I go to my old dictionary, and find; "Politics, I. The science of government; that part of ethics which has to do with the regulation and government of a nation or state, the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; the defence of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest; the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights; with the preservation and improvement of their morals. 2. The management of political parties; the advancement of candidates to office; in a bad sense, artful or dishonest management to secure the success of political measures or party schemes, political trickery."
From present day experience we might add, 3. Politics, practical; The art of organizing and handling men in large numbers, manipulating votes, and, in especial, appropriating public wealth.
We can easily see that the "science of government" may be divided into "pure" and "applied" like other sciences, but that it is "a part of ethics" will be news to many minds.
Yet why not? Ethics is the science of conduct, and politics is merely one field of conduct; a very common one. Its connection with Warfare in this chapter is perfectly legitimate in view of the history of politics on the one hand, and the imperative modern issues which are to-day opposed to this established combination.
There are many to-day who hold that politics need not be at all connected with warfare, and others who hold that politics is warfare front start to finish.
In order to dissociate the two ideas completely let us give a paraphrase of the above definition, applying it to domestic management;--that part of ethics which has to do with the regulation and government of a family; the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; the defense of its existence and rights against any strangers' interference or control; the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its members in their rights; with the preservation and improvement of their morals.
All this is simple enough, and in no way masculine; neither is it feminine, save in this; that the tendency to care for, defend and manage a group, is in its origin maternal.
In every human sense, however, politics has left its maternal base far in the background; and as a field of study and of action is as well adapted to men as to women. There is no reason whatever why men should not develop great ability in this department of ethics, and gradually learn how to preserve the safety, peace and prosperity of their nation; together with those other services as to resources, protection of citizens, and improvement of morals.
Men, as human beings, are capable of the noblest devotion and efficiency in these matters, and have often shown them; but their devotion and efficiency have been marred in this, as in so many other fields, by the constant obtrusion of an ultra-masculine tendency.
In warfare, _per se_, we find maleness in its absurdest extremes. Here is to be studied the whole gamut of basic masculinity, from the initial instinct of combat, through every form of glorious ostentation, with the loudest possible accompaniment of noise.
Primitive warfare had for its climax the possession of the primitive prize, the female. Without dogmatising on so remote a period, it may be suggested as a fair hypothesis that this was the very origin of our organized raids. We certainly find war before there was property in land, or any other property to tempt aggressors. Women, however, there were always, and when a specially androcentric tribe had reduced its supply of women by cruel treatment, or they were not born in sufficient numbers, owing to hard conditions, men must needs go farther afield after other women. Then, since the men of the other tribes naturally objected to losing their main labor supply and comfort, there was war.
Thus based on the sex impulse, it gave full range to the combative instinct, and further to that thirst for vocal exultation so exquisitely male. The proud bellowings of the conquering stag, as he trampled on his prostrate rival, found higher expression in the "triumphs" of old days, when the conquering warrior returned to his home, with victims chained to his chariot wheels, and braying trumpets.
When property became an appreciable factor in life, warfare took on a new significance. What was at first mere destruction, in the effort to defend or obtain some hunting ground or pasture; and, always, to secure the female; now coalesced with the acquisitive instinct, and the long black ages of predatory warfare closed in upon the world.
Where the earliest form exterminated, the later enslaved, and took tribute; and for century upon century the "gentleman adventurer," i.e., the primitive male, greatly preferred to acquire wealth by the simple old process of taking it, to any form of productive industry.
We have been much misled as to warfare by our androcentric literature. With a history which recorded nothing else; a literature which praised and an art which exalted it; a religion which called its central power "the God of Battles"--never the God of Workshops, mind you!--with a whole complex social structure man-prejudiced from center to circumference, and giving highest praise and honor to the Soldier; it is still hard for its to see what warfare really is in human life.
Someday we shall have new histories written, histories of world progress, showing the slow uprising, the development, the interservice of the nations; showing the faint beautiful dawn of the larger spirit of world-consciousness, and all its benefitting growth.
We shall see people softening, learning, rising; see life lengthen with the possession of herds, and widen in rich prosperity with agriculture. Then industry, blossoming, fruiting, spreading wide; art, giving light and joy; the intellect developing with companionship and human intercourse; the whole spreading tree of social progress, the trunk of which is specialized industry, and the branches of which comprise every least and greatest line of human activity and enjoyment. This growing tree, springing up wherever conditions of peace and prosperity gave it a chance, we shall see continually hewed down to the very root by war.
To the later historian will appear throughout the ages, like some Hideous Fate, some Curse, some predetermined check, to drag down all our hope and joy and set life forever at its first steps over again, this Red Plague of War.
The instinct of combat, between males, worked advantageously so long as it did not injure the female or the young. It is a perfectly natural instinct, and therefore perfectly right, in its place; but its place is in a pre-patriarchal era. So long as the animal mother was free and competent to care for herself and her young; then it was an advantage to have "the best man win;" that is the best stag or lion; and to have the vanquished die, or live in sulky celibacy, was no disadvantage to any one but himself.
Humanity is on a stage above this plan. The best man in the social structure is not always the huskiest. When a fresh horde of ultra-male savages swarmed down upon a prosperous young civilization, killed off the more civilized males and appropriated the more civilized females; they did, no doubt, bring in a fresh physical impetus to the race; but they destroyed the civilization.
The reproduction of perfectly good savages is not the main business of humanity. Its business is to grow, socially; to develop, to improve; and warfare, at its best, retards human progress; at its worst, obliterates it.
Combat is not a social process at all; it is a physical process, a subsidiary sex process, purely masculine, intended to improve the species by the elimination of the unfit. Amusingly enough, or absurdly enough; when applied to society, it eliminates the fit, and leaves the unfit to perpetuate the race!
We require, to do our organized fighting, a picked lot of vigorous young males, the fittest we can find. The too old or too young; the sick, crippled, defective; are all left behind, to marry and be fathers; while the pick of the country, physically, is sent off to oppose the pick of another country, and kill--kill--kill!
Observe the result on the population! In the first place the balance is broken--there are not enough men to go around, at home; many women are left unmated. In primitive warfare, where women were promptly enslaved, or, at the best, polygamously married, this did not greatly matter to the population; but as civilization advances and monogamy obtains, whatever eugenic benefits may once have sprung from warfare are completely lost, and all its injuries remain.
In what we innocently call "civilized warfare" (we might as well speak of "civilized cannibalism!"), this steady elimination of the fit leaves an everlowering standard of parentage at home. It makes a widening margin of what we call "surplus women," meaning more than enough to be monogamously married; and these women, not being economically independent, drag steadily upon the remaining men, postponing marriage, and increasing its burdens.
The birth rate is lowered in quantity by the lack of husbands, and lowered in quality both by the destruction of superior stock, and by the wide dissemination of those diseases which invariably accompany the wife-lessness of the segregated males who are told off to perform our military functions.
The external horrors and wastes of warfare we are all familiar with; A. It arrests industry and all progress. B. It destroys the fruits of industry and progress. C. It weakens, hurts and kills the combatants. D. It lowers the standard of the non-combatants. Even the conquering nation is heavily injured; the conquered sometimes exterminated, or at least absorbed by the victor.
This masculine selective process, when applied to nations, does not produce the same result as when applied to single opposing animals. When little Greece was overcome it did not prove that the victors were superior, nor promote human interests in any way; it injured them.
The "stern arbitrament of war" may prove which of two peoples is the better fighter, but ft does not prove it therefor the fittest to survive.
Beyond all these more or less obvious evils, comes a further result, not enough recognized; the psychic effects of military standard of thought and feeling.
Remember that an androcentric culture has always exempted its own essential activities from the restraints of ethics,--"All's fair in love and war!" Deceit, trickery, lying, every kind of skulking underhand effort to get information; ceaseless endeavor to outwit and overcome "the enemy"; besides as cruelty and destruction; are characteristic of the military process; as well as the much praised virtues of courage, endurance and loyalty, personal and public.
Also classed as a virtue, and unquestionably such from the military point of view, is that prime factor in making and keeping an army, obedience.
See how the effect of this artificial maintenance of early mental attitudes acts on our later development. True human progress requires elements quite other than these. If successful warfare made one nation unquestioned master of the earth its social progress would not be promoted by that event. The rude hordes of Genghis Khan swarmed over Asia and into Europe, but remained rude hordes; conquest is not civilization, nor any part of it.
When the northern tribes-men overwhelmed the Roman culture they paralysed progress for a thousand years or so; set back the clock by that much. So long as all Europe was at war, so long the arts and sciences sat still, or struggled in hid corners to keep their light alive.
When warfare itself ceases, the physical, social and psychic results do not cease. Our whole culture is still hag-ridden by military ideals.
Peace congresses have begun to meet, peace societies write and talk, but the monuments to soldiers and sailors (naval sailors of course), still go up, and the tin soldier remains a popular toy. We do not see boxes of tin carpenters by any chance; tin farmers, weavers, shoemakers; we do not write our "boys books" about the real benefactors and servers of society; the adventurer and destroyer remains the idol of an Androcentric Culture.
In politics the military ideal, the military processes, are so predominant as to almost monopolise "that part of ethics." The science of government, the plain wholesome business of managing a community for its own good; doing its work, advancing its prosperity, improving its morals--this is frankly understood and accepted as A Fight from start to finish. Marshall your forces and try to get in, this is the political campaign. When you are in, fight to stay in, and to keep the other fellow out. Fight for your own hand, like an animal; fight for your master like any hired bravo; fight always for some desired "victory"--and "to the victors belong the spoils."
This is not by any means the true nature of politics. It is not even a fair picture of politics to-day; in which man, the human being, is doing noble work for humanity; but it is the effect of man, the male, on politics.
Life, to the "male mind" (we have heard enough of the "female mind" to use the analogue!) _is_ a fight, and his ancient military institutions and processes keep up the delusion.
As a matter of fact life is growth. Growth comes naturally, by multiplication of cells, and requires three factors to promote it; nourishment, use, rest. Combat is a minor incident of life; belonging to low levels, and not of a developing influence socially.
The science of politics, in a civilized community, should have by this time a fine accumulation of simplified knowledge for diffusion in public schools; a store of practical experience in how to promote social advancement most rapidly, a progressive economy and ease of administration, a simplicity in theory and visible benefit in practice, such as should make every child an eager and serviceable citizen.
What do we find, here in America, in the field of "politics?"
We find first a party system which is the technical arrangement to carry on a fight. It is perfectly conceivable that a flourishing democratic government be carried on _without any parties at all;_ public functionaries being elected on their merits, and each proposed measure judged on its merits; though this sounds impossible to the androcentric mind.
"There has never been a democracy without factions and parties!" is protested.
There has never been a democracy, so far--only an androcracy.
A group composed of males alone, naturally divides, opposes, fights; even a male church, under the most rigid rule, has its secret undercurrents of antagonism.
"It is the human heart!" is again protested. No, not essentially the human heart, but the male heart. This is so well recognized by men in general, that, to their minds, in this mingled field of politics and warfare, women have no place.
In "civilized warfare" they are, it is true, allowed to trail along and practice their feminine function of nursing; but this is no part of war proper, it is rather the beginning of the end of war. Some time it will strike our "funny spot," these strenuous efforts to hurt and destroy, and these accompanying efforts to heal and save.
But in our politics there is not even provision for a nursing corps; women are absolutely excluded.
"They cannot play the game!" cries the practical politician. There is loud talk of the defilement, the "dirty pool" and its resultant darkening of fair reputations, the total unfitness of lovely woman to take part in "the rough and tumble of politics."
In other words men have made a human institution into an ultra-masculine performance; and, quite rightly, feel that women could not take part in politics _as men do._ That it is not necessary to fulfill this human custom in so masculine a way does not occur to them. Few men can overlook the limitations of their sex and see the truth; that this business of taking care of our common affairs is not only equally open to women and men, but that women are distinctly needed in it.
Anyone will admit that a government wholly in the hands of women would be helped by the assistance of men; that a gynaecocracy must, of its own nature, be one sided. Yet it is hard to win reluctant admission of the opposite fact; that an androcracy must of its own nature be one sided also, and would be greatly improved by the participation of the other sex.
The inextricable confusion of politics and warfare is part of the stumbling block in the minds of men. As they see it, a nation is primarily a fighting organization; and its principal business is offensive and defensive warfare; therefore the ultimatum with which they oppose the demand for political equality--"women cannot fight, therefore they cannot vote."
Fighting, when all is said, is to them the real business of life; not to be able to fight is to be quite out of the running; and ability to solve our growing mass of public problems; questions of health, of education, of morals, of economics; weighs naught against the ability to kill.
This naive assumption of supreme value in a process never of the first importance; and increasingly injurious as society progresses, would be laughable if it were not for its evil effects. It acts and reacts upon us to our hurt. Positively, we see the ill effects already touched on; the evils not only of active war; but of the spirit and methods of war; idealized, inculcated and practiced in other social processes. It tends to make each man-managed nation an actual or potential fighting organization, and to give us, instead of civilized peace, that "balance of power" which is like the counted time in the prize ring--only a rest between combats.
It leaves the weaker nations to be "conquered" and "annexed" just as they used to be; with tariffs instead of tribute. It forces upon each the burden of armament; upon many the dreaded conscription; and continually lowers the world's resources in money and in life.
Similarly in politics, it adds to the legitimate expenses of governing the illegitimate expenses of fighting; and must needs have a "spoils system" by which to pay its mercenaries.
In carrying out the public policies the wheels of state are continually clogged by the "opposition;" always an opposition on one side or the other; and this slow wiggling uneven progress, through shorn victories and haggling concessions, is held to be the proper and only political method.
"Women do not understand politics," we are told; "Women do not care for politics;" "Women are unfitted for politics."
It is frankly inconceivable, from the androcentric view-point, that nations can live in peace together, and be friendly and serviceable as persons are. It is inconceivable also, that in the management of a nation, honesty, efficiency, wisdom, experience and love could work out good results without any element of combat.
The "ultimate resort" is still to arms. "The will of the majority" is only respected on account of the guns oŁ the majority. We have but a partial civilization, heavily modified to sex--the male sex.
* * * * * * *
Woman and The State.
[A Discussion of Political Equality of Men and Women. To be read in connection with chapter 12 of Our Androcentric Culture.]
Here are two vital factors in human life; one a prime essential to our existence; the other a prime essential to our progress.
Both of them we idealize in certain lines, and exploit in others. Both of them are misinterpreted, balked of their full usefulness, and humanity thus injured.
The human race does not get the benefit of the full powers of women, nor of the full powers of the state.
In all civilized races to-day there is a wide and growing sense of discontent among women; a criticism of their assigned limitations, and a demand for larger freedom and opportunity. Under different conditions the demand varies; it is here for higher education, there for justice before the law; here for economic independence, and there for political equality.
This last is at present the most prominent Issue of "the woman question" in England and America, as the activity of the "militant suffragists" has forced it upon the attention of the world.
Thoughtful people in general are now studying this point more seriously than ever before, genuinely anxious to adopt the right side, and there is an alarmed uprising of sincere objection to the political equality of women.
Wasting no time on ignorance, prejudice, or the resistance of special interests, let us fairly face the honest opposition, and do it justice.
The conservative position is this:
Men and women have different spheres in life. To men belong the creation and management of the state, and the financial maintenance of the home and family:
"To women belong the physical burden of maternity, and the industrial management of the home and family; these duties require all their time and strength:
"The prosperity of the state may be sufficiently conserved by men alone; the prosperity of the family requires the personal presence and services of the mother in the home: if women assume the cares of the state, the home and family will suffer:
Some go even farther than this, and claim an essential limitation in "the female mind" which prevents it from grasping large political interests; holding, therefore, that if women took part in state affairs it would be to the detriment of the community:
Others advance a theory that "society," in the special sense, is the true sphere of larger service for women, and that those of them not exclusively confined to "home duties" may find full occupation in "social duties," including the time honored fields of "religion" and "charity":
Others again place their main reliance on the statement that, as to the suffrage, "women do not want it."
Let us consider these points in inverse order, beginning with the last one.
We will admit that at present the majority of women are not consciously desirous of any extension of their political rights and privileges, but deny that this indifference is any evidence against the desirability of such extension.
It has long been accepted that the position of women is an index of civilization. Progressive people are proud of the freedom and honor given their women, and our nation honestly believes itself the leader in this line. "American women are the freest in the world!" we say; and boast of it.
Since the agitation for women's rights began, many concessions have been made to further improve their condition. Men, seeing the justice of certain demands, have granted in many states such privileges as admission to schools, colleges, universities, and special instruction for professions; followed by admission to the bar, the pulpit, and the practice of medicine. Married women, in many states, have now a right to their own earnings; and in a few, mothers have an equal right in the guardianship of their children.
We are proud and glad that our women are free to go unveiled, to travel alone, to choose their own husbands; we are proud and glad of every extension of justice already granted by men to women.
Now:--Have any of these concessions been granted because a majority of women asked for them? Was it advanced in opposition to any of them that "women did not want it?" Have as many women ever asked for these things as are now asking for the ballot? If it was desirable to grant these other rights and privileges without the demand of a majority, why is the demand of a majority required before this one is granted?
The child widows of India did not unitedly demand the abolition of the "suttee."
The tortured girl children of China did not rise in overwhelming majority to demand free feet; yet surely no one would refuse to lift these burdens because only a minority of progressive women insisted on justice.
It is a sociological impossibility that a majority of an unorganized class should unite in concerted demand for a right, a duty, which they have never known.
The point to be decided is whether political equality is to the advantage of women and of the state--not whether either, as a body, is asking for it.
Now for the "society" theory. There is a venerable fiction to the effect that women make--and manage, "society." No careful student of comparative history can hold this belief for a moment. Whatever the conditions of the age or place; industrial, financial, religious, political, educational; these conditions are in the hands of men; and these conditions dictate the "society" of that age or place.
"Society" in a constitutional monarchy is one thing; in a primitive despotism another; among millionaires a third; but women do not make the despotism, the monarchy, or the millions. They take social conditions as provided by men, precisely as they take all other conditions at their hands. They do not even modify an existing society to their own interests, being powerless to do so. The "double standard of morals," ruling everywhere in "society," proves this; as does the comparative helplessness of women to enjoy even social entertainments, without the constant attendance and invitation of men.
Even in its great function of exhibition leading to marriage, it is the girls who are trained and exhibited, under closest surveillance; while the men stroll in and out, to chose at will, under no surveillance whatever.
That women, otherwise powerful, may use "society" to further their ends, is as true as that men do; and in England, where women, through their titled and landed position, have always had more political power than here, "society" is a very useful vehicle for the activities of both sexes.
But, in the main, the opportunities of "society" to women, are merely opportunities to use their "feminine influence" in extra domestic lines--a very questionable advantage to the home and family, to motherhood, to women, or to the state.
In religion women have always filled and more than filled the place allowed them. Needless to say it was a low one. The power of the church, its whole management and emoluments, were always in the hands of men, save when the Lady Abbess held her partial sway; but the work of the church has always been helped by women--the men have preached and the women practised!
Charity, as a vocation, is directly in line with the mother instinct, and has always appealed to women. Since we have learned how injurious to true social development this mistaken kindness is, it might almost be classified as a morbid by-product of suppressed femininity!
In passing we may note that charity as a virtue is ranked highest among those nations and religions where women are held lowest. With the Moslems it is a universal law--and in the Moslem Paradise there are no women--save the Houries!
The playground of a man-fenced "society"; the work-ground of a man-taught church; and this "osmosis" of social nutrition, this leakage and seepage of values which should circulate normally, called charity; these are not a sufficient field for the activities of women.
As for those limitations of the "feminine mind" which render her unfit to consider the victuallage of a nation, or the justice of a tax on sugar; it hardly seems as if the charge need be taken seriously. Yet so able a woman as Mrs. Humphry Ward has recently advanced it in all earnestness.
In her view women are capable of handling municipal, but not state affairs. Since even this was once denied them; and since, in England, they have had municipal suffrage for some time; it would seem as if their abilities grew with use, as most abilities do; which is in truth the real answer.
Most women spend their whole lives, and have spent their whole lives for uncounted generations, in the persistent and exclusive contemplation of their own family affairs. They are near-sighted, or near-minded, rather; the trouble is not with the nature of their minds, but with the use of them.
If men as a class had been exclusively confined to the occupation of house-service since history began, they would be similarly unlikely to manifest an acute political intelligence.
We may agree with Tennyson that "Woman is not undeveloped man, but diverse;" that is _women_ are not undeveloped _men;_ but the feminine half of humanity is undeveloped human. They have exercised their feminine functions, but not their human-functions; at least not to their full extent.
Here appears a distinction which needs to be widely appreciated.
We are not merely male and female--all animals are that--our chief distinction is that of race, our humanness.
Male characteristics we share with all males, bird and beast; female characteristics we share with all females, similarly; but human characteristics belong to _genus homo_ alone; and are possessed by both sexes. A female horse is just as much a horse as a male of her species; a female human being is just as human as the male of her species--or ought to be!
In the special functions and relations of sex there is no contest, no possible rivalry or confusion; but in the general functions of humanity there is great misunderstanding.
Our trouble is that we have not recognized these human functions as such; but supposed them to be exclusively masculine; and, acting under that idea, strove to prevent women from an unnatural imitation of men.
Hence this minor theory of the limitations of the "female mind."
The mind is pre-eminently human. That degree of brain development which distinguishes our species, is a human, not a sex characteristic.
There may be, has been, and still is, a vast difference in our treatment of the minds of the two sexes. We have given them a different education, different exercises, different conditions in all ways. But all these differences are external, and their effect disappears with them.
The "female mind" has proven its identical capacity with the "male mind," _in so far as it has been given identical conditions._ It will take a long time, however, before conditions are so identical, for successive generations, as to give the "female mind" a fair chance.
In the meantime, considering its traditional, educational and associative drawbacks, the "female mind" has made a remarkably good showing.
The field of politics is an unfortunate one in which to urge this alleged limitation; because politics is one of the few fields in which some women have been reared and exercised under equal conditions with men.
We have had queens as long as we have had kings, perhaps longer; and history does not show the male mind, in kings, to have manifested a numerically proportionate superiority over the female mind, in queens. There have been more kings than queens, but have there been more good and great ones, in proportion?
Even one practical and efficient queen is proof enough that being a woman does not preclude political capacity. Since England has had such an able queen for so long, and that within Mrs. Humphry Ward's personal memory, her position seems fatuous in the extreme.
It has been advanced that great queens owed their power to the association and advice of the noble and high-minded men who surrounded them; and, further, that the poor showing made by many kings, was due to the association and vice of the base and low-minded women who surrounded them.
This is a particularly pusillanimous claim in the first place; is not provable in the second place; and, if it were true, opens up a very pretty field of study in the third place. It would seem to prove, if it proves anything, that men are not fit to be trusted with political power on account of an alarming affinity for the worst of women; and, conversely, that women, as commanding the assistance of the best of men, are visibly the right rulers! Also it opens a pleasant sidelight on that oft-recommended tool--"feminine influence."
We now come to our opening objection; that society and state, home, and family, are best served by the present division of interests: and its corollary, that if women enlarge that field of interest it would reduce their usefulness in their present sphere.
The corollary is easily removed. We are now on the broad ground of established facts; of history, recent, but still achieved.
Women have had equal political rights with men in several places, for considerable periods of time. In Wyoming, to come near home, they have enjoyed this status for more than a generation. Neither here nor in any other state or country where women vote, is there the faintest proof of injury to the home or family relation. In Wyoming, indeed, divorce has decreased, while gaining so fast in other places.
Political knowledge, political interest, does not take up more time and strength than any other form of mental activity; nor does it preclude a keen efficiency in other lines; and as for the actual time required to perform the average duties of citizenship--it is a contemptible bit of trickery in argument, if not mere ignorance and confusion of idea, to urge the occasional attendance on political meetings, or the annual or bi-annual dropping of a ballot, as any interference with the management of a house.
It is proven, by years on years of established experience, that women can enjoy full political equality and use their power, without in the least ceasing to be contented and efficient wives and mothers, cooks and housekeepers.
What really horrifies the popular mind at the thought of women in politics, is the picture of woman as a "practical politician;" giving her time to it as a business, and making money by it, in questionable, or unquestionable, ways; and, further, as a politician in office, as sheriff, alderman, senator, judge.
The popular mind becomes suffused with horror at the first idea, and scarcely less so at the second. It pictures blushing girlhood on the Bench; tender motherhood in the Senate; the housewife turned "ward-heeler;" and becomes quite sick in contemplation of these abominations.
No educated mind, practical mind, no mind able and willing to use its faculties, need be misled for a moment by these sophistries.
There is absolutely no evidence that women as a class will rush into "practical politics." Where they have voted longest they do not manifest this dread result. Neither is there any proof that they will all desire to hold office; or that any considerable portion of them will; or that, if they did, they would get it.
We seem unconsciously to assume that when women begin to vote, men will stop; or that the women will outnumber the men; also that, outnumbering them, they will be completely united in their vote; and, still further, that so outnumbering and uniting, they will solidly vote for a ticket composed wholly of women candidates.
Does anyone seriously imagine this to be likely?
This may be stated with assurance; if ever we do see a clever, designing, flirtatious, man-twisting woman; or a pretty, charming, irresistable young girl, elected to office--it will not be by the votes of women!
Where women are elected to office, by the votes of both men and women, they are of suitable age and abilities, and do their work well. They have already greatly improved some of the conditions of local politics, and the legislation they advocate is of a beneficial character.
What is the true relation of women to the state?
It is precisely identical with that of men. Their forms of service may vary, but their duty, their interest, their responsibility, is the same.
Here are the people on earth, half of them women, all of them her children. It is her earth as much as his; the people are their people, the state their state; compounded of them all, in due relation.
As the father and mother, together; shelter, guard, teach and provide for their children in the home; so should all fathers and mothers, together; shelter, guard, teach and provide for their common children, the community.
The state is no mystery; no taboo place of masculine secrecy; it is simply us.
Democracy is but a half-grown child as yet, one of twins? Its boy-half is a struggling thing, with "the diseases of babyhood"; its girl-half has hardly begun to take notice.
As human creatures we have precisely the same duty and privilege, interest, and power in the state; sharing its protection, its advantages, and its services. As women we have a different relation.
Here indeed we will admit, and glory in, our "diversity." The "eternal womanly" is a far more useful thing in the state than the "eternal manly."
To be woman means to be mother. To be mother means to give love, defense, nourishment, care, instruction. Too long, far too long has motherhood neglected its real social duties, its duties to humanity at large. Even in her position of retarded industrial development, as the housekeeper and houseworker of the world, woman has a contribution of special value to the state.
As the loving mother, the patient teacher, the tender nurse, the wise provider and care-taker, she can serve the state, and the state needs her service.
Sorry, no summary available yet.