And so we find the women who want to have everything for nothing, and the wives who do not see that they are beholden to man for anything, and those who consider that they have not made a sufficiently good bargain for themselves—in short, all the ungrateful women—flock to the banner of Women’s Freedom—the banner of financial freedom for woman at the expense of financial servitude for man.
The grateful woman will practically always be an anti-suffragist.
It will be well, before passing on to another class of arguments, to summarise what has been said in the three foregoing sections.
We have recognised that woman has not been defrauded of elementary natural rights; that Justice, as distinguished from egalitarian equity, does not prescribe that she should be admitted to the suffrage; and that her status is not, as is dishonestly alleged, a status of serfdom or slavery.
With this the whole case for recrimination against man, and a fortiori [for greater reason] the case for [a] resort to violence, collapses.
And if it does collapse, this is one of those things that carries consequences. It would beseem man to bethink himself that to give in to an unjustified and doubtfully honest claim is to minister to the demoralisation of the claimant.
ARGUMENTS FROM INTELLECTUAL GRIEVANCES OF WOMAN
Complaint of Want of Chivalry—Complaint of “Insults”—Complaint of “Illogicalities”—Complaint of “Prejudices”—The Familiar Suffragist Grievance of the Drunkard Voter and the Woman of Property Who is a Non-Voter—The Grievance of Woman being Required to Obey Man-Made Laws.
We pass from the argument from elementary natural rights to a different class of arguments—intellectual grievances. The suffragist tells us that it is unchivalrous to oppose woman’s suffrage; that it is insulting to tell woman that she is unfit to exercise the fran-chise; that it is “illogical” to make in her case an exception to a general rule; that it is mere “prejudice” to withhold the vote from her; that it is indignity that the virtuous and highly intelligent woman has no vote, while the drunkard has; and that the woman of property has no vote, while her male underlings have; and, lastly, that it is an affront that a woman should be required to obey “man-made” laws.
We may take these in their order.
Let us consider chivalry, first, from the standpoint of the woman suffragist. Her notion of chivalry is that man should accept every disadvantageous offer which may be made to him by woman.
That, of course, is to make chivalry the principle of egalitarian equity limited in its application to the case between man and woman.
It follows that she who holds that the suffrage ought, in obedience to that principle of justice, to be granted to her by man, might quite logically hold that everything else in man’s gift ought also to be conceded.