The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Part 15 out of 18
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 state is no mystery; no taboo place of masculine secrecy; it is
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
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
WHAT DIANTHA DID
LIKE A BANYAN TREE
The Earth-Plants spring up from beneath,
The Air-Plants swing down from above,
But the Banyan trees grow
Both above and below,
And one makes a prosperous grove.
In the fleeting opportunities offered by the Caffeteria, and in longer
moments, rather neatly planned for, with some remnants of an earlier
ingenuity, Mr. Thaddler contrived to become acquainted with Mrs. Bell.
Diantha never quite liked him, but he won her mother's heart by frank
praise of the girl and her ventures.
"I never saw a smarter woman in my life," he said; "and no airs. I tell
you, ma'am, if there was more like her this world would be an easier
place to live in, and I can see she owes it all to you, ma'am."
This the mother would never admit for a moment, but expatiated loyally
on the scientific mind of Mr. Henderson Bell, still of Jopalez.
"I don't see how he can bear to let her out of his sight," said Mr.
"Of course he hated to let her go," replied the lady. "We both did.
But he is very proud of her now."
"I guess there's somebody else who's proud of her, too," he suggested.
"Excuse me, ma'am, I don't mean to intrude, but we know there must be a
good reason for your daughter keeping all Orchardina at a distance.
Why, she could have married six times over in her first year here!"
"She does not wish to give up her work," Mrs. Bell explained.
"Of course not; and why should she? Nice, womanly business, I am sure.
I hope nobody'd expect a girl who can keep house for a whole township to
settle down to bossing one man and a hired girl."
In course of time he got a pretty clear notion of how matters stood, and
meditated upon it, seriously rolling his big cigar about between pursed
lips. Mr. Thaddler was a good deal of a gossip, but this he kept to
himself, and did what he could to enlarge the patronage of Union House.
The business grew. It held its own in spite of fluctuations, and after
a certain point began to spread steadily. Mrs. Bell's coming and Mr.
Eltwood's ardent championship, together with Mr. Thaddler's, quieted the
dangerous slanders which had imperilled the place at one time. They
lingered, subterraneously, of course. People never forget slanders. A
score of years after there were to be found in Orchardina folk who still
whispered about dark allegations concerning Union House; and the papers
had done some pretty serious damage; but the fame of good food, good
service, cheapness and efficiency made steady headway.
In view of the increase and of the plans still working in her mind,
Diantha made certain propositions to Mr. Porne, and also to Mrs. Porne,
in regard to a new, specially built club-house for the girls.
"I have proved what they can do, with me to manage them, and want now to
prove that they can do it themselves, with any matron competent to
follow my directions. The house need not be so expensive; one big
dining-room, with turn-up tables like those ironing-board seat-tables,
you know--then they can dance there. Small reception room and office,
hall, kitchen and laundry, and thirty bedrooms, forty by thirty, with an
"ell" for the laundry, ought to do it, oughtn't it?"
Mrs. Porne agreed to make plans, and did so most successfully, and Mr.
Porne found small difficulty in persuading an investor to put up such a
house, which visibly could be used as a boarding-house or small hotel,
if it failed in its first purpose.
It was built of concrete, a plain simple structure, but fine in
proportions and pleasantly colored.
Diantha kept her plans to herself, as usual, but they grew so fast that
she felt a species of terror sometimes, lest the ice break somewhere.
"Steady, now!" she would say. "This is real business, just plain
business. There's no reason why I shouldn't succeed as well as Fred
Harvey. I will succeed. I am succeeding."
She kept well, she worked hard, she was more than glad to have her
mother with her; but she wanted something else, which seemed farther off
than ever. Her lover's picture hung on the wall of her bedroom, stood
on her bureau, and (but this was a secret) a small one was carried in
Rather a grim looking young woman, Diantha, with the cares of the world
of house-keepers upon her proud young shoulders; with all the stirring
hopes to be kept within bounds, all the skulking fears to be resisted,
and the growing burden of a large affair to be carried steadily.
But when she woke, in the brilliant California mornings, she would lie
still a few moments looking at the face on the wall and the face on the
bureau; would draw the little picture out from under her pillow and kiss
it, would say to herself for the thousandth time, "It is for him, too."
She missed him, always.
The very vigor of her general attitude, the continued strength with
which she met the days and carried them, made it all the more needful
for her to have some one with whom she could forget every care, every
purpose, every effort; some one who would put strong arms around her and
call her "Little Girl." His letters were both a comfort and a pain. He
was loyal, kind, loving, but always that wall of disapproval. He loved
her, he did not love her work.
She read them over and over, hunting anew for the tender phrases, the
things which seemed most to feed and comfort her. She suffered not only
from her loneliness, but from his; and most keenly from his sternly
suppressed longing for freedom and the work that belonged to him.
"Why can't he see," she would say to herself, "that if this succeeds, he
can do his work; that I can make it possible for him? And he won't let
me. He won't take it from me. Why are men so proud? Is there anything
so ignominious about a woman that it is disgraceful to let one help you?
And why can't he think at all about the others? It's not just us, it's
all people. If this works, men will have easier times, as well as
women. Everybody can do their real work better with this old primitive
business once set right."
And then it was always time to get up, or time to go to bed, or time to
attend to some of the numberless details of her affairs.
She and her mother had an early lunch before the caffeteria opened, and
were glad of the afternoon tea, often held in a retired corner of the
broad piazza. She sat there one hot, dusty afternoon, alone and
unusually tired. The asphalted street was glaring and noisy, the cross
street deep in soft dust, for months unwet.
Failure had not discouraged her, but increasing success with all its
stimulus and satisfaction called for more and more power. Her mind was
busy foreseeing, arranging, providing for emergencies; and then the
whole thing slipped away from her, she dropped her head upon her arm for
a moment, on the edge of the tea table, and wished for Ross.
From down the street and up the street at this moment, two men were
coming; both young, both tall, both good looking, both apparently
approaching Union House. One of them was the nearer, and his foot soon
sounded on the wooden step. The other stopped and looked in a shop
Diantha started up, came forward,--it was Mr. Eltwood. She had a vague
sense of disappointment, but received him cordially. He stood there,
his hat off, holding her hand for a long moment, and gazing at her with
evident admiration. They turned and sat down in the shadow of the
The man at the shop window turned, too, and went away.
Mr. Eltwood had been a warm friend and cordial supporter from the epoch
of the Club-splitting speech. He had helped materially in the slow,
up-hill days of the girl's effort, with faith and kind words. He had
met the mother's coming with most friendly advances, and Mrs. Bell found
herself much at home in his liberal little church.
Diantha had grown to like and trust him much.
"What's this about the new house, Miss Bell? Your mother says I may
"Why not?" she said. "You have followed this thing from the first.
Sugar or lemon? You see I want to disentangle the undertakings, set
them upon their own separate feet, and establish the practical working
of each one."
"I see," he said, "and 'day service' is not 'cooked food delivery.'"
"Nor yet 'rooms for entertainment,' she agreed. "We've got them all
labelled, mother and I. There's the 'd. s.' and 'c. f. d.' and 'r. f.
e.' and the 'p. p.' That's picnics and parties. And more coming."
"What, more yet? You'll kill yourself, Miss Bell. Don't go too fast.
You are doing a great work for humanity. Why not take a little more
"I want to do it as quickly as I can, for reasons," answered Diantha.
Mr. Eltwood looked at her with tender understanding. "I don't want to
intrude any further than you are willing to want me," he said, "but
sometimes I think that even you--strong as you are--would be better for
She did not contradict him. Her hands were in her lap, her eyes on the
worn boards of the piazza floor. She did not see a man pass on the
other side of the street, cast a searching glance across and walk
quickly on again.
"If you were quite free to go on with your beautiful work," said Mr.
Eltwood slowly, "if you were offered heartiest appreciation, profound
respect, as well as love, of course; would you object to marrying, Miss
Bell?" asked in an even voice, as if it were a matter of metaphysical
inquiry. Mrs. Porne had told him of her theory as to a lover in the
home town, wishing to save him a long heart ache, but he was not sure of
it, and he wanted to be.
Diantha glanced quickly at him, and felt the emotion under his quiet
words. She withdrew her eyes, looking quite the other way.
"You are enough of a friend to know, Mr. Eltwood," she said, "I rather
thought you did know. I am engaged."
"Thank you for telling me; some one is greatly to be congratulated," he
spoke sincerely, and talked quietly on about less personal matters,
holding his tea untasted till it was cold.
"Do let me give you some that is hot," she said at last, "and let me
thank you from my heart for the help and strength and comfort you have
been to me, Mr. Eltwood."
"I'm very glad," he said; and again, "I am very glad." "You may count
upon anything I can do for you, always," he continued. "I am proud to
be your friend."
He held her hand once more for a moment, and went away with his head up
and a firm step. To one who watched him go, he had almost a triumphant
air, but it was not triumph, only the brave beginning of a hard fight
and a long one.
Then came Mrs. Bell, returned from a shopping trip, and sank down in a
wicker rocker, glad of the shade and a cup of tea. No, she didn't want
it iced. "Hot tea makes you cooler," was her theory.
"You don't look very tired," said the girl. "Seems to me you get
stronger all the time."
"I do," said her mother. "You don't realize, you can't realize,
Diantha, what this means to me. Of course to you I am an old woman, a
back number--one has to feel so about one's mother. I did when I
married, and my mother then was five years younger than I am now."
"I don't think you old, mother, not a bit of it. You ought to have
twenty or thirty years of life before you, real life."
"That's just what I'm feeling," said Mrs. Bell, "as if I'd just begun to
live! This is so _different!_ There is a big, moving thing to work
for. There is--why Diantha, you wouldn't believe what a comfort it is
to me to feel that my work here is--really--adding to the profits!"
Diantha laughed aloud.
"You dear old darling," she said, "I should think it was! It is
_making_ the profits."
"And it grows so," her mother went on. "Here's this part so well
assured that you're setting up the new Union House! Are you _sure_
about Mrs. Jessup, dear?"
"As sure as I can be of any one till I've tried a long time. She has
done all I've asked her to here, and done it well. Besides, I mean to
keep a hand on it for a year or two yet--I can't afford to have that
Mrs. Jessup was an imported aunt, belonging to one of the cleverest
girls, and Diantha had had her in training for some weeks.
"Well, I guess she's as good as any you'd be likely to get," Mrs. Bell
admitted, "and we mustn't expect paragons. If this can't be done by an
average bunch of working women the world over, it can't be done--that's
"It can be done," said the girl, calmly. "It will be done. You see."
"Mr. Thaddler says you could run any kind of a business you set your
hand to," her mother went on. "He has a profound respect for your
"Seems to me you and Mr. Thaddler have a good deal to say to each other,
motherkins. I believe you enjoy that caffeteria desk, and all the
compliments you get."
"I do," said Mrs. Bell stoutly. "I do indeed! Why, I haven't seen so
many men, to speak to, since--why, never in my life! And they are very
amusing--some of them. They like to come here--like it immensely. And
I don't wonder. I believe you'll do well to enlarge."
Then they plunged into a discussion of the winter's plans. The day
service department and its employment agency was to go on at the New
Union House, with Mrs. Jessup as manager; the present establishment was
to be run as a hotel and restaurant, and the depot for the cooked food
Mrs. Thorvald and her husband were installed by themselves in another
new venture; a small laundry outside the town. This place employed
several girls steadily, and the motor wagon found a new use between
meals, in collecting and delivering laundry parcels.
"It simplifies it a lot--to get the washing out of the place and the
girls off my mind," said Diantha. "Now I mean to buckle down and learn
the hotel business--thoroughly, and develop this cooked food delivery to
"Modest young lady," smiled her mother. "Where do you mean to stop--if
"I don't mean to stop till I'm dead," Diantha answered; "but I don't
mean to undertake any more trades, if that is what you mean. You know
what I'm after--to get 'housework' on a business basis, that's all; and
prove, prove, PROVE what a good business it is. There's the cleaning
branch--that's all started and going well in the day service. There's
the washing--that's simple and easy. Laundry work's no mystery. But
the food part is a big thing. It's an art, a science, a business, and a
handicraft. I had the handicraft to start with; I'm learning the
business; but I've got a lot to learn yet in the science and art of it."
"Don't do too much at once," her mother urged. "You've got to cater to
people as they are."
"I know it," the girl agreed. "They must be led, step by step--the
natural method. It's a big job, but not too big. Out of all the women
who have done housework for so many ages, surely it's not too much to
expect one to have a special genius for it!"
Her mother gazed at her with loving admiration.
"That's just what you have, Dina--a special genius for housework. I
wish there were more of you!"
"There are plenty of me, mother dear, only they haven't come out. As
soon as I show 'em how to make the thing pay, you'll find that we have a
big percentage of this kind of ability. It's all buried now in the
occasional 'perfect housekeeper.'
"But they won't leave their husbands, Dina."
"They don't need to," the girl answered cheerfully. "Some of them
aren't married yet; some of them have lost their husbands, and _some_ of
them"--she said this a little bitterly--"have husbands who will be
willing to let their wives grow."
"Not many, I'm afraid," said Mrs. Bell, also with some gloom.
Diantha lightened up again. "Anyhow, here you are, mother dear! And
for this year I propose that you assume the financial management of the
whole business at a salary of $1,000 'and found.' How does that suit
Mrs. Bell looked at her unbelievingly.
"You can't afford it, Dina!"
"Oh, yes, I can--you know I can, because you've got the accounts. I'm
going to make big money this year."
"But you'll need it. This hotel and restaurant business may not do
"Now, mother, you _know_ we're doing well. Look here!" And Diantha
produced her note-book.
"Here's the little laundry place; its fittings come to so much, wages so
much, collection and delivery so much, supplies so much--and already
enough patronage engaged to cover. It will be bigger in winter, a lot,
with transients, and this hotel to fall back on; ought to clear at least
a thousand a year. The service club don't pay me anything, of course;
that is for the girls' benefit; but the food delivery is doing better
than I dared hope."
Mrs. Bell knew the figures better than Diantha, even, and they went over
them carefully again. If the winter's patronage held on to equal the
summer's--and the many transient residents ought to increase it--they
would have an average of twenty families a week to provide for--one
The expenses were:
Food for 100 at $250 a week. Per capita. $600
per year $13,000
Labor--delivery man. $600
Head cook. $600
Two assistant cooks. $1,040
Three washers and packers. $1,560
Office girl. $520
Per year $4,320
Rent, kitchen, office, etc. $500
Rent of motor. $300
Rent of cases. $250
Gasolene and repairs. $630
Per year $1,680
"How do you make the gasolene and repairs as much as that?" asked Mrs.
"It's margin, mother--makes it even money. It won't be so much,
The income was simple and sufficient. They charged $5.00 a week per
capita for three meals, table d'hote, delivered thrice daily. Frequent
orders for extra meals really gave them more than they set down, but the
hundred-person estimate amounted to $26,000 a year.
"Now, see," said Diantha triumphantly; "subtract all that expense list
(and it is a liberal one), and we have $7,000 left. I can buy the car
and the cases this year and have $1,600 over! More; because if I do buy
them I can leave off some of the interest, and the rent of kitchen and
office comes to Union House! Then there's all of the extra orders.
It's going to pay splendidly, mother! It clears $70 a year per person.
Next year it will clear a lot more."
It did not take long to make Mrs. Bell admit that if the business went
on as it had been going Diantha would be able to pay her a salary of a
thousand dollars, and have five hundred left--from the food business
There remained the hotel, with large possibilities. The present simple
furnishings were to be moved over to New Union House, and paid for by
the girls in due time. With new paint, paper, and furniture, the old
house would make a very comfortable place.
"Of course, it's the restaurant mainly--these big kitchens and the
central location are the main thing. The guests will be mostly
tourists, I suppose."
Diantha dwelt upon the prospect at some length; and even her cautious
mother had to admit that unless there was some setback the year had a
prospect of large success.
"How about all this new furnishing?" Mrs. Bell said suddenly. "How do
you cover that? Take what you've got ahead now?"
"Yes; there's plenty," said Diantha. "You see, there is all Union House
has made, and this summer's profit on the cooked food--it's plenty."
"Then you can't pay for the motor and cases as you planned," her mother
"No, not unless the hotel and restaurant pays enough to make good. But
I don't _have_ to buy them the first year. If I don't, there is $5,500
"Yes, you are safe enough; there's over $4,000 in the bank now," Mrs.
Bell admitted. "But, child," she said suddenly, "your father!"
"Yes, I've thought of father," said the girl, "and I mean to ask him to
come and live at the hotel. I think he'd like it. He could meet people
and talk about his ideas, and I'm sure I'd like to have him."
"They talked much and long about this, till the evening settled about
them, till they had their quiet supper, and the girls came home to their
noisy one; and late that evening, when all was still again, Diantha came
to the dim piazza corner once more and sat there quite alone.
Full of hope, full of courage, sure of her progress--and aching with
She sat with her head in her hands, and to her ears came suddenly the
sound of a familiar step--a well-known voice--the hands and the lips of
"Diantha!" He held her close.
"Oh, Ross! Ross! Darling! Is it true? When did you come? Oh, I'm so
glad! So _glad_ to see you!"
She was so glad that she had to cry a little on his shoulder, which he
seemed to thoroughly enjoy.
"I've good news for you, little girl," he said. "Good news at last!
Listen, dear; don't cry. There's an end in sight. A man has bought out
my shop. The incubus is off--I can _live_ now!"
He held his head up in a fine triumph, and she watched him adoringly.
"Did you--was it profitable?" she asked.
"It's all exchange, and some cash to boot. Just think! You know what
I've wanted so long--a ranch. A big one that would keep us all, and let
me go on with my work. And, dear--I've got it! It's a big fruit ranch,
with its own water--think of that! And a vegetable garden, too, and
small fruit, and everything. And, what's better, it's all in good
running order, with a competent ranchman, and two Chinese who rent the
vegetable part. And there are two houses on it--_two_. One for mother
and the girls, and one for us!"
Diantha's heart stirred suddenly.
"Where is it, dear?" she whispered.
He laughed joyfully. "It's _here!"_ he said. "About eight miles or so
out, up by the mountains; has a little canyon of its own--its own little
stream and reservoir. Oh, my darling! My darling!"
They sat in happy silence in the perfumed night. The strong arms were
around her, the big shoulder to lean on, the dear voice to call her
The year of separation vanished from their thoughts, and the long years
of companionship opened bright and glorious before them.
"I came this afternoon," he said at length, "but I saw another man
coming. He got here first. I thought--"
"Ross! You didn't! And you've left me to go without you all these
"He looked so confident when he went away that I was jealous," Ross
admitted, "furiously jealous. And then your mother was here, and then
those cackling girls. I wanted you--alone."
And then he had her, alone, for other quiet, happy moments. She was so
glad of him. Her hold upon his hand, upon his coat, was tight.
"I don't know how I've lived without you," she said softly.
"Nor I," said he. "I haven't lived. It isn't life--without you. Well,
dearest, it needn't be much longer. We closed the deal this afternoon.
I came down here to see the place, and--incidentally--to see you!"
"I shall turn over the store at once. It won't take long to move and
settle; there's enough money over to do that. And the ranch pays,
Diantha! It really _pays,_ and will carry us all. How long will it
take you to get out of this?"
"Get out of--what?" she faltered.
"Why, the whole abominable business you're so deep in here. Thank God,
there's no shadow of need for it any more!"
The girl's face went white, but he could not see it. She would not
"Why, dear," she said, "if your ranch is as near as that it would be
perfectly easy for me to come in to the business--with a car. I can
afford a car soon."
"But I tell you there's no need any more," said he. "Don't you
understand? This is a paying fruit ranch, with land rented to
advantage, and a competent manager right there running it. It's simply
changed owners. I'm the owner now! There's two or three thousand a
year to be made on it--has been made on it! There is a home for my
people--a home for us! Oh, my beloved girl! My darling! My own
sweetheart! Surely you won't refuse me now!"
Diantha's head swam dizzily.
"Ross," she urged, "you don't understand! I've built up a good business
here--a real successful business. Mother is in it; father's to come
down; there is a big patronage; it grows. I can't give it up!"
"Not for me? Not when I can offer you a home at last? Not when I show
you that there is no longer any need of your earning money?" he said
"But, dear--dear!" she protested. "It isn't for the money; it is the
work I want to do--it is my work! You are so happy now that you can do
your work--at last! This is mine!"
When he spoke again his voice was low and stern.
"Do you mean that you love--your work--better than you love me?"
"No! It isn't that! That's not fair!" cried the girl. "Do you love
your work better than you love me? Of course not! You love both. So
do I. Can't you see? Why should I have to give up anything?"
"You do not have to," he said patiently. "I cannot compel you to marry
me. But now, when at last--after these awful years--I can really offer
you a home--you refuse!"
"I have not refused," she said slowly.
His voice lightened again.
"Ah, dearest! And you will not! You will marry me?"
"I will marry you, Ross!"
"And when? When, dearest?"
"As soon as you are ready."
"But--can you drop this at once?"
"I shall not drop it."
Her voice was low, very low, but clear and steady.
He rose to his feet with a muffled exclamation, and walked the length of
the piazza and back.
"Do you realize that you are saying no to me, Diantha?"
"You are mistaken, dear. I have said that I will marry you whenever you
choose. But it is you who are saying, 'I will not marry a woman with a
"This is foolishness!" he said sharply. "No man--that is a man--would
marry a woman and let her run a business."
"You are mistaken," she answered. "One of the finest men I ever knew
has asked me to marry him--and keep on with my work!"
"Why didn't you take him up?"
"Because I didn't love him." She stopped, a sob in her voice, and he
caught her in his arms again.
It was late indeed when he went away, walking swiftly, with a black
rebellion in his heart; and Diantha dragged herself to bed.
She was stunned, deadened, exhausted; torn with a desire to run after
him and give up--give up anything to hold his love. But something,
partly reason and partly pride, kept saying within her: "I have not
refused him; he has refused me!"
OUR ANDROCENTRIC CULTURE; or, THE MAN-MADE WORLD
POLITICS AND WARFARE.
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,
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
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
Beyond all these more or less obvious evils, comes a further result, not
enough recognized; the psychic effects of military standard of thought
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,
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
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
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
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
"There has never been a democracy without factions and parties!" is
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
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
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
"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.
THE SOCIALIST AND THE SUFFRAGIST
Said the Socialist to the Suffragist:
"My cause is greater than yours!
You only work for a Special Class,
We for the gain of the General Mass,
Which every good ensures!"
Said the Suffragist to the Socialist:
"You Underrate my Cause!
While women remain a Subject Class,
You never can move the General Mass,
With your Economic Laws!"
Said the Socialist to the Suffragist:
"You misinterpret facts!
There is no room for doubt or schism
In Economic Determinism--
It governs all our acts!"
Said the Suffragist to the Socialist:
"You men will always find
That this old world will never move
More swiftly in its ancient groove
While women stay behind!"
"A lifted world lifts women up,"
The Socialist explained.
"You cannot lift the world at all
While half of it is kept so small,"
The Suffragist maintained.
The world awoke, and tartly spoke:
"Your work is all the same;
Work together or work apart,
Work, each of you, with all your heart--
Just get into the game!"
COMMENT AND REVIEW
[We mean to carry lists of books useful to our readers. We wish to
prove that it will pay publishers to advertise with us. If you order
any book reviewed here, please send your order to THE FORERUNNER]
There is a book which ought to be held in continual prominence by every
magazine in the world that appeals particularly to women. It contains a
scientific theory of more importance to the world than any put forth
since the theory of evolution, and of more importance to women than any
It is new, original, wildly startling, intensely significant, and, in
the world of ideas, revolutionary in the highest degree.
When this theory is generally accepted, and when the world's ideas have
been rearranged in accordance with it, we shall find ourselves looking
at a new life--with new eyes.
All our social questions will require new reading, and will find new
It furnishes a key to the whole "woman question," which unlocks every
long-barred door and ironbound chest; it cuts the ground from under the
feet of the most ancient prejudice, and makes tradition seem but a
current rumor of to-day.
This book was published in 1893.
When I read it I was so impressed with its colossal possibility that I
went to the publishers and asked to see the reviews--expecting to find
some recognition of a world-lifting truth.
I found nothing of the sort. The reviewers reviewed the book in general
with respect, with varying insight and intelligence, and one or two
dwelt fot a moment on this special theory; but not one recognized its
This is not remarkable. In proportion to the far-reaching value of a
truth is the difficulty of popular recognition. With almost all of us
the mind is constantly used upon immediate facts and their
short-distance relations; a man may be an expert lumber-jack, for
instance, or a successful lumber-dealer, yet utterly fail to grasp the
importance of forest conservation.
Even those most interested in the woman's movement of to-day were little
impressed by this new view.
"What difference does it make?" they said. "We are dealing with
conditions of to-day--not with questions of primitive biology!"
Nevertheless, when a great truth is born into the world's mind, it does
not die. This, though not widely hailed, has grown and spread and
influenced our common thought, and minor books are springing up in its
train--among them Thomas's "Sex and Society," and my own "Androcentric
The author of the book, Professor Lester F. Ward, is our greatest
Sociologist, and recognized in Europe far more than here--as is quite
natural. He now occupies the chair of Sociology at Brown University, in
Providence, R. I. His previous books have had wide influence--"Dynamic
Sociology" and "Psychic Factors in Civilization"--as well as much
current literature in scientific magazines.
The special theory here referred to is, in a word, this:
That the female sex is the present form of the original type of life,
once capable in itself of the primary process of reproduction; while the
male sex is a later addition, introduced as an assistant to the original
organism, in the secondary process of fertilization.
Most biologists still deny this.
Most readers, not knowing whether it is so or not, will say, "Why is
It will take time and study to establish the facts; but only a little
use of the mind is needed to establish the importance to men and women.
Our ideas are all based on the primal concept expressed in the Adam and
Eve story--that he was made first, and that she was made to assist him.
On this assumption rests all our social structure as it concerns the
Reverse this idea once and for all; see that woman is in reality the
race-type, and the man the sex-type--and all our dark and tangled
problems of unhappiness, sin and disease, as between men and women, are
cleared at once. Much, very much, of our more general trouble is
traceable tho same source.
You don't see it? Never mind. Read the book; or at least read the
great Fourteenth Chapter, which covers the ground.
The book is "PURE SOCIOLOGY," by Lester F. Ward. Published by the
MacMillan Co. Price, $4.00.
Make your library get it.
If you can afford to, buy it.
Get up classes of women to study it.
Read the whole if it interests you--it is a great Sociology; but every
woman who knows how to read ought to read that Fourteenth Chapter.
While going to press the Pure Food Magazine is holding a great Pure Food
Exhibition in this city.
At one of the meetings of the Congress of Domestic Science there was a
discussion of the Servant Question. A paper was read by a "Mistress,"
and one by a, "Servant." The latter was as nice a girl as one need see;
and her paper was intensely practical, full of good sense, well
Here it is:
"I know I am not equal to the honor of appearing here to-day, and I
should like to be able to express myself clearer and better if I only
had the power to do so, but I have never spoken before in my life. I
have earned my living ever since I was fourteen, both in a factory and
as a maid, and I think that I get a better living when I am out at
service. I have had good places and some bad ones; kind mistresses, and
severe ones. I have pleased some, and others nothing I could do was
right. At service we are sure of a good home and much better food and
shelter than is the factory girl, but we have not the independence and
freedom that is given them, but I do not see how it could be arranged
otherwise. But if we could have a quiet spot, so when our work was
finished we could have a room to call our own (not the kitchen, where
the cook is still busy with the pots and pans), but a little space where
our mothers and friends could come and see us, I am sure that we maids
would not abuse that privilege. Also, if you ladies would kindly
remember that our time off is our own, and would not say, "I do wish you
would not go off to-day, as I need you, but it will be all right, as I
will let you off all of to-morrow," and then think that it will be just
the same to us. Our time off should be a positive arrangement, as we
make our plans for those hours, and to-morrow is not to-day with our
friends waiting for us.
"We all hope for a home of our own, and we can only learn from those
that we serve; and if only more interest and consideration were shown
us, I am sure, we would all do much better work, as we all like to
please and we do our best when we are happy and appreciated.
"Unequal wages are a source of discontent, but if we could be taught how
to secure the value for our money, to spend with better judgment, even
less money would go farther.
"Then, again, if our amusements could be arranged so that we could get
something decent between nine and ten o'clock at night; but everything
is half over, or shut, by that time, and we've nothing to do but walk
the streets, sit in the park, drink soda water, or look at moving
pictures, until you hate them all, and when Monday morning comes you've
spent your money and had nothing. It's a deadly life, and we all look
forward to getting out of it soon. Never a minute to call one's own,
not often a room or bed to one's self, at the beck and call of somebody
night and day, and in many places not even trusted with the things to
work with, if there are any."
Would you like a tiny book of poetry--real poetry, made by one of our
He makes not only the poems, but the book; prints it, binds it, sends it
to you himself.
It is a dainty thing, five and a half by four inches; but it has in it
both thought and feeling, and beauty of expression.
"A Ship of Souls" is the title, and the first stanza carries the main
idea--touched and re-touched throughout.
"My soul is not one; 'tis a ship of souls,
And I am the vessel in which they ride.
Some handle the ropes and manage the sails,
And one at the helm stands firm to guide.
Some board me for pleasure, and some for gain,
And some make journeys to distant goals,
And my life is steered through the sun and rain,
For I am not a soul, but a ship of souls."
A Ship of Souls.--Being a group of poems written and printed by Harvey
White. The Maverick Press; Woodstock, New York, 1910. 50c.
_Question._--"An aged widow would like to live with her married
daughter, but their dispositions are incompatible. The mother is very
fond of the daughter, but the daughter finds it impossible to respond or
feel affectionate, and is so irritated and critical because of the
mother's old-fashioned ways, etc., that continued close association
becomes very unpleasant.
"Who is to blame, and what can the mother do to improve the situation?
_Answer._--There is no "blame" in the problem as stated.
Incompatibility of disposition is not a crime. If, however, the
daughter allows her irritation and critical attitude to result in actual
discussion and expressed disapproval of her mother's "old-fashioned
ways," then she is certainly to blame; whether her mother is a guest or
a boarder, she is not her daughter's pupil.
Again, if the mother allows herself to interfere with the daughter's
"ways," she is to blame for that; her period of tutoring is past.
Ex-parents should not presume on their unavoidable relationship to give
instruction to ex-children.
The real answer is a long way back, being to this effect:
The aged widow, when a young woman, should have had such large practical
interest in life, over and above her family, that she would not be
reduced to the position of "living with a married daughter; or, if she
did live with her, would have enough else to occupy her to keep her
"old-fashioned ways" in the background. Further, if she had kept up
with human progress in some business, her ways wouldn't be so
The Practical Answer to the Practical Question, "What can the mother do
to improve the situation?" is not difficult. She can (a) alter her
ways; (b) live somewhere else; (c) if neither of these is possible, she
can put it clearly to the daughter, "as man to man," that she _has_ to
live with her, that she _cannot_ learn new ways, and that they must use
mutual politeness in accommodating one an other as far as possible.
It is a very carefully worded problem, this. If the daughter is healthy
and otherwise contented, she ought to furnish the patience, as doubtless
the mother did in her time. But it may be that the mother always
irritated the daughter, in her youth, and has never never learned
If I were the aged widow I would live somewhere else!
_Question._--A friend writes to ask--
"How about flies its the central kitchen?" (This being apropos of "The
Kitchen and the Fly," in the August number of this magazine.)
_Answer._--One kitchen, though large, is more easily protected than a
hundred kitchens, though small. There will be less "garbage," in
proportion, and it can be better handled. The officers of such a
kitchen will be of a higher grade than the present class of servants,
and capable of maintaining a higher grade of cleanliness; as, for
instance, in the Franco-American soup factory, where there is exquisite
cleanliness and care.
Further, in such a kitchen there will be no laundry or other extraneous
work done; no running in and out of children and others; nothing but the
scientific preparation of food.
Also, as shown in the article, the flies will be reduced 99 per cent. by
the reduction in the number of horses required to bring supplies and
remove garbage and ashes. To the large kitchen, wholesale supplies
could be brought in motor trucks--a further loss to the fly.
_Question._--"A certain husband has been in the habit for years of
paying a dollar a month lodge dues, and other incidental expenses of
lodge meetings. The wife has paid a dollar a year dues in a suffrage
club, and a dollar and a half a year for subscription to the Woman's
Journal. The 'late' panic has shrunk the family income, and something
must be cut off. The Wife will cut off the two small amounts mentioned.
She will cut off anything else that is for her separate existence.
Now, the question is, how may her feeling of virtue and self-sacrifice
be changed to a realization of injustice?"
_Answer._--This is a very large question--how to change the ethical
values of a woman's life!
We gather by inference that the "certain husband" has not cut off his
lodge dues--or anything else.
The best answer is: let the woman EARN HER OWN LIVING. That goes
farthest in changing self-sacrifice to justice.
OUR BOUND VOLUME AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT
The first year comprises fourteen issues--November, 1909, to December,
In it is the Housekeeping novel--"What Diantha Did"--which will interest
many, both men and women. It offers a very practical solution to the
In it is also the Book About Men--"The Man-Made World, or Our
There have been books and books about women--mostly, unpleasant. This
is the first one about men, as such; men as distinguished from Human
Beings--as women have always been distinguished from Human Beings.
You won't wholly like the book--just consider whether it is true!
The novel separately, or the book separately, would also make good
presents, but the date of their publication is not settled, while in the
bound volume of the magazine you get them both for only 25c. more than
one would cost.
This set, making a volume of some 420 pages, with its twelve short
stories, its articles, fables, verse, and other matter, will make a very
good gift--for some people. Ready early in December. $1.25.
TO THOSE SPECIALLY INTERESTED IN THIS MAGAZINE, OR SPECIALLY INTERESTED
IN FIFTY DOLLARS
This is not a "Popular Magazine." It does not try to be. It is a
magazine which meets the needs of a comparatively few, but they like it
immensely--as is shown by the extracts from their letters we are now
We want to reach, if possible, all the people who would like The
Forerunner if they knew about it.
For the rest of this year we are making a special offer to anyone who
will get us new subscribers; the regular commission of 25 per cent., and
a rising premium which goes up to a total of 50 per cent. for a hundred
new paid year's subscriptions.
$50.00 for one hundred new subscribers!
For a girl in college who wants to help herself;
For a woman in a liberal church, or with a wide acquaintance among
For a Suffragist in touch with similar believers;
For any man or woman who can reach organizations of liberal-minded
For anybody who thinks they would like to earn $50.00 that way--it is a
Write for full terms, samples, etc.
IF YOU RENEW
The first year runs through December; fourteen copies.
Renew from January, 1911, and get the whole of next year.
IF YOU DISCONTINUE
So far one subscriber has discontinued.
She will get the magazine two months more.
If you must discontinue, please let us know.
The Woman's Journal
Official Organ of the National American Woman Suffrage Association
A weekly newspaper devoted to winning the ballot for women
Contains all the best news about women and their progress
FOUNDED 1870 BY LUCY STONE AND HENRY B. BLACKWELL
Alice Stone Blackwell
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the women have the full right of suffrage, and from the countries where
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Thousands of women read it every week from beginning to end. Nobody who
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WHAT IS IT?
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