracies and a
universal church. All these have been set aside, in many parts of the
earth, and society seems even more stable than before. The love of men
and women is probably more powerful and less in need of adventitious
support than either patriotism or religion.

In the second place, it is claimed that children will suffer when
parents separate. It is replied that this is true, but they were already
suffering when parents had ceased to love each other. The fact that
children are involved in only two out of five divorces seems to indicate
that children hold parents together when the opposition is not too
strong; and when a separation occurs, those who favor divorce claim that
a child is better off with either father or mother alone than with both
if love is absent.

In the third place, it is pointed out that often only one desires the
divorce and that this brings tragedy to the other life. In reply it is
claimed that many of the tragedies of life have always gathered around
the love of men and women, that when marriage is declined tragedy often
follows, and that compelling a person to live with some one whom he does
not love, and may even dislike, is more tragic than any separation.

In conclusion, advocates of free divorce claim that their proposals are
profoundly conservative, that they are seeking to bring marriage back to
its eternally binding realities. They say that under our present
conditions of restricted divorce, we have wide-spread prostitution,
constant irregularities that are tolerated and condoned, and a million
divorced people, some prevented from remarrying and all socially
ostracized, so that the whole group is a dangerous element in our midst.
These advocates claim that with free divorce, granted some months after
the determination to separate had been registered in the public records,
the love of men and women and their mutual love for their children would
be free to bind families together in permanent trust and open honesty;
and that with all excuse for irregularity absent, the unfaithful man or
woman would sink to the level of unfaithfulness in business or political
life. With freedom to readjust their lives, if they preferred to keep
what they had and get what they could, they would simply take their
place among thieves and liars, and most of them would disappear.

All transitions are hard, and this one in which we are involved is most
difficult of all; but no one can study the conditions around him without
seeing that change is inevitable and that we are not going back to our
earlier ideals. At the same time, no one can read the singularly
scholarly and fair-minded presentations of Ellen Key[55] without feeling
that she has a vision of the future.

[55] _The Century of the Child._ New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907.
_Love and Marriage_, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1911. _Love and Ethics._ New
York: B.W. Huebsch, 1911.

With regard to the nature of the material plant in which the family
should live, there are also two widely different ideals struggling for
favor in the public mind, and for realization in practice. The one
ideal, while recognizing the changes necessitated by modern conditions,
would still seek to retain those features which have been supposed to
make for family privacy, the kitchen, the nursery, and the garden. The
other would frankly accept our changed conditions, and pass on to the
larger groups of socialized buildings, with common kitchens, day
nurseries, and parks.[56]

[56] See _Woman and Economics_, by CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN, Boston:
Small, Maynard & Co., 1898; and the writings of H.G. WELLS.

This question has been discussed in the chapter on industry, and it will
be considered again in the following chapter. Meantime there can be no
doubt that love is reticent so far as the outside world is concerned;
and domesticity must always demand a large measure of privacy. It still
remains to be proved that this can be secured, in the absence of a
private kitchen, nursery and garden. Children, too, seem to need the
personal care and constant love of mothers, and women seem to need a
long period of loving and caring for a family to round out a deeply
significant life.

To summarize this chapter we may say that the realization of romantic
love, under conditions of domesticity, is necessary for men and women,
and for the well-being of the race. Our present marriage system is
defective, and needs to be corrected through the creation of a eugenic
conscience. It should be taken out of the hands of the church and made
more difficult by the state. Women's property rights should be defined
and safeguarded, and men and women should never live together when they
are repugnant to each other.


Family Life as a Vocation

The greatest of all wisdom is that which leads men and women to see the
real significance of their lives while they are still living. Life's
values, like the manna in the wilderness, must be gathered daily. If not
nourished day by day the power to live atrophies and dies; and no one
can live well to-day on the shrunken memories of yesterday. A full and
significant life is its own justification; and in a last analysis
philosophies and theologies offer us only the life more abundantly which
the great Teacher said he came into the world to bring. Buddhism offers
us eternal peaceful existence in Nirvana; Epicureanism offers pleasure,
which is but an intensification of life; Stoicism offers us life freed
from disturbing forces; and the great lure which Christianity has always
held before humanity is life eternal. Life is its own justification.

We have maintained throughout this volume that complete
self-realization is impossible for the half-units which we call men and
women, when either lives alone. On every side of their natures they are
complementary; and the unit of human life must be found in the family
composed of a man and woman who love each other and the children born of
their love. "There are two worlds below, the home and outside of it." It
is in this unit, under the stress of sexual passion and maternal love,
that all the finer forces of our civilization have had their origin.
Unselfishness, devotion, pity and the higher altruisms all hark back to
the home as their source.

But, meantime, evil counsels prevail and one hears everywhere of the
antagonistic interests of men and women. There can be no real rivalry
between a man's soul and his body, between science and religion, between
man and woman. The trouble all rests back in the failure to realize the
incompleteness of man or woman alone for any of the purposes of life.
And there is that evil notion which still afflicts economics that when
two trade one must lose. The fact is that, in all honest trade, buyer
and seller gain alike; and fair exchange makes all who participate in it
rich. It is so in all real relations between these half-creatures we
call men and women. In agreement, association and coöperation lies
strong and significant life for both. In antagonism, separation and
competition lie arid, poor, mean lives, egotistic and conceited, vapid
and fickle.

In primitive life, the family furnished a full and adequate career for
men and women alike. The political life was the family life; each family
was a religious group; families mustered for war; and each family
maintained within itself a wide range of industrial activity. But,
because this unit was so basal, because all later special developments
of state, church and industry came from it, it was steadily perverted.
Warped from its original purpose, it has served in turn, as we have
seen, to define and secure all our later institutions until it has
become the servant of state, church, social ambition, property and
industrial advance. Marriage and the birthrate are seldom discussed
to-day from the point of view of individual needs; but are almost
always considered from the point of view of national and industrial

To-day men and women are confronted by two tempters which constantly
lure them away from the complete living of the family; one is work, and
the other is comfort. With the majority of people in our modern
industrial democracies work uses up the hours and the energy of life. We
have passed into a time when our habitual material needs are great, and
the products of work are shamelessly diverted to the excessive uses of
comparatively few individuals and groups. Hence millions of workers
march along the narrow dark roads that lead through factories and farms
to the grave. Only little patches of their nervous systems are ever
used, but all their energy flows through these sections day after day,
leaving their lives dull and empty.

Marriage for these workers means decreased earning power for the woman,
with increased needs for the family, especially when the children come.
As one watches the procession of young factory and shop women, with
Sunday finery and some leisure, passing over into draggled factory
mothers, with no finery and no leisure, one marvels at the strength of
the forces with which nature drives them to their destiny. And yet, even
with these hopeless workers, marriage and children mark the heights of

With others, who are economically freer, work has become an obsession. A
Charles Darwin or a Herbert Spencer turns all of life's forces to
shaping facts into science; our industrial leaders mint their hours into
dollars; our reformers give up their lives that social conditions may be
changed; our society leaders trade life for triumphs. Meantime we all
know, or would know if we stopped to consider, that we are here to live
life fully and significantly day by day. But domesticity takes time and
effort, and so the hurrying specialist follows the narrow line of
success until he or she becomes a machine for manufacturing
generalizations, for painting pictures, for performing surgical
operations or for merely getting money. The richest woman in America
said with approval recently that her son was too busy to fall in love.

As industry drives the mass of workers and specialists away from life's
deepest realizations, so the desire to become comfortable, physically
and mentally, through avoiding the deeper experiences of life, robs many
of those who have a large measure of economic freedom. In all periods of
great wealth this disease of ease has afflicted mankind. Life more
abundantly comes only at the price of vigorous living; and love travels
always in company with anxiety. It would be well, says Cicero, to have
children, were it not for the fear of losing them. Let a man apply this
principle to wife, friends, possessions and enthusiasm in general and
life sinks into utter worthlessness.

The love of ease among women is in a measure independent of the
emancipation movement, but the entry of great numbers of young women
into lines of independent livelihood has placed them in a condition
where the ideals of a materialistic and commercial civilization appeal
to them with great force. Many of them have been liberally educated and
are living lives of independence. They lodge in flats or boarding houses
where they have no responsibilities for the routine work connected with
daily living. They carry their own latch-keys; and no one interferes
with their friendships or their pleasures. They read the books they
like, attend the theaters that appeal to them, and avoid people who bore
them. One can easily understand why these young women hesitate before
abandoning their easy conditions for the uncertain economic position of
wife and mother, with a man whose career lies in the future. And yet
here, as everywhere, one must lose one's life to gain it.

What then does daily association of a man and woman who belong together
do for them? It gives gladness and peace, and these are fundamental
conditions for all good and healthful living. It gives incentive to
effort, for a man or woman dares not fail before the one he or she
loves; but, in case of failure, it gives comfort and support, for love
understands and credits intent and effort as highly as achievement. It
complements the powers, for it gives four eyes, four hands and two minds
with but one aim. And in this it does not simply multiply by two, but
the blended powers are far more than two times one. It calls into
activity all the gracious, artistic and altruistic powers of the soul.
Surely these are gifts for which we may well forego some material
comforts, may well work, and even face anxieties unafraid.

Each part of the human unit must educate the other to a realization of
the fulness of life. This education is not entirely dependent on
physical intimacy. It is the development of soul and spirit. It polishes
the manners, cultivates the voice, broadens the judgments, sharpens the
wit. It makes conversation an art and discussion significant. A
woman-hating man or a man-hating woman is an unpolished and half-alive
creature, whether he be a mediæval saint, or she a militant suffragette,
or they both be simply commonplace egoists.

Because married life is so perfect when it finds its highest levels, it
is capable of sinking to any form of vulgarity, base betrayal and
cynicism when realization fails. The God to whom noblest souls aspire in
hours of deepest exaltation, is the God invoked by the ribald drunkard
when he curses his comrade. The family life we are discussing is the
subject of most of the vulgar and indecent jokes of the disappointed and
the unfit. The earth which nourishes the nations, merely soils the
boots of the boor who unthinkingly lives on her bounty.

On the working side the life of the family has an evil record for
pettiness and monotony, but much of this is due to wrong comparisons. A
woman who does her own housework would presumably have to work in any
case. Is the work of the family more petty or monotonous than the work
of the factory, shop or office? Surely the woman who spends her days
looking after the details of furnishing a house and keeping it clean, of
providing and serving meals, of looking after clothing and caring for
children, has a world of self-expression compared with which factory and
shop work is infinitely petty and mean. In the social life of friends,
neighborhood, school and church she is at least as well placed as the
factory worker. If the woman has the preparation required for teaching
or independent business, she will find ways to use her powers that will
relieve the routine of housework. And if the family has means to hire
help, the wife has a position from which she can exercise social and
political power superior to that of the foot-loose celibate.

Meantime, the housework grows steadily simpler and less exacting, even
with the growing complexity of our modern life. Most of the primitive
industries have left the home, and products come from the factory ready
to use. Furnace heating, hot and cold water, improved cooking conditions
and many domestic inventions of our day are keeping housework well
abreast of other unspecialized work in attractiveness.

The fact that domestic servants are scarce and unwilling to do general
housework, in no way disproves the soundness of these conclusions. The
wife, if she is a real wife, and we are discussing no others, is working
for those she loves, under conditions of free initiative. The general
servant is working for those who will not even admit her right to
participate in their social life, and instead of freedom in her
industrial life, she must generally adjust her efforts to the caprices
of an untrained mistress. Well-trained mistresses, who know how to work
themselves and who have a democratic sense of human values, seldom have
trouble in securing able servants, even in this transition time when the
shops and factories are calling so loudly to working girls.

No intelligence which a woman may possess needs remain unused in the
handling of a family. Women spend most of the household money to-day, at
least in lower and middle-class homes. To use wisely the family
pay-envelope requires knowledge and judgment of a high order. Problems
in economics, sanitation, food-values and æsthetics confront the
housewife at every turn of the day's work. "Even a slave need not work
as a slave;" and a woman living with the man she loves is the freest
woman on earth, so far as mind and spirit are concerned.

But the factory girl, or the teacher, or the professional woman who
seeks the fulfilment of all of life in the factory, the school or the
consulting-room, will soon tire and clamor for relief. The housewife, or
the mistress of a home, must likewise seek life away from her work if
she is to love it and wake each morning with a desire to continue it.
Luckily we have reached a place where working women in the home are
seeking supplementary life outside, and they seem to be quite as
successful in their search as are factory girls or teachers.

To the man, family life, of the kind we are considering, brings a vital
connection with the past and the future. Reputation, possessions,
friends, all become deeply significant when a man becomes a link in the
generations of men. In establishing his material home, and modifying it
to the changing conditions of the family; in building up a social
setting for the group; in projecting his work and his service into the
future, he is held to highest standards by the fact that he is working
with the partner of his choice, and for interests that are in harmony
with the constitution of the universe.

Of the greater physical health of married people there can be no doubt.
Statistics all show the greater longevity of married people, and
insurance companies recognize it. The celibate type of physical
degeneration is so well differentiated that it can generally be
recognized even among strangers, at least after forty.[57] On the moral
side, too, very few criminals are found among married people.

[57] ARNOLD LORAND, _Old Age Deferred. The Cause of Old Age and its
Postponement by Hygienic and Therapeutic Measures._ F.A. Davis Co.,

If children come to bless these homes of men and women, then even
intellectual life may shift to a higher level than was before possible.
With advancing years intellectual interests tend to become specialized.
The man or woman gives up singing, ceases to be interested in plant
life, stops reading poetry. One activity after another is cut off and
interests concentrate in some comparatively small field of work or
pleasure. But when a child comes, the parents are forced to start over
the round of human interests and thought once more. Before, they lived
it as children; now, they live the cycle as grown men and women.

No matter how completely a woman has given up music, she will some day
find herself singing when she holds her baby in her arms. As she recites
Mother Goose and the fairy and folk-lore tales, she moves through the
path of man's upward progress, led by a child, but with the life and
understanding of adult years. As she walks with her child in the garden
and in the fields, she is driven to a new interpretation of the world
of nature. Few things can so broaden, quicken and enrich the
intellectual life as growing up with one's children.

On the social side, a parent who has children is forced to live in all
the social world around him. The water-supply, the sewage, pure foods,
vacant lots, paving, fast driving in the streets, police protection,
undesirable residents, saloons and churches, schools and
libraries--everything that touches the social well-being--touches him
vitally and imperatively. The foot-loose celibate can always go away.
The parent finds it difficult to leave the place where he has planted
his roof-tree. Of course, there are many unmarried people, and people
who are childless, who live this domestic life vicariously through
friends or other people's children. One cannot but be grateful that life
is so organized that no woman can be entirely shut off, unless she wills
it, from the fructifying life that knits together the generations of the
old and the young.

Ideals are very powerful in determining conduct, and the ideals of
extreme individualism, now so constantly presented by certain leaders
among emancipated women, must bear bitter fruit for an army of women in
the future. While the women are young, ambition and the charm of freedom
bear them gaily along. Generally better educated than the men of their
own class, habituated to a personal expenditure which would correspond
with a large family expenditure, their intelligence prevents their
falling desperately in love with the men whom they might marry. But in
the thirties they have visions of the future which are deeply
disturbing; and in the forties they face the tragedy of a lonely old
age. Some men and women there must always be whose lives lack the
fulfilment of family life because of ill health or the accidents of
personal relations. But most women, if they are willing to pay the same
price for a significant family life that they so gladly pay for
professional success, will find the way open to live all of life. Why is
it that women count it an honor to work and starve for an art, but
dishonor to undergo privations for their children? All that is here said
of women may be said of men, but the man's period of family life is
longer than woman's, and the tragedy of lonely old age with him seems
less overwhelming.

The old plea that we must have an army of celibate women because in
civilized countries there is a preponderance of females does not hold at
present in the United States. The census of 1910 shows an excess of
2,691,678 males in this country. Nor is this entirely due to
immigration. More boys than girls are always born in civilized lands;
and of native white people born of native parents in the United States
there were, in 1910, 25,229,294 males and 24,259,147 females, a
difference obviously due to natural causes. New England alone in America
has a preponderance of females; and the excess there, as also in England
and Germany, is needed all along the frontiers of civilization. With the
industrial and social freeing of women now going on, we may reasonably
hope that the communities of old maids left behind, through the
emigration of young men, will be broken up.

Of course, it will be pointed out that many men and women who do marry
fail to realize the ideal presented in these pages. Every form of living
is dangerous and not every one can hope to be a successful husband and
father or wife and mother. Even devotion to religion furnishes many
inmates for insane asylums; athletic contests leave a line of cripples
behind them; and railroad disasters fill thousands of graves annually.
The institution of marriage has had no such intelligence applied to its
improvement during the past years as has been given to perfecting
railroads; and since founding a family is a more difficult undertaking
than making a journey, one need not be astonished at the number of
fatalities. Even if the institution of marriage were as intelligently
and carefully brought up to date as railroad systems are, it would still
remain dangerous to live either in or out of marriage.

And yet the danger could be greatly reduced by proper education of
youth. At present we are educating 10,000,000 girls in the state schools
of America, and as many boys. They are spending eight to twelve years,
under the direction of celibate women teachers, sharpening their
intelligence. Their most important work in life is to be the making of
homes, but they are supposed to master this art through imitating the
homes in which they grow up. Many of these are unworthy of imitation,
and they are all in process of transition.

Every girl should be thoroughly trained in handling an income and in
spending money wisely. She should have a general knowledge of household
sanitation, of water-supply and sewage, of foods and their preparation.
She should know about clothes, their cost, wearing qualities and
decorative values. She should have a sense of the family and its
significance in life; of at least the social relations that husband and
wife must maintain toward each other if their partnership is to be happy
and effective. She should have the beginnings of a eugenic conscience
established in her, and she should know something of the care of
infancy. All this should be given in the school, if it is not definitely
given in the home, and no girl who goes through the eighth grade should
escape it. Before the girl is married, she should have wise counsel from
mature women who have lived and learned the art of living. Boys should,
of course, also be trained in comparable directions for this great part
of their lives.

Something is already being done in this direction through the
establishing of special courses in domestic science, and allied branches
in our schools. The fact that educational leaders are awake to the need
was shown by the applause that followed Superintendent Harvey's plea for
this training in his paper on the education of girls at the
Superintendents' Association in St. Louis in February, 1912.[58] The
leading educators of the country greeted his plea with an enthusiasm
called out by no other paper of the session.

[58] See _Report of the Department of Superintendence of the National
Education Association_, 1912.

Every woman, then, and every man, not debarred by disease or accident
and not specially dedicated to a work which precludes marriage, should
spend his life in a family group, not that the state may have more
soldiers, or factory employees, but that he may realize the deepest
significance of his life. In this life the woman should be as free as
the man, an equal financial partner, and should share in all the social
and political opportunities of the community. When she bears children,
she should have special protection, support and reverence; and support
should come from the father of her children. If he fails her, then the
group, in its capacity as a state, should care for her honorably. But to
justify this protection and reverence, she should bring to her special
functions as mother of the generations a strong body, an intelligent
mind, a eugenic conscience and an absolute devotion to the children born
of her love.



The last two hundred years have revolutionized nearly all of our deepest
conceptions concerning the relations of human beings to religion,
government, property, and to each other. New knowledge has given us
partial control over vast forces of nature; and has so increased our
mobility as almost to free us from limitations of space. We have had
wonderful visions of the possibilities that lie in intelligent human
coöperation, and have begun to realize them in a hundred new forms. In
the midst of these compelling changes, women could no more remain
undisturbed, within the confines of kitchen and nursery, than men could
remain on their little New England farms or cobbling shoes and making
tin pans in the petty workshops of a century ago. But meantime the
special interests of women have been sadly confused because of the
larger changes in which all human relations have been involved in this
time of readjustment. Instead of talking of unquiet women to-day, we
should talk of an unquiet world.

In the midst of this confusion, most of those who have sought to secure
a truer relation of women to the life around them have worked on the
lines of minimizing sex differences. It has been felt that the
educational, industrial, social and political limitations under which
women rested were due to the desire of men to exploit them. Men, being
free, had developed for themselves an ideal world of thought and work;
and if women wished to be free and happy, they needed only to break down
the barriers separating them from this man's world.

Most of these barriers are now down; but the women who study in
universities, teach in the schools, maintain offices as doctors or
lawyers, collect news for the press, tend spindles in a factory or sell
ribbons at a counter have found that the man's world is far from ideal
and that by entering it they have not escaped the special limitations of
their sex. Everywhere the feeling is abroad that, instead of having
arrived at a destination, women have embarked on a journey fraught with
many uncertainties.

This volume has been written in the belief that men and women alike will
achieve greatest freedom and happiness, not by minimizing sex
differences, but by frankly recognizing them and using them. If we could
reduce men and women to sameness, we should destroy at least half the
values of human life. They are not alike; but they are perfectly
supplementary. The unit can never be a man nor a woman; it must always
be a man and a woman. This means that in all the activities essential to
human development men and women must carefully study to find what each
can best provide.

Thus we must some day have a Church, not composed exclusively of male
priests and women worshipers, not confined to rationalistic appeal nor
to ritualistic observance, but expressing the whole range of human
aspiration toward the unknown. Rational men and women of feeling must
combine with reverent men and intelligent women to create a belief and a
service which will express all the longings of humanity toward

So in government, we must have a state which will be not only just but
merciful; which will concern itself not only with militant economics but
also with human well-being. If men are more capable in expressing the
katabolic needs of aggression and protection, women must furnish the
anabolic products of care and conservation. If women must help pay the
bills and nurse the wounded, they must first have a voice in determining
whether there shall be a war. Men and women must join their qualities in
building and caring for cities, and in shaping nations, where they can
both live their largest lives.

In education, we must devise institutions which will provide for the
special needs of women; and we must have the combined qualities of men
and women brought to bear on children of both sexes, and at all ages.
The foster parents of the nation's children must be both men and women.
The present attempt to exploit our twenty millions of boys and girls in
the interest of a sex will be a crime against humanity when we are
intelligent enough to see its real meaning.

The specialization going on in industry means infinite variety if we
look at the whole field of activity. Some parts of the world's work are
specially fitted for men; other parts to women. No intelligent division
of labor has been attempted in the period since all work was transformed
by our modern inventions. Possibly men should do most of the
dressmaking, and women should make men's clothing, but no intelligent
man or woman can doubt that most work falls naturally into the hands of
one sex or the other. Some day we shall know enough so that there will
be little or no industrial competition between men and women.

It is, however, in the family that both men and women must find their
deepest supplementary values. Sex antagonism can do much to impoverish
and ruin individual lives; but the monogamic and persistent union of
lovers, surrounded by their children, will easily survive all the
mistakes of a time of transition. In the meantime, those who would
uphold the finest family ideals of the past have less cause to fear the
militant agitator than they have to fear the idle, parasitic wife, who
relies on her legal rights to give her luxuries without labor, position
without leadership, and wifehood without the care and responsibility of

From the point of view of this book, all the efforts to open the doors
of opportunity, through which women can pass into the man's world, are
but preparations for the beginning of a journey. The sooner all such
doors are opened the better, for then a great source of dangerous sex
antagonism will pass away; and the energy of reformers will be set free
to work out the difficult problem of supplementary sex adjustments.

And meantime, sex remains the greatest mystery and the most powerful
thing in human life. Its deeper values are lost sight of when men and
women are warring over work, wages, and votes, just as the meaning of
religion has been lost when priests and laity sought to advance their
meanly selfish interests. But in the crises of life it always comes
back. When a great ship founders in midocean, and but a third of the
people can be saved, there is then no question of woman's rights. In the
darkness of early morning, eager men's hands place their women in the
life-boats and push them off. The poorest peasant woman takes
precedence over any man. Almost every woman there would prefer to stay
and die with her man; would glory in staying and dying if he might thus
be saved; but in her keeping are the generations of the future, and she
is weak, therefore the strong gladly stand back and go down to death.
The solution of woman's place in the society of the future must be based
on a recognition of the supplementary forces that send women to
undesired safety while men die.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Woman in Modern Society" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.