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Our Androcentric Culture
Charlotte Perkins Gilman






Let us begin, inoffensively, with sheep.  The sheep is a beast with
which we are all familiar, being much used in religious imagery; the
common stock of painters; a staple article of diet; one of our main
sources of clothing; and an everyday symbol of bashfulness and

In some grazing regions the sheep is an object of terror, destroying
grass, bush and forest by omnipresent nibbling; on the great plains,
sheep-keeping frequently results in insanity, owing to the loneliness of
the shepherd, and the monotonous appearance and behavior of the sheep.

By the poet, young sheep are preferred, the lamb gambolling gaily;
unless it be in hymns, where "all we like sheep" are repeatedly
described, and much stress is laid upon the straying propensities of the

To the scientific mind there is special interest in the sequacity of
sheep, their habit of following one another with automatic imitation. 
This instinct, we are told, has been developed by ages of wild crowded
racing on narrow ledges, along precipices, chasms, around sudden spurs
and corners, only the leader seeing when, where and how to jump.  If
those behind jumped exactly as he did, they lived.  If they stopped to
exercise independent judgment, they were pushed off and perished; they
and their judgment with them.

All these things, and many that are similar, occur to us when we think
of sheep.  They are also ewes and rams.  Yes, truly; but what of it? 
All that has been said was said of sheep, _genus ovis,_ that bland
beast, compound of mutton, wool, and foolishness. so widely known.  If
we think of the sheep-dog (and dog-ess), the shepherd (and
shepherd-ess), of the ferocious sheep-eating bird of New Zealand, the
Kea (and Kea-ess), all these herd, guard, or kill the sheep, both rams
and ewes alike.  In regard to mutton, to wool, to general character, we
think only of their sheepishness, not at all of their ramishness or
eweishness. That which is ovine or bovine, canine, feline or equine, is
easily recognized as distinguishing that particular species of animal,
and has no relation whatever to the sex thereof.

Returning to our muttons, let us consider the ram, and wherein his
character differs from the sheep.  We find he has a more quarrelsome
disposition.  He paws the earth and makes a noise.  He has a tendency to
butt.  So has a goat--Mr. Goat.  So has Mr. Buffalo, and Mr. Moose, and
Mr. Antelope.  This tendency to plunge head foremost at an
adversary--and to find any other gentleman an adversary on
sight--evidently does not pertain to sheep, to _genus ovis;_ but to any
male creature with horns.

As "function comes before organ," we may even give a reminiscent glance
down the long path of evolution, and see how the mere act of
butting--passionately and perpetually repeated--born of the beliggerent
spirit of the male--produced horns!

The ewe, on the other hand, exhibits love and care for her little ones,
gives them milk and tries to guard them.  But so does a goat--Mrs. Goat.
 So does Mrs. Buffalo and the rest.  Evidently this mother instinct is
no peculiarity of _genus ovis,_ but of any female creature.

Even the bird, though not a mammal, shows the same mother-love and
mother-care, while the father bird, though not a butter, fights with
beak and wing and spur.  His competition is more effective through
display.  The wish to please, the need to please, the overmastering
necessity upon him that he secure the favor of the female, has made the
male bird blossom like a butterfly.  He blazes in gorgeous plumage,
rears haughty crests and combs, shows drooping wattles and dangling
blobs such as the turkey-cock affords; long splendid feathers for pure
ornament appear upon him; what in her is a mere tail-effect becomes in
him a mass of glittering drapery.

Partridge-cock, farmyard-cock, peacock, from sparrow to ostrich, observe
his mien!  To strut and languish; to exhibit every beauteous lure; to
sacrifice ease, comfort, speed, everything--to beauty--for her
sake--this is the nature of the he-bird of any species; the
characteristic, not of the turkey, but of the cock!  With drumming of
loud wings, with crow and quack and bursts of glorious song, he woos his
mate; displays his splendors before her; fights fiercely with his
rivals.  To butt--to strut--to make a noise--all for love's sake; these
acts are common to the male.

We may now generalize and clearly state: That is masculine which belongs
to the male--to any or all males, irrespective of species.  That is
feminine which belongs to the female, to any or all females,
irrespective of species.  That is ovine, bovine, feline, canine, equine
or asinine which belongs to that species, irrespective of sex.

In our own species all this is changed.  We have been so taken up with
the phenomena of masculinity and femininity, that our common humanity
has largely escaped notice.  We know we are human, naturally, and are
very proud of it; but we do not consider in what our humanness consists;
nor how men and women may fall short of it, or overstep its bounds, in
continual insistence upon their special differences.  It is "manly" to
do this; it is "womanly" to do that; but what a human being should do
under the circumstances is not thought of.

The only time when we do recognize what we call "common humanity" is in
extreme cases, matters of life and death; when either man or woman is
expected to behave as if they were also human creatures.  Since the
range of feeling and action proper to humanity, as such, is far wider
than that proper to either sex, it seems at first somewhat remarkable
that we have given it so little recognition.

A little classification will help us here.  We have certain qualities in
common with inanimate matter, such as weight, opacity, resilience.  It
is clear that these are not human.  We have other qualities in common
with all forms of life; cellular construction, for instance, the
reproduction of cells and the need of nutrition.  These again are not
human.  We have others, many others, common to the higher mammals; which
are not exclusively ours--are not distinctively "human."  What then are
true human characteristics?  In what way is the human species
distinguished from all other species?

Our human-ness is seen most clearly in three main lines: it is
mechanical, psychical and social.  Our power to make and use things is
essentially human; we alone have extra-physical tools.  We have added to
our teeth the knife, sword, scissors, mowing machine; to our claws the
spade, harrow, plough, drill, dredge.  We are a protean creature, using
the larger brain power through a wide variety of changing weapons.  This
is one of our main and vital distinctions.  Ancient animal races are
traced and known by mere bones and shells, ancient human races by their
buildings, tools and utensils.

That degree of development which gives us the human mind is a clear
distinction of race.  The savage who can count a hundred is more human
than the savage who can count ten.

More prominent than either of these is the social nature of humanity. 
We are by no means the only group-animal; that ancient type of industry
the ant, and even the well-worn bee, are social creatures.  But insects
of their kind are found living alone.  Human beings never.  Our
human-ness begins with some low form of social relation and increases as
that relation develops.

Human life of any sort is dependent upon what Kropotkin calls "mutual
aid," and human progress keeps step absolutely with that interchange of
specialized services which makes society organic.  The nomad, living on
cattle as ants live on theirs, is less human than the farmer, raising
food by intelligently applied labor; and the extension of trade and
commerce, from mere village market-places to the world-exchanges of
to-day, is extension of human-ness as well.

Humanity, thus considered, is not a thing made at once and unchangeable,
but a stage of development; and is still, as Wells describes it, "in the
making."  Our human-ness is seen to lie not so much in what we are
individually, as in our relations to one another; and even that
individuality is but the result of our relations to one another.  It is
in what we do and how we do it, rather than in what we are.  Some,
philosophically inclined, exalt "being" over "doing."  To them this
question may be put: "Can you mention any form of life that merely 'is,'
without doing anything?"

Taken separately and physically, we are animals, _genus homo_; taken
socially and psychically, we are, in varying degree, human; and our real
history lies in the development of this human-ness.

Our historic period is not very long.  Real written history only goes
back a few thousand years, beginning with the stone records of ancient
Egypt.  During this period we have had almost universally what is here
called an Androcentric Culture.  The history, such as it was, was made
and written by men.

The mental, the mechanical, the social development, was almost wholly
theirs.  We have, so far, lived and suffered and died in a man-made
world.  So general, so unbroken, has been this condition, that to
mention it arouses no more remark than the statement of a natural law. 
We have taken it for granted, since the dawn of civilization, that
"mankind" meant men-kind, and the world was theirs.

Women we have sharply delimited.  Women were a sex, "the sex," according
to chivalrous toasts; they were set apart for special services peculiar
to femininity.  As one English scientist put it, in 1888, "Women are not
only not the race--they are not even half the race, but a subspecies
told off for reproduction only."

This mental attitude toward women is even more clearly expressed by Mr.
H. B. Marriot-Watson in his article on "The American Woman" in the
"Nineteenth Century" for June, 1904, where he says: "Her constitutional
restlessness has caused her to abdicate those functions which alone
excuse or explain her existence."  This is a peculiarly happy and
condensed expression of the relative position of women during our
androcentric culture.  The man was accepted as the race type without one
dissentient voice; and the woman--a strange, diverse creature, quite
disharmonious in the accepted scheme of things--was excused and
explained only as a female.

She has needed volumes of such excuse and explanation; also, apparently,
volumes of abuse and condemnation.  In any library catalogue we may find
books upon books about women: physiological, sentimental, didactic,
religious--all manner of books about women, as such.  Even to-day in the
works of Marholm--poor young Weininger, Moebius, and others, we find the
same perpetual discussion of women--as such.

This is a book about men--as such.  It differentiates between the human
nature and the sex nature.  It will not go so far as to allege man's
masculine traits to be all that excuse, or explain his existence: but it
will point out what are masculine traits as distinct from human ones,
and what has been the effect on our human life of the unbridled
dominance of one sex.

We can see at once, glaringly, what would have been the result of giving
all human affairs into female hands.  Such an extraordinary and
deplorable situation would have "feminized" the world.  We should have
all become "effeminate."

See how in our use of language the case is clearly shown.  The
adjectives and derivatives based on woman's distinctions are alien and
derogatory when applied to human affairs; "effeminate"--too female,
connotes contempt, but has no masculine analogue; whereas
"emasculate"--not enough male, is a term of reproach, and has no
feminine analogue.  "Virile"--manly, we oppose to "puerile"--childish,
and the very word "virtue" is derived from "vir"--a man.

Even in the naming of other animals we have taken the male as the race
type, and put on a special termination to indicate "his female," as in
lion, lioness; leopard, leopardess; while all our human scheme of things
rests on the same tacit assumption; man being held the human type; woman
a sort of accompaniment aud subordinate assistant, merely essential to
the making of people.

She has held always the place of a preposition in relation to man.  She
has been considered above him or below him, before him, behind him,
beside him, a wholly relative existence--"Sydney's sister," "Pembroke's
mother"--but never by any chance Sydney or Pembroke herself.

Acting on this assumption, all human standards have been based on male
characteristics, and when we wish to praise the work of a woman, we say
she has "a masculine mind."

It is no easy matter to deny or reverse a universal assumption.  The
human mind has had a good many jolts since it began to think, but after
each upheaval it settles down as peacefully as the vine-growers on
Vesuvius, accepting the last lava crust as permanent ground.

What we see immediately around us, what we are born into and grow up
with, be it mental furniture or physical, we assume to be the order of

If a given idea has been held in the human mind for many generations, as
almost all our common ideas have, it takes sincere and continued effort
to remove it; and if it is one of the oldest we have in stock, one of
the big, common, unquestioned world ideas, vast is the labor of those
who seek to change it.

Nevertheless, if the matter is one of importance, if the previous idea
was a palpable error, of large and evil effect, and if the new one is
true and widely important, the effort is worth making.

The task here undertaken is of this sort.  It seeks to show that what we
have all this time called "human nature" and deprecated, was in great
part only male nature, and good enough in its place; that what we have
called "masculine" and admired as such, was in large part human, and
should be applied to both sexes: that what we have called "feminine" and
condemned, was also largely human and applicable to both.  Our
androcentric culture is so shown to have been, and still to be, a
masculine culture in excess, and therefore undesirable.

In the preliminary work of approaching these facts it will be well to
explain how it can be that so wide and serious an error should have been
made by practically all men.  The reason is simply that they were men.  
They were males, avid saw women as females--and not otherwise.

So absolute is this conviction that the man who reads will say, "Of
course!  How else are we to look at women except as females?  They are
females, aren't they?"  Yes, they are, as men are males unquestionably;
but there is possible the frame of mind of the old marquise who was
asked by an English friend how she could bear to have the footman serve
her breakfast in bed--to have a man in her bed-chamber--and replied
sincerely, "Call you that thing there a man?"

The world is full of men, but their principal occupation is human work
of some sort; and women see in them the human distinction
preponderantly.  Occasionally some unhappy lady marries her
coachman--long contemplation of broad shoulders having an effect,
apparently; but in general women see the human creature most; the male
creature only when they love.

To the man, the whole world was his world; his because he was male; and
the whole world of woman was the home; because she was female.  She had
her prescribed sphere, strictly limited to her feminine occupations and
interests; he had all the rest of life; and not only so, but, having it,
insisted on calling it male.

This accounts for the general attitude of men toward the now rapid
humanization of women.  From her first faint struggles toward freedom
and justice, to her present valiant efforts toward full economic and
political equality, each step has been termed "unfeminine" and resented
as an intrusion upon man's place and power.  Here shows the need of our
new classification, of the three distinct fields of life--masculine,
feminine and human.

As a matter of fact, there is a "woman's sphere," sharply defined and
quite different from his; there is also a "man's sphere," as sharply
defined and even more limited; but there remains a common sphere--that
of humanity, which belongs to both alike.

In the earlier part of what is known as "the woman's movement," it was
sharply opposed on the ground that women would become "unsexed."  Let us
note in passing that they have become unsexed in one particular, most
glaringly so, and that no one has noticed or objected to it.

As part of our androcentric culture we may point to the peculiar
reversal of sex characteristics which make the human female carry the
burden of ornament.  She alone, of all human creatures, has adopted the
essentially masculine attribute of special sex-decoration; she does not
fight for her mate as yet, but she blooms forth as the peacock and bird
of paradise, in poignant reversal of nature's laws, even wearing
masculine feathers to further her feminine ends.

Woman's natural work as a female is that of the mother; man's natural
work as a male is that of the father; their mutual relation to this end
being a source of joy and well-being when rightly held: but human work
covers all our life outside of these specialties.  Every handicraft,
every profession, every science, every art, all normal amusements and
recreations, all government, education, religion; the whole living world
of human achievement: all this is human.

That one sex should have monopolized all human activities, called them
"man's work," and managed them as such, is what is meant by the phrase
"Androcentric Culture."




The family is older than humanity, and therefore cannot be called a
human institution.  A post office, now, is wholly human; no other
creature has a post office, but there are families in plenty among birds
and beasts; all kinds permanent and transient; monogamous, polygamous
and polyandrous.

We are now to consider the growth of the family in humanity; what is its
rational development in humanness; in mechanical, mental and social
lines; in the extension of love and service; and the effect upon it of
this strange new arrangement--a masculine proprietor.

Like all natural institutions the family has a purpose; and is to be
measured primarily as it serves that purpose; which is, the care and
nurture of the young.  To protect the helpless little ones, to feed and
shelter them, to ensure them the benefits of an ever longer period of
immaturity, and so to improve the race--this is the original purpose of
the family.

When a natural institution becomes human it enters the plane of
consciousness.  We think about it; and, in our strange new power of
voluntary action do things to it.  We have done strange things to the
family; or, more specifically, men have.

Balsac, at his bitterest, observed, "Women's virtue is man's best
invention." Balsac was wrong.  Virtue--the unswerving devotion to one
mate--is common among birds and some of the higher mammals.  If Balsac
meant celibacy when he said virtue, why that is one of man's
inventions--though hardly his best.

What man has done to the family, speaking broadly, is to change it from
an institution for the best service of the child to one modified to his
own service, the vehicle of his comfort, power and pride.

Among the heavy millions of the stirred East, a child--necessarily a
male child--is desired for the credit and glory of the father, and his
fathers; in place of seeing that all a parent is for is the best service
of the child.  Ancestor worship, that gross reversal of all natural law,
is of wholly androcentric origin.  It is strongest among old patriarchal
races; lingers on in feudal Europe; is to be traced even in America
today in a few sporadic efforts to magnify the deeds of our ancestors.

The best thing any of us can do for our ancestors is to be better than
they were; and we ought to give our minds to it.  When we use our past
merely as a guide-book, and concentrate our noble emotions on the
present and future, we shall improve more rapidly.

The peculiar changes brought about in family life by the predominance of
the male are easily traced.  In these studies we must keep clearly in
mind the basic masculine characteristics: desire, combat,
self-expression--all legitimate and right in proper use; only
mischievous when excessive or out of place.  Through them the male is
led to strenuous competition for the favor of the female; in the
overflowing ardours of song, as in nightingale and tomcat; in wasteful
splendor of personal decoration, from the pheasant's breast to an
embroidered waistcoat; and in direct struggle for the prize, from the
stag's locked horns to the clashing spears of the tournament.

It is earnestly hoped that no reader will take offence at the
necessarily frequent, reference to these essential features of maleness.
 In the many books about women it is, naturally, their femaleness that
has been studied and enlarged upon.  And though women, after thousands
of years of such discussion, have become a little restive under the
constant use of the word female: men, as rational beings, should not
object to an analogous study--at least not for some time--a few
centuries or so.

How, then, do we find these masculine tendencies, desire, combat and
self-expression, affect the home and family when given too much power?

First comes the effect in the preliminary work of selection.  One of the
most uplifting forces of nature is that of sex selection.  The males,
numerous, varied, pouring a flood of energy into wide modifications,
compete for the female, and she selects the victor, this securing to the
race the new improvements.

In forming the proprietary family there is no such competition, no such
selection.  The man, by violence or by purchase, does the choosing--he
selects the kind of woman that pleases him.  Nature did not intend him
to select; he is not good at it.  Neither was the female intended to
compete--she is not good at it.

If there is a race between males for a mate--the swiftest gets her
first; but if one male is chasing a number of females he gets the
slowest first.  The one method improves our speed: the other does not. 
If males struggle and fight with one another for a mate, the strongest
secures her; if the male struggles and fights with the female--(a
peculiar and unnatural horror, known only among human beings) he most
readily secures the weakest.  The one method improves our strength--the
other does not.

When women became the property of men; sold and bartered; "given away"
by their paternal owner to their marital owner; they lost this
prerogative of the female, this primal duty of selection.  The males
were no longer improved by their natural competition for the female; and
the females were not improved; because the male did not select for
points of racial superiority, but for such qualities as pleased him.

There is a locality in northern Africa, where young girls are
deliberately fed with a certain oily seed, to make them fat,--that they
may be the more readily married,--as the men like fat wives.  Among
certain more savage African tribes the chief's wives are prepared for
him by being kept in small dark huts and fed on "mealies' and molasses;
precisely as a Strasbourg goose is fattened for the gourmand.  Now
fatness is not a desirable race characteristic; it does not add to the
woman's happiness or efficiency; or to the child's; it is merely an
accessory pleasant to the master; his attitude being much as the amorous
monad ecstatically puts it, in Sill's quaint poem, "Five Lives,"

"O the little female monad's lips!
O the little female monad's eyes!
O the little, little, female, female monad!"

This ultra littleness and ultra femaleness has been demanded and
produced by our Androcentric Culture.

Following this, and part of it, comes the effect on motherhood.  This
function was the original and legitimate base of family life; and its
ample sustaining power throughout the long early period of "the
mother-right;" or as we call it, the matriarchate; the father being her
assistant in the great work.  The patriarchate, with its proprietary
family, changed this altogether; the woman, as the property of the man
was considered first and foremost as a means of pleasure to him; and
while she was still valued as a mother, it was in a tributary capacity. 
Her children were now his; his property, as she was; the whole enginery
of the family was turned from its true use to this new one, hitherto
unknown, the service of the adult male.

To this day we are living under the influence of the proprietary family.
 The duty of the wife is held to involve man-service as well as
child-service, and indeed far more; as the duty of the wife to the
husband quite transcends the duty of the mother to the child.

See for instance the English wife staying with her husband in India and
sending the children home to be brought up; because India is bad for
children.  See our common law that the man decides the place of
residence; if the wife refuses to go with him to howsoever unfit a place
for her and for the little ones, such refusal on her part constitutes
"desertion" and is ground for divorce.

See again the idea that the wife must remain with the husband though a
drunkard, or diseased; regardless of the sin against the child involved
in such a relation.  Public feeling on these matters is indeed changing;
but as a whole the ideals of the man-made family still obtain.

The effect of this on the woman has been inevitably to weaken and
overshadow her sense of the real purpose of the family; of the
relentless responsibilities of her duty as a mother.  She is first
taught duty to her parents, with heavy religious sanction; and then duty
to her husband, similarly buttressed; but her duty to her children has
been left to instinct.  She is not taught in girlhood as to her
preeminent power and duty as a mother; her young ideals are all of
devotion to the lover and husband: with only the vaguest sense of

The young girl is reared in what we call "innocence;" poetically
described as "bloom;" and this condition is held one of her chief
"charms."  The requisite is wholly androcentric.  This "innocence" does
not enable her to choose a husband wisely; she does not even know the
dangers that possibly confront her.  We vaguely imagine that her father
or brother, who do know, will protect her.  Unfortunately the father and
brother, under our current "double standard" of morality do not judge
the applicants as she would if she knew the nature of their offenses.

Furthermore, if her heart is set on one of them, no amount of general
advice and opposition serves to prevent her marrying him.  "I love him!"
she says, sublimely.  "I do not care what he has done.  I will forgive
him.  I will save him!"

This state of mind serves to forward the interests of the lover, but is
of no advantage to the children.  We have magnified the duties of the
wife, and minified the duties of the mother; and this is inevitable in a
family relation every law and custom of which is arranged from the
masculine viewpoint.

From this same viewpoint, equally essential to the proprietary family,
comes the requirement that the woman shall serve the man.  Her service
is not that of the associate and equal, as when she joins him in his
business.  It is not that of a beneficial combination, as when she
practices another business and they share the profits; it is not even
that of the specialist, as the service of a tailor or barber; it is
personal service--the work of a servant.

In large generalization, the women of the world cook and wash, sweep and
dust, sew and mend, for the men.

We are so accustomed to this relation; have held it for so long to be
the "natural" relation, that it is difficult indeed to show that it is
distinctly unnatural and injurious.  The father expects to be served by
the daughter, a service quite different from what he expects of the son.
 This shows at once that such service is no integral part of motherhood,
or even of marriage; but is supposed to be the proper industrial
position of women, as such.

Why is this so?  Why, on the face of it, given a daughter and a son,
should a form of service be expected of the one, which would be
considered ignominious by the other?

The underlying reason is this.  Industry, at its base, is a feminine
function.  The surplus energy of the mother does not manifest itself in
noise, or combat, or display, but in productive industry.  Because of
her mother-power she became the first inventor and laborer; being in
truth the mother of all industry as well as all people.

Man's entrance upon industry is late and reluctant; as will be shown
later in treating his effect on economics.  In this field of family
life, his effect was as follows:

Establishing the proprietary family at an age when the industry was
primitive and domestic; and thereafter confining the woman solely to the
domestic area, he thereby confined her to primitive industry.  The
domestic industries, in the hands of women, constitute a survival of our
remotest past.  Such work was "woman's work" as was all the work then
known; such work is still considered woman's work because they have been
prevented from doing any other.

The term "domestic industry" does not define a certain kind of labor,
but a certain grade of labor.  Architecture was a domestic industry
once--when every savage mother set up her own tepee.  To be confined to
domestic industry is no proper distinction of womanhood; it is an
historic distinction, an economic distinction, it sets a date and limit
to woman's industrial progress.

In this respect the man-made family has resulted in arresting the
development of half the field.  We have a world wherein men,
industrially, live in the twentieth century; and women, industrially,
live in the first--and back of it.

To the same source we trace the social and educational limitations set
about women.  The dominant male, holding his women as property, and
fiercely jealous of them, considering them always as _his,_ not
belonging to themselves, their children, or the world; has hedged them
in with restrictions of a thousand sorts; physical, as in the crippled
Chinese lady or the imprisoned odalisque; moral, as in the oppressive
doctrines of submission taught by all our androcentric religions;
mental, as in the enforced ignorance from which women are now so swiftly

This abnormal restriction of women has necessarily injured motherhood. 
The man, free, growing in the world's growth, has mounted with the
centuries, filling an ever wider range of world activities.  The woman,
bound, has not so grown; and the child is born to a progressive
fatherhood and a stationary motherhood.  Thus the man-made family reacts
unfavorably upon the child.  We rob our children of half their social
heredity by keeping the mother in an inferior position; however
legalized, hallowed, or ossified by time, the position of a domestic
servant is inferior.

It is for this reason that child culture is at so low a level, and for
the most part utterly unknown.  Today, when the forces of education are
steadily working nearer to the cradle, a new sense is wakening of the
importance of the period of infancy, and its wiser treatment; yet those
who know of such a movement are few, and of them some are content to
earn easy praise--and pay--by belittling right progress to gratify the
prejudices of the ignorant.

The whole position is simple and clear; and easily traceable to its
root.  Given a proprietary family, where the man holds the woman
primarily for his satisfaction and service--then necessarily he shuts
her up and keeps her for these purposes.  Being so kept, she cannot
develop humanly, as he has, through social contact, social service, true
social life.  (We may note in passing, her passionate fondness for the
child-game called "society" she has been allowed to entertain herself
withal; that poor simiacrum of real social life, in which people
decorate themselves and madly crowd together, chattering, for what is
called "entertainment.")  Thus checked in social development, we have
but a low grade motherhood to offer our children; and the children,
reared in the primitive conditions thus artificially maintained, enter
life with a false perspective, not only toward men and women, but toward
life as a whole.

The child should receive in the family, full preparation for his
relation to the world at large.  His whole life must be spent in the
world, serving it well or ill; and youth is the time to learn how.  But
the androcentric home cannot teach him.  We live to-day in a
democracy-the man-made family is a despotism.  It may be a weak one; the
despot may be dethroned and overmastered by his little harem of one; but
in that case she becomes the despot--that is all.  The male is esteemed
"the head of the family;" it belongs to him; he maintains it; and the
rest of the world is a wide hunting ground and battlefield wherein he
competes with other males as of old.

The girl-child, peering out, sees this forbidden field as belonging
wholly to men-kind; and her relation to it is to secure one for
herself--not only that she may love, but that she may live.  He will
feed, clothe and adorn her--she will serve him; from the subjection of
the daughter to that of the wife she steps; from one home to the other,
and never enters the world at all--man's world.

The boy, on the other hand, considers the home as a place of women, an
inferior place, and longs to grow up and leave it--for the real world. 
He is quite right.  The error is that this great social instinct,
calling for full social exercise, exchange, service, is considered
masculine, whereas it is human, and belongs to boy and girl alike.

The child is affected first through the retarded development of his
mother, then through the arrested condition of home industry; and
further through the wrong ideals which have arisen from these
conditions.  A normal home, where there was human equality between
mother and father, would have a better influence.

We must not overlook the effect of the proprietary family on the
proprietor himself.  He, too, has been held back somewhat by this
reactionary force.  In the process of becoming human we must learn to
recognize justice, freedom, human rights; we must learn self-control and
to think of others; have minds that grow and broaden rationally; we must
learn the broad mutual interservice and unbounded joy of social
intercourse and service.  The petty despot of the man-made home is
hindered in his humanness by too much manness.

For each man to have one whole woman to cook for and wait upon him is a
poor education for democracy.  The boy with a servile mother, the man
with a servile wife, cannot reach the sense of equal rights we need
to-day.  Too constant consideration of the master's tastes makes the
master selfish; and the assault upon his heart direct, or through that
proverbial side-avenue, the stomach, which the dependent woman needs
must make when she wants anything, is bad for the man, as well as for

We are slowly forming a nobler type of family; the union of two, based
on love and recognized by law, maintained because of its happiness and
use.  We are even now approaching a tenderness and permanence of love,
high pure enduring love; combined with the broad deep-rooted
friendliness and comradeship of equals; which promises us more happiness
in marriage than we have yet known.  It will be good for all the parties
concerned--man, woman and child: and promote our general social progress

If it needs "a head" it will elect a chairman pro tem.  Friendship does
not need "a head."  Love does dot need "a head."  Why should a family?




NOTE--The word "Androcentric" we owe to Prof. Lester F. Ward.  In his
book, "Pure Sociology," Chap. 14, he describes the Androcentric Theory
of life, hitherto universally accepted; and introduces his own
"Gyneacocentric Theory."  All who are interested in the deeper
scientific aspects of this question are urged to read that chapter. 
Prof. Ward's theory is to my mind the most important that has been
offered the world since the Theory of Evolution; and without exception
the most important that has ever been put forward concerning women.

Among the many paradoxes which we find in human life is our low average
standard of health and beauty, compared with our power and knowledge. 
All creatures suffer from conflict with the elements; from enemies
without and within--the prowling devourers of the forest, and "the
terror that walketh in darkness" and attacks the body from inside, in
hidden millions.

Among wild animals generally, there is a certain standard of excellence;
if you shoot a bear or a bird, it is a fair sample of the species; you
do not say, "O what an ugly one!" or "This must have been an invalid!"

Where we have domesticated any animal, and interfered with its natural
habits, illness has followed; the dog is said to have the most diseases
second to man; the horse comes next; but the wild ones put us to shame
by their superior health and the beauty that belongs to right

In our long ages of blind infancy we assume that sickness was a
visitation frown the gods; some still believe this, holding it to be a
special prerogative of divinity to afflict us in this way.  We speak of
"the ills that flesh is heir to" as if the inheritance was entailed and
inalienable.  Only of late years, after much study and long struggle
with this old belief which made us submit to sickness as a blow from the
hand of God, we are beginning to learn something of the many causes of
our many diseases, and how to remove some of them.

It is still true, however, that almost every one of us is to some degree
abnormal; the features asymmetrical, the vision defective, the digestion
unreliable, the nervous system erratic--we are but a job lot even in
what we call "good health"; and are subject to a burden of pain and
premature death that would make life hideous if it were not so
ridiculously unnecessary.

As to beauty--we do not think of expecting it save in the rarely
exceptional case.  Look at the faces--the figures--in any crowd you
meet; compare the average man or the average woman with the normal type
of human beauty as given us in picture and statue; and consider if there
is not some general cause for so general a condition of ugliness.

Moreover, leaving our defective bodies concealed by garments; what are
those garments, as conducive to health and beauty?  Is the practical
ugliness of our men's attire, and the impractical absurdity of our
women's, any contribution to human beauty?  Look at our houses--are they
beautiful?  Even the houses of the rich?

We do not even know that we ought to live in a world of overflowing
loveliness; and that our contribution to it should be the loveliest of
all.  We are so sodden in the dull ugliness of our interiors, so used to
calling a tame weary low-toned color scheme "good taste," that only
children dare frankly yearn for Beauty--and they are speedily educated
out of it.

The reasons specially given for our low standards of health and beauty
are ignorance, poverty, and the evil effects of special trades.  The Man
with the Hoe becomes brother to the ox because of over-much hoeing; the
housepainter is lead-poisoned because of his painting; books have been
written to show the injurious influence of nearly all our industries
upon workers.

These causes are sound as far as they go; but do not cover the whole

The farmer may be muscle-bound and stooping from his labor; but that
does not account for his dyspepsia or his rheumatism.

Then we allege poverty as covering all.  Poverty does cover a good deal.
 But when we find even a half-fed savage better developed than a well
paid cashier; and a poor peasant woman a more vigorous mother than the
idle wife of a rich man, poverty is not enough.

Then we say ignorance explains it.  But there are most learned
professors who are ugly and asthmathic; there are even doctors who can
boast no beauty and but moderate health; there are some of the petted
children of the wealthy, upon whom every care is lavished from birth,
and who still are ill to look at and worse to marry.

All these special causes are admitted, given their due share in lowering
our standards, but there is another far more universal in its
application and its effects.  Let us look back on our little ancestors
the beasts, and see what keeps them so true to type.

The type itself set by that balance of conditions and forces we call
"natural selection."  As the environment changes they must be adapted to
it, if they cannot so adapt themselves they die.  Those who live are, by
living, proven capable of maintaining themselves.  Every creature which
has remained on earth, while so many less effective kinds died out,
remains as a conqueror.  The speed of the deer--the constant use of
speed--is what keeps it alive and makes it healthy and beautiful.  The
varied activities of the life of a leopard are what have developed the
sinuous gracile strength we so admire.  It is what the creature does for
its living, its daily life-long exercise which makes it what it is.

But there is another great natural force which works steadily to keep
all animals up to the race standard; that is sexual selection. 
Throughout nature the male is the variant, as we have already noted. 
His energy finds vent not only in that profuse output of decorative
appendages Ward defines as "masculine efflorescence" but in variations
not decorative, not useful or desirable at all.

The female, on the other hand, varies much less, remaining nearer the
race type; and her function is to select among these varying males the
specimens most valuable to the race.  In the intense masculine
competition the victor must necessarily be stronger than his fellows; he
is first proven equal to his environment by having lived to grow up,
then more than equal to his fellows by overcoming them.  This higher
grade of selection also develops not only the characteristics necessary
to make a living; but secondary ones, often of a purely aesthetic
nature, which make much of what we call beauty.  Between the two, all
who live must be up to a certain grade, and those who become parents
must be above it; a masterly arrangement surely!

Here is where, during the period of our human history, we in our newborn
consciousness and imperfect knowledge, have grieviously interfered with
the laws of nature.  The ancient proprietary family, treating the woman
as a slave, keeping her a prisoner and subject to the will of her
master, cut her off at once from the exercise of those activities which
alone develop and maintain the race type.

Take the one simple quality of speed.  We are a creature built for
speed, a free swift graceful animal; and among savages this is still
seen--the capacity for running, mile after mile, hour after hour. 
Running is as natural a gait for _genus homo_ as for _genus cervus._ 
Now suppose among deer, the doe was prohibited from running; the stag
continuing free on the mountain; the doe living in caves and pens,
unequal to any exercise.  The effect on the species would be,
inevitably, to reduce its speed.

In this way, by keeping women to one small range of duties, and in most
cases housebound, we have interfered with natural selection and its
resultant health and beauty.  It can easily be seen what the effect on
the race would have been if all men had been veiled and swathed, hidden
in harems, kept to the tent or house, and confined to the activities of
a house-servant.  Our stalwart laborers, our proud soldiers, our
athletes, would never have appeared under such circumstances.  The
confinement to the house alone, cutting women off from sunshine and air,
is by itself an injury; and the range of occupation allowed them is not
such as to develop a high standard of either health or beauty.  Thus we
have cut off half the race from the strengthening influence of natural
selection, and so lowered our race-standards in large degree.

This alone, however, would not have hid such mischievous effects but for
our further blunder in completely reversing nature's order of sexual
selection.  It is quite possible that even under confinement and
restriction women could have kept up the race level, passably, through
this great function of selection; but here is the great fundamental
error of the Androcentric Culture.  Assuming to be the possessor of
women, their owner and master, able at will to give, buy and sell, or do
with as he pleases, man became the selector.

It seems a simple change; and in those early days, wholly ignorant of
natural laws, there was no suspicion that any mischief would result.  In
the light of modern knowledge, however, the case is clear.  The woman
was deprived of the beneficent action of natural selection, and the man
was then, by his own act, freed from the stern but elevating effect of
sexual selection.  Nothing was required of the woman by natural
selection save such capacity as should please her master; nothing was
required of the man by sexual selection save power to take by force, or
buy, a woman.

It does not take a very high standard of feminine intelligence,
strength, skill, health, or beauty to be a houseservant, or even a
housekeeper; witness the average.

It does not take a very high standard of masculine, intelligence,
strength, skill, health or beauty to maintain a woman in that
capacity--witness average.

Here at the very root of our physiological process, at the beginning of
life, we have perverted the order of nature, and are suffering the

It has been held by some that man as the selector has developed beauty,
more beauty than we had before; and we point to the charms of our women
as compared with those of the squaw.  The answer to this is that the
squaw belongs to a decadent race; that she too is subject to the man,
that the comparison to have weight should be made between our women and
the women of the matriarchate--an obvious impossibility.  We have not on
earth women in a state of normal freedom and full development; but we
have enough difference in their placing to learn that human strength and
beauty grows with woman's freedom and activity.

The second answer is that much of what man calls beauty in woman is not
human beauty at all, but gross overdevelopment of certain points which
appeal to him as a male.  The excessive fatness, previously referred to,
is a case in point; that being considered beauty in a woman which is in
reality an element of weakness, inefficiency and ill-health.  The
relatively small size of women, deliberately preferred, steadfastly
chosen, and so built into the race, is a blow at real human progress in
every particular.  In our upward journey we should and do grow larger,
leaving far behind us our dwarfish progenitors.  Yet the male, in his
unnatural position as selector, preferring for reasons both practical
and sentimental, to have "his woman" smaller than himself, has
deliberately striven to lower the standard of size in the race.  We used
to read in the novels of the last generation, "He was a magnificent
specimen of manhood"--"Her golden head reached scarcely to his
shoulder"--"She was a fairy creature--the tiniest of her sex."  Thus we
have mated, and yet expected that by some hocus pocus the boys would all
"take after their father," and the girls, their mother.  In his efforts
to improve the breed of other animals, man has never tried to
deliberately cross the large and small and expect to keep up the
standard of size.

As a male he is appealed to by the ultra-feminine, and has given small
thought to effects on the race.  He was not designed to do the
selecting.  Under his fostering care we have bred a race of women who
are physically weak enough to be handed about like invalids; or mentally
weak enough to pretend they are--and to like it.  We have made women who
respond so perfectly to the force which made them, that they attach all
their idea of beauty to those characteristics which attract men;
sometimes humanly ugly without even knowing it.

For instance, our long restriction to house-limits, the heavy
limitations of our clothing, and the heavier ones of traditional
decorum, have made women disproportionately short-legged.  This is a
particularly undignified and injurious characteristic, bred in women and
inherited by men, most seen among those races which keep their women
most closely.  Yet when one woman escapes the tendency and appears with
a normal length of femur and tibia, a normal height of hip and shoulder,
she is criticized and called awkward by her squatty sisters!

The most convenient proof of the inferiority of women in human beauty is
shown by those composite statues prepared by Mr. Sargent for the World's
Fair of '93.  These were made from gymnasium measurements of thousands
of young collegians of both sexes all over America.  The statue of the
girl has a pretty face, small hands and feet, rather nice arms, though
weak; but the legs are too thick and short; the chest and shoulders
poor; and the trunk is quite pitiful in its weakness.  The figure of the
man is much better proportioned.

Thus the effect on human beauty of masculine selection.

Beyond this positive deteriorative effect on women through man's
arbitrary choice comes the negative effect of woman's lack of choice. 
Bought or stolen or given by her father, she was deprived of the
innately feminine right and duty of choosing.  "Who giveth this woman?"
we still inquire in our archaic marriage service, and one man steps
forward and gives her to another man.

Free, the female chose the victor, and the vanquished went unmated--and
without progeny.  Dependent, having to be fed and cared for by some man,
the victors take their pick perhaps, but the vanquished take what is
left; and the poor women, "marrying for a home," take anything.  As a
consequence the inferior male is as free to transmit his inferiority as
the superior to give better qualities, and does so--beyond computation. 
In modern days, women are freer, in some countries freer than in others;
here in modern America freest of all; and the result is seen in our
improving standards of health and beauty.

Still there remains the field of inter-masculine competition, does there
not?  Do not the males still struggle together?  Is not that as of old,
a source of race advantage?

To some degree it is.  When life was simple and our activities consisted
mainly in fighting and hard work; the male who could vanquish the others
was bigger and stronger.  But inter-masculine competition ceases to be
of such advantage when we enter the field of social service.  What is
required in organized society is the specialization of the individual,
the development of special talents, not always of immediate benefit to
the man himself, but of ultimate benefit to society.  The best social
servant, progressive, meeting future needs, is almost always at a
disadvantage besides the well-established lower types.  We need, for
social service, qualities quite different from the simple masculine
characteristics--desire, combat, self-expression.

By keeping what we call "the outside world" so wholly male, we keep up
masculine standards at the expense of human ones.  This may be broadly
seen in the slow and painful development of industry and science as
compared to the easy dominance of warfare throughout all history until
our own times.

The effect of all this ultra masculine competition upon health and
beauty is but too plainly to be seen.  Among men the male idea of what
is good looking is accentuated beyond reason.  Read about any "hero" you
please; or study the products of the illustrator and note the broad
shoulders, the rugged features, the strong, square, determined jaw. 
That jaw is in evidence if everything else fails.  He may be cross-eyed,
wide-eared, thick-necked, bandy-legged--what you please; but he must
have a more or less prognathous jaw.

Meanwhile any anthropologist will show you that the line of human
development is away from that feature of the bulldog and the alligator,
and toward the measured dignity of the Greek type.  The possessor of
that kind of jaw may enable male to conquer male, but does not make him
of any more service to society; of any better health or higher beauty.

Further, in the external decoration of our bodies, what is the influence
here of masculine dominance.

We have before spoken of the peculiar position of our race in that the
woman is the only female creature who carries the burden of sex
ornament.  This amazing reversal of the order of nature results at its
mildest in a perversion of the natural feminine instincts of love and
service, and an appearance of the masculine instincts of self-expression
and display.  Alone among all female things do women decorate and preen
themselves and exhibit their borrowed plumage (literally!) to attract
the favor of the male.  This ignominy is forced upon them by their
position of economic dependence; and their general helplessness.  As all
broader life is made to depend, for them, on whom they marry, indeed as
even the necessities of life so often depend on their marrying someone,
they have been driven into this form of competition, so alien to the
true female attitude.

The result is enough to make angels weep--and laugh.  Perhaps no step in
the evolution of beauty went farther than our human power of making a
continuous fabric; soft and mobile, showing any color and texture
desired.  The beauty of the human body is supreme, and when we add to it
the flow of color, the ripple of fluent motion, that comes of a soft,
light garment over free limbs--it is a new field of loveliness and
delight.  Naturally this should have filled the whole world with a new
pleasure.  Our garments, first under right natural selection developing
perfect use, under right sex selection developing beauty; and further,
as our human aesthetic sense progresses, showing a noble symbolism,
would have been an added strength and glory, a ceaseless joy.

What is the case?

Men, under a too strictly inter-masculine environment, have evolved the
mainly useful but beautiless costume common to-day; and women--?

Women wear beautiful garments when they happen to be the fashion; and
ugly garments when they are the fashion, and show no signs of knowing
the difference.  They show no added pride in the beautiful, no hint of
mortification in the hideous, and are not even sensitive under
criticism, or open to any persuasion or argument.  Why should they be?

Their condition, physical and mental, is largely abnormal, their whole
passionate absorption in dress and decoration is abnormal, and they have
never looked, from a frankly human standpoint, at their position and its
peculiarities, until the present age.

In the effect of our wrong relation on the world's health, we have
spoken of the check to vigor and growth due to the housebound state of
women and their burdensome clothes.  There follow other influences,
similar in origin, even more evil in result.  To roughly and briefly
classify we may distinguish the diseases due to bad air, to bad food,
and that field of cruel mischief we are only now beginning to
discuss--the diseases directly due to the erroneous relation between men
and women.

We are the only race where the female depends on the male for a
livelihood.  We are the only race that practices prostitution.  From the
first harmless-looking but abnormal general relation follows the well
recognized evil of the second, so long called "a social necessity," and
from it, in deadly sequence, comes the "wages of sin;" death not only of
the guilty, but of the innocent.  It is no light part of our criticism
of the Androcentric Culture that a society based on masculine desires
alone, has willingly sacrificed such an army of women; and has repaid
the sacrifice by the heaviest punishments.

That the unfortunate woman should sicken and die was held to be her just
punishment; that man too should bear part penalty was found unavoidable,
though much legislation and medical effort has been spent to shield him;
but to the further consequences society is but now waking up.




Among the many counts in which women have been proven inferior to men in
human development is the oft-heard charge that there are no great women
artists.  Where one or two are proudly exhibited in evidence, they are
either pooh-poohed as not very great, or held to be the trifling
exceptions which do but prove the rule.

Defenders of women generally make the mistake of over-estimating their
performances, instead of accepting, and explaining, the visible facts. 
What are the facts as to the relation of men and women to art?  And
what, in especial, has been the effect upon art of a solely masculine

When we look for the beginnings of art, we find ourselves in a period of
crude decoration of the person and of personal belongings.  Tattooing,
for instance, is an early form of decorative art, still in practice
among certain classes, even in advanced people.  Most boys, if they are
in contact with this early art, admire it, and wish to adorn themselves
therewith; some do so--to later mortification.  Early personal
decoration consisted largely in direct mutilation of the body, and the
hanging upon it, or fastening to it, of decorative objects.  This we see
among savages still, in its gross and primitive forms monopolized by
men, then shared by women, and, in our time, left almost wholly to them.
 In personal decoration today, women are still near the savage.  The
"artists" developed in this field of art are the tonsorial, the
sartorial, and all those specialized adorners of the body commonly known
as "beauty doctors."

Here, as in other cases, the greatest artists are men.  The greatest
milliners, the greatest dressmakers and tailors, the greatest
hairdressers, and the masters and designers in all our decorative
toilettes and accessories, are men.  Women, in this as in so many other
lines, consume rather than produce.  They carry the major part of
personal decoration today; but the decorator is the man.  In the
decoration of objects, woman, as the originator of primitive industry,
originated also the primitive arts; and in the pottery, basketry,
leatherwork, needlework, weaving, with all beadwork, dyeing and
embroideries of ancient peoples we see the work of the woman decorator. 
Much of this is strong and beautiful, but its time is long past.  The
art which is part of industry, natural, simple, spontaneous, making
beauty in every object of use, adding pleasure to labor and to life, is
not Art with a large A, the Art which requires Artists, among whom are
so few women of note.

Art as a profession, and the Artist as a professional, came later; and
by that time women had left the freedom and power of the matriarchate
and become slaves in varying degree.  The women who were idle pets in
harems, or the women who worked hard as servants, were alike cut off
from the joy of making things.  Where constructive work remained to
them, art remained, in its early decorative form.  Men, in the
proprietary family, restricting the natural industry of women to
personal service, cut off their art with their industry, and by so much
impoverished the world.

There is no more conspicuously pathetic proof of the aborted development
of women than this commonplace--their lack of a civilized art sense. 
Not only in the childish and savage display upon their bodies, but in
the pitiful products they hang upon the walls of the home, is seen the
arrest in normal growth.

After ages of culture, in which men have developed Architecture,
Sculpture, Painting, Music and the Drama, we find women in their
primitive environment making flowers of wax, and hair, and worsted;
doing mottoes of perforated cardboard, making crazy quilts and mats and
"tidies"--as if they lived in a long past age, or belonged to a lower

This, as part of the general injury to women dating from the beginning
of our androcentric culture, reacts heavily upon the world at large. 
Men, specializing, giving their lives to the continuous pursuit of one
line of service, have lifted our standard in aesthetic culture, as they
have in other matters; but by refusing the same growth to women, they
have not only weakened and reduced the output, but ruined the market as
it were, hopelessly and permanently kept down the level of taste.

Among the many sides of this great question, some so terrible, some so
pathetic, some so utterly absurd, this particular phase of life is
especially easy to study and understand, and has its own elements of
amusement.  Men, holding women at the level of domestic service, going
on themselves to lonely heights of achievement, have found their efforts
hampered and their attainments rendered barren and unsatisfactory by the
amazing indifference of the world at large.  As the world at large
consists half of women, and wholly of their children, it would seem
patent to the meanest understanding that the women must be allowed to
rise in order to lift the world.  But such has not been the

We have spoken so far in this chapter of the effect of men on art
through their interference with the art of women.  There are other sides
to the question.  Let us consider once more the essential
characteristics of maleness, and see how they have affected art, keeping
always in mind the triune distinction between masculine, feminine and
human.  Perhaps we shall best see this difference by considering what
the development of art might have been on purely human terms.

The human creature, as such, naturally delights in construction, and
adds decoration to construction as naturally.  The cook, making little
regular patterns around the edge of the pie, does so from a purely human
instinct, the innate eye-pleasure in regularity, symmetry, repetition,
and alternation.  Had this natural social instinct grown unchecked in
us, it would have manifested itself in a certain proportion of
specialists--artists of all sorts--and an accompanying development of
appreciation on the part of the rest of us.  Such is the case in
primitive art; the maker of beauty is upheld and rewarded by a popular
appreciation of her work--or his.

Had this condition remained, we should find a general level of artistic
expression and appreciation far higher than we see now.  Take the one
field of textile art, for instance: that wide and fluent medium of
expression, the making of varied fabrics, the fashioning of garments and
the decoration of them--all this is human work and human pleasure.  It
should have led us to a condition where every human being was a pleasure
to the eye, appropriately and beautifully clothed.

Our real condition in this field is too patent to need emphasis; the
stiff, black ugliness of our men's attire; the irritating variegated
folly of our women's; the way in which we spoil the beauty and shame the
dignity of childhood by modes of dress.

In normal human growth, our houses would be a pleasure to the eye; our
furniture and utensils, all our social products, would blossom into
beauty as naturally as they still do in those low stages of social
evolution where our major errors have not yet borne full fruit.

Applied art in all its forms is a human function, common to every one to
some degree, either in production or appreciation, or both.  "Pure art,"
as an ideal, is also human; and the single-hearted devotion of the true
artist to this ideal is one of the highest forms of the social
sacrifice.  Of all the thousand ways by which humanity is specialized
for inter-service, none is more exquisite than this; the evolution of
the social Eye, or Ear, or Voice, the development of those whose work is
wholly for others, and to whom the appreciation of others is as the
bread of life.  This we should have in a properly developed community;
the pleasure of applied art in the making and using of everything we
have; and then the high joy of the Great Artist, and the noble work
thereof, spread far and wide.

What do we find?

Applied art at a very low level; small joy either for the maker or the
user.  Pure art, a fine-spun specialty, a process carried on by an elect
few who openly despise the unappreciative many.  Art has become an
occult profession requiring a long special education even to enjoy, and
evolving a jargon of criticism which becomes more esoteric yearly.

Let us now see what part in this undesirable outcome is due to our
Androcentric Culture.

As soon as the male of our species assumed the exclusive right to
perform all social functions, he necessarily brought to that performance
the advantages--and disadvantages--of maleness, of those dominant
characteristics, desire, combat, self-expression.

Desire has overweighted art in many visible forms; it is prominent in
painting and music, almost monopolizes fiction, and has pitifully
degraded dancing.

Combat is not so easily expressed in art, where even competition is on a
high plane; but the last element is the main evil, self-expression. 
This impulse is inherently and ineradicably masculine.  It rests on that
most basic of distinctions between the sexes, the centripetal and
centrifugal forces of the universe.  In the very nature of the
sperm-cell and the germ-cell we find this difference: the one attracts,
gathers, draws in; the other repels, scatters, pushes out.  That
projective impulse is seen in the male nature everywhere; the constant
urge toward expression, to all boasting and display.  This spirit, like
all things masculine, is perfectly right and admirable in its place.

It is the duty of the male, as a male, to vary; bursting forth in a
thousand changing modifications--the female, selecting, may so
incorporate beneficial changes in the race.  It is his duty to thus
express himself--an essentially masculine duty; but masculinity is one
thing, and art is another.  Neither the masculine nor the feminine has
any place in art--Art is Human.

It is not in any faintest degree allied to the personal processes of
reproduction; but is a social process, a most distinctive social
process, quite above the plane of sex.  The true artist transcends his
sex, or her sex.  If this is not the case, the art suffers.

Dancing is an early, and a beautiful art; direct expression of emotion
through the body; beginning in subhuman type, among male birds, as the
bower-bird of New Guinea, and the dancing crane, who swing and caper
before their mates.  Among early peoples we find it a common form of
social expression in tribal dances of all sorts, religious, military,
and other.  Later it becomes a more explicit form of celebration, as
among the Greeks; in whose exquisite personal culture dancing and music
held high place.

But under the progressive effects of purely masculine dominance we find
the broader human elements of dancing left out, and the sex-element more
and more emphasized.  As practiced by men alone dancing has become a
mere display of physical agility, a form of exhibition common to all
males.  As practiced by men and women together we have our social
dances, so lacking in all the varied beauty of posture and expression,
so steadily becoming a pleasant form of dalliance.

As practiced by women alone we have one of the clearest proofs of the
degrading effect of masculine dominance:--the dancing girl.  In the
frank sensualism of the Orient, this personage is admired and enjoyed on
her merits.  We, more sophisticated in this matter, joke shamefacedly
about "the bald-headed row," and occasionally burst forth in shrill
scandal over some dinner party where ladies clad in a veil and a
bracelet dance on the table.  Nowhere else in the whole range of life on
earth, is this degradation found--the female capering and prancing
before the male.  It is absolutely and essentially his function, not
hers.  That we, as a race, present this pitiful spectacle, a natural art
wrested to unnatural ends, a noble art degraded to ignoble ends, has one
clear cause.

Architecture, in its own nature, is least affected by that same cause. 
The human needs secured by it, are so human, so unescapably human, that
we find less trace of excessive masculinity than in other arts.  It
meets our social demands, it expresses in lasting form our social
feeling, up to the highest; and it has been injured not so much by an
excess of masculinity as by a lack of femininity.

The most universal architectural expression is in the home; the home is
essentially a place for the woman and the child; yet the needs of woman
and child are not expressed in our domestic architecture.  The home is
built on lines of ancient precedent, mainly as an industrial form; the
kitchen is its working centre rather than the nursery.

Each man wishes his home to preserve and seclude his woman, his little
harem of one; and in it she is to labor for his comfort or to manifest
his ability to maintain her in idleness.  The house is the physical
expression of the limitations of women; and as such it fills the world
with a small drab ugliness.  A dwelling house is rarely a beautiful
object.  In order to be such, it should truly express simple and natural
relations; or grow in larger beauty as our lives develop.

The deadlock for architectural progress, the low level of our general
taste, the everlasting predominance of the commonplace in buildings, is
the natural result of the proprietary family and its expression in this

In sculpture we have a noble art forcing itself into some service
through many limitations.  Its check, as far as it comes under this line
of study, has been indicated in our last chapter; the degradation of the
human body, the vicious standards of sex-consciousness enforced under
the name of modesty, the covered ugliness, which we do not recognize,
all this is a deadly injury to free high work in sculpture.

With a nobly equal womanhood, stalwart and athletic; with the high
standards of beauty and of decorum which we can never have without free
womanhood; we should show a different product in this great art.

An interesting note in passing is this: when we seek to express socially
our noblest, ideas, Truth; Justice; Liberty; we use the woman's body as
the highest human type.  But in doing this, the artist, true to humanity
and not biassed by sex, gives us a strong, grand figure, beautiful
indeed, but never _decorated_.  Fancy Liberty in ruffles and frills,
with rings in her ears--or nose.

Music is injured by a one-sided handling, partly in the excess of the
one dominant masculine passion, partly by the general presence of
egoism; that tendency to self-expression instead of social expression,
which so disfigures our art; and this is true also of poetry.

Miles and miles of poetry consist of the ceaseless outcry of the male
for the female, which is by no means so overwhelming as a feature of
human life as he imagines it; and other miles express his other
feelings, with that ingenuous lack of reticence which is at its base
essentially masculine.  Having a pain, the poet must needs pour it
forth, that his woe be shared and sympathized with.

As more and more women writers flock into the field there is room for
fine historic study of the difference in sex feeling, and the gradual
emergence of the human note.

Literature, and in especial the art of fiction, is so large a field for
this study that it will have a chapter to itself; this one but touching
on these various forms; and indicating lines of observation.

That best known form of art which to my mind needs no qualifying
description--painting--is also a wide field; and cannot be done full
justice to within these limits.  The effect upon it of too much
masculinity is not so much in choice of subject as in method and spirit.
 The artist sees beauty of form and color where the ordinary observer
does not; and paints the old and ugly with as much enthusiasm as the
young and beautiful--sometimes.  If there is in some an over-emphasis of
feminine attractions it is counterbalanced in others by a far broader
line of work.

But the main evils of a too masculine art lie in the emphasis laid on
self-expression.  The artist, passionately conscious of how he feels,
strives to make other people aware of these sensations.  This is now so
generally accepted by critics, so seriously advanced by painters, that
what is called "the art world" accepts it as established.

If a man paints the sea, it is not to make you see and feel as a sight
of that same ocean would, but to make you see and feel how he,
personally, was affected by it; a matter surely of the narrowest
importance.  The ultra-masculine artist, extremely sensitive,
necessarily, and full of the natural urge to expression of the sex, uses
the medium of art as ingenuously as the partridge-cock uses his wings in
drumming on the log; or the bull moose stamps and bellows; not narrowly
as a mate call, but as a form of expression of his personal sensations.

The higher the artist the more human he is, the broader his vision, the
more he sees for humanity, and expresses for humanity, and the less
personal, the less ultra-masculine, is his expression.




When we are offered a "woman's" paper, page, or column, we find it
filled with matter supposed to appeal to women as a sex or class; the
writer mainly dwelling upon the Kaiser's four K's--Kuchen, Kinder,
Kirche, Kleider.  They iterate and reiterate endlessly the discussion of
cookery, old and new; of the care of children; of the overwhelming
subject of clothing; and of moral instruction.  All this is recognized
as "feminine" literature, and it must have some appeal else the women
would not read it.  What parallel have we in "masculine" literature?

"None!" is the proud reply.  "Men are people!  Women, being 'the sex,'
have their limited feminine interests, their feminine point of view,
which must be provided for.  Men, however, are not restricted--to them
belongs the world's literature!"

Yes, it has belonged to them--ever since there was any.  They have
written it and they have read it.  It is only lately that women,
generally speaking, have been taught to read; still more lately that
they have been allowed to write.  It is but a little while since Harriet
Martineau concealed her writing beneath her sewing when visitors came
in--writing was "masculine"--sewing "feminine."

We have not, it Is true, confined men to a narrowly construed "masculine
sphere," and composed a special literature suited to it.  Their effect
on literature has been far wider than that, monopolizing this form of
art with special favor.  It was suited above all others to the dominant
impulse of self-expression; and being, as we have seen essentially and
continually "the sex;" they have impressed that sex upon this art
overwhelmingly; they have given the world a masculized literature.

It is hard for us to realize this.  We can readily see, that if women
had always written the books, no men either writing or reading them,
that would have surely "feminized" our literature; but we have not in
our minds the concept, much less the word, for an overmasculized

Men having been accepted as humanity, women but a side-issue; (most
literally if we accept the Hebrew legend!), whatever men did or said was
human--and not to be criticized.  In no department of life is it easier
to contravert this old belief; to show how the male sex as such differs
from the human type; and how this maleness has monopolized and
disfigured a great social function.

Human life is a very large affair; and literature is its chief art.  We
live, humanly, only through our power of communication.  Speech gives us
this power laterally, as it were, in immediate personal contact.  For
permanent use speech becomes oral tradition--a poor dependence. 
Literature gives not only an infinite multiplication to the lateral
spread of communion but adds the vertical reach.  Through it we know the
past, govern the present, and influence the future.  In its servicable
common forms it is the indispensable daily servant of our lives; in its
nobler flights as a great art no means of human inter-change goes so

In these brief limits we can touch but lightly on some phases of so
great a subject; and will rest the case mainly on the effect of an
exclusively masculine handling of the two fields of history and fiction.
 In poetry and the drama the same influence is easily traced, but in the
first two it is so baldly prominent as to defy objection.

History is, or should be, the story of our racial life.  What have men
made it?  The story of warfare and conquest.  Begin at the very
beginning with the carven stones of Egypt, the clay records of Chaldea,
what do we find of history?

"I Pharaoh, King of Kings! Lord of Lords! (etc. etc.), "went down into
the miserable land of Kush, and slew of the inhabitants thereof an
hundred and forty and two thousands!"  That, or something like it, is
the kind of record early history gives us.

The story of Conquering Kings, who and how many they killed and
enslaved; the grovelling adulation of the abased; the unlimited
jubilation of the victor; from the primitive state of most ancient
kings, and the Roman triumphs where queens walked in chains, down to our
omni present soldier's monuments: the story of war and conquest--war and
conquest--over and over; with such boasting and triumph, such cock-crow
and flapping of wings as show most unmistakably the natural source.

All this will strike the reader at first as biased and unfair.  "That
was the way people lived in those days!" says the reader.

No--it was not the way women lived.

"O, women!" says the reader, "Of course not!  Women are different."

Yea, women are different; and _men are different!_  Both of them, as
sexes, differ from the human norm, which is social life and all social
development.  Society was slowly growing in all those black blind years.
 The arts, the sciences, the trades and crafts and professions,
religion, philosophy, government, law, commerce, agriculture--all the
human processes were going on as well as they were able, between wars.

The male naturally fights, and naturally crows, triumphs over his rival
and takes the prize--therefore was he made male.  Maleness means war.

Not only so; but being male, he cares only for male interests.  Men,
being the sole arbiters of what should be done and said and written,
have given us not only a social growth scarred and thwarted from the
beginning by continual destruction; but a history which is one unbroken
record of courage and red cruelty, of triumph and black shame.

As to what went on that was of real consequence, the great slow steps of
the working world, the discoveries and inventions, the real progress of
humanity--that was not worth recording, from a masculine point of view. 
Within this last century, "the woman's century," the century of the
great awakening, the rising demand for freedom, political, economic, and
domestic, we are beginning to write real history, human history, and not
merely masculine history.  But that great branch of literature--Hebrew,
Greek, Roman, and all down later times, shows beyond all question, the
influence of our androcentric culture.

Literature is the most powerful and necessary of the arts, and fiction
is its broadest form.  If art "holds the mirror up to nature" this art's
mirror is the largest of all, the most used.  Since our very life
depends on some communication; and our progress is in proportion to our
fullness and freedom of communication; since real communication requires
mutual understanding; so in the growth of the social consciousness, we
note from the beginning a passionate interest in other people's lives.

The art which gives humanity consciousness is the most vital art.  Our
greatest dramatists are lauded for their breadth of knowledge of "human
nature," their range of emotion and understanding; our greatest poets
are those who most deeply and widely experience and reveal the feelings
of the human heart; and the power of fiction is that it can reach and
express this great field of human life with no limits but those of the

When fiction began it was the legitimate child of oral tradition; a
product of natural brain activity; the legend constructed instead of
remembered.  (This stage is with us yet as seen in the constant changes
in repetition of popular jokes and stories.)

Fiction to-day has a much wider range; yet it is still restricted,
heavily and most mischievously restricted.

What is the preferred subject matter of fiction?

There are two main branches found everywhere, from the Romaunt of the
Rose to the Purplish Magazine;--the Story of Adventure, and the Love

The Story-of-Adventure branch is not so thick as the other by any means,
but it is a sturdy bough for all that.  Stevenson and Kipling have
proved its immense popularity, with the whole brood of detective stories
and the tales of successful rascality we call "picaresque"  Our most
popular weekly shows the broad appeal of this class of fiction.

All these tales of adventure, of struggle and difficulty; of hunting and
fishing and fighting; of robbing and murdering, catching and punishing,
are distinctly and essentially masculine.  They do not touch on human
processes, social processes, but on the special field of predatory
excitement so long the sole province of men.

It is to be noted here that even in the overwhelming rise of industrial
interests to-day, these, when used as the basis for a story, are forced
into line with one, or both, of these two main branches of
fiction;--conflict or love.  Unless the story has one of these
"interests" in it, there is no story--so holds the editor; the dictum
being, put plainly, "life has no interests except conflict and love!"

It is surely something more than a coincidence that these are the two
essential features of masculinity--Desire and Combat--Love and War.

As a matter of fact the major interests of life are in line with its
major processes; and these--in our stage of human development--are more
varied than our fiction would have us believe.  Half the world consists
of women, we should remember, who are types of human life as well as
men, and their major processes are not those of conflict and adventure,
their love means more than mating.  Even on so poor a line of
distinction as the "woman's column" offers, if women are to be kept to
their four Ks, there should be a "men's column" also; and all the
"sporting news" and fish stories be put in that; they are not world
interests; they are male interests.

Now for the main branch--the Love Story.  Ninety per cent. of fiction is
In this line; this is preeminently the major interest of life--given in
fiction.  What is the love-story, as rendered by this art?

It is the story of the pre-marital struggle.  It is the Adventures of
Him in Pursuit of Her--and it stops when he gets her!  Story after
story, age after age, over and over and over, this ceaseless repetition
of the Preliminaries.

Here is Human Life.  In its large sense, its real sense, it is a matter
of inter-relation between individuals and groups, covering all emotions,
all processes, all experiences.  Out of this vast field of human life
fiction arbitrarily selects one emotion, one process, one experience, as
its necessary base.

"Ah! but we are persons most of all!" protests the reader.  "This is
personal experience--it has the universal appeal!"

Take human life personally then.  Here is a Human Being, a life,
covering some seventy years; involving the changing growth of many
faculties; the ever new marvels of youth, the long working time of
middle life, the slow ripening of age.  Here is the human soul, in the
human body, Living.  Out of this field of personal life, with all of its
emotions, processes, and experiences, fiction arbitrarily selects one
emotion, one process, one experience, mainly of one sex.

The "love" of our stories is man's love of woman.  If any dare dispute
this, and say it treats equally of woman's love for man, I answer, "Then
why do the stories stop at marriage?"

There is a current jest, revealing much, to this effect:

The young wife complains that the husband does not wait upon and woo her
as he did before marriage; to which he replies, "Why should I run after
the street-car when I've caught it?"

Woman's love for man, as currently treated in fiction is largely a
reflex; it is the way he wants her to feel, expects her to feel; not a
fair representation of how she does feel.  If "love" is to be selected
as the most important thing in life to write about, then the mother's
love should be the principal subject: This is the main stream.  This is
the general underlying, world-lifting force.  The "life-force," now so
glibly chattered about, finds its fullest expression in motherhood; not
in the emotions of an assistant in the preliminary stages.

What has literature, what has fiction, to offer concerning mother-love,
or even concerning father-love, as compared to this vast volume of
excitement about lover-love?  Why is the search-light continually
focussed upon a two or three years space of life "mid the blank miles
round about?"  Why indeed, except for the clear reason, that on a
starkly masculine basis this is his one period of overwhelming interest
and excitement.

If the beehive produced literature, the bee's fiction would be rich and
broad; full of the complex tasks of comb-building and filling; the care
and feeding of the young, the guardian-service of the queen; and far
beyond that it would spread to the blue glory of the summer sky, the
fresh winds, the endless beauty and sweetness of a thousand thousand
flowers.  It would treat of the vast fecundity of motherhood, the
educative and selective processes of the group-mothers; and the passion
of loyalty, of social service, which holds the hive together.

But if the drones wrote fiction, it would have no subject matter save
the feasting of many; and the nuptial flight, of one.

To the male, as such, this mating instinct is frankly the major interest
of life; even the belligerent instincts are second to it.  To the
female, as such, it is for all its intensity, but a passing interest. 
In nature's economy, his is but a temporary devotion, hers the slow
processes of life's fulfillment.

In Humanity we have long since, not outgrown, but overgrown, this stage
of feeling.  In Human Parentage even the mother's share begins to pale
beside that ever-growing Social love and care, which guards and guides
the children of to-day.

The art of literature in this main form of fiction is far too great a
thing to be wholly governed by one dominant note. As life widened and
intensified, the artist, if great enough, has transcended sex; and in
the mightier works of the real masters, we find fiction treating of
life, life in general, in all its complex relationships, and refusing to
be held longer to the rigid canons of an androcentric past.

This was the power of Balzac--he took in more than this one field.  This
was the universal appeal of Dickens; he wrote of people, all kinds of
people, doing all kinds of things.  As you recall with pleasure some
preferred novel of this general favorite, you find yourself looking
narrowly for the "love story" in it.  It is there--for it is part of
life; but it does not dominate the whole scene--any more than it does in

The thought of the world is made and handed out to us in the main.  The
makers of books are the makers of thoughts and feelings for people in
general.  Fiction is the most popular form in which this world-food is
taken.  If it were true, it would teach us life easily, swiftly, truly;
teach not by preaching but by truly re-presenting; and we should grow up
becoming acquainted with a far wider range of life in books than could
even be ours in person.  Then meeting life in reality we should be
wise--and not be disappointed.

As it is, our great sea of fiction is steeped and dyed and flavored all
one way.  A young man faces life--the seventy year stretch, remember,
and is given book upon book wherein one set of feelings is continually
vocalized and overestimated.  He reads forever of love, good love and
bad love, natural and unnatural, legitimate and illegitimate; with the
unavoidable inference that there is nothing else going on.

If he is a healthy young man he breaks loose from the whole thing,
despises "love stories" and takes up life as he finds it.  But what
impression he does receive from fiction is a false one, and he suffers
without knowing it from lack of the truer broader views of life it
failed to give him.

A young woman faces life--the seventy year stretch remember; and is
given the same books--with restrictions.  Remember the remark of
Rochefoucauld, "There are thirty good stories in the world and
twenty-nine cannot be told to women."  There is a certain broad field of
literature so grossly androcentric that for very shame men have tried to
keep it to themselves.  But in a milder form, the spades all named
teaspoons, or at the worst appearing as trowels--the young woman is
given the same fiction.  Love and love and love--from "first sight" to
marriage.  There it stops--just the fluttering ribbon of announcement,
"and lived happily ever after."

Is that kind of fiction any sort of picture of a woman's life?  Fiction,
under our androcentric culture, has not given any true picture of
woman's life, very little of human life, and a disproportioned section
of man's life.

As we daily grow more human, both of us, this noble art is changing for
the better so fast that a short lifetime can mark the growth.  New
fields are opening and new laborers are working in them.  But it is no
swift and easy matter to disabuse the race mind from attitudes and
habits inculcated for a thousand years.  What we have been fed upon so
long we are well used to, what we are used to we like, what we like we
think is good and proper.

The widening demand for broader, truer fiction is disputed by the slow
racial mind: and opposed by the marketers of literature on grounds of
visible self-interest, as well as lethargic conservatism.

It is difficult for men, heretofore the sole producers and consumers of
literature; and for women, new to the field, and following masculine
canons because all the canons were masculine; to stretch their minds to
a recognition of the change which is even now upon us.

This one narrow field has been for so long overworked, our minds are so
filled with heroes and heroes continually repeating the one-act play,
that when a book like David Harum is offered the publisher refuses it
repeatedly, and finally insists on a "heart interest" being injected by

Did anyone read David Harum for that heart interest?  Does anyone
remember that heart interest?  Has humanity no interests but those of
the heart?

Robert Ellesmere was a popular book--but not because of its heart

Uncle Tom's Cabin appealed to the entire world, more widely than any
work of fiction that was ever written; but if anybody fell in love and
married in it they have been forgotten.  There was plenty of love in
that book, love of family, love of friends, love of master for servant
and servant for master; love of mother for child; love of married people
for each other; love of humanity and love of God.

It was extremely popular.  Some say it was not literature.  That opinion
will live, like the name of Empedocles.

The art of fiction is being re-born in these days.  Life is discovered
to be longer, wider, deeper, richer, than these monotonous players of
one June would have us believe.

The humanizing of woman of itself opens five distinctly fresh fields of
fiction: First the position of the young woman who is called upon to
give up her "career"--her humanness--for marriage, and who objects to
it; second, the middle-aged woman who at last discovers that her
discontent is social starvation--that it is not more love that she
wants, but more business in life: Third the interrelation of women with
women--a thing we could never write about before because we never had it
before: except in harems and convents: Fourth the inter-action between
mothers and children; this not the eternal "mother and child," wherein
the child is always a baby, but the long drama of personal relationship;
the love and hope, the patience and power, the lasting joy and triumph,
the slow eating disappointment which must never be owned to a living
soul--here are grounds for novels that a million mothers and many
million children would eagerly read: Fifth the new attitude of the
full-grown woman who faces the demands of love with the high standards
of conscious motherhood.

There are other fields, broad and brilliantly promising, but this
chapter is meant merely to show that our one-sided culture has, in this
art, most disproportionately overestimated the dominant instincts of the
male--Love and War--an offense against art and truth, and an injury to




One of the sharpest distinctions both between the essential characters
and the artificial positions of men and women, is in the matter of games
and sports.  By far the greater proportion of them are essentially
masculine, and as such alien to women; while from those which are
humanly interesting, women have been largely debarred by their arbitrary

The play instinct is common to girls and boys alike; and endures in some
measure throughout life.  As other young animals express their abounding
energies in capricious activities similar to those followed in the
business of living, so small children gambol, physically, like lambs and
kids; and as the young of higher kinds of animals imitate in their play
the more complex activities of their elders, so do children imitate
whatever activities they see about them.  In this field of playing there
is no sex.

Similarly in adult life healthy and happy persons, men and women,
naturally express surplus energy in various forms of sport.  We have
here one of the most distinctively human manifestations.  The great
accumulation of social energy, and the necessary limitations of one kind
of work, leave a human being tired of one form of action, yet still
uneasy for lack of full expression; and this social need has been met by
our great safety valve of games and sports.

In a society of either sex, or in a society without sex, there would
still be both pleasure and use in games; they are vitally essential to
human life.  In a society of two sexes, wherein one has dictated all the
terms of life, and the other has been confined to an extremely limited
fraction of human living, we may look to see this great field of
enjoyment as disproportionately divided.

It is not only that we have reduced the play impulse in women by
restricting them to one set of occupations, and overtaxing their
energies with mother-work and housework combined; and not only that by
our androcentric conventions we further restrict their amusements; but
we begin in infancy, and forcibly differentiate their methods of play
long before any natural distinction would appear.

Take that universal joy the doll, or puppet, as an instance.  A small
imitation of a large known object carries delight to the heart of a
child of either sex.  The worsted cat, the wooden horse, the little
wagon, the tin soldier, the wax doll, the toy village, the "Noah's Ark,"
the omnipresent "Teddy Bear," any and every small model of a real thing
is a delight to the young human being.  Of all things the puppet is the
most intimate, the little image of another human being to play with. 
The fancy of the child, making endless combinations with these visible
types, plays as freely as a kitten in the leaves; or gravely carries out
some observed forms of life, as the kitten imitates its mother's

So far all is natural and human.

Now see our attitude toward child's play--under a masculine culture. 
Regarding women only as a sex, and that sex as manifest from infancy, we
make and buy for our little girls toys suitable to this view.  Being
females--which means mothers, we must needs provide them with babies
before they cease to be babies themselves; and we expect their play to
consist in an imitation of maternal cares.  The doll, the puppet, which
interests all children, we have rendered as an eternal baby; and we
foist them upon our girl children by ceaseless millions.

The doll, as such, is dear to the little boy as well as the girl, but
not as a baby.  He likes his jumping-jack, his worsted Sambo, often a
genuine rag-doll; but he is discouraged and ridiculed in this.  We do
not expect the little boy to manifest a father's love and care for an
imitation child--but we do expect the little girl to show maternal
feelings for her imitation baby.  It has not yet occurred to us that
this is monstrous.

Little children should not be expected to show, in painful precocity,
feelings which ought never to be experienced till they come at the
proper age.  Our kittens play at cat-sports, little Tom and Tabby
together; but little Tabby does not play she is a mother!

Beyond the continuous dolls and their continuous dressing, we provide
for our little girls tea sets and kitchen sets, doll's houses, little
work-boxes--the imitation tools of their narrow trades.  For the boy
there is a larger choice.  We make for them not only the essentially
masculine toys of combat--all the enginery of mimic war; but also the
models of human things, like boats, railroads, wagons.  For them, too,
are the comprehensive toys of the centuries, the kite, the top, the
ball.  As the boy gets old enough to play the games that require skill,
he enters the world-lists, and the little sister, left inside, with her
everlasting dolls, learns that she is "only a girl," and "mustn't play
with boys--boys are so rough!"  She has her doll and her tea set.  She
"plays house."  If very active she may jump rope, in solitary
enthusiasm, or in combination of from two to four.  Her brother is
playing games.  From this time on he plays the games of the world.  The
"sporting page" should be called "the Man's Page" as that array of
recipes, fashions and cheap advice is called "the Woman's Page."

One of the immediate educational advantages of the boy's position is
that he learns "team work."  This is not a masculine characteristic, it
is a human one; a social power.  Women are equally capable of it by
nature; but not by education.  Tending one's imitation baby is not
team-work; nor is playing house.  The little girl is kept forever within
the limitations of her mother's "sphere" of action; while the boy learns
life, and fancies that his new growth is due to his superior sex.

Now there are certain essential distinctions in the sexes, which would
manifest themselves to some degree even in normally reared children; as
for instance the little male would be more given to fighting and
destroying; the little female more to caring for and constructing

"Boys are so destructive!" we say with modest pride--as if it was in
some way a credit to them.  But early youth is not the time to display
sex distinction; and they should be discouraged rather than approved.

The games of the world, now the games of men, easily fall into two broad
classes--games of skill and games of chance.

The interest and pleasure in the latter is purely human, and as such is
shared by the two sexes even now.  Women, in the innocent beginnings or
the vicious extremes of this line of amusement, make as wild gamblers as
men.  At the races, at the roulette wheel, at the bridge table, this is
clearly seen.

In games of skill we have a different showing.  Most of these are
developed by and for men; but when they are allowed, women take part in
them with interest and success.  In card games, in chess, checkers, and
the like, in croquet and tennis, they play, and play well if
well-trained.  Where they fall short in so many games, and are so wholly
excluded in others, is not for lack of human capacity, but for lack of
masculinity.  Most games are male.  In their element of desire to win,
to get the prize, they are male; and in their universal attitude of
competition they are male, the basic spirit of desire and of combat
working out through subtle modern forms.

There is something inherently masculine also in the universal dominance
of the projectile in their games.  The ball is the one unescapable
instrument of sport.  From the snapped marble of infancy to the flying
missile of the bat, this form endures.  To send something forth with
violence; to throw it, bat it, kick it, shoot it; this impulse seems to
date back to one of the twin forces of the universe--the centrifugal and
centripetal energies between which swing the planets.

The basic feminine impulse is to gather, to put together, to construct;
the basic masculine impulse to scatter, to disseminate, to destroy.  It
seems to give pleasure to a man to bang something and drive it from him;
the harder he hits it and the farther it goes the better pleased he is.

Games of this sort will never appeal to women.  They are not wrong; not
necessarily evil in their place; our mistake is in considering them as
human, whereas they are only masculine.

Play, in the childish sense is an expression of previous habit; and to
be studied in that light.  Play in the educational sense should be
encouraged or discouraged to develop desired characteristics.  This we
know, and practice; only we do it under androcentric canons; confining
the girl to the narrow range we consider proper for women, and assisting
the boy to cover life with the expression of masculinity, when we should
be helping both to a more human development.

Our settled conviction that men are people--the people, and that
masculine qualities are the main desideratam in life, is what keeps up
this false estimate of the value of our present games.  Advocates of
football, for instance, proudly claim that it fits a man for life. 
Life--from the wholly male point of view--is a battle, with a prize.  To
want something beyond measure, and to fight to get--that is the simple
proposition.  This view of life finds its most naive expression in
predatory warfare; and still tends to make predatory warfare of the
later and more human processes of industry.  Because they see life in
this way they imagine that skill and practice in the art of fighting,
especially in collective fighting, is so valuable in our modern life. 
This is an archaism which would be laughable if it were not so dangerous
in its effects.

The valuable processes to-day are those of invention, discovery, all
grades of industry, and, most especially needed, the capacity for honest
service and administration of our immense advantages.  These are not
learned on the football field.  This spirit of desire and combat may be
seen further in all parts of this great subject.  It has developed into
a cult of sportsmanship; so universally accepted among men as of
superlative merit as to quite blind them to other standards of judgment.

In the Cook-Peary controversy of 1909, this canon was made manifest. 
Here, one man had spent a lifetime in trying to accomplish something;
and at the eleventh hour succeeded.  Then, coming out in the rich
triumph long deferred, he finds another man, of character well known to
him, impudently and falsely claiming that he had done it first.  Mr.
Peary expressed himself, quite restrainedly and correctly, in regard to
the effrontery and falsity of this claim--and all the country rose up
and denounced him as "unsportsmanlike!"

Sport and the canons of sport are so dominant in the masculine mind that
what they considered a deviation from these standards was of far more
importance than the question of fact involved; to say nothing of the
moral obliquity of one lying to the whole world, for money; and that at
the cost of another's hard-won triumph.

If women had condemned the conduct of one or the other as "not good
house-wifery," this would have been considered a most puerile comment. 
But to be "unsportsmanlike" is the unpardonable sin.

Owing to our warped standards we glaringly misjudge the attitude of the
two sexes in regard to their amusements.  Of late years more women than
ever before have taken to playing cards; and some, unfortunately, play
for money.  A steady stream of comment and blame follows upon this.  The
amount of card playing among men--and the amount of money lost and won,
does not produce an equivalent comment.

Quite aside from this one field of dissipation, look at the share of
life, of time, of strength, of money, given by men to their wide range
of recreation.  The primitive satisfaction of hunting and fishing they
maintain at enormous expense.  This is the indulgence of a most
rudimentary impulse; pre-social and largely pre-human, of no service
save as it affects bodily health, and of a most deterring influence on
real human development.  Where hunting and fishing is of real human
service, done as a means of livelihood, it is looked down upon like any
other industry; it is no longer "sport."

The human being kills to eat, or to sell and eat from the returns; he
kills for the creature's hide or tusks, for use of some sort; or to
protect his crops from vermin, his flocks from depredation; but the
sportsman kills for the gratification of a primeval instinct, and under
rules of an arbitrary cult.  "Game" creatures are his prey; bird, beast
or fish that is hard to catch, that requires some skill to slay; that
will give him not mere meat and bones, but "the pleasure of the chase."

The pleasure of the chase is a very real one.  It is exemplified, in its
broad sense in children's play.  The running and catching games, the
hiding and finding games, are always attractive to our infancy, as they
are to that of cubs and kittens.  But the long continuance of this
indulgence among mature civilized beings is due to their masculinity. 
That group of associated sex instincts, which in the woman prompts to
the patient service and fierce defence of the little child, in the man
has its deepest root in seeking, pursuing and catching.  To hunt is more
than a means of obtaining food, in his long ancestry; it is to follow at
any cost, to seek through all difficulties, to struggle for and secure
the central prize of his being--a mate.

His "protective instincts" are far later and more superficial.  To
support and care for his wife, his children, is a recent habit, in plain
sight historically; but "the pleasure of the chase" is older than that. 
We should remember that associate habits and impulses last for ages upon
ages in living forms; as in the tree climbing instincts of our earliest
years, of Simian origin; and the love of water, which dates back through
unmeasured time.  Where for millions of years the strongest pleasure a
given organism is fitted for, is obtained by a certain group of
activities, those activities will continue to give pleasure long after
their earlier use is gone.

This is why men enjoy "the ardor of pursuit" far more than women.  It is
an essentially masculine ardor.  To come easily by what he wants does
not satisfy him.  He wants to want it.  He wants to hunt it, seek it,
chase it, catch it.  He wants it to be "game."  He is by virtue of his
sex a sportsman.

There is no reason why these special instincts should not be gratified
so long as it does no harm to the more important social processes; but
it is distinctly desirable that we should understand their nature.  The
reason why we have the present overwhelming mass of "sporting events,"
from the ball game to the prize fight, is because our civilization is so
overwhelmingly masculine.  We shall criticize them more justly when we
see that all this mass of indulgence is in the first place a form of
sex-expression, and in the second place a survival of instincts older
than the oldest savagery.

Besides our games and sports we have a large field of "amusements" also
worth examining.  We not only enjoy doing things, but we enjoy seeing
them done by others.  In these highly specialized days most of our
amusement consists in paying two dollars to sit three hours and see
other people do things.

This in its largest sense is wholly human.  We, as social creatures, can
enjoy a thousand forms of expression quite beyond the personal.  The
birds must each sing his own song; the crickets chirp in millionfold
performance; but human being feels the deep thrill of joy in their
special singers, actors, dancers, as well as in their own personal
attempts.  That we should find pleasure in watching one another is
humanly natural, but what it is we watch, the kind of pleasure and the
kind of performance, opens a wide field of choice.

We know, for instance, something of the crude excesses of aboriginal
Australian dances; we know more of the gross license of old Rome; we
know the breadth of the jokes in medieval times, and the childish
brutality of the bull-ring and the cockpit.  We know, in a word, that
amusements vary; that they form a ready gauge of character and culture;
that they have a strong educational influence for good or bad.  What we
have not hitherto observed is the predominant masculine influence on our
amusements.  If we recall once more the statement with regard to
entertaining anecdotes, "There are thirty good stories in the world, and
twenty-nine of them cannot be told to women," we get a glaring sidelight
on the masculine specialization in jokes.

"Women have no sense of humor" has been frequently said, when "Women
have not a masculine sense of humor" would be truer.  If women had
thirty "good stories" twenty-nine of which could not be told to men, it
is possible that men, if they heard some of the twenty-nine, would not
find them funny.  The overweight of one sex has told in our amusements
as everywhere else.

Because men are further developed in humanity than women are as yet,
they have built and organized great places of amusement; because they
carried into their humanity their unchecked masculinity, they have made
these amusements to correspond.  Dramatic expression, is in its true
sense, not only a human distinction, but one of our noblest arts.  It is
allied with the highest emotions; is religious, educational, patriotic,
covering the whole range of human feeling.  Through it we should be able
continually to express, in audible, visible forms, alive and moving,
whatever phase of life we most enjoyed or wished to see.  There was a
time when the drama led life; lifted, taught, inspired, enlightened. 
Now its main function is to amuse.  Under the demand for amusement, it
has cheapened and coarsened, and now the thousand vaudevilles and
picture shows give us the broken fragments of a degraded art of which
our one main demand is that it shall make us laugh.

There are many causes at work here; and while this study seeks to show
in various fields one cause, it does not claim that cause is the only
one.  Our economic conditions have enormous weight upon our amusements,
as on all other human phenomena; but even under economic pressure the
reactions of men and women are often dissimilar.  Tired men and women
both need amusement, the relaxation and restful change of irresponsible
gayety.  The great majority of women, who work longer hours than any
other class, need it desperately and never get it.  Amusement,
entertainment, recreation, should be open to us all, enjoyed by all. 
This is a human need, and not a distinction of either sex.  Like most
human things it is not only largely monopolized by men, but masculized
throughout.  Many forms of amusement are for men only; more for men
mostly; all are for men if they choose to go.

The entrance of women upon the stage, and their increased attendance at
theatres has somewhat modified the nature of the performance; even the
"refined vaudeville" now begins to show the influence of women.  It
would be no great advantage to have this department of human life
feminized; the improvement desired is to have it less masculized; to
reduce the excessive influence of one, and to bring out those broad
human interests and pleasures which men and women can equally
participate in and enjoy.




The laws of physics were at work before we were on earth, and continued
to work on us long before we had intelligence enough to perceive, much
less understand, them.  Our proven knowledge of these processes
constitutes "the science of physics"; but the laws were there before the

Physics is the science of material relation, how things and natural
forces work with and on one another.  Ethics is the science of social
relation, how persons and social forces work with and on one another.

Ethics is to the human world what physics is to the material world;
ignorance of ethics leaves us in the same helpless position in regard to
one another that ignorance of physics left us in regard to earth, air,
fire and water.

To be sure, people lived and died and gradually improved, while yet
ignorant of the physical sciences; they developed a rough "rule of
thumb" method, as animals do, and used great forces without
understanding them.  But their lives were safer and their improvement
more rapid as they learned more, and began to make servants of the
forces which had been their masters.

We have progressed, lamely enough, with terrible loss and suffering,
from stark savagery to our present degree of civilization; we shall go
on more safely and swiftly when we learn more of the science of ethics.

Let us note first that while the underlying laws of ethics remain steady
and reliable, human notions of them have varied widely and still do so. 
In different races, ages, classes, sexes, different views of ethics
obtain; the conduct of the people is modified by their views, and their
prosperity is modified by their conduct.

Primitive man became very soon aware that conduct was of importance.  As
consciousness increased, with the power to modify action from within,
instead of helplessly reacting to stimuli from without, there arose the
crude first codes of ethics, the "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" of
the blundering savage.  It was mostly "Thou shalt not."  Inhibition, the
checking of an impulse proven disadvantageous, was an earlier and easier
form of action than the later human power to consciously decide on and
follow a course of action with no stimulus but one's own will.

Primitive ethics consists mostly of Tabus--the things that are
forbidden; and all our dim notions of ethics to this day, as well as
most of our religions, deal mainly with forbidding.

This is almost the whole of our nursery government, to an extent shown
by the well-worn tale of the child who said her name was "Mary."  "Mary
what?" they asked her.  And she answered, "Mary Don't."  It is also the
main body of our legal systems--a complex mass of prohibitions and
preventions.  And even in manners and conventions, the things one should
not do far outnumber the things one should.  A general policy of
negation colors our conceptions of ethics and religion.

When the positive side began to be developed, it was at first in purely
arbitrary and artificial form.  The followers of a given religion were
required to go through certain motions, as prostrating themselves,
kneeling, and the like; they were required to bring tribute to the gods
and their priests, sacrifices, tithes, oblations; they were set little
special performances to go through at given times; the range of things
forbidden was broad; the range of things commanded was narrow.  The
Christian religion, practically interpreted, requires a fuller "change
of heart" and change of life than any preceding it; which may account at
once for its wide appeal to enlightened peoples, and to its scarcity of

Again, in surveying the field, it is seen that as our grasp of ethical
values widened, as we called more and more acts and tendencies "right"
and "wrong," we have shown astonishing fluctuations and vagaries in our
judgment.  Not only in our religions, which have necessarily upheld each
its own set of prescribed actions as most "right," and its own special
prohibitions as most "wrong"; but in our beliefs about ethics and our
real conduct, we have varied absurdly.

Take, for instance, the ethical concept among "gentlemen" a century or
so since, which put the paying of one's gambling debts as a well-nigh
sacred duty, and the paying of a tradesman who had fed and clothed one
as a quite negligible matter.  If the process of gambling was of social
service, and the furnishing of food and clothes was not, this might be
good ethics; but as the contrary is true, we have to account for this
peculiar view on other grounds.

Again, where in Japan a girl, to maintain her parents, is justified in
leading a life of shame, we have a peculiar ethical standard difficult
for Western minds to appreciate.  Yet in such an instance as is
described in "Auld Robin Gray," we see precisely the same code; the
girl, to benefit her parents, marries a rich old man she does not
love--which is to lead a life of shame.  The ethical view which
justifies this, puts the benefit of parents above the benefit of
children, robs the daughter of happiness and motherhood, injures
posterity to assist ancestors.

This is one of the products of that very early religion, ancestor
worship; and here we lay a finger on a distinctly masculine influence.

We know little of ethical values during the matriarchate; whatever they
were, they must have depended for sanction on a cult of promiscuous but
efficient maternity.  Our recorded history begins in the patriarchal
period, and it is its ethics alone which we know.

The mother instinct, throughout nature, is one of unmixed devotion, of
love and service, care and defence, with no self-interest.  The animal
father, in such cases as he is of service to the young, assists the
mother in her work in similar fashion.  But the human father in the
family with the male head soon made that family an instrument of desire,
and combat, and self-expression, following the essentially masculine
impulses.  The children were his, and if males, valuable to serve and
glorify him.  In his dominance over servile women and helpless children,
free rein was given to the growth of pride and the exercise of
irresponsible tyranny.  To these feelings, developed without check for
thousands of years, and to the mental habits resultant, it is easy to
trace much of the bias of our early ethical concepts.

Perhaps it is worth while to repeat here that the effort of this book is
by no means to attribute a wholly evil influence to men, and a wholly
good one to women; it is not even claimed that a purely feminine culture
would have advanced the world more successfully.  It does claim that the
influence of the two together is better than that of either one alone;
and in especial to point out what special kind of injury is due to the
exclusive influence of one sex heretofore.

We have to-day reached a degree of human development where both men and
women are capable of seeing over and across the distinctions of sex, and
mutually working for the advancement of the world.  Our progress is,
however, seriously impeded by what we may call the masculine tradition,
the unconscious dominance of a race habit based on this long
androcentric period; and it is well worth while, in the interests of
both sexes, to show the mischievous effects of the predominance of one.

We have in our ethics not only a "double standard" in one special line,
but in nearly all.  Man, as a sex, has quite naturally deified his own
qualities rather than those of his opposite.  In his codes of manners,
of morals, of laws, in his early concepts of God, his ancient religions,
we see masculinity written large on every side.  Confining women wholly
to their feminine functions, he has required of them only what he called
feminine virtues, and the one virtue he has demanded, to the complete
overshadowing of all others, is measured by wholly masculine

ln the interests of health and happiness, monogamous marriage proves its
superiority in our race as it has in others.  It is essential to the
best growth of humanity that we practice the virtue of chastity; it is a
human virtue, not a feminine one.  But in masculine hands this virtue
was enforced upon women under penalties of hideous cruelty, and quite
ignored by men.  Masculine ethics, colored by masculine instincts,
always dominated by sex, has at once recognized the value of chastity in
the woman, which is right; punished its absence unfairly, which is
wrong; and then reversed the whole matter when applied to men, which is

Ethical laws are laws--not idle notions.  Chastity is a virtue because
it promotes human welfare--not because men happen to prize it in women
and ignore it themselves.  The underlying reason for the whole thing is
the benefit of the child; and to that end a pure and noble fatherhood is
requisite, as well as such a motherhood.  Under the limitations of a too
masculine ethics, we have developed on this one line social conditions
which would be absurdly funny if they were not so horrible.

Religion, be it noticed, does not bear out this attitude.  The immense
human need of religion, the noble human character of the great religious
teachers, has always set its standards, when first established, ahead of
human conduct.

Some there are, men of learning and authority, who hold that the
deadening immobility of our religions, their resistance to progress and
relentless preservation of primitive ideals, is due to the conservatism
of women.  Men, they say, are progressive by nature; women are
conservative.  Women are more religious than men, and so preserve old
religious forms unchanged after men have outgrown them.

If we saw women in absolute freedom, with a separate religion devised by
women, practiced by women, and remaining unchanged through the
centuries; while men, on the other hand, bounded bravely forward, making
new ones as fast as they were needed, this belief might be maintained. 
But what do we see?  All the old religions made by men, and forced on
the women whether they liked it or not.  Often women not even considered
as part of the scheme--denied souls--given a much lower place in the
system--going from the service of their father's gods to the service of
their husbands--having none of their own.  We see religions which make
practically no place for women, as with the Moslem, as rigidly bigoted
and unchanging as any other.

We see also this: that the wider and deeper the religion, the more
human, the more it calls for practical applications in Christianity--the
more it appeals to women.  Further, in the diverging sects of the
Christian religion, we find that its progressiveness is to be measured,
not by the numbers of its women adherents, but by their relative
freedom.  The women of America, who belong to a thousand sects, who
follow new ones with avidity, who even make them, and who also leave
them all as men do, are women, as well as those of Spain, who remain
contented Romanists, but in America the status of women is higher.

The fact is this: a servile womanhood is in a state of arrested
development, and as such does form a ground for the retention of ancient
ideas.  But this is due to the condition of servility, not to womanhood.
 That women at present are the bulwark of the older forms of our
religions is due to the action of two classes of men: the men of the
world, who keep women in their restricted position, and the men of the
church, who take every advantage of the limitations of women.  When we
have for the first time in history a really civilized womanhood, we can
then judge better of its effect on religion.

Meanwhile, we can see quite clearly the effect of manhood.  Keeping in
mind those basic masculine impulses--desire and combat--we see them
reflected from high heaven in their religious concepts.  Reward! 
Something to want tremendously and struggle to achieve!  This is a
concept perfectly masculine and most imperfectly religious.  A religion
is partly explanation--a theory of life; it is partly emotion--an
attitude of mind, it is partly action--a system of morals.  Man's
special effect on this large field of human development is clear.  He
pictured his early gods as like to himself, and they behaved in
accordance with his ideals.  In the dimmest, oldest religions, nearest
the matriarchate, we find great goddesses--types of Motherhood,
Mother-love, Mother-care and Service.  But under masculine dominance,
Isis and Ashteroth dwindle away to an alluring Aphrodite--not Womanhood
for the child and the World--but the incarnation of female
attractiveness for man.

As the idea of heaven developed in the man's mind it became the Happy
Hunting Ground of the savage, the beery and gory Valhalla of the
Norseman, the voluptuous, many-houri-ed Paradise of the Mohammedan. 
These are men's heavens all.  Women have never been so fond of hunting,
beer or blood; and their houris would be of the other kind.  It may be
said that the early Christian idea of heaven is by no means planned for
men.  That is trite, and is perhaps the reason why it has never had so
compelling an attraction for them.

Very early in his vague efforts towards religious expression, man voiced
his second strongest instinct--that of combat.  His universe is always
dual, always a scene of combat.  Born with that impulse, exercising it
continually, he naturally assumed it to be the major process in life. 
It is not.  Growth is the major process.  Combat is a useful subsidiary
process, chiefly valuable for its initial use, to transmit the physical
superiority of the victor.  Psychic and social advantages are not thus
secured or transmitted.

In no one particular is the androcentric character of our common thought
more clearly shown than in the general deification of what are now
described as "conflict stimuli."  That which is true of the male
creature as such is assumed to be true of life in general; quite
naturally, but by no means correctly.  To this universal masculine error
we may trace in the field of religion and ethics the great devil theory,
which has for so long obscured our minds.  A God without an Adversary
was inconceivable to the masculine mind.  From this basic misconception
we find all our ideas of ethics distorted; that which should have been
treated as a group of truths to be learned and habits to be cultivated
was treated in terms of combat, and moral growth made an everlasting
battle.  This combat theory we may follow later into our common notions
of discipline, government, law and punishment; here is it enough to see
its painful effects in this primary field of ethics and religion?

The third essential male trait of self-expression we may follow from its
innocent natural form in strutting cock or stamping stag up to the
characteristics we label vanity and pride.  The degradation of women in
forcing them to adopt masculine methods of personal decoration as a
means of livelihood, has carried with the concomitant of personal
vanity: but to this day and at their worst we do not find in women the
_naive_ exultant glow of pride which swells the bosom of the men who
march in procession with brass bands, in full regalia of any sort, so
that it be gorgeous, exhibiting their glories to all.

It is this purely masculine spirit which has given to our early concepts
of Deity the unadmirable qualities of boundless pride and a thirst for
constant praise and prostrate admiration, characteristics certainly
unbefitting any noble idea of God.  Desire, combat and self-expression
all have had their unavoidable influence on masculine religions.  What
deified Maternity a purely feminine culture might have put forth we do
not know, having had none such.  Women are generally credited with as
much moral sense as men, and as much religious instinct; but so far it
has had small power to modify our prevailing creeds.

As a matter of fact, no special sex attributes should have any weight in
our ideas of right and wrong.  Ethics and religion are distinctly human
concerns; they belong to us as social factors, not as physical ones.  As
we learn to recognize our humanness, and to leave our sex
characteristics where they belong, we shall at last learn something
about ethics as a simple and practical science, and see that religions
grow as the mind grows to formulate them.

If anyone seeks for a clear, simple, easily grasped proof of our ethics,
it is to be found in a popular proverb.  Struggling upward from beast
and savage into humanness, man has seen, reverenced, and striven to
attain various human virtues.

He was willing to check many primitive impulses, to change many
barbarous habits, to manifest newer, nobler powers.  Much he would
concede to Humanness, but not his sex--that was beyond the range of
Ethics or Religion.  By the state of what he calls "morals," and the
laws he makes to regulate them, by his attitude in courtship and in
marriage, and by the gross anomaly of militarism, in all its senseless
waste of life and wealth and joy, we may perceive this little masculine

"All's fair in love and war."




The origin of education is maternal.  The mother animal is seen to teach
her young what she knows of life, its gains and losses; and, whether
consciously done or not, this is education.  In our human life,
education, even in its present state, is the most important process. 
Without it we could not maintain ourselves, much less dominate and
improve conditions as we do; and when education is what it should be,
our power will increase far beyond present hopes.

In lower animals, speaking generally, the powers of the race must be
lodged in each individual.  No gain of personal experience is of avail
to the others.  No advantages remain, save those physically transmitted.
 The narrow limits of personal gain and personal inheritance rigidly hem
in sub-human progress.  With us, what one learns may be taught to the
others.  Our life is social, collective.  Our gain is for all, and
profits us in proportion as we extend it to all.  As the human soul
develops in us, we become able to grasp more fully our common needs and
advantages; and with this growth has come the extension of education to
the people as a whole.  Social functions are developed under natural
laws, like physical ones, and may be studied similarly.

In the evolution of this basic social function, what has been the effect
of wholly masculine influence?

The original process, instruction of individual child by individual
mother, has been largely neglected in our man-made world.  That was
considered as a subsidiary sex-function of the woman, and as such, left
to her "instinct."  This is the main reason why we show such great
progress in education for older children, and especially for youths, and
so little comparatively in that given to little ones.

We have had on the one side the natural current of maternal education,
with its first assistant, the nursemaid, and its second, the
"dame-school"; and on the other the influence of the dominant class,
organized in university, college, and public school, slowly filtering

Educational forces are many.  The child is born into certain conditions,
physical and psychic, and "educated" thereby.  He grows up into social,
political and economic conditions, and is further modified by them.  All
these conditions, so far, have been of androcentric character; but what
we call education as a special social process is what the child is
deliberately taught and subjected to; and it is here we may see the same
dominant influence so clearly.

This conscious education was, for long, given to boys alone, the girls
being left to maternal influence, each to learn what her mother knew,
and no more.  This very clear instance of the masculine theory is
glaring enough by itself to rest a case on.  It shows how absolute was
the assumption that the world was composed of men, and men alone were to
be fitted for it.  Women were no part of the world, and needed no
training for its uses.  As females they were born and not made; as human
beings they were only servants, trained as such by their servant

This system of education we are outgrowing more swiftly with each year. 
The growing humanness of women, and its recognition, is forcing an equal
education for boy and girl.  When this demand was first made, by women
of unusual calibre, and by men sufficiently human to overlook
sex-prejudice, how was it met?  What was the attitude of woman's
"natural protector" when she began to ask some share in human life?

Under the universal assumption that men alone were humanity, that the
world was masculine and for men only, the efforts of the women were met
as a deliberate attempt to "unsex" themselves and become men.  To be a
woman was to be ignorant, uneducated; to be wise, educated, was to be a
man.  Women were not men, visibly; therefore they could not be educated,
and ought not to want to be.

Under this androcentric prejudice, the equal extension of education to
women was opposed at every step, and is still opposed by many.  Seeing
in women only sex, and not humanness, they would confine her exclusively
to feminine interests.  This is the masculine view, _par excellence_. 
In spite of it, the human development of women, which so splendidly
characterizes our age, has gone on; and now both woman's colleges and
those for both sexes offer "the higher education" to our girls, as well
as the lower grades in school and kindergarten.

In the special professional training, the same opposition was
experienced, even more rancorous and cruel.  One would think that on the
entrance of a few straggling and necessarily inferior feminine beginners
into a trade or profession, those in possession would extend to them the
right hand of fellowship, as comrades, extra assistance as beginners,
and special courtesy as women.

The contrary occurred.  Women were barred out, discriminated against,
taken advantage of, as competitors; and as women they have had to meet
special danger and offence instead of special courtesy.  An
unforgettable instance of this lies in the attitude of the medical
colleges toward women students.  The men, strong enough, one would
think, in numbers, in knowledge, in established precedent, to be
generous, opposed the newcomers first with absolute refusal; then, when
the patient, persistent applicants did get inside, both students and
teachers met them not only with unkindness and unfairness, but with a
weapon ingeniously well chosen, and most discreditable--namely,
obscenity.  Grave professors, in lecture and clinic, as well as grinning
students, used offensive language, and played offensive tricks, to drive
the women out--a most androcentric performance.

Remember that the essential masculine attitude is one of opposition, of
combat; his desire is obtained by first overcoming a competitor; and
then see how this dominant masculinity stands out where it has no
possible use or benefit--in the field of education.  All along the line,
man, long master of a subject sex, fought every step of woman toward
mental equality.  Nevertheless, since modern man has become human enough
to be just, he has at last let her have a share in the advantages of
education; and she has proven her full power to appreciate and use these

Then to-day rises a new cry against "women in education."  Here is Mr.
Barrett Wendell, of Harvard, solemnly claiming that teaching women
weakens the intellect of the teacher, and every now and then bursts out
a frantic sputter of alarm over the "feminization" of our schools.  It
is true that the majority of teachers are now women.  It is true that
they do have an influence on growing children.  It would even seem to be
true that that is largely what women are for.

But the male assumes his influence to be normal, human, and the female
influence as wholly a matter of sex; therefore, where women teach boys,
the boys become "effeminate"--a grievous fall.  When men teach girls, do
the girls become -----?  Here again we lack the analogue.  Never has it
occurred to the androcentric mind to conceive of such a thing as being
too masculine.  There is no such word!  It is odd to notice that which
ever way the woman is placed, she is supposed to exert this degrading
influence; if the teacher, she effeminizes her pupils; if the pupil, she
effeminizes her teachers.

Now let us shake ourselves free, if only for a moment, from the
androcentric habit of mind.

As a matter of sex, the female is the more important.  Her share of the
processes which sex distinction serves is by far the greater.  To be
feminine--if one were nothing else, is a far more extensive and
dignified office than to be masculine--and nothing else.

But as a matter of humanity the male of our species is at present far
ahead of the female.  By this superior humanness, his knowledge, his
skill, his experience, his organization and specialization, he makes and
manages the world.  All this is human, not male.  All this is as open to
the woman as the man by nature, but has been denied her during our
androcentric culture.

But even if, in a purely human process, such as education, she does
bring her special feminine characteristics to bear, what are they, and
what are the results?

We can see the masculine influence everywhere still dominant and
superior.  There is the first spur, Desire, the base of the reward
system, the incentive of self-interest, the attitude which says, "Why
should I make an effort unless it will give me pleasure?" with its
concomitant laziness, unwillingness to work without payment.  There is
the second spur, Combat, the competitive system, which sets one against
another, and finds pleasure not in learning, not exercising the mind,
but in getting ahead of one's fellows.  Under these two wholly masculine
influences we have made the educational process a joy to the few who
successfully attain, and a weary effort, with failure and contumely
attached, to all the others.  This may be a good method in
sex-competition, but is wholly out of place and mischievous in
education.  Its prevalence shows the injurious masculization of this
noble social process.

What might we look for in a distinctly feminine influence?  What are
these much-dreaded feminine characteristics?

The maternal ones, of course.  The sex instincts of the male are of a
preliminary nature, leading merely to the union preceding parenthood. 
The sex instincts of the female cover a far larger field, spending
themselves most fully in the lasting love, the ceaseless service, the
ingenuity and courage of efficient motherhood.  To feminize education
would be to make it more motherly.  The mother does not rear her
children by a system of prizes to be longed for and pursued; nor does
she set them to compete with one another, giving to the conquering child
what he needs, and to the vanquished, blame and deprivation.  That would
be "unfeminine."

Motherhood does all it knows to give to each child what is most needed,
to teach all to their fullest capacity, to affectionately and
efficiently develop the whole of them.

But this is not what is meant by those who fear so much the influence of
women.  Accustomed to a wholly male standard of living, to masculine
ideals, virtues, methods and conditions, they say--and say with some
justice--that feminine methods and ideals would be destructive to what
they call "manliness."  For instance, education to-day is closely
interwoven with games and sports, all of an excessively masculine
nature.  "The education of a boy is carried on largely on the
playground!" say the objectors to women teachers.  Women cannot join
them there; therefore, they cannot educate them.

What games are these in which women cannot join?  There are forms of
fighting, of course, violent and fierce, modern modifications of the
instinct of sex-combat.  It is quite true that women are not adapted, or
inclined, to baseball or football or any violent game.  They are
perfectly competent to take part in all normal athletic development, the
human range of agility and skill is open to them, as everyone knows who
has been to the circus; but they are not built for physical combat; nor
do they find ceaseless pleasure in throwing, hitting or kicking things.

But is it true that these strenuous games have the educational value
attributed to them?  It seems like blasphemy to question it.  The whole
range of male teachers, male pupils, male critics and spectators, are
loud in their admiration for the "manliness" developed by the craft,
courage, co-ordinative power and general "sportsmanship" developed by
the game of football, for instance; that a few young men are killed and
many maimed, is nothing in comparison to these advantages.

Let us review the threefold distinction on which this whole study rests,
between masculine, feminine and human.  Grant that woman, being
feminine, cannot emulate man in being masculine--and does not want to. 
Grant that the masculine qualities have their use and value, as well as
feminine ones.  There still remain the human qualities shared by both,
owned by neither, most important of all.  Education is a human process,
and should develop human qualities--not sex qualities.  Surely our boys
are sufficiently masculine, without needing a special education to make
them more so.

The error lies here.  A strictly masculine world, proud of its own sex
and despising the other, seeing nothing in the world but sex, either
male or female, has "viewed with alarm" the steady and rapid growth of
humanness.  Here, for instance, is a boy visibly tending to be an
artist, a musician, a scientific discoverer.  Here is another boy not
particularly clever in any line, nor ambitious for any special work,
though he means in a general way to "succeed"; he is, however, a big,
husky fellow, a good fighter, mischievous as a monkey, and strong in the
virtues covered by the word "sportsmanship."  This boy we call "a fine
manly fellow."

We are quite right.  He is.  He is distinctly and excessively male, at
the expense of his humanness.  He may make a more prepotent sire than
the other, though even that is not certain; he may, and probably will,
appeal more strongly to the excessively feminine girl, who has even less
humanness than he; but he is not therefore a better citizen.

The advance of civilization calls for human qualities, in both men and
women.  Our educational system is thwarted and hindered, not as Prof.
Wendell and his life would have us believe, by "feminization," but by an
overweening masculization.

Their position is a simple one.  "We are men.  Men are human beings. 
Women are only women.  This is a man's world.  To get on in it you must
do it man-fashion--i.e., fight, and overcome the others.  Being
civilized, in part, we must arrange a sort of "civilized warfare," and
learn to play the game, the old crude, fierce male game of combat, and
we must educate our boys thereto."  No wonder education was denied to
women.  No wonder their influence is dreaded by an ultra-masculine

It will change the system in time.  It will gradually establish an equal
place in life for the feminine characteristics, so long belittled and
derided, and give pre-eminent dignity to the human power.

Physical culture, for both boys and girls, will be part of such a
modified system.  All things that both can do together will be accepted
as human; but what either boys or girls have to retire apart to practice
will be frankly called masculine and feminine, and not encouraged in

The most important qualities are the human ones, and will be so named
and honored.  Courage is a human quality, not a sex-quality.  What is
commonly called courage in male animals is mere belligerence, the
fighting instinct.  To meet an adversary of his own sort is a universal
masculine trait; two father cats may fight fiercely each other, but both
will run from a dog as quickly as a mother cat.  She has courage enough,
however, in defence of her kittens.

What this world most needs to-day in both men and women, is the power to
recognize our public conditions; to see the relative importance of
measures; to learn the processes of constructive citizenship.  We need
an education which shall give its facts in the order of their
importance; morals and manners based on these facts; and train our
personal powers with careful selection, so that each may best serve the

At present, in the larger processes of extra-scholastic education, the
advantage is still with the boy.  From infancy we make the gross mistake
of accentuating sex in our children, by dress and all its limitations,
by special teaching of what is "ladylike" and "manly."  The boy is
allowed a freedom of experience far beyond the girl.  He learns more of
his town and city, more of machinery, more of life, passing on from
father to son the truths as well as traditions of sex superiority.

All this is changing before our eyes, with the advancing humanness of
women.  Not yet, however, has their advance affected, to any large
extent, the base of all education; the experience of a child's first
years.  Here is where the limitations of women have checked race
progress most thoroughly.  Here hereditary influence was constantly
offset by the advance of the male.  Social selection did develop higher
types of men, though sex-selection reversed still insisted on primitive
types of women.  But the educative influence of these primitive women,
acting most exclusively on the most susceptible years of life, has been
a serious deterrent to race progress.

Here is the dominant male, largely humanized, yet still measuring life
from male standards.  He sees women only as a sex.  (Note here the
criticism of Europeans on American women.  "Your women are so sexless!"
they say, meaning merely that our women have human qualities as well as
feminine.)  And children he considers as part and parcel of the same
domain, both inferior classes, "women and children."

I recall in Rimmer's beautiful red chalk studies, certain profiles of
man, woman and child, and careful explanation that the proportion of the
woman's face and head were far more akin to the child than to the man. 
What Mr. Rimmer should have shown, and could have, by profuse
illustration, was that the faces of boy and girl differ but slightly,
and the faces of old men and women differ as little, sometimes not at
all; while the face of the woman approximates the human more closely
than that of the man; while the child, representing race more than sex,
is naturally more akin to her than to him.  The male reserves more
primitive qualities, the hairiness, the more pugnacious jaw; the female
is nearer to the higher human types.

An ultra-male selection has chosen women for their femininity first, and
next for qualities of submissiveness and patient service bred by long
ages of servility.

This servile womanhood, or the idler and more excessively feminine type,
has never appreciated the real power and place of the mother, and has
never been able to grasp or to carry out any worthy system of education
for little children.  Any experienced teacher, man or woman, will own
how rare it is to find a mother capable of a dispassionate appreciation
of educative values.  Books in infant education and child culture
generally are read by teachers more than mothers, so our public
libraries prove.  The mother-instinct, quite suitable and sufficient in
animals, is by no means equal to the requirements of civilized life. 
Animal motherhood furnishes a fresh wave of devotion for each new birth;
primitive human motherhood extends that passionate tenderness over the
growing family for a longer period; but neither can carry education
beyond its rudiments.

So accustomed are we to our world-old method of entrusting the first
years of the child to the action of untaught, unbridled mother-instinct,
that suggestions as to a better education for babies are received with
the frank derision of massed ignorance.

That powerful and brilliant writer, Mrs. Josephine Daskam Bacon, among
others has lent her able pen to ridicule and obstruct the gradual
awakening of human intelligence in mothers, the recognition that babies
are no exception to the rest of us in being better off for competent
care and service.  It seems delightfully absurd to these reactionaries
that ages of human progress should be of any benefit to babies, save,
indeed, as their more human fathers, specialized and organized, are able
to provide them with better homes and a better world to grow up in.  The
idea that mothers, more human, should specialize and organize as well,
and extend to their babies these supreme advantages, is made a laughing

It is easy and profitable to laugh with the majority; but in the
judgment of history, those who do so, hold unenviable positions.  The
time is coming when the human mother will recognize the educative
possibilities of early childhood, learn that the ability to rightly
teach little children is rare and precious, and be proud and glad to
avail themselves of it.

We shall then see a development of the most valuable human qualities in
our children's minds such as would now seem wildly Utopian.  We shall
learn from wide and long experience to anticipate and provide for the
steps of the unfolding mind, and train it, through carefully prearranged
experiences, to a power of judgment, of self-control, of social
perception, now utterly unthought of.

Such an education would begin at birth; yes, far before it, in the
standards of a conscious human motherhood.  It would require a quite
different status of wifehood, womanhood, girlhood.  It would be wholly
impossible if we were never to outgrow our androcentric culture.




Among our many naive misbeliefs is the current fallacy that "society" is
made by women; and that women are responsible for that peculiar social
manifestation called "fashion."

Men and women alike accept this notion; the serious essayist and
philosopher, as well as the novelist and paragrapher, reflect it in
their pages.  The force of inertia acts in the domain of psychics as
well as physics; any idea pushed into the popular mind with considerable
force will keep on going until some opposing force--or the slow
resistance of friction--stops it at last.

"Society" consists mostly of women.  Women carry on most of its
processes, therefore women are its makers and masters, they are
responsible for it, that is the general belief.

We might as well hold women responsible for harems--or prisoners for
jails.  To be helplessly confined to a given place or condition does not
prove that one has chosen it; much less made it.

No; in an androcentric culture "society," like every other social
relation, is dominated by the male and arranged for his convenience. 
There are, of course, modifications due to the presence of the other
sex; where there are more women than men there are inevitable results of
their influence; but the character and conditions of the whole
performance are dictated by men.

Social intercourse is the prime condition of human life.  To meet, to
mingle, to know one another, to exchange, not only definite ideas,
facts, and feelings, but to experience that vague general stimulus and
enlarged power that comes of contact--all this is essential to our
happiness as well as to our progress.

This grand desideratum has always been monopolized by men as far as
possible.  What intercourse was allowed to women has been rigidly hemmed
its by man-made conventions.  Women accept these conventions, repeat
them, enforce them upon their daughters; but they originate with men.

The feet of the little Chinese girl are bound by her mother and her
nurse--but it is not for woman's pleasure that this crippling torture
was invented.  The Oriental veil is worn by women, but it is not for any
need of theirs that veils were decreed them.

When we look at society in its earlier form we find that the public
house has always been with us.  It is as old almost as the private
house; the need for association is as human as the need for privacy. 
But the public house was--and is--for men only.  The woman was kept as
far as possible at home.  Her female nature was supposed to delimit her
life satisfactorily, and her human stature was completely ignored.

Under the pressure of that human nature she has always rebelled at the
social restrictions which surrounded her; and from the women of older
lands gathered at the well, or in the market place, to our own women on
the church steps or in the sewing circle, they have ceaselessly
struggled for the social intercourse which was as much a law of their
being as of man's.

When we come to the modern special field that we call "society," we find
it to consist of a carefully arranged set of processes and places
wherein women may meet one another and meet men.  These vary, of course,
with race, country, class, and period; from the clean licence of our
western customs to the strict chaperonage of older lands; but free as it
is in America, even here there are bounds.

Men associate without any limit but that of inclination and financial
capacity.  Even class distinction only works one way--the low-class man
may not mingle with high-class women; but the high-class man may--and
does--mingle with low-class women.  It is his society--may not a man do
what he will with his own?

Caste distinctions, as have been ably shown by Prof. Lester F. Ward, are
relics of race distinction; the subordinate caste was once a subordinate
race; and while mating, upward, was always forbidden to the subject
race; mating, downward, was always practiced by the master race.

The elaborate shading of "the color line" in slavery days, from pure
black up through mulatto, quadroon, octoroon, quinteroon, griffada,
mustafee, mustee, and sang d'or--to white again; was not through white
mothers--but white fathers; never too exclusive in their tastes.  Even
in slavery, the worst horrors were strictly androcentric.

"Society" is strictly guarded--that is its women are.  As always, the
main tabu is on the woman.  Consider carefully the relation between
"society" and the growing girl.  She must, of course, marry; and her
education, manners, character, must of course be pleasing to the
prospective wooer.  That which is desirable in young girls means,
naturally, that which is desirable to men.  Of all cultivated
accomplishments the first is "innocence."  Beauty may or may not be
forthcoming; but "innocence" is "the chief charm of girlhood."

Why?  What good does it do _her?_  Her whole life's success is made to
depend on her marrying; her health and happiness depends on her marrying
the right man.  The more "innocent" she is, the less she knows, the
easier it is for the wrong man to get her.

As is so feelingly described in "The Sorrows of Amelia," in "The Ladies'
Literary Cabinet," a magazine taken by my grandmother; "The only foible
which the delicate Amelia possessed was an unsuspecting breast to lavish
esteem.  Unversed in the secret villanies of a base degenerate world,
she ever imagined all mankind to be as spotless as herself.  Alas for
Amelia!  This fatal credulity was the source of all her misfortunes." 
It was.  It is yet.

Just face the facts with new eyes--look at it as if you had never seen
"society" before; and observe the position of its "Queen."

Here is Woman.  Let us grant that Motherhood is her chief purpose.  (As
a female it is.  As a human being she has others!)  Marriage is our way
of safeguarding motherhood; of ensuring "support" and "protection" to
the wife and children.

"Society" is very largely used as a means to bring together young
people, to promote marriage.  If "society" is made and governed by women
we should naturally look to see its restrictions and encouragements such
as would put a premium on successful maternity and protect women--and
their children--from the evils of ill-regulated fatherhood.

Do we find this?  By no means.

"Society" allows the man all liberty--all privilege--all license.  There
are certain offences which would exclude him; such as not paying
gambling debts, or being poor; but offences against womanhood--against
motherhood--do not exclude him.

How about the reverse?

If "society" is made by women, for women, surely a misstep by a
helplessly "innocent" girl, will not injure her standing!

But it does.  She is no longer "innocent."  She knows now.  She has lost
her market value and is thrown out of the shop.  Why not?  It is his
shop--not hers.  What women may and may not be, what they must and must
not do, all is measured from the masculine standard.

A really feminine "society" based on the needs and pleasures of women,
both as females and as human beings, would in the first place accord
them freedom and knowledge; the knowledge which is power.  It would not
show us "the queen of the ballroom" in the position of a wall-flower
unless favored by masculine invitation; unable to eat unless he brings
her something; unable to cross the floor without his arm.  Of all blind
stultified "royal sluggards" she is the archetype.  No, a feminine
society would grant _at least_ equality to women in this, their
so-called special field.

Its attitude toward men, however, would be rigidly critical.

Fancy a real Mrs. Grundy (up to date it has been a Mr., his whiskers hid
in capstrings) saying, "No, no, young man.  You won't do.  You've been
drinking.  The habit's growing on you.  You'll make a bad husband."

Or still more severely, "Out with you, sir!  You've forfeited your right
to marry!  Go into retirement for seven years, and when you come back
bring a doctor's certificate with you."

That sounds ridiculous, doesn't it--for "Society" to say?  It is
ridiculous, in a man's "society."

The required dress and decoration of "society"; the everlasting eating
and drinking of "society," the preferred amusements of "society," the
absolute requirements and absolute exclusions of "society," are of men,
by men, for men,--to paraphrase a threadbare quotation.  And then, upon
all that vast edifice of masculine influence, they turn upon women as
Adam did; and blame _them_ for severity with their fallen sisters! 
"Women are so hard upon women!"

They have to be.  What man would "allow" his wife, his daughters, to
visit and associate with "the fallen"?  His esteem would be forfeited,
they would lose their "social position," the girl's chance of marrying
would be gone.

Men are not so stern.  They may visit the unfortunate women, to bring
them help, sympathy, re-establishment--or for other reasons; and it does
not forfeit their social position.  Why should it?  They make the

Women are to-day, far more conspicuously than men, the exponents and
victims of that mysterious power we call "Fashion."  As shown in mere
helpless imitation of one another's idea, customs, methods, there is not
much difference; in patient acquiescence with prescribed models of
architecture, furniture, literature, or anything else; there is not much
difference; but in personal decoration there is a most conspicuous
difference.  Women do to-day submit to more grotesque ugliness and
absurdity than men; and there are plenty of good reasons for it. 
Confining our brief study of fashion to fashion in dress, let us observe
why it is that women wear these fine clothes at all; and why they change
them as they do.

First, and very clearly, the human female carries the weight of sex
decoration, solely because of her economic dependence on the male.  She
alone in nature adds to the burdens of maternity, which she was meant
for, this unnatural burden of ornament, which she was not meant for. 
Every other female in the world is sufficiently attractive to the male
without trimmings.  He carries the trimmings, sparing no expense of
spreading antlers or trailing plumes; no monstrosity of crest and
wattles, to win her favor.

She is only temporarily interested in him.  The rest of the time she is
getting her own living, and caring for her own young.  But our women get
their bread from their husbands, and every other social need.  The woman
depends on the man for her position in life, as well as the necessities
of existence.  For herself and for her children she must win and hold
him who is the source of all supplies.  Therefore she is forced to add
to her own natural attractions this "dance of the seven veils," of the
seventeen gowns, of the seventy-seven hats of gay delirium.

There are many who think in one syllable, who say, "women don't dress to
please men--they dress to please themselves--and to outshine other
women."  To these I would suggest a visit to some summer shore resort
during the week and extending over Saturday night.  The women have all
the week to please themselves and outshine one another; but their array
on Saturday seems to indicate the approach of some new force or

If all this does not satisfy I would then call their attention to the
well-known fact that the young damsel previous to marriage spends far
more time and ingenuity in decoration than she does afterward.  This has
long been observed and deprecated by those who write Advice to Wives, on
the ground that this difference is displeasing to the husband--that she
loses her influence over him; which is true.  But since his own
"society," knowing his weakness, has tied him to her by law; why should
she keep up what is after all an unnatural exertion?

That excellent magazine "Good Housekeeping" has been running for some
months a rhymed and illustrated story of "Miss Melissa Clarissa McRae,"
an extremely dainty and well-dressed stenographer, who captured and
married a fastidious young man, her employer, by the force of her
artificial attractions--and then lost his love after marriage by a
sudden unaccountable slovenliness--the same old story.

If this in not enough, let me instance further the attitude toward
"Fashion" of that class of women who live most openly and directly upon
the favor of men.  These know their business.  To continually attract
the vagrant fancy of the male, nature's born "variant," they must not
only pile on artificial charms, but change them constantly.  They do. 
From the leaders of this profession comes a steady stream of changing
fashions; the more extreme and bizarre, the more successful--and because
they are successful they are imitated.

If men did not like changes in fashion be assured these professional
men-pleasers would not change them, but since Nature's Variant tires of
any face in favor of a new one, the lady who would hold her sway and
cannot change her face (except in color) must needs change her hat and

But the Arbiter, the Ruling Cause, he who not only by choice demands,
but as a business manufactures and supplies this amazing stream of
fashions; again like Adam blames the woman--for accepting what he both
demands and supplies.

A further proof, if more were needed, is shown in this; that in exact
proportion as women grow independent, educated, wise and free, do they
become less submissive to men-made fashions.  Was this improvement
hailed with sympathy and admiration--crowned with masculine favor?

The attitude of men toward those women who have so far presumed to
"unsex themselves" is known to all.  They like women to be foolish,
changeable, always newly attractive; and while women must "attract" for
a living--why they do, that's all.

It is a pity.  It is humiliating to any far-seeing woman to have to
recognize this glaring proof of the dependent, degraded position of her
sex; and it ought to be humiliating to men to see the results of their
mastery.  These crazily decorated little creatures do not represent

When the artist uses the woman as the type of every highest ideal; as
Justice, Liberty, Charity, Truth--he does not represent her trimmed.  In
any part of the world where women are even in part economically
independent there we find less of the absurdities of fashion.  Women who
work cannot be utterly absurd.

But the idle woman, the Queen of Society, who must please men within
their prescribed bounds; and those of the half-world, who must please
them at any cost--these are the vehicles of fashion.




It is easy to assume that men are naturally the lawmakers and
law-enforcers, under the plain historic fact that they have been such
since the beginning of the patriarchate.

Back of law lies custom and tradition.  Back of government lies the
correlative activity of any organized group.  What group-insects and
group-animals evolve unconsciously and fulfill by their social
instincts, we evolve consciously and fulfill by arbitrary systems called
laws and governments.  In this, as in all other fields of our action, we
must discriminate between the humanness of the function in process of
development, and the influence of the male or female upon it.  Quite
apart from what they may like or dislike as sexes, from their differing
tastes and faculties, lies the much larger field of human progress, in
which they equally participate.

On this plane the evolution of law and government proceeds somewhat as
follows:--The early woman-centered group organized on maternal lines of
common love and service.  The early combinations of men were first a
grouped predacity--organized hunting; then a grouped
belligerency,--organized warfare.

By special development some minds are able to perceive the need of
certain lines of conduct over others, and to make this clear to their
fellows; whereby, gradually, our higher social nature establishes rules
and precedents to which we personally agree to submit.  The process of
social development is one of progressive co-ordination.

From independent individual action for individual ends, up to
interdependent social action for social ends we slowly move; the "devil"
in the play being the old Ego, which has to be harmonized with the new
social spirit.  This social process, like all others, having been in
masculine hands, we may find in it the same marks of one-sided
Specialization so visible in our previous studies.

The coersive attitude is essentially male.  In the ceaseless age-old
struggle of sex combat he developed the desire to overcome, which is
always stimulated by resistance; and in this later historic period of
his supremacy, he further developed the habit of dominance and mastery. 
We may instance the contrast between the conduct of a man when "in love"
and while courting; in which period he falls into the natural position
of his sex towards the other--namely, that of a wooer; and his behavior
when, with marriage, they enter the, artificial relation of the master
male and servile female.  His "instinct of dominance" does not assert
itself during the earlier period, which was a million times longer than
the latter; it only appears in the more modern and arbitrary relation.

Among other animals monogamous union is not accompanied by any such
discordant and unnatural features.  However recent as this habit is when
considered biologically, it is as old as civilization when we consider
it historically: quite old enough to be a serious force.  Under its
pressure we see the legal systems and forms of government slowly
evolving, the general human growth always heavily perverted by the
special masculine influence.  First we find the mere force of custom
governing us, the _mores_ of the ancient people.  Then comes the gradual
appearance of authority, from the purely natural leadership of the best
hunter or fighter up through the unnatural mastery of the patriarch,
owning and governing his wives, children, slaves and cattle, and making
such rules and regulations as pleased him.

Our laws as we support them now are slow, wasteful, cumbrous systems,
which require a special caste to interpret and another to enforce;
wherein the average citizen knows nothing of the law, and cares only to
evade it when he can, obey it when he must.  In the household, that
stunted, crippled rudiment of the matriarchate, where alone we can find
what is left of the natural influence of woman, the laws and government,
so far as she is responsible for them, are fairly simple, and bear
visible relation to the common good, which relation is clearly and
persistently taught.

In the larger household of city and state the educational part of the
law is grievously neglected.  It makes no allowance for ignorance.  If a
man breaks a law of which he never heard he is not excused therefore;
the penalty rolls on just the same.  Fancy a mother making solemn rules
and regulations for her family, telling the children nothing about them,
and then punishing them when they disobeyed the unknown laws!

The use of force is natural to the male; while as a human being he must
needs legislate somewhat in the interests of the community, as a male
being he sees no necessity for other enforcement than by penalty.  To
violently oppose, to fight, to trample to the earth, to triumph in loud
bellowings of savage joy,--these are the primitive male instincts; and
the perfectly natural social instinct which leads to peaceful
persuasion, to education, to an easy harmony of action, are
contemptuously ranked as "feminine," or as "philanthropic,"--which is
almost as bad.  "Men need stronger measures" they say proudly.  Yes, but
four-fifths of the world are women and children!

As a matter of fact the woman, the mother, is the first co-ordinator,
legislator, administrator and executive.  From the guarding and guidance
of her cubs and kittens up to the longer, larger management of human
youth, she is the first to consider group interests and co-relate them.

As a father the male grows to share in these original feminine
functions, and with us, fatherhood having become socialized while
motherhood has not, he does the best he can, alone, to do the world's
mother-work in his father way.

In study of any long established human custom it is very difficult to
see it clearly and dispassionately.  Our minds are heavily loaded with
precedent, with race-custom, with the iron weight called authority. 
These heavy forces reach their most perfect expression in the absolutely
masculine field of warfare.  The absolute authority; the brainless,
voiceless obedience; the relentless penalty.  Here we have male coercion
at its height; law and government wholly arbitrary.  The result is as
might be expected, a fine machine of destruction.  But destruction is
not a human process--merely a male process of eliminating the unfit.

The female process is to select the fit; her elimination is negative and

Greater than either is the human process, to _develop fitness._

Men are at present far more human than women.  Alone upon their
self-seized thrones they have carried as best they might the burdens of
the state; and the history of law and government shows them as changing
slowly but irresistably in the direction of social improvement.

The ancient kings were the joyous apotheosis of masculinity.  Power and
Pride were theirs; Limitless Display; Boundless Self-indulgence;
Irresistable Authority.  Slaves and courtiers bowed before them,
subjects obeyed them, captive women filled their harems.  But the day of
the masculine monarchy is passing, and the day of the human democracy is
coming in.  In a Democracy Law and Government both change.  Laws are no
longer imposed on the people by one above them, but are evolved from the
people themselves.  How absurd that the people should not be educated in
the laws they make; that the trailing remnants of blind submission
should still becloud their minds and make them bow down patiently under
the absurd pressure of outgrown tradition!

Democratic government is no longer an exercise of arbitrary authority
from one above, but is an organization for public service of the people
themselves--or will be when it is really attained.

In this change government ceases to be compulsion, and becomes
agreement; law ceases to be authority and becomes co-ordination.  When
we learn the rules of whist or chess we do not obey them because we fear
to be punished if we don't, but because we want to play the game.  The
rules of human conduct are for our own happiness and service--any child
can see that.  Every child will see it when laws are simplified, based
on sociology, and taught in schools.  A child of ten should be
considered grossly uneducated who could not rewrite the main features of
the laws of his country, state, and city; and those laws should be so
simple in their principles that a child of ten could understand them.

Teacher: "What is a tax?"

Child: "A tax is the money we agree to pay to keep up our common

Teacher: "Why do we all pay taxes?"

Child: "Because the country belongs to all of us, and we must all pay
our share to keep it up."

Teacher: "In what proportion do we pay taxes?"

Child: "In proportion to how much money we have."  (_Sotto voce_: "Of

Teacher: "What is it to evade taxes?"

Child: "It is treason."  (_Sotto voce_: "And a dirty mean trick.")

In masculine administration of the laws we may follow the instinctive
love of battle down through the custom of "trial by combat"--only
recently outgrown, to our present method, where each contending party
hires a champion to represent him, and these fight it out in a wordy
war, with tricks and devices of complex ingenuity, enjoying this kind of
struggle as they enjoy all other kinds.

It is the old masculine spirit of government as authority which is so
slow in adapting itself to the democratic idea of government as service.
 That it should be a representative government they grasp, but
representative of what? of the common will, they say; the will of the
majority;--never thinking that it is the common good, the common
welfare, that government should represent.

It is the inextricable masculinity in our idea of government which so
revolts at the idea of women as voters.  "To govern:" that means to
boss, to control, to have authority; and that only, to most minds.  They
cannot bear to think of the woman as having control over even their own
affairs; to control is masculine, they assume.  Seeing only
self-interest as a natural impulse, and the ruling powers of the state
as a sort of umpire, an authority to preserve the rules of the game
while men fight it out forever; they see in a democracy merely a wider
range of self interest, and a wider, freer field to fight in.

The law dictates the rules, the government enforces them, but the main
business of life, hitherto, has been esteemed as one long fierce
struggle; each man seeking for himself.  To deliberately legislate for
the service of all the people, to use the government as the main engine
of that service, is a new process, wholly human, and difficult of
development under an androcentric culture.

Furthermore they put forth those naively androcentric protests,--women
cannot fight, and in case their laws were resisted by men they could not
enforce them,--_therefore_ they should not vote!

What they do not so plainly say, but very strongly think, is that women
should not share the loot which to their minds is so large a part of

Here we may trace clearly the social heredity of male government.

Fix clearly in your mind the first head-ship of man--the leader of the
pack as it were--the Chief Hunter.  Then the second head-ship, the Chief
Fighter.  Then the third head-ship, the Chief of the Family.  Then the
long line of Chiefs and Captains, Warlords and Landlords, Rulers and

The Hunter hunted for prey, and got it.  The Fighter enriched himself
with the spoils of the vanquished.  The Patriarch lived on the labor of
women and slaves.  All down the ages, from frank piracy and robbery to
the measured toll of tribute, ransom and indemnity, we see the same
natural instinct of the hunter and fighter.  In his hands the government
is a thing to sap and wreck, to live on.  It is his essential impulse to
want something very much; to struggle and fight for it; to take all he
can get.

Set against this the giving love that comes with motherhood; the endless
service that comes of motherhood; the peaceful administration in the
interest of the family that comes of motherhood.  We prate much of the
family as the unit of the state.  If it is--why not run the state on
that basis?  Government by women, so far as it is influenced by their
sex, would be influenced by motherhood; and that would mean care,
nurture, provision, education.  We have to go far down the scale for any
instance of organized motherhood, but we do find it in the hymenoptera;
in the overflowing industry, prosperity, peace and loving service of the
ant-hill and bee-hive.  These are the most highly socialized types of
life, next to ours, and they are feminine types.

We as human beings have a far higher form of association, with further
issues than mere wealth and propagation of the species.  In this human
process we should never forget that men are far more advanced than
women, at present.  Because of their humanness has come all the noble
growth of civilization, in spite of their maleness.

As human beings both male and female stand alike useful and honorable,
and should in our government be alike used and honored; but as creatures
of sex, the female is fitter than the male for administration of
constructive social interests.  The change in governmental processes
which marks our times is a change in principle.  Two great movements
convulse the world to-day, the woman's movement and the labor movement. 
Each regards the other as of less moment than itself.  Both are parts of
the same world-process.

We are entering upon a period of social consciousness.  Whereas so far
almost all of us have seen life only as individuals, and have regarded
the growing strength and riches of the social body as merely so much the
more to fatten on; now we are beginning to take an intelligent interest
in our social nature, to understand it a little, and to begin to feel
the vast increase of happiness and power that comes of real Human Life.

In this change of systems a government which consisted only of
prohibition and commands; of tax collecting and making war; is rapidly
giving way to a system which intelligently manages our common interests,
which is a growing and improving method of universal service.  Here the
socialist is perfectly right in his vision of the economic welfare to be
assured by the socialization of industry, though that is but part of the
new development; and the individualist who opposes socialism, crying
loudly for the advantage of "free competition" is but voicing the spirit
of the predacious male.

So with the opposers to the suffrage of women.  They represent, whether
men or women, the male viewpoint.  They see the woman only as a female,
utterly absorbed in feminine functions, belittled and ignored as her
long tutelage has made her; and they see the man as he sees himself, the
sole master of human affairs for as long as we have historic record.

This, fortunately, is not long.  We can now see back of the period of
his supremacy, and are beginning to see beyond it.  We are well under
way already in a higher stage of social development, conscious,
well-organized, wisely managed, in which the laws shall be simple and
founded on constructive principles instead of being a set of
ring-regulations within which people may fight as they will; and in
which the government shall be recognized in its full use; not only the
sternly dominant father, and the wisely servicable mother, but the real
union of all people to sanely and economically manage their affairs.




The human concept of Sin has had its uses no doubt; and our special
invention of a thing called Punishment has also served a purpose.

Social evolution has worked in many ways wastefully, and with
unnecessary pain, but it compares very favorably with natural evolution.

As we grow wiser; as our social consciousness develops, we are beginning
to improve on nature in more ways than one; a part of the same great
process, but of a more highly sublimated sort.

Nature shows a world of varied and changing environment.  Into this
comes Life--flushing and spreading in every direction.  A pretty hard
time Life has of it.  In the first place it is dog eat dog in every
direction; the joy of the hunter and the most unjoyous fear of the

But quite outside of this essential danger, the environment waits, grim
and unappeasable, and continuously destroys the innocent myriads who
fail to meet the one requirement of life--Adaptation.  So we must not be
too severe in self-condemnation when we see how foolish, cruel, crazily
wasteful, is our attitude toward crime and punishment.

We become socially conscious largely through pain, and as we begin to
see how much of the pain is wholly of our own causing we are overcome
with shame.  But the right way for society to face its past is the same
as for the individual; to see where it was wrong and stop it--but to
waste no time and no emotion over past misdeeds.

What is our present state as to crime?  It is pretty bad.  Some say it
is worse than it used to be; others that it is better.  At any rate it
is bad enough, and a disgrace to our civilization.  We have murderers by
the thousand and thieves by the million, of all kinds and sizes; we have
what we tenderly call "immorality," from the "errors of youth" to the
sodden grossness of old age; married, single, and mixed.  We have all
the old kinds of wickedness and a lot of new ones, until one marvels at
the purity and power of human nature, that it should carry so much
disease and still grow on to higher things.

Also we have punishment still with us; private and public; applied like
a rabbit's foot, with as little regard to its efficacy.  Does a child
offend?  Punish it!  Does a woman offend?  Punish her!  Does a man
offend?  Punish him!  Does a group offend?  Punish them!

"What for?" some one suddenly asks.

"To make them stop doing it!"

"But they have done it!"

"To make them not do it again, then."

"But they do do it again--and worse."

"To prevent other people's doing it, then."

"But it does not prevent them--the crime keeps on.  What good is your

What indeed!

What is the application of punishment to crime?  Its base, its
prehistoric base, is simple retaliation; and this is by no means wholly
male, let us freely admit.  The instinct of resistance, of opposition,
of retaliation, lies deeper than life itself.  Its underlying law is the
law of physics--action and reaction are equal.  Life's expression of
this law is perfectly natural, but not always profitable.  Hit your hand
on a stone wall, and the stone wall hits your hand.  Very good; you
learn that stone walls are hard, and govern yourself accordingly.

Conscious young humanity observed and philosophized, congratulating
itself on its discernment.  "A man hits me--I hit the man a little
harder--then he won't do it again."  Unfortunately he did do it again--a
little harder still.  The effort to hit harder carried on the action and
reaction till society, hitting hardest of all, set up a system of legal
punishment, of unlimited severity.  It imprisoned, it mutilated, it
tortured, it killed; it destroyed whole families, and razed contumelious
cities to the ground.

Therefore all crime ceased, of course?  No?  But crime was mitigated,
surely!  Perhaps.  This we have proven at last; that crime does not
decrease in proportion to the severest punishment.  Little by little we
have ceased to raze the cities, to wipe out the families, to cut off the
ears, to torture; and our imprisonment is changing from slow death and
insanity to a form of attempted improvement.

But punishment as a principle remains in good standing, and is still the
main reliance where it does the most harm--in the rearing of children. 
"Spare the rod and spoil the child" remains in belief, unmodified by the
millions of children spoiled by the unspared rod.

The breeders of racehorses have learned better, but not the breeders of
children.  Our trouble is simply the lack of intelligence.  We face the
babyish error and the hideous crime in exactly the same attitude.

"This person has done something offensive."

Yes?--and one waits eagerly for the first question of the rational
mind--but does not hear it.  One only hears "Punish him!"

What is the first question of the rational mind?


Human beings are not first causes.  They do not evolve conduct out of
nothing.  The child does this, the man does that, _because_ of
something; because of many things.  If we do not like the way people
behave, and wish them to behave better, we should, if we are rational
beings, study the conditions that produce the conduct.

The connection between our archaic system of punishment and our
androcentric culture is two-fold.  The impulse of resistance, while, as
we have seen, of the deepest natural origin, is expressed more strongly
in the male than in the female.  The tendency to hit back and hit harder
has been fostered in him by sex-combat till it has become of great
intensity.  The habit of authority too, as old as our history; and the
cumulative weight of all the religions and systems of law and
government, have furthermore built up and intensified the spirit of
retaliation and vengeance.

They have even deified this concept, in ancient religions, crediting to
God the evil passions of men.  As the small boy recited; "Vengeance.  A
mean desire to get even with your enemies: 'Vengeance is mine saith the
Lord'--'I will repay.'"

The Christian religion teaches better things; better than its expositors
and upholders have ever understood--much less practised.

The teaching of "Love your enemies, do good unto them that hate you, and
serve them that despitefully use you and persecute you," has too often
resulted, when practised at all, in a sentimental negation; a
pathetically useless attitude of non-resistance.  You might as well base
a religion on a feather pillow!

The advice given was active; direct; concrete.  "_Love!_"  Love is not
non-resistance.  "Do good!"  Doing good is not non-resistance.  "Serve!"
 Service is not non-resistance.

Again we have an overwhelming proof of the far-reaching effects of our
androcentric culture.  Consider it once more.  Here is one by nature
combative and desirous, and not by nature intended to monopolize the
management of his species.  He assumes to be not only the leader, but
the whole thing--to be humanity itself, and to see in woman as Grant
Allen so clearly put it "Not only not the race; she is not even half the
race, but a subspecies, told off for purposes of reproduction merely."

Under this monstrous assumption, his sex-attributes wholly identified
with his human attributes, and overshadowing them, he has imprinted on
every human institution the tastes and tendencies of the male.  As a
male he fought, as a male human being he fought more, and deified
fighting; and in a culture based on desire and combat, loud with
strident self-expression, there could be but slow acceptance of the more
human methods urged by Christianity.  "It is a religion for slaves and
women!" said the warrior of old.  (Slaves and women were largely the
same thing.)  "It is a religion for slaves and women" says the advocate
of the Superman.

Well?  Who did the work of all the ancient world?  Who raised the food
and garnered it and cooked it and served it?  Who built the houses, the
temples, the acqueducts, the city wall?  Who made the furniture, the
tools, the weapons, the utensils, the ornaments--made them strong and
beautiful and useful?  Who kept the human race going, somehow, in spite
of the constant hideous waste of war, and slowly built up the real
industrial civilization behind that gory show?--Why just the slaves and
the women.

A religion which had attractions for the real human type is not
therefore to be utterly despised by the male.

In modern history we may watch with increasing ease the slow, sure
progress of our growing humanness beneath the weakening shell of an
all-male dominance.  And in this field of what begins in the nurse as
"discipline," and ends on the scaffold as "punishment," we can clearly
see that blessed change.

What is the natural, the human attribute?  What does this "Love," and
"Do good," and "Serve" mean?  In the blundering old church, still
androcentric, there was a great to-do to carry out this doctrine, in
elaborate symbolism.  A set of beggars and cripples, gathered for the
occasion, was exhibited, and kings and cardinals went solemnly through
the motions of serving them.  As the English schoolboy phrased it,
"Thomas Becket washed the feet of leopards."

Service and love and doing good must always remain side issues in a male
world.  Service and love and doing good are the spirit of motherhood,
and the essense of human life.

Human life is service, and is not combat.  There you have the nature of
the change now upon us.

What has the male mind made of Christianity?

Desire--to save one's own soul.  Combat--with the Devil. 
Self-expression--the whole gorgeous outpouring of pageant and display,
from the jewels of the high priest's breastplate to the choir of
mutilated men to praise a male Deity no woman may so serve.

What kind of mind can imagine a kind of god who would like a eunuch
better than a woman?

For woman they made at last a place--the usual place--of renunciation,
sacrifice and service, the Sisters of Mercy and their kind; and in that
loving service the woman soul has been content, not yearning for
cardinal's cape or bishop's mitre.

All this is changing--changing fast.  Everywhere the churches are
broadening out into more service, and the service broadening out beyond
a little group of widows and fatherless, of sick and in prison, to
embrace its true field--all human life.  In this new attitude, how shall
we face the problems of crime?

Thus: "It is painfully apparent that a certain percentage of our people
do not function properly.  They perform antisocial acts.  Why?  What is
the matter with them?"

Then the heart and mind of society is applied to the question, and
certain results are soon reached; others slowly worked toward.

First result.  Some persons are so morally diseased that they must have
hospital treatment.  The world's last prison will be simply a hospital
for moral incurables.  They must by no means reproduce their kind,--that
can be attended to at once.  Some are morally diseased, but may be
cured, and the best powers of society will be used to cure them.  Some
are only morally diseased because of the conditions in which they are
born and reared, and here society can save millions at once.

An intelligent society will no more neglect its children than an
intelligent mother will neglect her children; and will see as clearly
that ill-fed, ill-dressed, ill-taught and vilely associated little ones
must grow up gravely injured.

As a matter of fact we make our crop of criminals, just as we make our
idiots, blind, crippled, and generally defective.  Everyone is a baby
first, and a baby is not a criminal, unless we make it so.  It never
would be,--in right conditions.  Sometimes a pervert is born, as
sometimes a two-headed calf is born, but they are not common.

The older, simpler forms of crime we may prevent with case and despatch,
but how of the new ones?--big, terrible, far-reaching, wide-spread
crimes, for which we have as yet no names; and before which our old
system of anti-personal punishment falls helpless?  What of the crimes
of poisoning a community with bad food; of defiling the water; of
blackening the air; of stealing whole forests?  What of the crimes of
working little children; of building and renting tenements that produce
crime and physical disease as well?  What of the crime of living on the
wages of fallen women--of hiring men to ruin innocent young girls; of
holding them enslaved and selling them for profit?  (These things are
only "misdemeanors" in a man-made world!)

And what about a crime like this; to use the public press to lie to the
public for private ends?  No name yet for this crime; much less a

And this: To bring worse than leprosy to an innocent clean wife who
loves and trusts you?

Or this: To knowingly plant poison in an unborn child?

No names, for these; no "penalties"; no conceivable penalty that could
touch them.

The whole punishment system falls to the ground before the huge mass of
evil that confronts us.  If we saw a procession of air ships flying over
a city and dropping bombs, should we rush madly off after each one
crying, "Catch him!  Punish him!" or should we try to stop the

The time is coming when the very word "crime" will be disused, except in
poems and orations; and "punishment," the word and deed, be obliterated.
 We are beginning to learn a little of the nature of humanity its
goodness, its beauty, its lovingness; and to see that even its stupidity
is only due to our foolish old methods of education.

It is not new power, new light, new hope that we need, but _to
understand what ails us._

We know enough now, we care enough now, we are strong enough now, to
make the whole world a thousand fold better in a generation; but we are
shackled, chained, blinded, by old false notions.  The ideas of the
past, the sentiments of the past, the attitude and prejudices of the
past, are in our way; and among them none more universally mischievous
than this great body of ideas and sentiments, prejudices and habits,
which make up the offensive network of the androcentric culture.




I go to my old dictionary, and find; "Politics, I.  The science of
government; that part of ethics which has to do with the regulation and
government of a nation or state, the preservation of its safety, peace
and prosperity; the defence of its existence and rights against foreign
control or conquest; the augmentation of its strength and resources, and
the protection of its citizens in their rights; with the preservation
and improvement of their morals.  2.  The management of political
parties; the advancement of candidates to office; in a bad sense, artful
or dishonest management to secure the success of political measures or
party schemes, political trickery."

From present day experience we might add, 3.  Politics, practical; The
art of organizing and handling men in large numbers, manipulating votes,
and, in especial, appropriating public wealth.

We can easily see that the "science of government" may be divided into
"pure" and "applied" like other sciences, but that it is "a part of
ethics" will be news to many minds.

Yet why not?  Ethics is the science of conduct, and politics is merely
one field of conduct; a very common one.  Its connection with Warfare in
this chapter is perfectly legitimate in view of the history of politics
on the one hand, and the imperative modern issues which are to-day
opposed to this established combination.

There are many to-day who hold that politics need not be at all
connected with warfare, and others who hold that politics is warfare
front start to finish.

In order to dissociate the two ideas completely let us give a paraphrase
of the above definition, applying it to domestic management;--that part
of ethics which has to do with the regulation and government of a
family; the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; the
defense of its existence and rights against any strangers' interference
or control; the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the
protection of its members in their rights; with the preservation and
improvement of their morals.

All this is simple enough, and in no way masculine; neither is it
feminine, save in this; that the tendency to care for, defend and manage
a group, is in its origin maternal.

In every human sense, however, politics has left its maternal base far
in the background; and as a field of study and of action is as well
adapted to men as to women.  There is no reason whatever why men should
not develop great ability in this department of ethics, and gradually
learn how to preserve the safety, peace and prosperity of their nation;
together with those other services as to resources, protection of
citizens, and improvement of morals.

Men, as human beings, are capable of the noblest devotion and efficiency
in these matters, and have often shown them; but their devotion and
efficiency have been marred in this, as in so many other fields, by the
constant obtrusion of an ultra-masculine tendency.

In warfare, _per se_, we find maleness in its absurdest extremes.  Here
is to be studied the whole gamut of basic masculinity, from the initial
instinct of combat, through every form of glorious ostentation, with the
loudest possible accompaniment of noise.

Primitive warfare had for its climax the possession of the primitive
prize, the female.  Without dogmatising on so remote a period, it may be
suggested as a fair hypothesis that this was the very origin of our
organized raids.  We certainly find war before there was property in
land, or any other property to tempt aggressors.  Women, however, there
were always, and when a specially androcentric tribe had reduced its
supply of women by cruel treatment, or they were not born in sufficient
numbers, owing to hard conditions, men must needs go farther afield
after other women.  Then, since the men of the other tribes naturally
objected to losing their main labor supply and comfort, there was war.

Thus based on the sex impulse, it gave full range to the combative
instinct, and further to that thirst for vocal exultation so exquisitely
male.  The proud bellowings of the conquering stag, as he trampled on
his prostrate rival, found higher expression in the "triumphs" of old
days, when the conquering warrior returned to his home, with victims
chained to his chariot wheels, and braying trumpets.

When property became an appreciable factor in life, warfare took on a
new significance.  What was at first mere destruction, in the effort to
defend or obtain some hunting ground or pasture; and, always, to secure
the female; now coalesced with the acquisitive instinct, and the long
black ages of predatory warfare closed in upon the world.

Where the earliest form exterminated, the later enslaved, and took
tribute; and for century upon century the "gentleman adventurer," i.e.,
the primitive male, greatly preferred to acquire wealth by the simple
old process of taking it, to any form of productive industry.

We have been much misled as to warfare by our androcentric literature. 
With a history which recorded nothing else; a literature which praised
and an art which exalted it; a religion which called its central power
"the God of Battles"--never the God of Workshops, mind you!--with a
whole complex social structure man-prejudiced from center to
circumference, and giving highest praise and honor to the Soldier; it is
still hard for its to see what warfare really is in human life.

Someday we shall have new histories written, histories of world
progress, showing the slow uprising, the development, the interservice
of the nations; showing the faint beautiful dawn of the larger spirit of
world-consciousness, and all its benefitting growth.

We shall see people softening, learning, rising; see life lengthen with
the possession of herds, and widen in rich prosperity with agriculture. 
Then industry, blossoming, fruiting, spreading wide; art, giving light
and joy; the intellect developing with companionship and human
intercourse; the whole spreading tree of social progress, the trunk of
which is specialized industry, and the branches of which comprise every
least and greatest line of human activity and enjoyment.  This growing
tree, springing up wherever conditions of peace and prosperity gave it a
chance, we shall see continually hewed down to the very root by war.

To the later historian will appear throughout the ages, like some
Hideous Fate, some Curse, some predetermined check, to drag down all our
hope and joy and set life forever at its first steps over again, this
Red Plague of War.

The instinct of combat, between males, worked advantageously so long as
it did not injure the female or the young.  It is a perfectly natural
instinct, and therefore perfectly right, in its place; but its place is
in a pre-patriarchal era.  So long as the animal mother was free and
competent to care for herself and her young; then it was an advantage to
have "the best man win;" that is the best stag or lion; and to have the
vanquished die, or live in sulky celibacy, was no disadvantage to any
one but himself.

Humanity is on a stage above this plan.  The best man in the social
structure is not always the huskiest.  When a fresh horde of ultra-male
savages swarmed down upon a prosperous young civilization, killed off
the more civilized males and appropriated the more civilized females;
they did, no doubt, bring in a fresh physical impetus to the race; but
they destroyed the civilization.

The reproduction of perfectly good savages is not the main business of
humanity.  Its business is to grow, socially; to develop, to improve;
and warfare, at its best, retards human progress; at its worst,
obliterates it.

Combat is not a social process at all; it is a physical process, a
subsidiary sex process, purely masculine, intended to improve the
species by the elimination of the unfit.  Amusingly enough, or absurdly
enough; when applied to society, it eliminates the fit, and leaves the
unfit to perpetuate the race!

We require, to do our organized fighting, a picked lot of vigorous young
males, the fittest we can find.  The too old or too young; the sick,
crippled, defective; are all left behind, to marry and be fathers; while
the pick of the country, physically, is sent off to oppose the pick of
another country, and kill--kill--kill!

Observe the result on the population!  In the first place the balance is
broken--there are not enough men to go around, at home; many women are
left unmated.  In primitive warfare, where women were promptly enslaved,
or, at the best, polygamously married, this did not greatly matter to
the population; but as civilization advances and monogamy obtains,
whatever eugenic benefits may once have sprung from warfare are
completely lost, and all its injuries remain.

In what we innocently call "civilized warfare" (we might as well speak
of "civilized cannibalism!"), this steady elimination of the fit leaves
an everlowering standard of parentage at home.  It makes a widening
margin of what we call "surplus women," meaning more than enough to be
monogamously married; and these women, not being economically
independent, drag steadily upon the remaining men, postponing marriage,
and increasing its burdens.

The birth rate is lowered in quantity by the lack of husbands, and
lowered in quality both by the destruction of superior stock, and by the
wide dissemination of those diseases which invariably accompany the
wife-lessness of the segregated males who are told off to perform our
military functions.

The external horrors and wastes of warfare we are all familiar with; A.
It arrests industry and all progress.  B. It destroys the fruits of
industry and progress.  C. It weakens, hurts and kills the combatants. 
D. It lowers the standard of the non-combatants.  Even the conquering
nation is heavily injured; the conquered sometimes exterminated, or at
least absorbed by the victor.

This masculine selective process, when applied to nations, does not
produce the same result as when applied to single opposing animals. 
When little Greece was overcome it did not prove that the victors were
superior, nor promote human interests in any way; it injured them.

The "stern arbitrament of war" may prove which of two peoples is the
better fighter, but ft does not prove it therefor the fittest to

Beyond all these more or less obvious evils, comes a further result, not
enough recognized; the psychic effects of military standard of thought
and feeling.

Remember that an androcentric culture has always exempted its own
essential activities from the restraints of ethics,--"All's fair in love
and war!"  Deceit, trickery, lying, every kind of skulking underhand
effort to get information; ceaseless endeavor to outwit and overcome
"the enemy"; besides as cruelty and destruction; are characteristic of
the military process; as well as the much praised virtues of courage,
endurance and loyalty, personal and public.

Also classed as a virtue, and unquestionably such from the military
point of view, is that prime factor in making and keeping an army,

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
Androcentric Culture.

In politics the military ideal, the military processes, are so
predominant as to almost monopolise "that part of ethics."  The science
of government, the plain wholesome business of managing a community for
its own good; doing its work, advancing its prosperity, improving its
morals--this is frankly understood and accepted as A Fight from start to
finish.  Marshall your forces and try to get in, this is the political
campaign.  When you are in, fight to stay in, and to keep the other
fellow out.  Fight for your own hand, like an animal; fight for your
master like any hired bravo; fight always for some desired
"victory"--and "to the victors belong the spoils."

This is not by any means the true nature of politics.  It is not even a
fair picture of politics to-day; in which man, the human being, is doing
noble work for humanity; but it is the effect of man, the male, on

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
between combats.

It leaves the weaker nations to be "conquered" and "annexed" just as
they used to be; with tariffs instead of tribute.  It forces upon each
the burden of armament; upon many the dreaded conscription; and
continually lowers the world's resources in money and in life.

Similarly in politics, it adds to the legitimate expenses of governing
the illegitimate expenses of fighting; and must needs have a "spoils
system" by which to pay its mercenaries.

In carrying out the public policies the wheels of state are continually
clogged by the "opposition;" always an opposition on one side or the
other; and this slow wiggling uneven progress, through shorn victories
and haggling concessions, is held to be the proper and only political

"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 o the majority.  We have but a
partial civilization, heavily modified to sex--the male sex.


[A Discussion of Political Equality of Men and Women.  To be read in
connection with chapter 12 of Our Androcentric Culture.]

Here are two vital factors in human life; one a prime essential to our
existence; the other a prime essential to our progress.

Both of them we idealize in certain lines, and exploit in others.  Both
of them are misinterpreted, balked of their full usefulness, and
humanity thus injured.

The human race does not get the benefit of the full powers of women, nor
of the full powers of the state.

In all civilized races to-day there is a wide and growing sense of
discontent among women; a criticism of their assigned limitations, and a
demand for larger freedom and opportunity.  Under different conditions
the demand varies; it is here for higher education, there for justice
before the law; here for economic independence, and there for political

This last is at present the most prominent Issue of "the woman question"
in England and America, as the activity of the "militant suffragists"
has forced it upon the attention of the world.

Thoughtful people in general are now studying this point more seriously
than ever before, genuinely anxious to adopt the right side, and there
is an alarmed uprising of sincere objection to the political equality of

Wasting no time on ignorance, prejudice, or the resistance of special
interests, let us fairly face the honest opposition, and do it justice.

The conservative position is this:

Men and women have different spheres in life.  To men belong the
creation and management of the state, and the financial maintenance of
the home and family:

"To women belong the physical burden of maternity, and the industrial
management of the home and family; these duties require all their time
and strength:

"The prosperity of the state may be sufficiently conserved by men alone;
the prosperity of the family requires the personal presence and services
of the mother in the home: if women assume the cares of the state, the
home and family will suffer:

Some go even farther than this, and claim an essential limitation in
"the female mind" which prevents it from grasping large political
interests; holding, therefore, that if women took part in state affairs
it would be to the detriment of the community:

Others advance a theory that "society," in the special sense, is the
true sphere of larger service for women, and that those of them not
exclusively confined to "home duties" may find full occupation in
"social duties," including the time honored fields of "religion" and

Others again place their main reliance on the statement that, as to the
suffrage, "women do not want it."

Let us consider these points in inverse order, beginning with the last

We will admit that at present the majority of women are not consciously
desirous of any extension of their political rights and privileges, but
deny that this indifference is any evidence against the desirability of
such extension.

It has long been accepted that the position of women is an index of
civilization.  Progressive people are proud of the freedom and honor
given their women, and our nation honestly believes itself the leader in
this line.  "American women are the freest in the world!" we say; and
boast of it.

Since the agitation for women's rights began, many concessions have been
made to further improve their condition.  Men, seeing the justice of
certain demands, have granted in many states such privileges as
admission to schools, colleges, universities, and special instruction
for professions; followed by admission to the bar, the pulpit, and the
practice of medicine.  Married women, in many states, have now a right
to their own earnings; and in a few, mothers have an equal right in the
guardianship of their children.

We are proud and glad that our women are free to go unveiled, to travel
alone, to choose their own husbands; we are proud and glad of every
extension of justice already granted by men to women.

Now:--Have any of these concessions been granted because a majority of
women asked for them?  Was it advanced in opposition to any of them that
"women did not want it?"  Have as many women ever asked for these things
as are now asking for the ballot?  If it was desirable to grant these
other rights and privileges without the demand of a majority, why is the
demand of a majority required before this one is granted?

The child widows of India did not unitedly demand the abolition of the

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
full extent.

Here appears a distinction which needs to be widely appreciated.

We are not merely male and female--all animals are that--our chief
distinction is that of race, our humanness.

Male characteristics we share with all males, bird and beast; female
characteristics we share with all females, similarly; but human
characteristics belong to _genus homo_ alone; and are possessed by both
sexes.  A female horse is just as much a horse as a male of her species;
a female human being is just as human as the male of her species--or
ought to be!

In the special functions and relations of sex there is no contest, no
possible rivalry or confusion; but in the general functions of humanity
there is great misunderstanding.

Our trouble is that we have not recognized these human functions as
such; but supposed them to be exclusively masculine; and, acting under
that idea, strove to prevent women from an unnatural imitation of men.

Hence this minor theory of the limitations of the "female mind."

The mind is pre-eminently human.  That degree of brain development which
distinguishes our species, is a human, not a sex characteristic.

There may be, has been, and still is, a vast difference in our treatment
of the minds of the two sexes.  We have given them a different
education, different exercises, different conditions in all ways.  But
all these differences are external, and their effect disappears with

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
of women!

Where women are elected to office, by the votes of both men and women,
they are of suitable age and abilities, and do their work well.  They
have already greatly improved some of the conditions of local politics,
and the legislation they advocate is of a beneficial character.

What is the true relation of women to the state?

It is precisely identical with that of men.  Their forms of service may
vary, but their duty, their interest, their responsibility, is the same.

Here are the people on earth, half of them women, all of them her
children.  It is her earth as much as his; the people are their people,
the state their state; compounded of them all, in due relation.

As the father and mother, together; shelter, guard, teach and provide
for their children in the home; so should all fathers and mothers,
together; shelter, guard, teach and provide for their common children,
the community.

The state is no mystery; no taboo place of masculine secrecy; it is
simply us.

Democracy is but a half-grown child as yet, one of twins?  Its boy-half
is a struggling thing, with "the diseases of babyhood"; its girl-half
has hardly begun to take notice.

As human creatures we have precisely the same duty and privilege,
interest, and power in the state; sharing its protection, its
advantages, and its services.  As women we have a different relation.

Here indeed we will admit, and glory in, our "diversity."  The "eternal
womanly" is a far more useful thing in the state than the "eternal

To be woman means to be mother.  To be mother means to give love,
defense, nourishment, care, instruction.  Too long, far too long has
motherhood neglected its real social duties, its duties to humanity at
large.  Even in her position of retarded industrial development, as the
housekeeper and houseworker of the world, woman has a contribution of
special value to the state.

As the loving mother, the patient teacher, the tender nurse, the wise
provider and care-taker, she can serve the state, and the state needs
her service.




The forest of Truth, on the subject of industry and economics, is
difficult to see on account of the trees.

We have so many Facts on this subject; so many Opinions; so many
Traditions and Habits; and the pressure of Immediate Conclusions is so
intense upon us all; that it is not easy to form a clear space in one's
mind and consider the field fairly.

Possibly the present treatment of the subject will appeal most to the
minds of those who know least about it; such as the Average Woman.  To
her, Industry is a daylong and lifelong duty, as well as a natural
impulse; and economics means going without things.  To such untrained
but also unprejudiced minds it should be easy to show the main facts on
these lines.

Let us dispose of Economics first, as having a solemn scientific

Physical Economics treats of the internal affairs of the body; the whole
machinery and how it works; all organs, members, functions; each last
and littlest capillary and leucocyte, are parts of that "economy."

Nature's "economy" is not in the least "economical."  The waste of life,
the waste of material, the waste of time and effort, are prodigious, yet
she achieves her end as we see.

Domestic Economics covers the whole care and government of the
household; the maintenance of peace, health, order, and morality; the
care and nourishment of children as far as done at home; the entire
management of the home, as well as the spending and saving of money; are
included in it.  Saving is the least and poorest part of it; especially
as in mere abstinence from needed things; most especially when this
abstinence is mainly "Mother's."  How best to spend; time, strength,
love, care, labor, knowledge, and money--this should be the main study
in Domestic Economics.

Social, or, as they are used to call it, Political Economics, covers a
larger, but not essentially different field.  A family consists of
people, and the Mother is their natural manager.  Society consists of
people--_the same people_--only more of them.  All the people, who are
members of Society, are also members of families--except some incubated
orphans maybe.  Social Economics covers the whole care and management of
the people, the maintenance of peace and health and order and morality;
the care of children, as far as done out of the home; as well as the
spending and saving of the public money--all these are included in it.

This great business of Social Economics is at present little understood
and most poorly managed, for this reason; we approach it from an
individual point of view; seeking not so much to do our share in the
common service, as to get our personal profit from the common wealth. 
Where the whole family labors together to harvest fruit and store it for
the winter, we have legitimate Domestic Economics: but where one member
takes and hides a lot for himself, to the exclusion of the others, we
have no Domestic Economics at all--merely individual selfishness.

In Social Economics we have a large, but simple problem.  Here is the
earth, our farm.  Here are the people, who own the earth.  How can the
most advantage to the most people be obtained from the earth with the
least labor?  That is the problem of Social Economics.

Looking at the world as if you held it in your hands to study and
discuss, what do we find at present?

We find people living too thickly for health and comfort in some places,
and too thinly for others; we find most people working too hard and too
long at honest labor; some people working with damaging intensity at
dishonest labor; and a few wretched paupers among the rich and poor,
degenerate idlers who do not work at all, the scum and the dregs of

All this is bad economics.  We do not get the comfort out of life we
easily could; and work far too hard for what we do get.  Moreover, there
is no peace, no settled security.  No man is sure of his living, no
matter how hard he works, a thousand things may occur to deprive him of
his job, or his income.  In our time there is great excitement along
this line of study; and more than one proposition is advanced whereby we
may improve, most notably instanced in the world-covering advance of

In our present study the principal fact to be exhibited is the influence
of a male culture upon Social Economics and Industry.

Industry, as a department of Social Economics, is little understood. 
Heretofore we have viewed this field from several wholly erroneous
positions.  From the Hebrew (and wholly androcentric) religious
teaching, we have regarded labor as a curse.

Nothing could be more absurdly false.  Labor is not merely a means of
supporting human life--it _is_ human life.  Imagine a race of beings
living without labor!  They must be the rudest savages.

Human work consists in specialized industry and the exchange of its
products; and without it is no civilization.  As industry develops,
civilization develops; peace expands; wealth increases; science and art
help on the splendid total.  Productive industry, and its concomitant of
distributive industry cover the major field of human life.

If our industry was normal, what should we see?

A world full of healthy, happy people; each busily engaged in what he or
she most enjoys doing.  Normal Specialization, like all our voluntary
processes, is accompanied by keen pleasure; and any check or
interruption to it gives pain and injury.  Whosoever works at what he
loves is well and happy.  Whoso works at what he does not love is ill
and miserable.  It is very bad economics to force unwilling industry. 
That is the weakness of slave labor; and of wage labor also where there
is not full industrial education and freedom of choice.

Under normal conditions we should see well developed, well trained
specialists happily engaged in the work they most enjoyed; for
reasonable hours (any work, or play either, becomes injurious if done
too long); and as a consequence the whole output of the world would be
vastly improved, not only in quantity but in quality.

Plain are the melancholy facts of what we do see.  Following that
pitiful conception of labor as a curse, comes the very old and
androcentric habit of despising it as belonging to women, and then to

As a matter of fact industry is in its origin feminine; that is,
maternal.  It is the overflowing fountain of mother-love and
mother-power which first prompts the human race to labor; and for long
ages men performed no productive industry at all; being merely hunters
and fighters.

It is this lack of natural instinct for labor in the male of our
species, together with the ideas and opinions based on that lack, and
voiced by him in his many writings, religious and other, which have
given to the world its false estimate of this great function, human
work.  That which is our very life, our greatest joy, our road to all
advancement, we have scorned and oppressed; so that "working people,"
the "working classes," "having to work," etc., are to this day spoken of
with contempt.  Perhaps drones speak so among themselves of the "working

Normally, widening out from the mother's careful and generous service in
the family, to careful, generous service in the world, we should find
labor freely given, with love and pride.

Abnormally, crushed under the burden of androcentric scorn and
prejudice, we have labor grudgingly produced under pressure of
necessity; labor of slaves under fear of the whip, or of wage-slaves,
one step higher, under fear of want.  Long ages wherein hunting and
fighting were the only manly occupations, have left their heavy impress.
 The predacious instinct and the combative instinct weigh down and
disfigure our economic development.  What Veblen calls "the instinct of
workmanship" grows on, slowly and irresistably; but the malign features
of our industrial life are distinctively androcentric: the desire to
get, of the hunter; interfering with the desire to give, of the mother;
the desire to overcome an antagonist--originally masculine, interfering
with the desire to serve and benefit--originally feminine.

Let the reader keep in mind that as human beings, men are able to
over-live their masculine natures and do noble service to the world;
also that as human beings they are today far more highly developed than
women, and doing far more for the world.  The point here brought out is
that as males their unchecked supremacy has resulted in the abnormal
predominance of masculine impulses in our human processes; and that this
predominance has been largely injurious.

As it happens, the distinctly feminine or maternal impulses are far more
nearly in line with human progress than are those of the male; which
makes her exclusion from human functions the more mischievous.

Our current teachings in the infant science of Political Economy are
naively masculine.  They assume as unquestionable that "the economic
man" will never do anything unless he has to; will only do it to escape
pain or attain pleasure; and will, inevitably, take all he can get, and
do all he can to outwit, overcome, and if necessary destroy his

Always the antagonist; to the male mind an antagonist is essential to
progress, to all achievement.  He has planted that root-thought in all
the human world; from that old hideous idea of Satan, "The Adversary,"
down to the competitor in business, or the boy at the head of the class,
to be superseded by another.

Therefore, even in science, "the struggle for existence" is the dominant
law--to the male mind, with the "survival of the fittest" and "the
elimination of the unfit."

Therefore in industry and economics we find always and everywhere the
antagonist; the necessity for somebody or something to be overcome--else
why make an effort?  If you have not the incentive of reward, or the
incentive of combat, why work?  "Competition is the life of trade."

Thus the Economic Man.

But how about the Economic Woman?

To the androcentric mind she does not exist.  Women are females, and
that's all; their working abilities are limited to personal service.

That it would be possible to develop industry to far greater heights,
and to find in social economics a simple and beneficial process for the
promotion of human life and prosperity, under any other impulse than
these two, Desire and Combat, is hard indeed to recognize--for the "male

So absolutely interwoven are our existing concepts of maleness and
humanness, so sure are we that men are people and women only females,
that the claim of equal weight and dignity in human affairs of the
feminine instincts and methods is scouted as absurd.  We find existing
industry almost wholly in male hands; find it done as men do it; assume
that that is the way it must be done.

When women suggest that it could be done differently, their proposal is
waved aside--they are "only women"--their ideas are "womanish."

Agreed.  So are men "only men," their ideas are "mannish"; and of the
two the women are more vitally human than the men.

The female is the race-type--the man the variant.

The female, as a race-type, having the female processes besides; best
performs the race processes.  The male, however, has with great
difficulty developed them, always heavily handicapped by his maleness;
being in origin essentially a creature of sex, and so dominated almost
exclusively by sex impulses.

The human instinct of mutual service is checked by the masculine
instinct of combat; the human tendency to specialize in labor, to
rejoicingly pour force in lines of specialized expression, is checked by
the predacious instinct, which will exert itself for reward; and
disfigured by the masculine instinct of self-expression, which is an
entirely different thing from the great human outpouring of world force.

Great men, the world's teachers and leaders, are great in humanness;
mere maleness does not make for greatness unless it be in warfare--a
disadvantageous glory!  Great women also must be great in humanness; but
their female instincts are not so subversive of human progress as are
the instincts of the male.  To be a teacher and leader, to love and
serve, to guard and guide and help, are well in line with motherhood.

"Are they not also in line with fatherhood?" will be asked; and, "Are
not the father's paternal instincts masculine?"

No, they are not; they differ in no way from the maternal, in so far as
they are beneficial.  Parental functions of the higher sort, of the
human sort, are identical.  The father can give his children many
advantages which the mother can not; but that is due to his superiority
as a human being.  He possesses far more knowledge and power in the
world, the human world; he himself is more developed in human powers and
processes; and is therefore able to do much for his children which the
mother can not; but this is in no way due to his masculinity.  It is in
this development of human powers in man, through fatherhood, that we may
read the explanation of our short period of androcentric culture.

So thorough and complete a reversal of previous relation, such
continuance of what appears in every way an unnatural position, must
have had some justification in racial advantages, or it could not have
endured.  This is its justification; the establishment of humanness in
the male; he being led into it, along natural lines, by the exercise of
previously existing desires.

In a male culture the attracting forces must inevitably have been, we
have seen, Desire and Combat.  These masculine forces, acting upon human
processes, while necessary to the uplifting of the man, have been
anything but uplifting to civilization.  A sex which thinks, feels and
acts in terms of combat is difficult to harmonize in the smooth bonds of
human relationship; that they have succeeded so well is a beautiful
testimony to the superior power of race tendency over sex tendency. 
Uniting and organizing, crudely and temporarily, for the common hunt;
and then, with progressive elaboration, for the common fight; they are
now using the same tactics--and the same desires, unfortunately--in
common work.

Union, organization, complex interservice, are the essential processes
of a growing society; in them, in the ever-increasing discharge of power
along widening lines of action, is the joy and health of social life. 
But so far men combine in order to better combat; the mutual service
held incidental to the common end of conquest and plunder.

In spite of this the overmastering power of humanness is now developing
among modern men immense organizations of a wholly beneficial character,
with no purpose but mutual advantage.  This is true human growth, and as
such will inevitably take the place of the sex-prejudiced earlier

The human character of the Christian religion is now being more and more
insisted on; the practical love and service of each and all; in place of
the old insistence on Desire--for a Crown and Harp in Heaven, and
Combat--with that everlasting adversary.

In economics this great change is rapidly going on before our eyes.  It
is a change in idea, in basic concept, in our theory of what the whole
thing is about.  We are beginning to see the world, not as "a fair field
and no favor"--not a place for one man to get ahead of others, for a
price; but as an establishment belonging to us, the proceeds of which
are to be applied, as a matter of course, to human advantage.

In the old idea, the wholly masculine idea, based on the processes of
sex-combat, the advantage of the world lay in having "the best man win."
 Some, in the first steps of enthusiasm for Eugenics, think so still;
imagining that the primal process of promoting evolution through the
paternity of the conquering male is the best process.

To have one superior lion kill six or sixty inferior lions, and leave a
progeny of more superior lions behind him, is all right--for lions; the
superiority in fighting being all the superiority they need.

But the man able to outwit his follows, to destroy them in physical, or
ruin in financial, combat, is not therefore a superior human creature. 
Even physical superiority, as a fighter, does not prove the kind of
vigor best calculated to resist disease, or to adapt itself to changing

That our masculine culture in its effect on Economics and Industry is
injurious, is clearly shown by the whole open page of history.  From the
simple beneficent activities of a matriarchal period we follow the same
lamentable steps; nation after nation.  Women are enslaved and captives
are enslaved; a military despotism is developed; labor is despised and
discouraged.  Then when the irresistible social forces do bring us
onward, in science, art, commerce, and all that we call civilization, we
find the same check acting always upon that progress; and the really
vital social processes of production and distribution heavily injured by
the financial combat and carnage which rages ever over and among them.

The real development of the people, the forming of finer physiques,
finer minds, a higher level of efficiency, a broader range of enjoyment
and accomplishment--is hindered and not helped by this artificially
maintained "struggle for existence," this constant endeavor to eliminate
what, from a masculine standard, is "unfit."

That we have progressed thus far, that we are now moving forward so
rapidly, is in spite of and not because of our androcentric culture.




In the change from the dominance of one sex to the equal power of two,
to what may we look forward?  What effect upon civilization is to be
expected from the equality of womanhood in the human race?

To put the most natural question first--what will men lose by it?  Many
men are genuinely concerned about this; fearing some new position of
subservience and disrespect.  Others laugh at the very idea of change in
their position, relying as always on the heavier fist.  So long as
fighting was the determining process, the best fighter must needs win;
but in the rearrangement of processes which marks our age, superior
physical strength does not make the poorer wealthy, nor even the soldier
a general.

The major processes of life to-day are quite within the powers of women;
women are fulfilling their new relations more and more successfully;
gathering new strength, new knowledge, new ideals.  The change is upon
us; what will it do to men?

No harm.

As we are a monogamous race, there will be no such drastic and cruel
selection among competing males as would eliminate the vast majority as
unfit.  Even though some be considered unfit for fatherhood, all human
life remains open to them.  Perhaps the most important feature of this
change comes in right here; along this old line of sex-selection,
replacing that power in the right hands, and using it for the good of
the race.

The woman, free at last, intelligent, recognizing her real place and
responsibility in life as a human being, will be not less, but more,
efficient as a mother.  She will understand that, in the line of
physical evolution, motherhood is the highest process; and that her
work, as a contribution to an improved race, must always involve this
great function.  She will see that right parentage is the purpose of the
whole scheme of sex-relationship, and act accordingly.

In our time, his human faculties being sufficiently developed, civilized
man can look over and around his sex limitations, and begin to see what
are the true purposes and methods of human life.

He is now beginning to learn that his own governing necessity of Desire
is not _the_ governing necessity of parentage, but only a contributory
tendency; and that, in the interests of better parentage, motherhood is
the dominant factor, and must be so considered.

In slow reluctant admission of this fact, man heretofore has recognized
one class of women as mothers; and has granted them a varying amount of
consideration as such; but he has none the less insisted on maintaining
another class of women, forbidden motherhood, and merely subservient to
his desires; a barren, mischievous unnatural relation, wholly aside from
parental purposes, and absolutely injurious to society.  This whole
field of morbid action will be eliminated from human life by the normal
development of women.

It is not a question of interfering with or punishing men; still less of
interfering with or punishing women; but purely a matter of changed
education and opportunity for every child.

Each and all shall be taught the real nature and purpose of motherhood;
the real nature and purpose of manhood; what each is for, and which is
the more important.  A new sense of the power and pride of womanhood
will waken; a womanhood no longer sunk in helpless dependence upon men;
no longer limited to mere unpaid house-service; no longer blinded by the
false morality which subjects even motherhood to man's dominance; but a
womanhood which will recognize its pre-eminent responsibility to the
human race, and live up to it.  Then, with all normal and right
competition among men for the favor of women, those best fitted for
fatherhood will be chosen.  Those who are not chosen will live

Many, under the old mistaken notion of what used to be called the
"social necessity" of prostitution, will protest at the idea of its

"It is necessary to have it," they will say.

"Necessary _to whom?_"

Not to the women hideously sacrificed to it, surely.

Not to society, honey-combed with diseases due to this cause.

Not to the family, weakened and impoverished by it.

To whom then?  To the men who want it?

But it is not good for them, it promotes all manner of disease, of vice,
of crime.  It is absolutely and unquestionably a "social evil."

An intelligent and powerful womanhood will put an end to this indulgence
of one sex at the expense of the other; and to the injury of both.

In this inevitable change will lie what some men will consider a loss. 
But only those of the present generation.  For the sons of the women now
entering upon this new era of world life will be differently reared. 
They will recognize the true relation of men to the primal process; and
be amazed that for so long the greater values have been lost sight of in
favor of the less.

This one change will do more to promote the physical health and beauty
of the race; to improve the quality of children born, and the general
vigor and purity of social life, than any one measure which could be
proposed.  It rests upon a recognition of motherhood as the real base
and cause of the family; and dismisses to the limbo of all outworn
superstition that false Hebraic and grossly androcentric doctrine that
the woman is to be subject to the man, and that he shall rule over her. 
He has tried this arrangement long enough--to the grievous injury of the
world.  A higher standard of happiness will result; equality and mutual
respect between parents; pure love, undefiled by self-interests on
either side; and a new respect for Childhood.

With the Child, seen at last to be the governing purpose of this
relation, with all the best energies of men and women bent on raising
the standard of life for all children, we shall have a new status of
family life which will be clean and noble, and satisfying to all its

The change in all the varied lines of human work is beyond the powers of
any present day prophet to forecast with precision.  A new grade of
womanhood we can clearly foresee; proud, strong, serene, independent;
great mothers of great women and great men.  These will hold high
standards and draw men up to them; by no compulsion save nature's law of
attraction.  A clean and healthful world, enjoying the taste of life as
it never has since racial babyhood, with homes of quiet and
content--this we can foresee.

Art--in the extreme sense will perhaps always belong most to men.  It
would seem as if that ceaseless urge to expression, was, at least
originally, most congenial to the male.  But applied art, in every form,
and art used directly for transmission of ideas, such as literature, or
oratory, appeals to women as much, if not more, than to men.

We can make no safe assumption as to what, if any, distinction there
will be in the free human work of men and women, until we have seen
generation after generation grow up under absolutely equal conditions. 
In all our games and sports and minor social customs, such changes will
occur as must needs follow upon the rising dignity alloted to the
woman's temperament, the woman's point of view; not in the least denying
to men the fullest exercise of their special powers and preferences; but
classifying these newly, as not human--merely male.  At present we have
pages or columns in our papers, marked as "The Woman's Page" "Of
Interest to Women," and similar delimiting titles.  Similarly we might
have distinctly masculine matters so marked and specified; not assumed
as now to be of general human interest.

The effect of the change upon Ethics and Religion is deep and wide. 
With the entrance of women upon full human life, a new principle comes
into prominence; the principle of loving service.  That this is the
governing principle of Christianity is believed by many; but an
androcentric interpretation has quite overlooked it; and made, as we
have shown, the essential dogma of their faith the desire of an eternal
reward and the combat with an eternal enemy.

The feminine attitude in life is wholly different.  As a female she has
merely to be herself and passively attract; neither to compete nor to
pursue; as a mother her whole process is one of growth; first the
development of the live child within her, and the wonderful nourishment
from her own body; and then all the later cultivation to make the child
grow; all the watching, teaching, guarding, feeding.  In none of this is
there either desire, combat, or self-expression.  The feminine attitude,
as expressed in religion, makes of it a patient practical fulfillment of
law; a process of large sure improvements; a limitless comforting love
and care.

This full assurance of love and of power; this endless cheerful service;
the broad provision for all people; rather than the competitive
selection of a few "victors;" is the natural presentation of religious
truth from the woman's viewpoint.  Her governing principle being growth
and not combat; her main tendency being to give and not to get; she more
easily and naturally lives and teaches these religious principles.  It
is for this reason that the broader gentler teaching of the Unitarian
and Universalist sects have appealed so especially to women, and that so
many women preach in their churches.

This principle of growth, as applied and used in general human life will
work to far other ends than those now so painfully visible.

In education, for instance, with neither reward nor punishment as spur
or bait; with no competition to rouse effort and animosity, but rather
with the feeling of a gardener towards his plants; the teacher will
teach and the children learn, in mutual ease and happiness.  The law of
passive attraction applies here, leading to such ingenuity in
presentation as shall arouse the child's interest; and, in the true
spirit of promoting growth, each child will have his best and fullest
training, without regard to who is "ahead" of him, or her, or who

We do not sadly measure the cabbage-stalk by the corn-stalk, and praise
the corn for getting ahead of the cabbage--nor incite the cabbage to
emulate the corn.  We nourish both, to its best growth--and are the

That every child on earth shall have right conditions to make the best
growth possible to it; that every citizen, from birth to death, shall
have a chance to learn all he or she can assimilate, to develop every
power that is in them--for the common good--this will be the aim of
education, under human management.

In the world of "society" we may look for very radical changes.

With all women full human beings, trained and useful in some form of
work; the class of busy idlers, who run about forever "entertaining" and
being "entertained" will disappear as utterly as will the prostitute. 
No woman with real work to do could have the time for such petty
amusements; or enjoy them if she did have time.  No woman with real work
to do, work she loved and was well fitted for, work honored and
well-paid, would take up the Unnatural Trade.  Genuine relaxation and
recreation, all manner of healthful sports and pastimes, beloved of both
sexes to-day, will remain, of course; but the set structure of "social
functions"--so laughably misnamed--will disappear with the "society
women" who make it possible.  Once active members of real Society; no
woman could go back to "society," any more than a roughrider could
return to a hobbyhorse.

New development in dress, wise, comfortable, beautiful, may be
confidently expected, as woman becomes more human.  No fully human
creature could hold up its head under the absurdities our women wear
to-day--and have worn for dreary centuries.

So on through all the aspects of life we may look for changes, rapid and
far-reaching; but natural and all for good.  The improvement is not due
to any inherent moral superiority of women; nor to any moral inferiority
of men; men at present, as more human, are ahead of women in all
distinctly human ways; yet their maleness, as we have shown repeatedly,
warps and disfigures their humanness.  The woman, being by nature the
race-type; and her feminine functions being far more akin to human
functions than are those essential to the male; will bring into human
life a more normal influence.

Under this more normal influence our present perversities of functions
will, of course, tend to disappear.  The directly serviceable tendency
of women, as shown in every step of their public work, will have small
patience with hoary traditions of absurdity.  We need but look at long
recorded facts to see what women do--or try to do, when they have
opportunity.  Even in their crippled, smothered past, they have made
valiant efforts--not always wise--in charity and philanthropy.

In our own time this is shown through all the length and breadth of our
country, by the Woman's Clubs.  Little groups of women, drawing together
in human relation, at first, perhaps, with no better purpose than to
"improve their minds," have grown and spread; combined and federated;
and in their great reports, representing hundreds of thousands of
women--we find a splendid record of human work.  They strive always to
improve something, to take care of something, to help and serve and
benefit.  In "village improvement," in traveling libraries, in lecture
courses and exhibitions, in promoting good legislation; in many a line
of noble effort our Women's Clubs show what women want to do.

Men do not have to do these things through their clubs, which are mainly
for pleasure; they can accomplish what they wish to through regular
channels.  But the character and direction of the influence of women in
human affairs is conclusively established by the things they already do
and try to do.  In those countries, and in our own states, where they
are already full citizens, the legislation introduced and promoted by
them is of the same beneficent character.  The normal woman is a strong
creature, loving and serviceable.  The kind of woman men are afraid to
entrust with political power, selfish, idle, over-sexed, or ignorant and
narrow-minded, is not normal, but is the creature of conditions men have
made.  We need have no fear of her, for she will disappear with the
conditions which created her.

In older days, without knowledge of the natural sciences, we accepted
life as static.  If, being born in China, we grew up with foot-bound
women, we assumed that women were such, and must so remain.  Born in
India, we accepted the child-wife, the pitiful child-widow, the ecstatic
_suttee_, as natural expressions of womanhood.  In each age, each
country, we have assumed life to be necessarily what it was--a moveless

All this is giving way fast in our new knowledge of the laws of life. 
We find that Growth is the eternal law, and that even rocks are slowly
changing.  Human life is seen to be as dynamic as any other form; and
the most certain thing about it is that it will change.  In the light of
this knowledge we need no longer accept the load of what we call "sin;"
the grouped misery of poverty, disease and crime; the cumbrous,
inefficatious, wasteful processes of life today, as needful or

We have but to learn the _real_ elements in humanity; its true powers
and natural characteristics; to see wherein we are hampered by the wrong
ideas and inherited habits of earlier generations, and break loose from
them--then we can safely and swiftly introduce a far nobler grade of

Of all crippling hindrances in false ideas, we have none more
universally mischievous than this root error about men and women.  Given
the old androcentric theory, and we have an androcentric culture--the
kind we so far know; this short stretch we call "history;" with its
proud and pitiful record.  We have done wonders of upward growth--for
growth is the main law, and may not be wholly resisted.  But we have
hindered, perverted, temporarily checked that growth, age after age; and
again and again has a given nation, far advanced and promising, sunk to
ruin, and left another to take up its task of social evolution; repeat
its errors--and its failure.

One major cause of the decay of nations is "the social evil"--a thing
wholly due to the androcentric culture.  Another steady endless check is
warfare--due to the same cause.  Largest of all is poverty; that
spreading disease which grows with our social growth and shows most
horribly when and where we are most proud, keeping step, as it were,
with private wealth.  This too, in large measure, is due to the false
ideas on industry and economics, based, like the others mentioned, on a
wholly masculine view of life.

By changing our underlying theory in this matter we change all the
resultant assumptions; and it is this alteration in our basic theory of
life which is being urged.

The scope and purpose of human life is entirely above and beyond the
field of sex relationship.  Women are human beings, as much as men, by
nature; and as women, are even more sympathetic with human processes. 
To develop human life in its true powers we need full equal citizenship
for women.

The great woman's movement and labor movement of to-day are parts of the
same pressure, the same world-progress.  An economic democracy must rest
on a free womanhood; and a free womanhood inevitably leads to an
economic democracy.


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