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Trade Unionists who say wonen and must rule. Because the hardest

be as skilled men, fighters are simply those who are most say it because they do not want in touch with the Divine Force. them to be employed, whilst the As a refutation of the claims of masters who say they are neater

women to political life, Lady Lovat and quicker are those who want to em- quotes a very romantic speech of ploy them. Schopenhauer, no doubt, Portia's in the Merchant of Venice; but had some good spiteful human reason it is difficult to see that it has any for proclaiming that women were an bearing on the case, as even men have "undersized, broad-hipped, narrow- belittled themselves and called women shouldered, short-legged race." Lady their “ladies and queens,” and other Lovat may argue as the result of her extravagant things, on similar occaexperience that women's souls abhor sions, when they were in love (espethe abstract. Against that dictum we cially in plays), and the rhapsodies of must set the undoubted fact that some these ecstatic moments cannot be seuniversity professors affirm that riously debated as a basis for legislawomen excel in mathematics and logic. tion. But all these are simply matters of In discussing the question of personal opinion and belief. It is cer- Women's Suffrage, it is not with Rustainly amusing to see that Solomon kin's Early Victorian ladies we have was more progressive in his views to deal, "women who enter into no about women than Ruskin, and that contest," "who are protected from all his ideal lady could at all events speak danger and temptation," "whose great with her enemy in the gate, while Rus- function is praise." Nor is it with the kin's could only sit at home and ar- heroines of history or fiction. Portia range things, "entering into no would have been most certainly just as test." But these theories are too blatantly in love with Bassanio if she vague and random to be of any value had been a plural voter or a member of except as they throw light on the char- the Council of Ten. The serious acter of the theorist. Ruskin's ideal charge brought by Lady Lovat against of women was, of course, sentimental modern women is that they are, like and impossible. What woman is there Shylock, insisting on their pound of in the world, be she never so old-fash- flesh (the suffrage) and willing to pay ioned, who enters into no contest? And a great price for it, the sacrifice of may Heaven defend us from people, their present ideal position of influence men or women, who spend their lives and happiness, and especially their in "sweet ordering, arrangement, deci- “highest prerogative of educating chilsion." Indeed, it is that sort of thing dren." Also, oddly enough, she points that makes great many of the to the medical profession as one of the world's worst fights, because, however splendid privileges due to the old orideal and womanly it may be, other der, a profession that has been forced people will not always stand being open within the last fifty years by the "sweetly ordered and arranged.” Lady unremitting and much opposed efforts Lovat quotes Ruskin's saying that of Women's Rights women. As to the women should rule and not fight, and Education question, Lady Lovat quotes one is tempted to think how strange it Plato in support of the view that to was that Ruskin did not seem to know draw out the Divine Image in a human that, everywhere and in every sphere, being is a greater work than the makphysical, mental and spiritual, it is the ing of a beautiful statue. This is no hardest fighters who, in the end, rule, doubt true, but there are few who




In every

would venture to assert that a man or

"The garden and the cloister" woman of genius, an artist or (quoted from John Morley by Lady thinker, could not be as useful an in- Lovat) are no doubt necessary and destrument to awaken the Divine Image lightful for us all, but so are “the dust in another person's soul as an ordinary and burning sun and shouting of the domestic person immersed in triviali- days of conflict” to every human being. ties. Influence is no question of time. man or woman, who believes in the No women of any class really educate high destinies of the human soul, but their children, they provide teachers more especially to those who would be for them or send them to school. Their the means to awaken the Divine Image own influence is confined for the most of heroism and power and hardly won part to what they are and what they

wisdom in the soul of a child. know—the real source of all power.

Love, Lady Lovat says, is the special If anyone wishes to have influence, prerogative of woman. But there are let her not forget Maeterlinck's fable no special prerogatives. The world as about the man in the lighthouse, who

God made it is free to us all. It is gave away the oil in his lamp to the useless to tell women that the active poor, and thus lost his power to save

life is the special prerogative of men; great ships from destruction. And it

as useless as it would be to tell men is one of the enduring happinesses of

that love is the special prerogative of life that everything we learn and every

women. These things are not so, simstrength we gain makes our lamp burn ply because the Power that made the brighter and thus enables us to help

world did not make them so. other people. If women are going to

contest since the beginning of history be great educators they must not shut women have struggled and fought and themselves out from any human ac

suffered. In every great national tivity, for all inventive and creative ac

movement, where these movements tivity is not only good for men, it is have come into the sphere of bloodshed good in itself; in fact, it is the condi- and death, as in France, in Russia, in tion of full human development and

Italy, women have suffered and strugright doing. The idea that one power

gled and died in large numbers, and crowds out another in the human mind proved to the world a thousand times is surely based on a very false concep

over by their deeds their possession of tion of the working of the laws that the heroic qualities of the active life. make evolution by a gradual widening As to love, surely it is a universal of mental outlook, and the receding of principle not to be narrowed down to horizons before a determined effort of any one section of humanity. Those the will. Women who wilfully detach

who do not believe in the special prethemselves from the energies and rogatives of sex can comfort themstruggle and fight of the living world selves with the comprehensiveness of around them to pursue an ideal of the

the ancient conception, "God is Love." gracious seclusion of the family, and

Lady Lovat allows that “Love is the the sanctifying influence of passive ex

fulfilling of the law"; love is "the only, istence, will too soon find that they

the eternal foundation of the training have nothing to give their children, of our race to humanity." If these and that the young will go elsewhere things are true, surely this Divine for the generous inspirations of cour

Principle, being her: special prerogative. age and heroic living. But nobody can would prove nothing but the superiorescape the battle in the end. And no


of the spiritually enlightened body should

woman's soul over the darkened soul

of man. But this is not so; the sun vate life, I am also very far from sharshines on the good and evil and on the ing her opinion of the powerlessness of just and unjust, and the great vivi- political forces to work out their refying and purifying forces are the sults in the nearly allied world of inbirthright of every human soul, irre- dustry. These forces are not so helpspective of all accidents or "preroga- less as politicians would have us betives of sex."

lieve. Now as to the present happy position If Gladstone really thought that the and influence of women which is said "terrible woes of this darkened world" to be threatened by their approaching could not be effectually dealt with by emancipation, Lady Lovat thinks that the State, why did he elect to spend what she considers the present ideal his whole life as a statesman? Surely relations of men and women, and espe- in face of the many importunate probcially the private influence of women lems that surround us, if he had really over men, are in danger. By all means seen a more excellent way he would let us render unto Cæsar the things have taken it. Let us take courage. that are Cæsar's, but it is as well to The Franchise is not a new and insidiremember that there are some things ous method of overturning the lives that are outside his jurisdiction. And and traditions and sentiments of the our private relations to one another rich. It is not even a question of one are not settled by the House of Com- political party against another. It is mons, but by the deep working laws of simply a means by which the mass of our own natures. Lady Lovat thinks women in the professional and industhat men should reverence women and trial worlds can defend their interests keep them on pedestals far removed and their right to work. Practically, from the contests and difficulties that working men do not, as Lady Lovat go to make up life. But women are thinks, contest inch by inch the idea human beings and not meant to live that piece-work rates should be the on pedestals; their place is in the midst same for women as for men, because of contest and difficulty, and there are they do not like being undercut, and some of us, men as well as women, the sympathy of working men for the who do not admire or revere or even suffrage movement is very much on tolerate the type of character produced the grounds of the indirect influence of by this St. Simon Stylites attitude to- political status on wages. They realwards life, in man or woman. Any- ize in a way that the leisured classes how, the doubtful privilege of a col- cannot, that it is the present outcast umn is only possible for the favored position of working women that forces few of a leisured class. The mass of them to pull down the rate for everythe female population have no time to body by accepting such very low pay. dream of the very brittle influence And, apart even from wages, never bewhich they are supposed to hide under fore in the history of this country have a veil of weakness. They are not pos- women had more need of political ing on pedestals, they are struggling power to protect themselves against and fighting through their lives, trying injurious legislation. At this moment to earn their livings honestly and hold over 100,000 women are being threattheir heads above water in that world ened by Parliament with the abolition where there is no pity nor help for of their employment. We are told those who go under. If I venture to that a day will be given by the Govdoubt Lady Lovat's generalizations of ernment to the discussion of Clause 20 the great influence of politics on pri- of the Licensing Bill. It is by a sub

clause of this clause that the fate of these women will be decided. It seems that in a couple of hours' talk by unrepresentative legislators they will be deprived of their occupations, their incomes and their reputations, through no fault of their own, but simply because of their helpless unenfranchised position.

The President of the Local Government Board says openly that one of the great remedies for unemployment is the enormous curtailing of the work of women. This ingenious method of robbing Peter to pay Paul has no doubt its charm for a Government that depends for its very existence on Paul's votes, and has nothing to hope for or fear from Peter. Attempts are being constantly made to turn women out of their trades and livelihoods, whether it is the barmaids, the circus riders and acrobats, the pitrow women, the married women of Lancashire (73,000), the married teachers, or the Cradley Heath chainmakers. Sometimes these things are done quietly, as in the case of trades like printers or florists. Here a simple application of the Factory Acts is enough to turn the women out of work, as the minute regulation of hours is quite impossible where the manipulation of perishable flowers is concerned, or where work has to be done at night, as in the printing trade.

The outlook is dark indeed for all working women, because the women's labor market is already overcrowded, and every displacement of labor simply adds to the competition in the lesser skilled trades, and, by making the supply of workers so much greater than the demand, brings down the already low rate of wages for all concerned. The franchise is a crying need to guard the interests of those who have to take part in the industrial struggle. It is easy to laugh at unmarried women for being faddists, and married women for being influenced

by their husbands, but whether they are faddists or weak-minded people, if they are workers, they have need of the protection of the franchise, for they will have to fight their way in the world. Men are not disfranchised because they are faddists or because their wives influence them unduly. And Lady Lovat herself insists strongly on the tremendous influence of women over their husbands. Indeed, if a free mind were to be a qualification of voting, one imagines the electorate of this country would be reduced by a considerable number. In considering the question of adult suffrage, Lady Lovat says there are more women than men in this country. At first sight it seems a very odd contention to an ordinary mind used to democratic theories, that because a section of the populace are in the majority, that is a reason why they should not be represented in Parliament. The idea that all women would band to gether and vote against all men is absurd and inconceivable. Even in the present struggle for the suffrage, which you would think has been made entirely a sex question, by the exclusion of a whole sex, men and women have not been driven into opposite camps. There are plenty of

the women's side, and doubtless many women who see no evil in the present state of things. The sentimental and speculative aspect of this subject has had its full share of attention; but one would like to appeal to those intellectual people to whom the franchise is naturally rather a matter for philosophic discussion than a vital need, as it is to the working classes, for the sake of theories and traditions, not to range themselves on the side of those forces that are making life so difficult and so squalid to millions of the poorest workers of this country.

In the course of a speech made by Mrs. Humphry Ward in proposing the





“Anti-Suffrage” Manifesto and pub- aritficjally shut to them, while with men lished in the August number of this "la carrière est ouverte aux talents"Review,* she added the weight of her the world of technical education and testimony to Lady Lovat's, and at- work is free to their competing abilities. tacked the position of those who claim (2) Mrs. Ward gives as one of the that the possession of the franchise by most important causes of women's low women will result in industrial equality wages the backwardness of the organbetween the sexes-a very practical ization of women's labor. Now this is gain, as it will work itself out in ad- confusion of

and effect. justment of wages to natural ability Women's labor is badly organized in and capacity irrespective of the pres- those trades where they are doing littleent artificial sex handicap. Everybody skilled and low-paid work. The same who is interested in labor questions rule applies to men. This is no sex from the workers' point of view, be question. Any trade union secretary they men or women, must wish for will tell you that it is almost impossithis result. Because infallibly and me- ble to organize men in an unskilled chanically, by the same law through trade. Where men or women are dowhich women are underpaid, men are ing highly skilled work they are undercut, and the lamentations of usually well organized into strong sotrade unionists on the competition of cieties. But women's societies are what they call “unfair" female labor fewer and poorer than men's, because are the commonplace of labor meetings they are as yet excluded from the betand reports. Mrs. Ward indeed allows ter and more highly paid parts of most that women's wages are generally trades. And where they are well orlower than men's, but, like Lady ganized the trade unions are crippled Lovat, she clings to the belief that po- by want of political status. It is not litical enfranchisement would be pow- only the unskilled, unorganized among erless to affect this economic evil, women that do not get industrial jus. which is caused, according to her view, tice. For instance, in every town in by five different reasons.

England the teachers employed in the (1) "There are more women than elementary schools are paid by a fixed men.” While not disputing this state- rate from the head master and the ment as applied to generalities, it is head mistress down to the pupil teachimpossible to deny that as far as the ers, in which it is carefully calculated, labor market is concerned truth lies in that, training and qualifications and its exact opposite.

There are far more hours being equal, a man gets so much men than women competing. And this more for being a man and a woman so is because at present so large a propor- much less for being a woman. And tion of women's work is absorbed in yet there are 30,000 women in the Nathe unpaid activities of married home tional Union of Teachers. Mrs. Ward life. People are apt to think that considers low wages among unskilled there are more women than men in in- men to be a proof that wages are not dustrial life because the competition influenced by political forces. Nobody for work is doubtless fiercer among denies that among men skilled labor is, women; but it must not be forgotten roughly speaking, highly paid and unthat this added competition is easily

skilled labor poorly paid. But the accounted for by the fact that women's work of the political forces is to be labor is forced into a few restricted found in the different payment obchannels, because so many trades are tained for the same or equally skilled 1 The Living Age, Oct. 3.

quality of work by men and women.

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