Heaven and earth both must sanction a child’s conception to produce a “well-born” soul.
There is no greater sin on earth than the creation of a human life without complete accord of the creators.
No wonder the world is full of miserable half-born beings, when mothers like you claim to be the Madonnas of earth.
No wonder natural, complete, striving souls hide their true natures under a false exterior, when women like you rule church and society.
What shame or degradation is there, pray, in being animate with the all-pervading impulse which underlies the entire universe? Every planet, every tree, every flower, every insect, is the result of sex seeking sex, atom calling atom.
The universe is because of the law of sex attraction.
And you, poor, puny, pallid woman, dare decry and despise that law, and dare insult God’s animate creature!
Know this, madam, there is no strength worth boasting that has not conquered weakness. No virtue worth the name that has not conquered temptation. No greatness of character that has not overcome unworthy impulses.
Enjoy your negative goodness and be glad you are “good.”
Morality is acceptable to the world, however it conies; but dare not sit in judgment on other human beings fighting battles whose smoke never reaches your nostrils, striving for heights of which you never even dream, and who meanwhile have missed certain degradations which you seem to consider creditable achievements.
Madam, I bid you adieu. That word means “I commend you to God,” the God who made the two sexes, and intended love to unite them.
May He enlighten you in other lives, if not in this.
To Maria Owens
A New Woman Contemplating Marriage
Surprise, I am free to confess, was my dominant emotion on reading your letter. Marriage and Maria had never associated themselves in my mind, fond as I am of alliteration.
Never in the ten years I have known you have I heard you devote ten minutes to the subject of any man’s good qualities. You always have discoursed upon men’s faults and vices, and upon their tendency, since the beginning of time, to tyrannize over woman. I was unable to disprove many of your statements, for I know the weight of argument is upon your side, even while I boldly confess my admiration and regard for men, as a class, is greater than that for women.
The fact that the world has allowed men such latitude, and such license, and made them pay such very small penalties, comparatively speaking, for very large offences, causes me to admire their wonderful achievements in noble living all the more: and to place the man of unblemished reputation and unquestioned probity on a pedestal higher than any I could yet ask builded for woman.