.Mjg4MDg.OTkxMzg

From Transcribe Wiki
Revision as of 15:22, 17 February 2020 by Srewatkar (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

10 WOMAN AND DEMOCRACY. would be something in it. The suffragettes have not yet equalled the turbulent emotionalism of their sedate brothers. But such argument might be thought rather tart and shrewish. Let us, then, listen to some fine old dowager, less acerb and more philosophic, as she argues the matter: "My sisters, let us not be too hard on the men. Of course they are not women and cannot be, but we must beware of arousing sex antagonism. Let us rather inquire if there be not plain indications in the nature of things of what man's sphere is. And if we look about, we see at once that this sphere is very definitely marked out. Men are manifestly intended tp be the breadwinners of the race and the fathers of the race. And the sphere thus indicated is certainly great enough and high enough to consume all masculine energy and satisfy all masculine ambition. Let us, then, be careful of adding to the labors of men the additional burden of thinking on political problems. "And when we rise to the higher thought of fatherhood, what a sacredness this bestows upon man, and certainly he can ask for nothing higher. He should, therefore, prepare himself for all his duties in this august relation, and not trouble himself about these other relatively unimportant matters of managing the political world. And I cannot but deplore that our educators have not paid more attention to the fact. They seem never to have considered that man is to be the father of the family and should have a special training for his duties as such. Some of the heavier work in housecleaning should properly fall to his lot. A course in scrubbing and in tending the furnace and many similar things would be of far higher utility than much of the vaunted higher education. "Of course this does not mean that men are without intelligence. Some of them are very bright and might be properly trusted with the suffrage. But we are thinking of the great mass of men and that alters the case. And, furthermore, it is not from any enmity or hostility on our part that we are opposed to men voting; it is rather from our love for them and our unwillingness unduly to burden them that we protest against their enfranchisement. And they are safe in that love. We will guard their interests. If they wish anything let them apply to us and we will see to it that the right is done, but let them abide in that sphere in which it has pleased Providence to call them." It is doubtful if this argument would convince the men. It is not even sure that it ought to convince them, but it is certainly as good as most of the matter that is offered against equal suffrage. But what is the use of equal suffrage, after all? Would society be any better for it? And if it would not, it seems at best a matter of indifference. Moreover, suffrage is not a right in any case, but only a privilege, and may be withheld unless something good comes of it. This is wisdom indeed. When the objector is thinking of himself, suffrage is a right. When others demand it as a right, he says it is a privilege and a matter of no great importance. The insincerity of all this appears from the fact that he would never consent to have denied it to himself, while he is very willing to have denied it to others. And just here, to my mind, is the root of the matter. If I were a woman, as I am a man, I should feel that wrong was done from denying me this right, and the sense of justice will never be satisfied until this wrong is remedied. Nodding to Gessler's cap is a small thing to some people, but there are others who cannot get used to it. I should feel as nigh unto cursing, as is permitted to a good woman, when I hear stupid louts and ignorant boys discussing my rights and sphere--poor creatures hardly entitled to an opinion on any subject higher than pop-corn and peanut brittle. Who is more entitled to a voice in determining women's sphere than woman themselves? What man would consent to have women determine his sphere? And yet they would likely do as well as men have done in determining woman's sphere. A full half of the intellect and conscience of the community is unrepresented in the lawmaking bodies, and the feminine interest, which is quite as important a social factor as the masculine, is unrepresented. And what has been the result? Only the crassest ignorance or lack of principle would pretend that woman has had justice done to her in the past or even in the present. The social order will never be at its best until this is remedied. The present condition of the political world closely resembles a place where the housekeeping is done by men. The masculine indifference to order, cleanliness, tidiness, is reflected in political housekeeping. And the remedy is the same in both cases--give women a chance. This would be both just and wise. No one has a right to demand for himself anything that he would not equally accord to others. The rights of the moral personality are absolutely independent of sex. The functions of he sexes have to play in life are different and will take care of themselves, but they in no way affect the duty of every moral person to be interested in the well-being of the community and the right of every moral person to have a voice in the matter. In these deepest things, these fundamental duties, men and women are alike and equal. What might be the outcome of granting equal suffrage, no one