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a just remuneration for his toil, he feels that a remedy is put in his hands by the ballot-box." Indeed, John Neal asserts that the right of suffrage is worth fifty cents a-day, in its effect upon the wages of male labourers, in this country. But where are all these encouragements for women?
'Nor is it all, that with the right to labour, all the other rights of woman, as to person and property, are equally endangered by this exclusion from direct power.
For the great grievance alleged by all women who make complaint of grievances is this,—that all these details are but part of a system, which lies at the basis of all our organizations, assumes at the outset the inferiority of woman, merges every married woman in her husband, and imposes upon every single woman the injustice of taxation without representation;-symbolical of the general fact, that she incurs most of the responsibilities of freedom, without its rights.'
The protest of women, therefore, is not against a special abuse, but against a whole system of injustice; and the peculiar importance of poli tical suffrage to woman is only because it seems to be the most available point to begin with. Once recognize the political equality of the sexes, and all the questions of legal, social, educational, and professional equality will soon settle themselves.
It is not to be denied, that the subject is coming rapidly into discussion, and bids fair to be ably handled. On the one side are the reports of three large and estimable "Woman's-Rights Conventions," in Worcester and Syracuse, together with a series of ten tracts by the same indefatigable band of agitators. On the other side are the fixed observances of Church and State.'-Woman and her Wishes, pp. 14-16.
Thus far Mr. T. W. Higginson, Minister of the Worcester Free Church. Theodore Parker, a name too well known for the advocacy of infidel opinions, but here designated Minister of the Twenty-eighth Congregational Society, takes the same line of argument:
The Family, Community, Church, and State, are four modes of action which have grown out of human nature in its historical development; they are all necessary for the development of mankind-machines which the human race has devised, in order to possess, use, develop, and enjoy their rights as human beings, their rights also as men.
These are just as necessary for the development of woman as of man, and as she has the same Nature, Right, and Duty as man, it follows that she has the same right to use, shape, and control these four institutions, for her general human purpose and for her special feminine purpose, that man has to control them for his general human purpose and his special masculine purpose. All that is as undeniable as anything in metaphysics or mathematics.'
I rejoice at the introduction of women into common schools, academies, and high schools; and I thank God that the man who has done so much for public education in Massachusetts, is presently to be the head of a college in Ohio, where women and men are to study together, and where a woman is to be professor of Latin and Natural History. These are good signs.
The business of public lecturing, also, is quite important in New England, and I am glad to see that woman presses into that,-not without
The work of conducting a journal, daily, weekly, or quarterly, woman proves that she can attend to quite as decently, and as strongly, too, as most men.
Then there are what are called the Professions,-Medicine, Law, and Theology.
The profession of Medicine seems to belong peculiarly to woman by nature; part of it, exclusively. She is a nurse, and half a doctor, by nature. It is quite encouraging that medical schools are beginning to instruct women, and special schools get founded for the use of women; that sagacious men are beginning to employ women as their physicians. Great good is to be expected from that.
'As yet, I believe, no woman acts as a Lawyer. But I see no reason why the profession of Law might not be followed by women as well as by men. He must be rather an uncommon lawyer who thinks no feminine head could compete with him. Most lawyers that I have known are rather mechanics at law, than attorneys or scholars at law; and in the mechanical part, woman could do as well as man-could be as good a conveyancer, could follow precedents as carefully, and copy forms as nicely. And in the higher departments of legal work, they who have read the plea which Lady Alice Lille made in England, when she could not speak by attorney, must remember there is some eloquence in woman's tongue which courts find it rather hard to resist. I think her presence would mend the manners of the court-of the bench, not less than of the bar.
In the business of Theology, I could never see why a woman, if she wished, should not preach, as well as men. It would be hard, in the present condition of the pulpit, to say she had not intellect enough for that! I am glad to find, now and then, women preachers, and rejoice at their success. A year ago, I introduced to you the Reverend Miss Brown, educated at an Orthodox Theological Seminary ;—you smiled at the name of Reverend Miss. She has since been invited to settle by several congregations of unblemished orthodoxy, and has passed on, looking further.'
For purposes of their own, these gentlemen claim a new field for women. They know that the movement party amongst them would further their own views, while the conservative element in the sex would on principle remain quiescent, and thus the whole weight of women, as a political engine, would be on their side. Mr. Parker wants women to be preachers, public theological teachers, because he knows the majority of women who would undertake these offices, would be opposed to dogmatic religion. We will not venture to quote the train of vital doctrines which he is confident women would discountenance, mixing with these, however, opinions which we are accustomed to call Calvinism, but which he affects to trace to monks and celibates. Why,' he exclaims, triumphantly, 'you could not get a woman that had intellect enough to open her mouth to preach these things anywhere.' Women think they believe them, 'but they do not.' From which we only gather that he is fully alive to the fact that the preaching ladies would be at odds with their sisters who think it their duty to be in subjection and learn at home. Of course it would be the same in politics. Nevertheless, as men, they cling to the old, feminine, gentle,
yielding, we may almost say, dependent idea of woman. They assert a difference between the sexes, and feel that difference a charm. We have seen how Mr. Higginson indulges in compliments to Miss Lucy Stone's soft voice, 'an excellent thing in woman.' Elsewhere, in recording a school contest between boys and girls in the field of conic sections, he finds pleasure in drawing a contrast between the personal characteristics of the combatants. I have seen delicate girls, whose slight fingers could scarcely grasp the huge chalk bullet.' This picture of graceful weakness enhances the pleasure of the triumph. There is still something to patronise and defend. He would not have cared for the success of these young mathematicians so much had they been formed in the mould of those female guards of the Princess,' the
'Eight daughters of the plough,
Huge women blowzed with health, and wind, and rain,
And Mr. Parker betrays the same predilection for a contrast of mental qualities in analogy with the differences of physical conformation. I think man,' he says, will always lead in 'affairs of the intellect, of reason, imagination, understanding,'he has the bigger brain; but that woman will always lead in 'affairs of emotion, moral, affectional, religious, she has the 'better heart, the truer intuition of the right, the lovely, the 'holy;' and further on he betrays the old notion of man's more comprehensive vision. Man's moral action he calls a sort of general human providence; woman's moral action is more like a special human providence acting without general rules, 'but caring for each particular case.'
But these assertions of a difference, however cautiously asserted and accompanied by compliment and eulogy, are distasteful to the women's-rights women' of every land, and rejected as a covert assumption of superiority; and justly, for, veil it as carefully as you will, there lies this assumption underneath. The authoress of Remarks on the Education of Girls,' quotes the last passage from Mr. Parker as showing that he is still behindhand. It is education alone, she assures us, that makes the difference, and not till the 'special' view is exploded will women exercise their full influence on the moral well-being of the world. This lady, too, will acknowledge no sisterhood with delicate girls' and 'slender fingers.' She adduces the full physical development of Madame Grisi in her maturest years as the proper type of womanly grace, and on this head appeals to Mary Wollstonecraft, who may well indeed be set forth as the unflinching champion of the cause in all its bearings, and as such her views demand some distinct mention here.
On whatever field the battle is fought, man is with the foundress of the sect the aggressor-the natural enemy of woman. Especially is she awake to the treachery of all the ordinary forms of gallantry and politeness (what she calls the insolent condescension of protectorship') as insidious chains and golden fetters. 'I lament that women are systematically degraded by receiving ⚫ the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the, 'sex, when in fact they are insultingly supporting their own superiority. So ludicrous do these ceremonies appear to me, that 'I scarcely am able to govern my muscles, when I see a man start with eager and serious solicitude to lift a handkerchief or 'shut a door, when the lady could have done it herself had she only moved a pace or two.' 'I do earnestly wish to see the 'distinction of sex confounded in society." A few more of her vigorous defiant sentences will not be misplaced here. "Educate women like men," says Rousseau, "and the more 'they resemble our sex, the less power they will have over us." 'I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves.' I presume that rational men will excuse me for endeavouring to make them (women) to become more masculine and respectable. Indeed, the word masculine is only a bugbear.' I love man as my fellow, but his sceptre, real or usurped, extends not to me.' 'Men have submitted to 'superior strength to enjoy with impunity the pleasure of the moment,-women have only done the same; and therefore, till it ' is proved that the courtier, who servilely resigns the birthright ' of a man, is not a moral agent, it cannot be demonstrated that woman is essentially inferior to man, because she has always 'been subjugated.'' Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end of blind obedience.' Connected 'with man as daughters, wives, and mothers, their (women's) 'moral character may be estimated by their manner of ful'filling those simple duties; but the end, the grand end of 'their exertions, should be to unfold their own faculties, and ' acquire the dignity of conscious virtue;' and so she dismisses what she calls the prevailing opinion that woman was created ' for man.'
Apparently, no woman had as yet realized her ideal, therefore her contempt of her own sex is as freely expressed as her jealousy and suspicion of ours, and with the same forcible language; and as men are charged with the desire to render women 'gentle domestic brutes,' so women who submit to such treatment are told in very plain, unvarnished language, how disgusting themselves and all their virtues are to her. Gentleness is abject;' docility is a spaniel-like affection;' patience, docility, good-humour, flexibility, are virtues, she assures them,
incompatible with any vigorous exertion of the intellect. The 'obedient wife,' they are told, makes an indolent mother,' and ameek wife, a foolish one.' The divine right of husbands' is boldly contemned, and pictures are drawn and illustrations given to show the fatal consequences of indulgence in obedience, meekness, submission, and the whole train of weak, mawkish, and dependent virtues.
She was ready, in fact, to fight the battle of equality on the principles of abstract reason, desiring fair play and no favour. She disdained the weapons of her sex, looked forward to the time when women will resign the arbitrary power of 'beauty,' and discarded, nay, even loathed, every pretty wile. The coquetry of dress she abhorred; would not think so ill of her sex as to believe it possible they were born with a love for dolls in babyhood, and fine clothes in youth: this was one of the monstrous charges brought by men against a nature that they had ruined, degraded by their tyranny, and narrowed by a corrupt education.
This is a line we can understand; defying man's power and rejecting all compromise: it is followed, we have seen, in main points by the Convention of Syracuse, and also by our own country woman in her Remarks.' But there is a more imaginative school of these energetic spirits, who claim more than an equality, who wish to be the equals of men in all social and civil rights, and yet to be the objects of their tenderness, protection, and solicitude. Margaret Fuller, plain and personally unattractive as she was, exacted her dues as a woman with all the tenacity of those of her countrywomen who make no other claims than what are termed 'the privileges of their sex.' Those attentions that were despised by the pure reason of Mary Wollstonecraft, were indispensable to her comfort and self-appreciation. Nor did she disdain the 'borrowed charm that dress supplies.' Her female disciples complacently record the magnificence of her toilette on certain show occasions. She would have fully approved of the gorgeous hues in which Tennyson decks his female academics:
'In colours gayer than the morning mist,'
And this poetical aspect of the movement, in which women leave the deductions of severe logic, and, scorning any notion of compact, or exchange of one advantage for another, grasp all in their eager fancy; and aspire to a future, wherein their sex shall possess more than their present feminine influence, and equal man on his own ground, leaving him no exclusive sphere,this view of their claims brings us to another work on our list, the Romance of Bertha and Lily,' wherein we find the