One of the other two critics writes that over that article she “shed the first tears in over seven years.” Then she asks me if I don’t think I was a “little hard on the Taurus woman,” and goes on to reveal plainly that her tears were those of self-pity. Don’t I know? Haven’t I shed quarts of such tears? Of course. But not more than an ounce or two were shed after I gave up my own way. But this second critic is arriving just as I did, and as Jane will—arriving all unconsciously to herself. Her letter sounds like a chapter from my own thinking of a dozen years ago. She gives a bird’s eye view of her husband—no, of her husband’s faults; she tells how she reads new thought literature on the sly—just as I did; and she winds up with this piece of good advice:
“I will say to such, live your own life as God intended you to, regardless of the fact of your husband. Be brave, hope, will and pray. Dress, look sweet. If your husband tells you he doesn’t care how you look but to not come near him with your foolishness, as mine does, why, let him live his life in his own way, make home attractive for your own sake, read good books; and in time books will be your chum.”
The third critic, too, is full of self-pity, though she does not mention her tears; and her letter is a long portrait of her husband’s faults. She wants a little encouragement to leave him, but she is afraid he will go to the dogs if she does. So, like a generous woman, she sticks to him and makes the best (?) of a bad bargain.
Jane says my article was “cruel.” Dearie, it was—as the surgeon’s knife is cruel. But it is the truth, and it hurts but to make way for healing. The woman who blames has in her eye something worse than a cataract. The woman who sheds tears over her “fate” is moved by the “meanest of emotions.” She attracts “cruelty,” not only from that article, but from her husband.
It takes two to quarrel, and either one can stop it. It takes two to maintain “strained relations,” and either one can ease the strain. The principles I tried to elucidate in that article are as applicable to a man as to a woman. But it was a woman, a Taurus woman, who asked me; therefore I talked straight to her. And I am a Taurus woman who has been through the same mill; and I wrote not from a hardened heart but from one made tender by experience and the Spirit of Truth. My point of view “might have been the husband’s” if the husband had been an unusually just one. And I must say the husband’s point of view is more apt to be just, than the wife’s; for the reason that a woman is more apt to be blinded by emotional self-interest. In proportion as man or woman is ruled by emotion his judgment is distorted. As a rule man’s judgment is straighter than a woman’s. But judgment is a shallow thing, based upon already revealed facts. Woman’s intuition goes to the heart of things and flashes facts into revelation. Women as a rule see farther, but are apt to misjudge what is close at hand. Only as man wakes in woman and woman in man do right judgment and love commune. Why not judge with the husband, as I feel with the wife? Is any man totally depraved?