תמונות בעמוד

by which the use and disposal of her money should pass from a wife to her husband: and this ought to be specially guarded by the provision that the husband performs his duties as a husband and a householder, as it not unfrequently happens that a vile husband uses his wife's means for the gratification of his own licentiousness. This again suggests that the relations of the sexes with regard to divorce ought to be equalized ; at present, proved adultery, even in a single case, makes the wife liable to divorce; but continuous adultery on the part of a husband, unless accompanied by personal cruelty habitually exercised towards the wife, is not regarded as a ground of divorce. This is eminently unjust, as well as socially injurious. According to our forms of life, men have larger opportunities for being unchaste without discovery than women, and yet the criminality, in the eye of the law, is winked at on his side and severely dealt with on hers. Besides, the social stain on the woman is made indelible, while to the man it often adds only a little increase of fascination, as every woman fancies that even out of this nettle danger, she can pluck the flower in safety.

This leads to the remark that the subjection of women in social life should be discontinued.

Social life ought to be a life of companionship. Equal rights and just laws should govern it. In social life, however, there are constant inversions of the laws of righteousness and fair play. Women are neither fairly educated nor justly trained in com. parison with men. In the family they are almost always regarded as the born slaves and natural drudges of the boy-brotherhood, who, seeing the mastery exercised by the father over the mother, reenact it with all the added tyranny of the nature of boys upon their sisters. In the social circle, though outwardly treated with deference, there is a constant warfare of ingenuity exercised against them by men to withdraw them from the right path; and social life ought as rigidly to be guarded against conspiracy to defraud women as commercial life is guarded against conspiracy to defraud or overreach dealers in goods. Why should embezzlement, force, fraud, or wilful imposition be punishable with severity when they are concerned with money, and not when they regard chastity ? Why should it be crime to take in a mercbant and only gallantry to beguile and betray a woman? Why should hypocrisy, deception, and heartless vice be gilded over with the fine names of pleasure, gallantry, and intrigue; or glozed over by the Frenchified terms of liaison, libertinage, &c. ? One who steals the good name, the chastity, and the bappiness of a woman, is a thief of a deeper and more flagrant dye than devils have a name for. This must not only be recognised, but acted on in the customs of society beforo life can be pure and humanity happy.

Besides, the style of treatment towards women does not end even with this vile conduct. Men have got the idea that women ought to have no manner of fair play, even in social life. It has been ruled that a married woman cannot conduct business for her.

self or by herself, and it not unfrequently happens that the agents in whom she is compelled to trust have the same ideas regarding honesty in business with women, as the generality of men have in regard to honesty of dealing in the matter of sex. Single women are often the objects of plunder by trickery and fraud. Widows and orphans have often to suffer from man's depraved ideas on honesty towards women.

The subjection of women in civil life ought to be discontinued.

In the eye of the law every citizen ought to be equal; law is agreed to for the protection of the weak against the strong ; but as regards women, law has been framed by the strong against the weak. It is a maxim in law that no one should benefit by his own fraud, but the law--being man-madem-provides no form for emancipation for woman from the tyranny of the law which has been put in force against her. On this account we claim that women, 80 long as they are not represented—as married and having a head to their household-ought to be represented and should bave full share in the election of poor-law guardians, magistrates, members of parliament, and all other persons who are elected by the voices of the people. We say, so be it, to the proposal that " whatever aro the limits or conditions attached to the possession of the franchise, (municipal or parliamentary) let them operate freely and impartially, without interference or misdirection ; make no exceptions, bestow the suffrage on man or woman on equal terms, whatever the qualifications may be on which you make the concession or the possession of the franchise to depend.' Then women may have a chance of practising self-protection.

Perbaps it is more necessary than any form else that the subjection of women to ecclesiastical rule or law should be discontinued.

Women are said to be much guided and ruled by their sentiments or affections, and the church has made a great point of keeping them in bondage. I do not wonder much at a celibate clergy endeavouring to entrap silly women into convents and nun. neries, as well as keeping their eye upon those who had yielded their chastity. But I do marvel that in Protestant countries so much influence should be exercised by parsons over women.

This is, of course, only a remnant of the traditionary submission felt in the days when ecclesiastical censures and penalties were in the hands of the clergy. But it exerts a strong influence yet. In many cases spiritual advisers have become a necessity to women, and the present spread of the confessional, and the present agita. ti for the establishment of sisterhoods, implies a stupid and insipid submissiveness to clerical rule. From the same sort of feeling probably it arises that the clergy have always been those who intermeddled most with the family life of the world, and have sought to bear rule in it. They have endeavoured to press unnatural restrictions on the possibilities of marriage, and they have hung tables of affinity in terrorem before the minds of the people. Again, they have interfered with and almost extinguished the free and frolicsome exercise of life in the games of the country, and made it almost a necessity to conduct matrimonial negotiations in secret ; while in the management, or rather mis-management, of children they have taken an active part. I am of opinion that the exercise of priestly power and as far as this is concerned.

new presbyter is but old priest writ large"-over women, ought to be diminished. This may easily be done by the culture of women, so that they may learn to know that there is no peculiar sanctity in any human priest. Then they would attain to independence.

Our affirmation is that the subjection of women ought to be discontinued in individual, family, social, political and ecclesiastical life. That equality, as far as possible, and justice should be proclaimed, and that the freedom and independence of women should now follow on tbe freedom of nations, the freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the freedom of the slave. The emancipation of women is the great want now to a regenerated earth, and genuine home and social life.

L. A. J.


“The Head of every man is Christ; and the Head of the woman is the man, and the Head of Christ is God ;-for the man is nos of the woman, but the woman of the man ; neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man."-St. Paul.

A GRAVE question, truly! Is history to be reversed and is nature to be changed; is the mode of life which humanity has led for all the ages of the past, a mistake and a blunder? Have we grown 80 wise that we can defy facts and set Scripture at nought? The Subjection of Women" is not only the condition of her happiness, but of the welfare of the world. Equality in value of nature she may be granted to possess, equality of culture she may be entitled to demand, equality of influence she may be encouraged to aspire to, but she must cease to be woman before she can secure such an emancipation as will free her from the need of subjection. The very nature of human life, the very facts of all life, concur in showing that the female must be subject to the male, or the entire system of existence must be altered. Subjection there must be, in order that there may be protection ; in order that the fierce rivalry of existence may not interfere with all that is sacred and precious in home and in marriage. Unless sex and the physical organization of the animal frame can be annulled, unless marriage and its duties can be abrogated, and unless family life is to be made of none effect, we do not see how the subjection of women can be discontinued. Being on the side of Nature, therefore, we find the negative to be irrefragable. I do not, of course, know on what principles this question is to be argued; though I have read not a few of the productions of the advocates of the rigbts of women, I have seen no reason for believing that they bare reason on their side. It appears to me that society


has attained its natural condition in the arrangements which have been made, among all the nations, within the historic period of the subjection, as it is called, of women ; that is, that in the matter of home-life, the woman, as mother, sister, daughter, &c., should be cared for and aided, advised and provided for, regulated and con. sidered, by those who occupy the legal guardiansbip over her; should be a keeper at home and pay regard to the peculiarities of society in such a manner as her sex demands. It is scarcely possible, had this state of things not been natural, that it could have grown up, endured and been endured so long, show itself so widely in all stages of civilization, and commend itself to the ideas, feelings, and requirements both of men and women. Not that I regard the state of woman as really one of subjection. I look upon

civilization as a condition of interdependence; and I believe that, if in some things women are subject to men, in others men are subject to

However, as the condition of woman, as she is, is now known by the takingly-fallacious epithet which Mr. J. S. Mill has affixed to it, we must, we presume, consider it as the “subjection of women” mentioned and meant in this debate. Mrs. Mill has written eloquently, elaborately, and well on the enfranchisement of women ; and Charles Anthony, jun., has published a work on “The Social and Political Dependence of Women," taking the same views and expressing the same opinions. Emily Faithfull and the Victorians have advocated the widening of women's sphere ; and not long ago a very creditable statement of the several parts of the question was brought out under the editorship of Mrs. Josephine Butler. Mrs. Fawcett and Lady Amberley are other promoters of women's rights and denouncers of women's wrongs. More recently still, a great hubbub was occasioned on this topic in the University of Edinburgh, in which Professor David Masson, one of the most advanced politicians of our times, took up the cause of women, and said some able and many rash things upon the matter in dispute; only a part of which, however, bore relation to the discussion now before us, which seems to mean, is the status in quo defensible, or ought women to be made more independent, socially, politically, and morally, than they are ?

Against the argument of "immemorial precedent and universal practice," I am aware that it may be indeed, has been—said that persecution for religious opinions, slavery, the bondage of the press, &c., have equally had the authority of law and usage affirmed on their behalf. That selfishness, ignorance, and superstition lead men to adopt many things as irrefragably right which, after all, turn out to be preposterously wrong, we shall not seek to deny. But the reader must remark that, however these things may have been, they have not been universal. Slavery justified itself by expediency, but it was never so universal as not to have suggestions of its wrongness patent to the eye and heart. Persecution for religious opinions has prevailed, but even that has been exceptional in the worst of times. The press as a registration of thought seemed to differ in its perpetuity from speech, and hence was for a time subjected to tyranny; but ever as it came nearer to speech in its forms and transiency, the law relaxed its hold. But there were always influences at work to set literature out of bonds. What the law did in regard to these things was not agreed to by nature. On the contrary, nature opposed them. But in regard to the subjection of women, that has been universal, and nature affirms not only its propriety but its necessity, and in this, nature is an unerring guide.

Women who fulfil the natural functions of their sex are necessarily liable to many variations in health, interruptions of the proper continuity of attention and power of working, which are essential to the orderly arrangements of occupations. The purpose of their being is such as to preclude them from the devoted and continuous pursuit of any fixed and settled employment, the steady day-after-day routine of laborious occupation. Hence it has been found necessary that all the fixed, regulated, and essential business of the world should be done by men; and those occasional, desultory duties which can be taken up and laid down at will or convenience-which can be done, as it were, at any time, have been allotted to women. This involves their relinquishment of all the binding and obligatory duties which require strict and constant attendance, continuous attention and regularity of oversight, from sheer physical necessity. Besides this, however, the business of the world requires to be done in a sort of even-tempered, calm way; and women are not always able in peculiar circumstances, which are, however, strictly normal with them, to perform the duties of employments which demand moral serenity, intellectual balance, and emotional coolness. On this account they are unfitted for taking an independent position in a world of work, thought, competition, and keen encounter. A clear perception of this fact has led to the settlement of the respective spheres of male and female labour, and the arrangement of male and female life, in the manner in which it at present is fixed-namely, that man shall go forth to his labour and do the work of the world, giving fixed, serious, grave, and earnest head to it, as the means of securing the comfort of home and providing for those of bis own house, while women shall engage in those pursuits which fit the inconstancy of her physical condition and are adapted to the less reliable state of her frame and emotions. This pairing of the two sexes, and this allocation of general duties and responsibilities, has the guarantee of nature for its propriety, and the common acquiescence in it as right gives great probability to the opinion that it is well-founded. Man is, as a general rule, the wage-earner, the income-producer, the house-bond, and husband, and on bim and on his efforts reliance is placed, not only by his wife but his neighbours, for the maintaining of a creditable position in the station the family occupies. The subjection of women implied in this is only, that which follows everywhere the fact of providence-the provider is the master and fixes the terms; whoever in any case is

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